420 Gold to USA and Poland at Youth Worlds
The final day of the 45th Youth Sailing World Championships produced some tense finishes as medal places were mixed about on the waters of Langkawi, Malaysia.
Lighter winds awaited the record 425 sailors from 76 nations to end a regatta that has seen a constant 20 knots throughout. With the wind halved, tactics and surprises were in store and that proved to be the case with several shake ups having big bearings on who left with a medal.
The gold medal in the boy's 420 was already decided yesterday, with some of the sailors in other fleets knowing they had a medal, just not what colour it would be. There were also some who had a medal in their grasp, but just couldn't quite hold on at the last.
The girl's 420 went down to the wire as Poland's Julia Szmit and Hannah Dzik and Australia's Nia Jerwood and Lisa Smith fought it out for the gold medal.
Thanks to day five double bullets, the Polish team had a slender advantage, and it was those results that made the difference in the end. Poland had a 22nd place which they discarded and Australia had a 13th place which they also discarded. That meant Szmit and Dzik finished on 29 points, just one point ahead of Jerwood and Smith.
Even though the Polish girls knew what they had to do, it was only confusion that entered their mind when they took to the water as Szmit explains, "The last race was horrible. We were so stressed. We tried to go with the Australian team but then we started and thought 'why are they on the other side?' We totally forgot about them from the start.
"The whole race we were counting the teams before the Australians and there were 12, and we just thanked god no one had a false start."
"We don't understand why we are first. It's unbelievable."
Winning the bronze was Spain's Maria Caba and Carla Diaz who rounded their week off with a fifth place finish and 38 points. The final bullet of the girl's 420 went to France's Jessie Kampman and Anael Ponthieu.
USA's Will Logue and Bram Brakman started the day with a guaranteed gold medal, but it wasn't until late last night that it was confirmed for them.
The pair had to wait for a protest to be withdrawn before they could fully appreciate the win, as Logue explained, "We were so happy. We were celebrating so much and then we found out we had a protest and we were like 'Wait. What? How did this happen?' But it all got sorted and we are good friends with the team that protested and when it got sorted it was such a relief. It was good to have that weight off our shoulders today."
Even though there was a gold medal wrapped up and an easy day could be had, Brakman still had eyes on another prize, "We wanted to enjoy the fun, the race and the pressure release, but we also had the Nations Cup in mind to get some points on the table for our team."
Unfortunately they couldn't help the team as they only managed a discarded 16th.
The silver medal went to Brazil's Leonardo Lombardi and Rodrigo Luz as they had a third in the last race to finish on 37 points.
Ireland's Douglas Elmes and Colin O'Sullivan held off a late fight back from Australia's Alec Brodie and Xavier Winston Smith and Argentina's Felipe Martinez Autin Diniz and Ivan Aranguren to claim the bronze medal on 46 points. The Australian's scored a ninth and finished on 48 points and the Argentinian's took a bullet for 49 points. Elmes and O'Sullivan finished 11th in the final race but had some breathing space going into the day.
The Nations Trophy was won by Australia, hepled to victory by the silver medal from Nia Jerwood/Lisa Smith and 4th place by Alec Brodie/Xavier Winston Smith. With a total of 303 points, the Australian team beat New Zealand in to second on 279 and France in third on 245.
This is Australia's fourth Nations Trophy and it ties them in second place historically with Great Britain. France are still out in front on 11 wins.
Last year's winners Spain dropped down to seventh.
The 45th Youth World Championships closed with the prize giving and closing ceremony at the Dewan Mahsuri International Exhibition Centre.
RESULTS / ENTRIES
Entries for the Youth Worlds are available to view here http://www.isafyouthworlds.com/entries/malysia_entries.php and results will be available to view here when racing starts on 29 December http://www.isafyouthworlds.com/results/index.php
Imagery throughout the Youth Worlds is available to view on the website gallery - www.isafyouthworlds.com/multimedia/photo_gallery.php
Beau Outteridge will be providing daily online highlights throughout the duration of the Youth Worlds. Videos will be available to view on the World Sailing TV YouTube playlist - click here for the playlist.
World Sailing will be releasing international press releases after racing throughout the duration of the Youth Worlds. All the latest news and reports will be available to read here - http://www.isafyouthworlds.com/news/index.php
The Youth Worlds live blog will be following the racing from 29 December through to the conclusion of the event on 3 January 2016. Follow the blog here - http://www.isafyouthworlds.com/multimedia/live_blog.php
The hashtags of the Youth Worlds are #YouthSailing #2015YouthWorlds
Follow the event on World Sailing's social networks:
Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/ISAFYouthWorlds
Instagram - https://instagram.com/isafworldsailing/
Twitter - http://www.twitter.com/youthworlds
YouTube - https://www.youtube.com/WorldSailingTV
Periscope - https://www.periscope.tv/isafupdates
Source: World Sailing