Leaders hold positions at Junior 470 Worlds

The qualifying series were completed today after six races in the Junior 470 World Championship Men/Mixed. As in the Men’s 470, two races were completed also in the Women’s 470 and in the general view of the Junior 470 Worlds, leaders remain unchanged. Lior LAVIE and Yam AMIR (ISR) and Tara PACHECO and Berta BETAZOS (ESP) take first place, although their positions become more unstable race by race.

470 Men/Mixed
After three days of racing and six races on the list, nine nations occupy the top 10 in the Junior 470 World Championship for Men and Mixed crews.

Lior LAVIE and Yam AMIR (ISR) maintain their lead with a fifth place in race five, and win race six. The Israeli’s do very well, in fact they are not even used to sailing together. Yam AMIR has successfully been Eyale LEVINE’s team mate for years, and still is, however LEVINE past the age of 21 and together they compete with the 470 seniors.

Lior LAVIE comes fresh from the 420’s and sailed top ten places in the 420 Junior Europeans and Open Europeans last year with his team mate Gadi LOGOBOI.

'I am sailing 470’s for one year now. My crew couldn’t make it to the Junior Worlds and Europeans, and so I asked Yam to join me. This is a very good start sailing 470’s and I have ambitions for the Olympics of 2012 and 2016. First of course I need to get more experience and finish my army duties also.' LAVIE said.

Berenger BALZEAU and Mathieu FOUNTAINE (FRA) got caught by the taste of winning races, and win todays’s first, which made them the Championship leaders at that time. In the race that follows they cannot maintain their march and finish 11th, which let’s them fall back into second overall position with an only 2 points difference on the leaders.

Poland’s Tomasz JANUSZEWSKI and Marcin MICKIEWICZ provided joy for the local spectators when they broke into the overall top three by crossing the finish line in second and first place in todays’ races.

470 Women
Hannah MILLS and Katrina HUGHES (GBR) pump up the competition by scoring two wins in today’s race five and six, and push Stacey OMAY and Chelsea HALL (AUS) from their second place into a fourth, letting Sweden’s Lisa ERICSON and Astrid GABRIELSSON slip into third. For ERICSON, with a 420 background and a traineeship in Valencia at the 'Victory Challenge' on her resumé, and her crew GABRIELSSON, it is the first time they occupy a top three ranking in an International 470 Class Championship.

Still, the Ladies from Spain, Tara PACHECHO and Berta BETAZOS keep their leading position with only a three points difference on MILLS and HUGHES.
Their ability to lead the Women’s does not come out of the blue. PACHECHO won the 420 Ladies’ World Championship in 2006 with Elena BARAMBIO and sails 470’s for two years now. PACHECO (19) and BETAZOS (20) debuted in an International 470 Class Championship at the 470 Worlds in Melbourne in January this year, and managed to reach a 40th place in the ISAF World rankings within 6 months.

Germany seems to bring strong 470 teams for the future, and occupied position 5, 6 and 7 on the leaderboard before protest handling today. Victoria JURCKZOK and Josephine BACH (GER) lost a protest filed by the Spanish leaders, and got disqualified from race six where they finished second, their best result in this Championship so far.

Among the German talents are Tina LUTZ and Susann BEUCKE, who won the gold medal in the Women’s 420 Junior Europeans on a 9th overall place in the overall mixed fleet, which is a relatively high score for a girls’ crew. Tina LUTZ has the ability to rule over both genders, which she showed by winning the Optimist Worlds at the age of 14 in 2005. LUTZ and BEUCKE however, will have to make major efforts this time in this 'girls only' competition with a 24 points difference on the leader, with only six races to go before the medal race.

At the moment of this report, a statement about Gold fleet competitors cannot be made while only provisional results are available. Ongoing protest handlings may make changes, although it will not affect the top 10.

Although normally the Silver fleet gets out of the spot light as the final series start, it has to be mentioned that among the Silver fleet sailors, there are newcomers that debute in an International 470 Class Championship. With some more experience, it may be expected that based on their results in former youth classes, they have high potential to make it to the Gold fleet in a next Championship. There are more of them, but just a pick from the list: Jonathan MOSS and Ben MUSKETT (GBR) come from the 420’s where they have proven the ability to perform on high levels in International 420 Class Championships. Also the winners of the 2007 ISAF Youth Sailing World Champions in the boys’ two person dinghies, Henrik Rask SOGAARD and Soren Wiegand KRISTENSEN from Denmark may improve quickly.

The Junior 470 Worlds for Men/Mixed crew continues with the final series tomorrow.

The Women’s 470 will continue in one fleet. Racing continues at 11:00

TOP 5 Results:

No Sailno Name Scores

470 MEN / MIXED
1 ISR 9 Lior LAVIE, Yam AMIR 10,0
2 FRA 10 Berenger BALZEAU, Mathieu FOUNTAINE 12.0
3 POL 52 Tomasz JANUSZEWSKI and Marcin MICKIEWICZ 15.0
4 POR 17 Antonia ROSA, Joao ROSA 19,0
5 NED 77 Luca DUBBINI, Roberto DUBBINI 19,0

470 WOMEN
1 ESP 696 Tara PACHECO, Berta BETAZOS 8.0
2 GBR 835 Hannah MILLS, Katrina HUGHES 11.0
3 SWE 33 Lisa ERICSON, Astrid GABRIELSSON 18.0
4 AUS 352 Stacey OMAY, Chelsea HALL 20.0
5 GER 51 Annika BOCHMAN, Anika LORENZ 21.0

For more information and full results, please visit the event web site: http://www.470.sails.pl/jwc2008/
or the web site of the Intl. 470 Class Association: http://www.470.org/champ08/jwc/