At the 2013 Sail First ISAF Youth Sailing World Championship, the Laser Radial Boys’ and Girls’ fleets in Limassol, Cyprus, will be the largest with 97 boats expected to take to the Cypriot waters.
2013 Sail First ISAF Youth Sailing World Championship
Fifty six Laser Radial Boys’ will be aiming for glory whilst 41 Radial Girls’ will take to the start line on 15 July to represent their country with racing coming to a climax on 19 July.
Laser Radial Boys
Making a return in the boys’ fleet is 2012 Champion Mark Spearman (AUS).
The Australian took a memorable final race gold at the 2012 edition forcing overnight leader Mitchell Kiss (USA) to the back of the fleet. The Australian kept a close eye on him throughout and whilst Spearman discarded his 51st the American counted his 52nd and dropped out of the medals.
'Going into my second Youth Worlds I’m feeling really well prepared,' said Spearman. 'I’ve had a whole year of training with really good training partners and good coaches at Fremantle and Royal Freshwater Bay Sailing Clubs that has all helped to set me up for this event.
'I'm excited to see how much everyone has improved since last year and just looking forward to the general atmosphere of the Youth Worlds.'
Spearman recently sailed at the European Radial Youth Championship in Split, Croatia alongside several other Youth Worlds prospects. Even though he started brightly the Australian faded on the final day and Polish representative Filip Ciszkiewicz took the title.
'Despite being top five for the entire regatta I dropped to 11th on the last day,' Spearman added, 'this taught me a lot about big fleet racing and sticking to my routine throughout the event and shows just how close everyone is this year. If I sail really well and keep to my game plan, there is no reason why I can't win the title again.'
With the likes of Ciszkiewicz bringing in good form from Split as well as silver medallist Joel Rodriguez (ESP) and bronze medallist Juan Carlos Perdomo (PUR) Spearman doesn’t believe he has the edge, 'There are so many sailors at the top level going this year that for people to be up the front they will need to sail their own race and not target anyone. Saying this, I doubt I will be targeted any more than anyone else but may be watched more closely on the race course because of winning last year.'
New Zealand’s Andrew McKenzie showed glimpses that he could have been a contender for the podium at the 2012 ISAF Youth Worlds but through his own omission it did not go the way he planned, 'I got a lot of useful experience in Dublin. The Youth Worlds is an event very different to any other I’ve ever done so I sort of know what it’s like and I’ve learnt from that. I learnt my lesson pretty hard but I’m looking forward to it this year and it should be good.'
The Kiwi has been building for the event by taking in ISAF Sailing World Cup Hyeres and training hard over recent months, but the journey for a 2013 podium finish began well in advance, 'I’ve been building up to it for the last three years in the Laser. It’s been all I’ve been thinking about and it would mean a lot to me.
'It’s the World Champs so all of the best Under 19s in the World are going to be there so I’m hoping I can put into place everything I’ve learnt and that the training pays off for me.'
Argentina’s Santiago Falasca will be aiming for a strong regatta having won gold at the 2012 Under 18 Laser Standard World Championship. This added to solid performances at the Central and South American Laser Championships in 2011 and 2012 has put him on the right track for Limassol.
'I want to go home after this championship knowing that I did everything in my power to achieve the best possible result,' said Falasca. 'If that happens, I'll be satisfied. It is difficult to predict a result without knowing most of my competitors, but getting a position within the first 10 would be very rewarding.'
Of the 2012 competitors some of the returnees include Kaarle Tapper (FIN), Juanky Perdomo (PUR), Hugh Macrae (CAN) and Just Van Aanholt (AHO).
The Laser Radial Boys’ Athlete Participation Athletes are Owen Siese (BER), Roberto Briffa (MLT), Velick Manhica (MOZ), Luka Tosic (SLO), Bushtyan Mykyta (UKR) and Alberto Lados (URU).
Laser Radial Girls
Line Flem Host (NOR) took Laser Radial Girls’ silver at the 2012 ISAF Youth Worlds and of the three podium finishers is the only one to return with the others too old to compete in the event.
The Norwegian knows what it takes to finish on the podium at the ISAF Youth Worlds but the field contains seven of the top ten finishers from the 2012 regatta all with valuable experience in their repertoire.
After missing out on a medal at the 2010 ISAF Youth Worlds in Istanbul, Turkey by countback and a seventh in 2012 Thailand’s Kamolwan Chanyim has unfinished business.
'I feel like I lost the bronze on the last day of the ISAF Youth Worlds in 2010 and I want to take it back or do better,' said the Thai sailor. 'I know I can do it, but, also anything can happen. I want to finish in the top three so we’ll just have to wait and see what happens.
'I expect it to be challenging because there are new sailors every year. You never know what kind of competition you face until you are on the water.
'I've been spending a lot of time exercising and working on being focused. I will also be in Cyprus a week early to get over jet lag and do some intensive pre-event training.'
Chanyim will have the support of the ISAF Athlete Participation Program whilst other recipients in the Radial Girls fleet include Marie Jose Poncell Maurin (CHI), Nicole Paul (COL), Stephanie Devaux-Lovell (LCA) and Neidy Justini Nhaquile (MOZ).
Training in Europe in advance of the Sail First ISAF Youth Worlds has been Peru’s Caterina Romero and she enters the event high in confidence, 'I have being preparing for this event by a lot of hard training and clinics. In March and April I went to ISAF Sailing World Cup Palma and Hyeres to learn from the best sailors in the world. I didn’t get good results, but I learnt a lot.
'I am really looking forward for this event as I consider my preparations are in a good way for this championship. I also feel very confident as this is going to be my second and last Youth Worlds.'
Racing at the 2013 Sail First ISAF Youth Worlds commences on 15 July through to 19 July in eight events.