What the locals were all predicting yesterday turned up and this
morning the competitors for the RS:X Youth World Windsurfing
Champs in Cagliari, Sardinia were treated to grey skies, a
challenging beach break and 15-20 knots.
As the Race Committee battled their way out to the race area in 3m swells competitors were looking at the rolling waves crashing onto the beach, wondering how on earth they were going to make it out to the race area. Whilst the first couple of sailors struggled, the majority left the beach without incident although there were some casualties with a few broken masts and a few bruised egos.
In the RS:X Youth Men's fleet, Pawel Tarnowski (POL 182) brutally highlighted the fact that consistency would be the key to being the RS:X Youth World Windsurfing Champion by adding three more bullets to maintain his perfect scoreline of 1st places. The chasing pack of Frenchmen Louis Giard (FRA 155) and Fabian Pic (FRA 7) were not daunted and added a safe scoreline of 1,2,3 and 3,1,1 respectively to keep the pressure on Pawel. With the discount coming into play now, Tarnowski is on a perfect five, Giard is on 8 points and Pic on 9. Plenty to play for.
In the U17, Joe Bennett (GBR 49) has maintained his place at the top despite suffering a broken mast in the mornings surf. Jo managed to re-rig a new mast and get out to the race course to post a 8,11,14 which will leave him in 12th place overall. Omer Sofer (ISR 8) is in second in the U17 fleet, 17th overall, with Dante Chiapello back in third in 26th overall.
Tomorrow will see the RS:X Youth Men's fleet racing in Gold and Silver groups so round one is now over and the top 50% will fight it out for podium places. With all of the 1st places from the two fleets posted by the top four sailors, it will be interesting to see who has the muscle and the temperament to push through the next two days and crush the competition on medal race day.
Over in the RS:X Youth Women's fleet, is another Pole with a perfect scoreline of just five points after the discard. Agnieszka Bilska - POL 09 - may have slipped marginally in the first race of the day by posting a 3rd but came back to fire in two bullets to maintain her dominance in the breeze over Kamila Smektala - POL 104.
Smetkala won this battle at the RS:X Youth European Windsurfing Championships in Bulgaria a month ago so it is certain that these two will take it to the wire. Laura Kishon - ISR 34 - who filled out the podium at the Europeans is not having the same start to the regatta and scored an average 7,9,7· for the day to leave her in 7th place and 22 points off the leader. A lot of work to do if she wants to get onto the podium at this event.
Further down the field it is another young Isreali, Shani Rottenberg - ISR 100 - who had a fantastic day to post 1,2,2 and sit in fifth overall – and lead the U17 field. Noelle Finch (GBR 703) is sitting in second place in the U17 and 9th overall and will need to work hard to make up the points lost today.
Its easy to focus on the sailing conditions but credit should be given today to the Race Committees who managed to run three races in some very difficult conditions. With all of the equipment breakages from todays washing machine surf conditions competitors will be hoping for a quieter day tomorrow and will be able to concentrate on the racing and not just surviving.
RS:X Youth Results: ·http://www.windsurfing-cagliari2011.eu/RSX/results
RS:X Youth Worlds photos:·http://www.flickr.com/photos/14887359@N06/sets/72157627976919688/
Leader in Youth Boys - Pawel Tarnowski http://youtu.be/KDAhWdMz1q4