Changing conditions on Sunday (14. August) at the Laser Youth World Championships (U-21) in Kiel reshuffled the cards. Three races were sailed in the Laser Standard (men) as well as the Laser Radial (women). In the lighter winds, a number of sailors finished closer to the top positions – putting pressure on the earlier favourites. But at the end of the day, where the 144 men are now divided into a gold and silver fleet for the final round, the favourites have held the lead.
Partly cloudy skies prevailed above the regatta area on Sunday, but it stayed mainly dry outside of a brief but heavy shower in the early afternoon. The shifting winds caused a number of postponements as a late change of wind direction pressured the race committee reason to reset the start line and course axis.
Jonatan Vadnei (Hungary) continues to lead of the men’s fleet after eight races, but it is only by one point over Joel Rodriguez (Spain). Nik Aaron Willim (Schleswig/Germany, Norddeutscher Regatta-Verein) is the best German, continuing to hold onto third. Finishing with results of five, eleven and four on Sunday, he is now 16 points behind.
In the women’s fleet, the positions of the top three ranks have not changed despite different results in the three races of the day. Monika Mikkola increased her lead, finishing five, four and two on the day. With her victory on Sunday, Maud Jayet (Switzerland) took over the second spot. Although Maité Carlier from Belgium had to give up in one race (which she can discard), she is still third overall. Despite their great results, the pursuing sailors were mainly shooting themselves in the foot due to early starts.
“I will win the next races”, Marie Barrue (France) had said defiantly after a disqualification due to an early start on Saturday. And she was determined to make that reality on Sunday. After the first round in the first race, she was indeed leading, but was overtaken from the Italian Valentina Balbi and the Greek Vasileia Karachaliou.
Even at the second start, Balbi was one of the fastest starters at the pin end just like the Swiss Lucie Ben-Amor and Karachaliou. Too fast though, because they were already over the start line with the signal and were disqualified. It was an exciting race. With each shift, other female sailors were in the lead. The right side of the course was better in the end. That’s where the British sailors Clementine Thompson and Iona Dixon came from. Monika Mikkola, the sailor from Finland in the yellow jersey for the leading position overall, concentrated more on the middle and rounded the windward mark shy of the top ten.
On the second downwind it was a head-to-head race of the two Swiss sailors Maud Jayet and Andrea Nordquist with the British Clementine Thompson, Maud Jayet being the first one reaching the mark. She managed to hold the lead until the finish, in front of Thompson and Nordquist. Thanks to a good downwind leg, Monika Mikkola improved her position up to fourth.
In the third race, Valentina Balbi finished ahead of Mikkola and Judith Engberts (the Netherlands). “It has been a good day for me, if there would just not have been that early start”, she is looking back at today’s races. “Sail fast” is her strategy for Monday – “and let’s see, what the weather forecast brings”, shouted the coach in the background.
In the men’s fleet (two starting groups), Ao Higuchi (Japan) and Joan Cardona Mendez (Spain) won the first race of the day. “I had a pretty good start. I started at the pin end“, said Mendez. “Already 100 meters after the start, I could tack and then cross all the fleet. Then I just had to control the race”, the sailor from Mallorca is happy about winning the race. In the second race, the frontrunners Jonatan Vadnai (Hungary) and Joel Rodriguez (Spain) were the winners. The third race was again won by Nils Theuninck from Switzerland and Joel Rodriguez. Six protests were handed in in the evening – and had to be decided with the jury. “The day was pretty tiring”, said Santiago Sampaio from Cascais (Portugal), when he cleaned up his Laser after three races and seven hours on the water. „The regatta is great. I had trained here a week before, I like this sailing area. We cannot do anything about the weather.” It shall be similar to Sunday – and so two more races are planned for the Laser Standard and Radial on Monday starting at 11am.
U-21 World Championship in the Laser Standard (men)
Interim ranking after 8 races (1 discard)
1. Jonatan Vadnei (Hungary), Plätze 1, 6, (9), 1, 1, 3, 1, 2; 15 points
2. Joel Rodriguez (Spain), 1, 2, 5, 1, 5, (11), 1, 1; 16 p.
3. Nik Aaron Willim (NRV, Germany), 4, 5, 8, 3, 3, 5, (11), 4; 32 p.
4. Maxim Nikolaev (Russia), 24, 1, (73 ret), 2, 1, 8, 2, 3; 41 p.
5. Nicolo’ Villa (Italy), 11, 9, 5, 4, (14), 7, 8, 2; 46 p.
6. Santiago Sampaio (Portugal), 3, 4, 10, 7, (18), 4, 14, 4; 46 p.
U-21 World Championship in the Laser Radial (women)
Interim ranking after 8 races (1 discard)
1. Monika Mikkola (Finland), Plätze 4, 1, 1, 1, 4, (5), 4, 2; 17 points
2. Maud Jayet (Switzerland), 1, 5, 7, 4, 3, 9, 1, (13); 30 P.
3. Maité Carlier (Belgium), 2, 4, 4, 3, 8, (58 ret), 9, 9; 39 P.
4. Elli Cumpsty (Great Britain), 6, 7, (19), 6, 1, 7, 7, 7; 41 P.
5. Marie Barrue (France), 3, 21, 2, 2, (58 bfd), 3, 11, 5; 47 P.
6. Valentina Balbi (Italy), 20, 6, 8, 9, 1, (58 bfd), 1; 51 P.