The first two races of the Laser Youth World Championships (U-21) have been completed in Kiel with some familiar sailors in the lead. Joel Rodriguez (Spain) is dominating the men’s fleet in the Laser Standard, finishing with a first and a second today, followed by Jonatan Vadnei (Hungary) and Santiago Sampaio (Portugal), both with seven points. The best German sailor is Nik Aaron Willim (Norddeutscher Regatta-Verein) ranked seven with a fourth and a fifth place finish. In the women’s fleet, Monika Mikkola from Finland is leading, having crossed the finish line in fourth and first, and is one point ahead of leading Maud Jayet (Switzerland) and Maité Carlier (Belgium), both with six points each.
At nine o’clock, short after the meeting of the coaches and the race committee, the flag D was set as a signal for the boats to leave the marina and follow the starting vessel. Kiel presented a more friendly face this morning of the first race day of the Laser U-21 World Championships as more than 200 participants made their way from the Olympic marina Schilksee to the Kiel lighthouse in bright sunshine and a moderate breeze. At the scheduled start time of eleven o’clock, three groups took their turns to start – two groups for the men, and one for the women. “We did start with flag U”, explained race officer Robert Niemczewski. Only three boats in the boys’ “yellow group” were too early across the start line – and were penalized for this race with the full point score. The other two starts were clear. Around 50 minutes after their starting signal, the first boats crossed the finish line: Joel Rodriguez (Spain) in front of Patrick Doepping from Denmark in the yellow group – but Doepping was one of those who were over early, saddling him with 73 points for the first race. That left second place for Jakub Rodziewicz of Poland. The first race of the blue group was won by Jonatan Vadnei (Hungary), followed by Ignacio Rodriguez from Uruguay.
The starts for the second race for the two fleets of male sailors got off without problems or early starts. The first ones of the groups were Maxim Nikolaev (Russia) and Paul Castagnedoli (France).
The women’s fleet were a bit more agressive and enough sailors pushed across the line early, that the race comittee had to recall the whole fleet. In the next run – under the black flag to disqualify early startes – the race officers postponed the starting procedure shortly before the signal, because the wind had shifted enough to noticeably favor the pin end. On the third try, the fleet was off with a clean start.
The impressions from the race course varied with the conditions. “The wind picked up quite a bit during the day. In the first race, it was important to go over the left side. In the second race, you had to rather go with the wind shifts”, said Soeren Leinert from the sailing club Circonia Storkow in Brandenburg/Germany (finishing 12 and 45). Max Wilken (Rechlin/Germany), winner of the German Junior Championship 2016, finishh in 20. and 16. position on the first day. “I had hoped to be a bit better. But it’s okay for the first day. We still have five days, a lot can still happen”, said Wilken. “The wind was good today, it was fun”, stated the 17-year old. Christian Demleitner experiences on the water were somewhat different, with moderate results in the end: “Too much wind or not enough weight”, sumed up the sailor from Northern Bavaria. The French sailor Gaston Morvan, who had one good race today and another less so (places 14 and 30), would like to get into the top ten. “The road is very long ahead of us. I hope to start better tomorrow and to have a better race.“
Maud Jayet from Switzerland and Monika Mikkola from Finland won the two races in the women’s fleet of the Laser Radial. The Finnish sailor (third overall in last year’s U-21 Worlds) is leading and was satisfied with her day on the water. She was also concentrating on the left side in the first race today. “It was really tricky today. The wind was gusty and shifty.” The women are starting as the third group and are thus 30 minutes later getting onto the race course. On the second leg, the wind decreased. “I had a good upwind leg, came in front and defended the lead.“
The next races are scheduled for Friday, 11 o’clock.
U-21 World Championship in the Laser Standard (men)
Interim ranking after 2 races
1. Joel Rodriguez (Spain), places 1, 2; 3 points
2. Jonatan Vadnei (Hungary), 1, 6; 7 p.
3. Santiago Sampaio (Portugal), 3, 4; 7 p.
4. Juan Cardona Mendez (Spain), 5, 3; 8 p.
5. Ignacio Rodriguez (Uruguay), 2, 7; 9 p.
6. Romain Simonnot (France), 6, 3; 9 p.
7. Nik Aaron Willim (NRV, Germany), 4, 5; 9 p.
U-21 World Championship in the Laser Radial (women)
Interim ranking after 2 races
1. Monika Mikkola (Finland), places 4, 1; points
2. Maud Jayet (Switzerland), 1, 5; 6 p.
3. Maité Carlier (Belgium), 2, 4; 6 p.
4. Vasileia Karachaliou (Greece), 5, 2; 7 p.
5. Elli Cumpsty (Great Britain), 6, 7; 13 p.
6. Martina Reino Cacho (Spain), 12, 3; 15 p.
22. Laura Bo Voss (Germany), 23, 24; 47 p.
Laser Standard Men and Laser Radial Women Youth Worlds (U21 – U19):
Tuesday, 9. August: check-in, measurement
Wednesday, 10. August: check-in, measurement, 2pm: practice race, 7:30pm: opening ceremony/dinner
Thursday, 11. August, until Sunday, 14. August 11am: qualification round
Monday, 15. August, 11am: final round
Tuesday, 16. August, 11 o’clock: final round, after that prize giving ceremony and final party/dinner