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Returning champions spearhead Youth Sailing World Championships fleets

by World Sailing 12 Jul 12:38 BST 14-22 July 2018
Charlotte Rose © World Sailing

American and Australian sailors in the Laser Radial and 420 fleets will return to defend their Youth Sailing World Championships title next week at the 48th edition in Corpus Christi, Texas, USA.

Corpus Christi is hosting 382 of the world's finest young sailors under the age of 19 from 14-21 July. Sailing across nine fleets including the Open Multihull – Nacra 15 and the Boy's and Girl's 420, RS:X, 29er and Laser Radial, the Youth Sailing World Championships is the pinnacle event for young sailors and 66 nations will be represented across five days of racing.

Charlotte Rose (USA) claimed a hard earned Laser Radial Girl's gold in 2017, finishing equal on points with Dolores Moreira Fraschini (URU) but taking gold based on her five race victories to the Uruguayans one.

Rose is the only returnee from the top five at the 2017 edition and will benefit from sailing on her home waters.

The American racer sails out of Houston Yacht Club in Texas, some 420km along the coast but for her it will feel like it's coming home.

Rose's main rivals from 2017 have all aged out and the American will certainly be favourite to retain her title. Her main rivals come in the form of Italy's Federica Cattarozzi and Russia's Valeriya Lomatchenko who won silver and bronze at the Laser Radial Youth European Championships in Balatonfoldvar, Hungary in April.

Both the Italian and Russian sailors have experience of racing at the Youth Worlds, sailing in Sanya last year and will be pushing for the podium.

The Laser Radial Girl's fleet will feature 46 nations and behind the Laser Radial Boy's is the second largest fleet in Texas.

American hopes we also be pinned on sisters Carmen and Emma Cowles in the 420 Girl's. The duo dominated the 420 fleet in 2017, finishing outside of the top two just once – a disqualification in race one.

Dominating throughout the week, the Cowles sisters never let themselves get carried away but after they won the final race, the celebrations and emotions poured out.

The Cowles sisters will come up against some familiar faces in 2018. France's Violette Dorange and Camille Orion claimed a hard earned silver medal in 2017 and will be back, aiming to overhaul the Americans.

Israel's Yael Steigman was crew for Linoy Korn in 2017 and returns in 2018 with new helm, Gal Zukerman. Steigman finished one point off the podium in Sanya and will be aiming to make amends in Corpus Christi.

Further returnees include Switzerland's Solène Mariani and Maude Schmid who came eighth in 2017.

The final team returning in 2018 is Australia's Otto Henry and Rome Featherstone in the 420 Boy's.

Henry and Featherstone overcame America's Thomas Rice and Trevor Bornarth on the final day of the competition in 2017. Trailing them by a single point ahead of the final race, the Australians stuck to their game plan and picked up gold.

Rice and Bornarth will not be in Corpus Christi. Walter Henry and Joseph Hermus will pick up the baton for the American team, aiming to overhaul the Australians on their home waters.

Israel's Noam Homri won bronze with Ido Bilik in 2017 and he'll make his second Youth Worlds appearance with new team mate Tal Sade.

Further competition will be held in the Laser Radial Boy's, Girl's and Boy's 29er, Girl's and Boy's RS:X as well as the Open Multihull, the Nacra 15.

The Theme of the 2018 Youth Sailing World Championship is Sustainability and Ocean Conservation. In collaboration with Official Sustainability Partner, 11th Hour Racing, it will be the first World Sailing event to include an environmental focus in a World Championship.

The competitors, officials and support staff will be welcomed at the Opening Ceremony on Sunday 15 July before competition commences on Monday 16 July, running through to Friday 20 July.

www.worldsailingywc.org

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