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, today 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 position, Tashtash has 13 points overall. Among the chasing pack is Italian Edoardo Tanas, 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 Olympics 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 today 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.
The organizational information
At the World Junior Windsurfing Championships, six qualifying races were held. The organizers plan to hold another four to five final and one medal race. 104 racers from 19 countries divided into three fleets – two fleets for men (35 and 34 racers) and one for women (35). During the qualification, the composition of the two male fleets was shuffled at random. At the end of the qualification, the best 35 windsurfers made up the golden fleet, and the rest – the silver one.
August 8 – 11:00 start of the first race, 3 races scheduled
August 9 – 11:00 start of the first race, 3 races scheduled
August 10 – 11:00 start of the first race of the competitions’ day, 18:30 awarding ceremony of the regatta, closing ceremony of the regatta.