World Championships – Fifteen starts kept the Race Committee busy on race day three at Castle Bay Karatsu in Japan. Rain and poor visibility this morning opened up to an overcast race track for racing, set against the iconic backdrop of Karatsu Castle.
Three races for all fleets sees the leaderboards start to shape up. Still one more qualification race to go for the 420 Open and 420 Ladies fleets tomorrow morning, before splitting into gold and silver fleets for the final series. The discard kicked in after race five, allowing the worst result of teams to come off their scorecard.
The series discard rewarded France’s Charlotte Yven/Marine Riou who leapfrogged the leaderboard, jumping from 11th to first as they discounted their 14th place finish from yesterday’s opening race.
“It was a special day for us,” remarked Yven on their 1,3,2 scoreline. “It was a really good sail. The wind was very shifty and we like these conditions as we feel better in them. So it was easier for us to follow the wind and the changes in direction.”
Riou continued, “The level here is very close, and it is very difficult to make a difference in points. Tomorrow we will try to continue well and improve.”
The French carry a two point advantage over Spain’s Marta Garrido/Maria Jesus Davila, who were celebrating Garrido’s birthday. Races three and four saw the Spaniards take over the lead, before Yven/Riou accelerated ahead.
“It has been a good day for my birthday,” said Garrido commenting on their consistent scoreline of three third place finishes. “It was a funny day because of the wind, but we really enjoyed it because we like to sail with these conditions. It was very complicated to see pressure on the course, but finally we managed to get to the finish in a good position. This place is very difficult and you can be the first and then the next race you can be last, so it is important to sail well.”
“We trained intensively together before the Championship, so we feel ready,” commented Davila, referencing their partnership of just a few weeks. Garrido finished 16th at the 2014 420 Ladies Worlds with her previous crew, whilst Davila finished eighth with her former helm.
On their first time experience of Japan, Garrido added, “I am loving Japan. The people here are so nice. When you need something, there are always a lot of people around you helping. Also, the views while you are sailing are so special, with the castle.”
Competing in the 420 Class runs in the Davila family, as Maria’s brother, Fernando Davila, won the 2014 420 Worlds.
A 5,4,15 scorecard holds Japan’s Mano Udagawa/Yuri Saito in third overall, one point ahead of overnight leaders Sofia Giondi/Giulia Gatta (ITA) who drop to fourth.
Six race wins to pick up today, six different teams claimed them. In the pink group wins to Charlotte Yven/Marine Riou (FRA), Olivia Belda/Marina Arndt (BRA) and Christine Klinger/Victoria Thompson (USA). In the white group, Carlotta Omari/ Francesca Russo Cirillo (ITA), Maria Bover Guerrero/Clara Llabres (ESP) and Brittany Wornall/Emma Stenhouse (NZL) claimed the bullets.
Reigning Ladies World Champions Omari/Russo Cirillo of Italy have so far struggled to find consistency. Yesterday and today, they opened the day with a top finish, following up with a double-digit score. A win in race three today accelerated them up the leaderboard, but following up with a 13,11 did not advance their game plan of securing a Championship defence, and they end the day in 12th overall. It is a big mountain to climb to defend a World title, not made easier for the Italians who have juggled end of year University exams as a priority for Russo Cirillo.
With just one race left to make the gold fleet cut, the pressure will be on tomorrow morning. The top 30 teams will advance through to gold fleet racing, with the remaining 30 boats in silver fleet.
420 Ladies – Results after five races
1. Charlotte Yven/Marine Riou (FRA) – Nine pts
2. Marta Garrido/María Jesus Dávila (ESP) – 11 pts
3. Mano Udagawa/Yuri Saito (JPN) – 16 pts
4. Sofia Giondi/Giulia Gatta (ITA) – 17 pts
5. Margot Vennin/Marie Zugolaro (FRA) – 19 pts
6. Sarah Norbury/Mari Davies (GBR) – 21 pts
7. Misaki Tanaka/Sena Takano (JPN) – 22.2 pts
8. Marina Lefort/Lara Granier (FRA) – 25.2 pts
9. Jenny Smallwood/Danielle Thomas (GBR) – 27 pts
10. Paula Igual/Margarita Alba (ESP) – 27 pts
By the time the 420 Open fleets got out to the race track the breeze had increased, with gusts up to 22-24 knots. A full programme of three races in a heavy breeze, really stretched teams in what became a test of endurance for some. A new day, a new leaderboard and all change at the top as Greece’s Nikolaos Brilakis/Giorgos Karadimas mastered the conditions to step into the lead, scoring a 1, 8,6.
Brilakis/Karadimas (GRE) built on yesterday’s performance to edge into the lead, by one point over Hiroaki Kato/Takuma Yoshinaga (JPN).
The biggest gain goes to Vasillios Gourgiotis/Epameinondas Orestis Batsis (GRE) who climb from 37th going into the day to third by the end, once they discarded their BFD penalty from race one. While the Greeks go up, the Italians go down. Overnight leaders Giovanni Pizzatti/Anna Poli (ITA) struggled in the windy conditions, plummeting to 26th on the leaderboard. The Greeks are in a three-way 21-point tiebreak with the teams in fourth and fifth, Portugal and Spain.
Brilakis/Karadimas won the first race of the day, following up with an 8,6. The pair competed at the 2014 420 Worlds, but in different partnerships.
“We are a bit surprised to be at the front of the fleet,” admitted Brilakis. “But we will just keep calm and keep sailing. We are having fun. We have been training for a year to be here.”
Disappointment for Hong Kong’s Calum Gregor/Hugo Christenson whose win in race four pushed them up to 10th overall, before mast breakage in race five dropped them down to 20th.
“We played the shifts in the upwind and got a bit of a break,” said Gregor on race four. “We were coming second at the top mark in race five and then there was a pretty big gust on the reach and I heard a bit of a noise in the rig, but it was fine then. So we were going downwind and coming up inside the Americans who were leading and then a big huff hit and the rig just snapped. And that was the end of it.”
Behind the leading two teams, the scoreboard is close, with just eight points separating the rest of the top 10. Today’s performance clearly showcased the strong wind specialists who took the opportunity to rise up the pecking order. More of the same is forecast tomorrow, with the chance of some sun too as the gold and silver fleet split for the 72 teams is determined.
420 Open – Results after five races
1. Nikolaos Brilakis/Giorgos Karadimas (GRE) – 14 pts
2. Hiroaki Kato/Takuma Yoshinaga (JPN) – 15 pts
3. Vasillios Gourgiotis/Epameinondas Orestis Batsis (GRE) – 21 pts
4. Diogo Costa/Pedro Costa (POR) – 21 pts
5. Santiago Mas/Luis Mas (ESP) – 21 pts
6. Wiley Rogers/Jack Parkin (USA) – 22 pts
7. Daichi Takayama/Syota Nakano (JPN) – 22 pts
8. Felipe Diniz/Ivan Aranguren (ARG) – 24 pts
9. Maor Abu/Yoav Rooz (ISR) – 25 pts
10. Arnaud Herail/Paco Lepoutre (FRA) – 28 pts
Brazil’s Andre Fiuza/Stephan Kunath tackled the race course with knowing confidence, as their heavy wind training in Brazil placed them in a league of their own. The pair won all three races, carrying at least a half-leg advantage to the finish in each. With their DSQ penalty from race one now discarded, they leap up to fifth overall from 16th this morning.
“Today was proof that our training was worth it,” said Fiuza. “We did the right things racing here. It is difficult for us in light winds, because we are very heavy and very tall, but we have an advantage in strong winds. We were very, very fast today and that was all.”
Holding firm at the front are Italy’s Edoardo Ferraro/Franceso Orlando, who are the only team to count an all top five scoreline.
“The conditions were really hard today, but it was a good day for us,” said Ferraro. “We have met a lot of different teams from different nations and there are some good teams, so we have got a lot of competition here. We are aiming to be consistent and that is our goal.”
“I am so happy to have the chance to compete in this new under-17 World Championship,” added Orlando. “I think it is correct to have a Championship for the youth teams. Particularly a day like today, the Open category is very strong and it is hard with a lot of wind. For me, it is good to race with our own age.”
Carlos Balaguer/ Ignacio Balaguer (ESP) hold firm in second overall, with Aggelos Arvanitis/Theofanis Kanakaris (GRE) moving up to third.
Thirty-three teams are competing in the U17 division, in a combination of Open and Ladies teams. Italy’s Veronia Ferraro/Giulia Ierardi are best placed Ladies in seventh overall.
420 U17 – Results after five races
1. Edoardo Ferraro/Francesco Orlando (ITA) – 11 pts
2. Carlos Balaguer/ Ignacio Balaguer (ESP) – 15 pts
3. Aggelos Arvanitis/Theofanis Kanakaris (GRE) – 16 pts
4. Enrique Lujan/Pablo Lujan (ESP) – 22 pts
5. Andre Fiuza/Stephan Kunath (BRA) – 26 pts
6. Riji Wong/Xavier Ng (SIN) – 32 pts
7. Veronica Ferraro/Giulia Ierardi (ITA) -– 38 pts
8. Wataru Ishikawa/Yuki Honda (JPN) – 38 pts
9. Andrea Spagnolli/Kevin Rio (ITA) – 41 pts
10. Nico Jansen/Moritz Wimmer (GER) – 44 pts
This evening teams enjoyed a traditional Japanese Puppet show, known as Ningyo Joruri, a type of puppet drama.
Racing Schedule for Thursday 23 July 2015
The first warning signal for 420 Open Yellow and Blue is scheduled at 1030 hours. The intended starting order will be Start 1: Yellow – outer loop, Start 2: Blue – inner loop. The first warning signal for 420 Ladies Pink and White is scheduled at 1110 hours. The intended starting order will be Start 1: Pink – outer loop, Start 2: White – inner loop. After one race, fleets will go ashore for protest hearings (if any) and reassignment into Gold and Silver fleets, for possible afternoon racing.
The first warning signal for 420 U17 is scheduled at 1200 hours.
Participating nations in the 420 World, Ladies World and U17 World Championships are:
Argentina, Australia, Austria, Brazil, France, Germany, Great Britain, Greece, Hong Kong, India, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Korea, New Zealand, Portugal, Singapore, Spain, Turkey, United States of America.