From 1-7 July 2018, Steir Beach Penmarch, France welcomed 130 RS:X Class youth sailors at the 2018 RS:X Windsurfing Youth World Championships.
With the conclusion of the RS:X Youth World Championships over the weekend, held in glorious conditions in Penmarch, France, competitors eyes will be turning towards the next challenge of the World Sailing Youth World Championships in Corpus Christi, America. In a way, the RS:X Youth World Championships has proved a bit of a form guide as well as confidence builder for a number of sailors – perfect for those looking to claim a second world title or seeking proof that spring training had paid off.
In the Girls fleet, the event was won by Italian sailor Giorgia Speciale who will head to Corpus Christi brimming with confidence with a dominant display counting 10 podium spots out of 13 races sailed and the gold medal sealed up before the medal races in France. Behind Speciale, a battle between Naama Gazit and Linoy Geva from Israel for the silver and bronze medals with Gazit securing silver and Geva bronze. It will be little consolation for Gazit as it is Geva who will be representing Israel at the World Sailing event.
This was not the only example of an sailor selected for the World Sailing Youth Worlds being beaten by a compatriot with upsets for Great Britain, Poland, and France. This does not necessarily reflect a dip in form but could simply show a change in emphasis for the event – potentially as a warm up. With 17 different countries represented at Corpus Christi, the fleet will be significantly smaller than that in Penmarch, it will be as cut-throat in the competition.
Over in the Boys fleet, French sailors dominated in their home event with Fabian Pianazza taking gold, being chased hard by countryman Mateo Dussarps taking silver. Pianazza will represent France in Corpus Christi and, like Speciale in the Girls fleet, will be looking to do the double and replicate victory at the World Sailing Youth Worlds. Italian Nicolo Renna took bronze and spoiled a complete French podium, narrowly beating Yun Pouliquen.
Again, the Israeli sailors battled right to the medal race with Itai Kafri beating Eyal Zror for 6th and 7th place respectively. As with the Girls, whilst Kafri had the edge in this event, it is Zror who is selected to represent Israel next week. We will see if the right sailors have been selected come Sunday 22nd July.
The World Sailing Youth Worlds fleet will have 27 different nations represented and again, will provide different challenges to the RS:X Youth Worlds – where there nearly 100 competitors represented and showcased the strength and depth in this fleet as well as the strength of windsurfing.
The World Sailing Youth Worlds will take place from 14th July with racing starting on 16th July.
Event website: http://www.rsxclass.org/youthworlds2018/