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420 and 470 Junior Europeans at Fraglia Vela Riva, Lake Garda - Day 4

by International 420 & 470 Class Associations 12 Aug 17:11 BST 6-13 August 2017

Race day 4 on Friday 11 August saw the 470 Class hit the race track early for an 0800 hours start in the hope of getting back on track after missing a day of racing yesterday.

Just one morning race was possible as the breeze disappeared and the fleet returned to shore. Time for a snooze for some, before all fleets headed back out to race in the Lake Garda "Ora" which finally appeared for a thrilling afternoon of racing.

Three races for the 470 Men and Women and two for each of the 420 fleets reshuffled the leaderboard for the 468 young teams from 25 nations competing at the 2017 420 and 470 Junior European Championships.

Racing continues for the 470 fleet at 0800 hours again on Saturday 12 August with three races scheduled, starting with 470 Gold, then Women and 470 Silver. The 420 fleet will start at 1300 hours with 420 Gold, 420 Silver then 420 Under 17.

470 MEN

Virtually racing their own one-on-one battle are Hippolyte Machetti/Sidoine Dantes (FRA) and sparring partners Giacomo Ferrari/Giulio Calabro (ITA). The Italians carried the 1 point edge going into the day, but standout racing gave the lead to the French by 1 point after today's three races.

"We are exhausted," said Machetti on the long day, and ashore from the afternoon's two races in 12-15 knots of breeze, although did admit he had taken a little sleep in the break after the morning's race. It clearly made a difference though, as they were lightning quick around the race track, adding scores of 1,2 to their earlier win.

"It's fun to be against them," smiled Machetti on their rivalry with the Italians. "And in the last race today, we were really far from the others and it was like match racing. It's a pleasure for us to be fighting against them."

Their leading points margin is now up to the chasing pack to break, as these two are focused on counter-attacking each other in a finely balanced fight which will go all the way to the podium. The French partnership has come a long way since winning both the 420 Junior World Championship and 420 Junior European Championship gold medals just three years ago.

Third to Ben Hazeldine/Rya Orr (GBR).

Amongst the many young 470 Class teams with Olympic aspirations are Great Britain's Martin Wrigley/James Taylor. Contrasting scores of 3,25,4 gave them their discard race today, and also pushed them up to 9th overall. They are gunning for Tokyo 2020, but face the mountain of overhauling London 2012 Olympic silver medallist Luke Patience and his Rio 2016 crew Chris Grube on their quest.

For Wrigley, the Olympic Games is a long-held dream, "Since Optimists I have always known I wanted to go sailing. I knew as soon as I finished 420s, after medalling at the Junior Europeans, exactly what I wanted to do."

The journey to Tokyo will be tough. "For starters we have to overtake Luke and Chris, and Luke already has a silver to his name, so they are looking pretty good in the build-up to the Olympics. With the experience they have, it is quite hard to overhaul them, so we would have to beat them for a good while to get picked."

The odds are not exactly stacked in favour of Wrigley/Taylor, but that is precisely what motivates them. "It makes us work hard. We don't just want to go to the Olympic Games, we want to medal, we want to win a gold medal. It is hard to go there, you have to fight to go there, which is what makes you better in the long run," said a clearly determined Wrigley.

Three races for the 470 men on Saturday 12 August will wrap up the final series, and see the top ten teams advance to Sunday's medal race.

470 Men - Provisional Results after 7 Races:

1. Hippolyte MACHETTI/Sidoine DANTÈS (FRA 79) - 10 pts
2. Giacomo FERRARI/Giulio CALABRÒ (ITA 757) - 11 pts
3. Ben HAZELDINE/Ryan ORR (GBR 840) - 30 pts
4. Balázs GYAPJAS/Zsombor GYAPJAS (HUN 1) - 31 pts
5. Maor ABU/Yoav ROOZ (ISR 10) - 35 pts

470 WOMEN

Three races today in the twenty-eight 470 Women fleet ended with a tiebreak lead to Greece's Maria Bozi/Rafailina Klonaridou, over Turkey's Beste Kaynacki/Simay Aslan on 32 points apiece. Third to Marina Lefort/Lara Granier (FRA).

Speaking after their 6th place finish in the opening race of the day, Bozi, who won bronze at the 2016 470 Junior Worlds, said, "We were expecting it be windier, but it went from 12 knots and dropped to 5, and shifty, just like the other days."

Explaining their consistent scorecard, Bozi commented, "We are lucky we are good in the downwind, as we have several problems in the upwind. But we are trying to manage and keep in the first five places, so we will be in the medals."

A physical start early this morning with Oscar flag up, but only for the first two legs of race 5, reduced their opportunity for race track gains, as Klonaridou continued, "We want the pumping flag, and when it is not it gets more difficult for us because everyone can race, even the younger ones. We are experienced in pumping, so we know better how to do it. We hope the south wind will come today, and we are waiting for it."

Their wish was granted as the Ora swept across the race track in the afternoon, and the Greeks added scores of 7,1 to their series.

Second placed Beste Kaynakci/Simay Aslan (TUR) put much of their performance down to the guidance of Igor Marenic, Rio 2016 470 Class Olympic Gold Medallist, over the past few months.

"It's a great chance for us," said Kaynakci. "We are learning a lot of new things and we are changing a lot of things in the boat, and changing ourselves a lot. All these are the package that makes the difference. Food, physical training, even the sailing kit we wear is changing. Igor is so professional and is teaching us a lot of things."

Marenic equally enjoys his new coaching role, saying, "It is fun to see that some of the things I try to tell and pass on are working, and I like to see improvements with what I work with. I see a lot of battles on the water and nice racing, and it is great to now see it from outside, even though I would rather be in the boat!"

A win in race 5 transitioned Marina Lefort/Lara Granier to third overall, with leader board gains also to Sweden's Olivia Berstrom/Lovisa Karlsson who took out a 5,4,4 and advance to fourth.

Three races for the 470 Women on Saturday to decide the top ten teams advancing to Sunday's Medal Race.

470 Women - Provisional Results after 7 Races:

1. Maria BOZI/Rafailina KLONARIDOU (GRE 216) - 32 pts
2. Beste KAYNAKCI/Simay ASLAN (TUR 99) - 32 pts
3. Marina LEFORT/Lara GRANIER (FRA 7) - 36 pts
4. Olivia BERGSTRÖM/Lovisa KARLSSON (SWE 34) - 38 pts
5. Luise WANSER/Helena WANSER (GER 69) - 45

420 OPEN

Spain's Carlos Balaguer/Antoni Massanet are rolling towards a podium finish, holding a 21 point margin, over Dylan Ascencios/Nick Chisari (USA). The pair didn't score the best of days, a 14,16 added to their otherwise top six results, but the impact is negligible to their lead.

As the fifty-five boat gold fleet came together for the first time today, the Americans had a super consistent performance, scoring 4,3 to leap up from 6th. Third to Italy's Edoardo Ferraro/Francesco Orlando.

Well up in the running for the ladies prizes are Israel's Linoy Korn/Omer Bilia in 6th overall and sitting on a 34 point advantage to the next placed ladies team, Spain's Patricia Reino/Carlota Hopkins in 17th, just ahead of Poland's Barbara Dzik/Hanna Dzik in 18th.

It's not all about podium places for everyone though. Singapore's Yi Nian Koh/Riji Wong are treating the 420 Junior European Championships as a warm-up event for the 2017 South East Asian (SEA) Games, which get underway in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, later this month. A pinnacle event for the region with huge amounts of national pride at stake, every race here is giving the pair valuable lessons, which they hope will reap rewards.

"We wanted to get more racing experience in a big fleet with a lot of competitors," said Wong on their goals. The pair are new to the 420 Class, having transitioned from the 29er Class which is not on the SEA Games programme. "We came here as part of our preparation, as we have only been sailing the 420 for just over 4 months. The SEA Games is considered one of the most prestigious events and is very important for us."

Gains for the pair today included scoring a third place finish in silver fleet race 8.

420 Open - Provisional Results after 8 Races:

1. Carlos BALAGUER/Antoni MASSANET (ESP 55947) - 32 pts
2. Dylan ASCENCIOS/Nick CHISARI (USA 55917) - 53 pts
3. Edoardo FERRARO/Francesco ORLANDO (ITA 56278) - 59 pts
4. Gabriele ROMEO/Giulio TAMBURINI (ITA 56045) - 62 pts
5. Telis ATHANASOPOULOS YOGO/Dimitris TASSIOS (GRE 56371) - 73 pts

420 UNDER 17

Italy's Demetrio Sposato/Gabriele Centrone are hunting down double-golds, and well on course to add the 420 U17 Junior European title to their 420 U17 European title, won just over a week ago.

Ariadni-Papaskevi Spanaki/Myrto Papaskevi (GRE) edge into second, ranking as the top placed girls team, with Spain's Martin Wizner/Pedro Ameneiro moving up to third. Superb racing from the girls, positions two other teams inside the top ten.

Keep on improving, keep on trying, has to be the motto today as the race wins went to teams who, until now, had double-digit scorecards. Max Anker/Leyton Borcherding (USA) took the opening race win and Mateusz Szweda/Adrian Dubowski emerged victorious from the closing race and steadily climb up the leader board.

Eight races done and four to go for the teams in the U17 Junior European Championship.

420 U17 - Provisional Results after 8 Races:

1. Demetrio SPOSATO/Gabriele CENTRONE (ITA 56124) - 33 pts
2. Ariadni-Papaskevi SPANAKI/Myrto PAPADOPOULOU (GRE 54484) - 52 pts
3. Martín WIZNER/Pedro AMENEIRO (ESP 56016) - 58 pts
4. Tommaso SALVETTA/Giovanni SANDRINI (ITA 55951) - 61 pts
5. Melina PAPPA/Maria TSAMOPOULOU (GRE 55405) - 61 pts

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