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Zhik 2016 Dinghy Wetsuits

420 and 470 Junior Europeans at Fraglia Vela Riva, Lake Garda - Day 3

by International 420 & 470 Class Associations 10 Aug 23:27 BST 6-13 August 2017

An early race programme for the three hundred and two sailors in the 420 fleet meant an abrupt 0530 hours wake-up call ahead of an 0800 hours scheduled start.

The smart choice by the Race Committee to take advantage of the early morning breeze proved lucrative for the open and under 17 fleet who enjoyed epic racing in up to 25 knots of breeze. With it, the 109 boats in the 420 Open fleet wrapped up their six-race qualification series today, with 55 advancing to gold fleet and an assault on the podium and 54 in silver fleet racing.

A postponement ashore for the 470 Fleet, as they waited for the wind to fill in, then a rain storm to pass, but ultimately no wind. The Race Committee called off racing at 1625 hours. Friday 11 August will see the 470 fleets out on the race track for an 0800 hours and hoping for a similar 20 knot breeze as enjoyed by the 420 fleets today.

420 OPEN

Spain's Carlos Balaguer/Antoni Massanet escalated their form in today's breeze, shifting up to first overall on a massive 22 point margin, and knocking Telis Athanasopoulos Yogo/Dimitris Tassios (GRE) off top spot. Whilst many of the other leading teams floundered with the change in pace of racing, Balaguer/Massanet confidently maintained their form and scorecard of finishes in the top six.

"Today's racing was very difficult as there were lots of differences of pressure," said Balaguer, "but we managed to keep all the time speed and to go along with the fleet.

"Today we had Oscar flag up, which for us is very good, as we started to pump and went very fast," said Massanet on the switch from light wind to full on physical racing in breeze. "We gained a lot of distance through pumping, and won the last race by about 100 metres. We felt like the boss!"

Looking ahead to the next six races, Balaguer added, "We will try to sail regular and want to do all the races in the top 10, and be relaxed until the last day."

The Spanish have given themselves plenty of room to manoeuvre and take a risk if necessary, as their worst result so far is a 6th place in race 2, which currently counts as their discard. They have huge experience to draw on, and are already selected for the Youth Sailing World Championships later this year in Sanya, China before heading to the 420 Worlds in Fremantle, Australia.

Behind the Spanish, the next three teams are each separated by one point, with Poland's Seweryn Wysokinski/Mateusz Jankowski leading the chasing pack. Despite being one of ten teams suffering a black flag penalty in race 6, the Polish pair stay firm in contention for a podium finish. But they are after only one thing, victory.

"I want to win," smiled Wysokinski. "We want to be first and we can't do any mistake now, and then it should be ok," before admitting, "It is very hard racing here and we have not experienced conditions like this before."

Despite winning the 2017 420 Open European Championships comfortably, Athanasopoulos Yogo/Tassios, have got their work cut out to oust the leaders and defend their position in third overall. The points mountain ahead is steep and the chasing boats a bit too close for comfort.

The leader board changes were as significant as today's change in weather, including Argentina's Ramiro Cosentino/Agustin Frers who escalated their position by 31 places up to 57th overall. The breeze came a bit too late for them though, as they missed the gold fleet cut by just 4 points.

"We were waiting for strong winds, so today they finally came," commented Cosentino, "and we were on the track early at 0730 hours. It was about 20 knots and we go really fast in strong winds, and we had a good start."

Frers took over, "It was a bit lighter in the second race, but we managed to achieve a good position, so we were very happy. It was really important today to have good starts and be at the top from the beginning, be fast and read the shifts."

A significant leader board gain also to Daniel Gottlich/Linus Klasen (GER) who shifted into 9th overall up from 35th after 1,11 results today. And to Spain's Enrique Lujan/Pablo Lujan who more than halved their position, jumping from 56th to 24th.

The top placed girls team are Israel's Linoy Korn/Omer Bilia, in 16th overall, with Italy's Arianna Passamonti/Giulia Fava the second placed girls and Emma Kaneti/Ciara Rodriguez-Horn in third.

"We are happy with our place, but today with this wind we didn't sail very well," explained Passamonti on their 31,27 results, "as the wind was very strong. And in the start we had a problem, and couldn't go the right. Tomorrow we will go better and we know what we must do."

The battle for superiority intensifies tomorrow as the best teams face each other for the first time in the six-race final series.

420 Open - Results after 6 Races

1. Carlos BALAGUER/Antoni MASSANET (ESP 55947) - 12 pts
2. Telis ATHANASOPOULOS YOGO/Dimitris TASSIOS (GRE 56371) - 34 pts
3. Seweryn WYSOKINSKI/Mateusz JANKOWSKI (POL 56146) - 34 pts
4. Felix KAISER/Samuel STÖRR (GER 56086) - 35 pts
5. Edoardo FERRARO/Francesco ORLANDO (ITA 56278) - 39 pts

420 UNDER 17

Three new faces make their appearance in the leader board top three of the 42 boat under 17 fleet, with Italy's Demetrio Sposato/Gabriele Centrone leading the charge. This pair knows exactly what it takes to win, having just claimed the 420 U17 European crown last month in a formidable show of dominance from start to finish.

They were relieved to claim top spot at the halfway point in the Championship, as Sposato smiled saying, "We are happy. Today was a more usual Lake Garda day, although we had to get up at five thirty! We enjoyed a lot the first race with a strong wind of 20-25 knots, and we started well and were very fast. Our boat is called 'Freedom' and we felt like that today as we were flying over the water.

"We trained here for one week before the Open Europeans, so are familiar with the conditions. We are not thinking of the results, but always enjoying and trying to do our best and always to be happy apart from the results."

Jakub Golebiowski/Filip Szmit (POL) converted their 3rd going into the day to 2nd overall at the end, with Greece's Melina Pappa/Maria Tsamopoulou taking over third place, and becoming the top placed girls team. The top two teams have established a points safety net ahead of the rest of the pack, whilst the teams behind are really close.

In 7th overall, Ariadni-Papaskevi Spanaki/Myrto Papaskevi (GRE) claim the second ladies spot, with Italy's Gaia Bergonzini/Cecilia Zancan who hold an overall 12th on the leaderboard as the third placed ladies team.

Great Britain's Rhys Lewis/Drew Wright and Jack Lewis/Charlie Bacon have geared up into 4th and 5th respectively.

Series leaders going into the day Tommaso Salvetta/Giovanni Sandrini (ITA) plummeted to 8th after a penalty in race 5 for failing to keep clear. With three Italian teams inside the top 10, the host nation is strongly represented.

420 U17 - Results after 6 Races

1. Demetrio SPOSATO/Gabriele CENTRONE (ITA 56124) - 21 pts
2. Jakub GOLEBIOWSKI/Filip SZMIT (POL 55653) - 25 pts
3. Melina PAPPA/Maria TSAMOPOULOU (GRE 55405) - 37 pts
4. Rhys LEWIS/Drew WRIGHT (GBR 56342) - 38.5 pts
5. Jack LEWIS/Charlie BACON (GBR 54487) - 39 pts

470 WOMEN

No wind, no play for the women's fleet, with three races scheduled for Friday 11 August, starting after the 470 Men Gold and Silver fleets.

470 MEN

With no racing the overnight scoreboard remains. Racing resumes at 0800 hours on Friday 11 August, with three races scheduled.

More information and full results on the championship website at 2017junioreuropeans.420sailing.org