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2019 RS:X Youth World Championship at St. Petersburg, Russia - Day 2

by Event Press 8 Aug 2019 10:34 BST 4-11 August 2019
Day 2 - 2019 RS:X Youth Worlds at St. Petersburg © Anya Semeniouk

In St. Petersburg, the qualification series for the RS:X Youth World Championship in the class RS:X finished as another three races were completed. Racing is being held in the waters of the Neva Bay, and a racing village is encamped ashore near the park of the 300th anniversary of St. Petersburg.

After the strong and shifting wind of the first day, a reduced wind of between 5-7 knots greeted the 104 competitors from 19 different nations on day 2. Despite the weather conditions for racing being challenging for both the competitors and the officials, the race teams held all three scheduled starts and completed all three races.

Versatility is one of the main advantages of the RS:X Olympic class. These boards are suitable both for planing modes and for transitional modes of weak wind. If on the first day of the World Championship the windsurfers gracefully planed around the course, yesterday they had to demonstrate their skills in pumping with much greater physical effort.

The leaders in the boys ranking were the Israelis of Eyal Yohay Zror and Daniel Basik Tashtash - both were among the leaders after the first race day and confirmed their challenges for the title on the second day. Zror has 10 points and is the most consistent competitor with all of his races being in the top 3 positions, Tashtash has 13 points overall. Among the chasing pack are Italian EdoardoTanas, Frenchman Mathis Ghio, Israeli Riuven Hillel and Greek Alexandros Kalpogiannakis (all - 17 points). Gold fleet is going to be intense!

Alexandros is the winner of the 2018 Youth Olympic Games, the World and European Junior Championships in the Techno 293 class (the junior class before RS:X). Now he is trying to win the champion title in the Olympic class. In between competitions, Kalpogiannakis is advised by the 1996 Olympic windsurfing champion Nikolaos Kaklamanakis and Alexandros wants to follow in the footsteps of his great mentor.

"Today the wind was too weak and changeable. It was difficult, but I am ready for any weather conditions," says the Greek windsurfer Alexandros Kalpogiannakis. "A good racer should be stable and not dependent on the weather. In the second race, I made several wrong decisions. I moved on the left side, and it was absolutely wrong. In the last race I again went to the left, but this time everything went well. My strategy: do not fail and be stable. On the water, it makes no sense to choose any particular tactics, because you have to make the decision here and now."

With the racing going in to gold fleet for the rest of the competition, Fabien Pianazza from France recovered from a shocking first day to climb up to 12th overall and keep the hopes of defending his title alive.

Among the women, it is another Pianazza in the form of Manon Pianazza, Fabien's sister, from France (14 points) who leads overall. She is followed by Israelis Naama Greenberg (17 points) and Linoy Geva (17 points) and local sailor Yana Reznikova (19 points). Pianazza had the best day and leapfrogged to the top of the leaderboard scoring 3, 3, 2 in the days light and tricky conditions. These top four sailors have created a little bit of the gap from the rest of the fleet and you can imagine that one of these four sailors will be collecting the championship title on Saturday.

For the Russian fans, they had a right to be pleased by the results from the girl's fleet. First, Yana Reznikova from Moscow (fourth place overall) won the first race, and at the next start, the racer of the Academy of Sailing of the St. Petersburg Yacht Club Anastasia Shchedrina won (seventh place overall). Anastasia led around each mark of the course and kept the advantage until the finish. Anastasia has been in the RS:X class for less than a year and the result shows her promise from this exciting racer for the future. For her success, she thanks the coaches of the Academy - Ivan Petrov and Ivan Shokhov.

"I was so surprised that when I got on the boat, I wanted to yell at the coach: Yes, I am the first! Hurray!" says Anastasia Shchedrina. "During the race, I tried to control every opponent. The most difficult thing is to control them on the second tacking when they diverged to the right and left sides. I analyzed which side is more beneficial and moved there. I was first on every mark. Before these championships we did a lot of work on pumping and board control. It's very cool that the coaches supported me. Ivan Vladimirovich reminded me that I can do this, that I have five years experience of racing here. Ivan Sergeevich spoke about tactics and analyzed every race."

At the end of the qualification (six races) among men, windsurfers were divided into two fleets - gold and silver. 35 of the best racers, including Russian racer Anton Tokarev (26th), got into the gold fleet. Women continue to race in a separate fleet.

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