Kingston, Ontario, Canada

What a difference a day makes. As much as we lacked wind the day before, today there was a surplus. The first set of races were conducted with wind readings in the mid teens and gusts to the low twenties.

The boys yellow and green fleets each got away with clear starts but the girls were quite aggressive. With fifteen seconds to go, there was a group of sailors in mid fleet already over the line, when a chorus of “Go, Go GO!!!” rang out. Well, they went, but the race officer called them back and so they returned for a restart under black flag. They gave the line a little more respect the second time through the sequence and crossed with no disqualifications. The boys blue fleet also gave the race committee some difficulty, crowding the line throughout the day, and even the black flag seemed little enough deterrent.

By the time the first set of races were completed, the winds had picked up to the high teens with gusts in the mid twenties. Later in the afternoon, we had a steady 20 with gusts near 30 knots. This was, by all accounts, a “Kingston Day”.

It wasn’t survival conditions out there, but it was certainly a workout for the sailors. From the limited perspective one gets watching from the race committee boat, it was difficult to see what the determining factors were for success on the course. There was more than enough wind pressure all through the race area. Was it managing to take advantage of the bigger shifts? Avoiding adverse current? Downwind boat handling? Or was it about being physically strongest and able to hike the hardest?

Whatever the winning combination was, it was pretty clear that several sailors had it figured out. In both scheduled races completed in the girls fleet, Marilena Makri from Cyprus crossed the finish line first. During equipment inspection, Makri had said she was hoping for a strong breeze, and today showed exactly why. Obviously, she was not alone in favoring those conditions. In the same two races, Italy’s Sara Savelli finished second each time. Following her was Anja von Allmen from Switzerland (with a fifth and a fourth), and then a trio of sailors from Great Britain – Abigail Childerly, Elizabeth Beardsall, and Coco Barrett.

On the boys side, with some pressure to try and secure enough qualification races (four required) during the regular schedule, three races were completed in both fleets. Matching the performance of Marilena Makri, there was one sailor who had a perfect afternoon, Roko Stipanovic from Croatia. With three first place finishes in the blue fleet, he showed he, too, can handle the breeze.

Derin Baytur (Turkey), Dmitry Golovkin (Russia) and Gasper Strahovnik (Slovenia) each won a race in the yellow fleet and finished 2nd or 3rd in at least one other race. In fact, the front of both fleets claimed their territory from the start of the day and didn’t let up. All of the boys sailors in the top 10 finished in the top 10 in each of their three races. There were a couple of other sailors who might have been up there in the standings as well – Iasonas Kefallonitis (Greece) and Mariano Cebrian (Spain) – but for a race that was scored at 60 (DNS or BFD) for each. So, look for them to potentially make a big leap up in the standings once a discard comes into play, after four races.

Of course it is early, as it was the first day that races were completed. There is still plenty of racing to go, assuming favorable, or at least reasonable conditions. Will the sailors who excelled in the heavier winds fare as well if or when conditions are under 10 knots? We’ll keep you posted on the progress of the 4.7 Youth World Championships as the regatta unfolds.

1st Marilena Makri CYP 2.0
2nd Sara Savelli ITA 4.0
3rd Anja von Allmen SUI 9.0
4th Abigail Childerly GBR 10.0
5th Elizabeth Beardsall GBR 13.0

BOYS DIVISION – TOP FIVE after 3 races
1st Roko Stipanovic CRO 3.0
2nd Derin Baytur TUR 7.0
3rd Dmitry Golovkin RUS 7.0
4th Gasper Strahovnik SLO 9.0
5th Niccolo Nordera ITA 9.0

Full Results for all fleets