Two world champions were decided today on Neva Bay, St Petersburg in what turned out to be a dramatic conclusion to the RS:X Youth World Championship. Champions were Russian Yena Reznikova and Israeli Eval Zhor.
On the final day of the championship, a wind of 5-6 knots allowed for the full schedule of races to be delivered, with thanks to the skills of the race officers and their teams. After a short pause due to the lack of the wind, there was sufficient wind to allow the days battles to take place where the medals and titles were at stake.
The girls medal race started first and Russian Yana Reznikova from Moscow had to come first, hoping that her rival, Pianazza from France would make a mistake and finish third if not fourth or fifth. The battle for gold was going to be extremely close.
In the medal race, it was destined that both Pianazza and Reznikova would keep a close eye on each other. Neither could avoid losing touch of each other to keep their hands on gold. The rivals went one direction from the very start, but the Russian woman was more successful than the Frenchwoman, with Reznikova coming to the first mark first and became a leader.
The race between Pianazza and Reznikova raged back and forth throughout the race and Reznikova was supported by her compatriot Schedrina who moved up the rankings to separate the leading Russian and Pianazza. Reznikova won the medal race and the world title where Pianazza, who had led for large parts of the week, had to settle for silver. Naama Greenberg from Israel took bronze. A Russian racer Anastasia Shchedrina took advantage of the battle upfront to finish the medal race second and fifth overall for the championship.
Reznikova won the championship by 26 points. This result brought her the championship. Pianazza was three points behind the Russian racer and took second place. Israeli Naama Greenberg finished third (45 points). On the fourth line is her compatriot Linoy Geva (55), and on the fifth is another Russian (79).
“The most difficult thing is to wait ashore.,” says the world champion Yana Reznikova. “Because it is very difficult – not to overthink, not to ruminate about the racing. But finally, I pulled myself together. We got the flag raised, we moved to the water. Everything happened very quickly, the judges started. My strongest rival in the medal race was Anastasia Shchedrina. We went with her through this race better than anyone and finished first and second. So we competed only with each other. This is my first championship. Plus, it took place practically in my hometown, in which I constantly train. It’s great. Both the organization and the atmosphere – everything was on the highest level.
“I didn’t restrain anyone, I just tried to watch the whole fleet, to control everyone. The hardest thing was to pull ourselves together,” says Anastasia Shchedrina. “We sat in the chill-out zone for a very long time. It was very difficult to keep that mood, so I just relaxed. The medal race was incredible.”
In the medal race among men, there is a similar situation. From the very first mark, the Israelis – Eyal Yohay Zror and Daniel Basik Tashtash – took the lead and moved close to each other on each mark. Until the finish line, the best friends would move clear of their rivals. It was they who competed for gold with each other. In this struggle, Zror turned out to be more successful, and he finished first and won the championship. His teammate – Tashtash – became the second in the medal race and in the overall ranking. The most fierce struggling was for the bronze medal. Israeli Ruven Hillel surpassed Greek Alexandros Kalpogiannakis only with one point.
“We are used to competing with each other, so it’s not so difficult,” says Daniel Tashtash, the silver medalist at the World Cup. – We communicate before the races and enjoy the victories of our teammates. Each of us had a plan to do his best. We did not use any team tactics – everyone was for himself. During the race, I did not think about friendship with Eyal at all. The Israelis are the best windsurfers in the world. We train with each other, so it’s not so difficult for us in the races.
The RS:X Class would like to thank St Petersburg Yacht Club, its sponsors, the officials and volunteers for organizing such a successful and professionally run Youth World Championship. The RS:X Class next moves to Torbole, Italy for its World Championships where Olympic qualification spots will also be decided.