EVENT PREVIEW: 484 SAILORS COMPETING AT 420 AND 470 JUNIOR EUROPEAN CHAMPIONSHIPS
The 2017 420 and 420 Class Junior European Championships has descended on the sailing mecca of Lake Garda, Italy.
The Championships is hosted at Fraglia Vela Riva, at the northern end of Lake Garda, a spot renowned for superb weather conditions, guaranteeing great racing, sun and a popular social scene.
Four hundred and eighty four talented young teams from 25 nations around the world will face off over six days of racing across the 470 Men, 470 Women, 420 Open and 420 under-17 fleets. Supporting the natural transition from the 420 Class to the 470, the two classes have hosted the combined Junior European Championship for many years.
The practice race and Opening Ceremony take place on Monday 7 August, before racing kicks off on Tuesday 8 August.
Lake Garda is known for its thermal “Ora” breeze, which usually kicks in from the south around midday, and regularly builds to around 15-20 knots, sometimes higher. Generally, racing on the lake puts an emphasis on stronger breeze boat handling.
Five continents are represented amongst the 25 nations competing at the 2017 420 and 470 Junior European Championships: Argentina, Austria, Brazil, Canada, Croatia, France, Great Britain, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Poland, Portugal, Russia, Singapore, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, Ukraine, Uruguay, USA.
Racing in two fleets, Open (under 19 years old) and under-17, the Junior European Championship pitches boys, girls and mixed teams against each other. An opportunity relished by the girls as they target giving the boys a run for their money.
Provisional entries indicate 109 entries in the 420 Open fleet and 42 entries in the under-17 fleet.
Many teams have arrived in Italy fresh from the 420 Open European Championships which wrapped up in Athens, Greece on 30 July 2017. In Greece, the leader board was tightly fought and a reversal of fortunes will be hoped for by many.
All three of the podium finishers at the 420 Open Europeans get to do it all over again here in Italy. They were in a battle to the end, with Greece’s Telis Athanasopoulos Yogo/Dimitris Tassios winning gold over Italy’s Edoardo Ferraro/Francesco Orlando and bronze to Israel’s Tal Shariti Sade/Noam Homri.
Of the Ladies top three at the Europeans, only the USA’s Emma Kaneti/Ciara Rodriguez-Horan have headed over to Italy. They dominated the Ladies Europeans until the penultimate day of racing, but bounced back from their black flag penalty score to finish third.
Demetrio Sposato/Gabriele Centrone of Italy convincingly won the under-17 fleet in Athens, and will face five of the other teams who finished inside the top 10. Of the teams racing here, closest to them were the third placed American pair of Max Anker/Leyton Borcherding, who beat the Italians in 5 of the 12 races.
Ariadni-Papaskevi Spanaki/Myrto Papadopoulou controlled the Ladies under-17 fleet and return to continue their form here on Lake Garda.
Eighty-eight teams aged 23 and under will compete in the Men’s and Women’s 470 Class fleets, featuring a mix of seasoned and rookie campaigners.
The Junior Europeans is the first age-defined Championship for the 470 fleet this year, so will be a significant performance marker, although many teams have been making their mark at the front of the senior fleet leader boards.
Standout performances from men’s junior teams at the 470 Worlds a few weeks ago, included Hippolyte Machetti/Sidoine Dantes (FRA) in 4th and Italy’s Giacomo Ferrari/Giulio Calabro in 6th. No surprise to find them holding world rankings of 7 and 14 respectively.
Defending Junior European Champions, Ferrari/Calabro also strode up the leaderboard at the 470 Europeans back in May, finishing 10th, with Portugal’s Costa brothers, Diogo and Pedro, in 11th. Ferraro/Calabro also won the warm-up event to the Junior Europeans, the 67th Intervela, last week.
The Portuguese brothers won last year’s 420 World Championships, ending their 420 career on a high, before switching to the 470 Class. Pedro has suffered a knee injury, which forced them out of competition since the 470 Europeans, so now aim to prove they are back to fighting form.
All three teams will certainly be amongst those challenging right at the front of the fifty-nine boat men’s fleet.
Maria Bozi/Rafailina Klonaridou carry the 01 on their bow as the highest world ranked women’s team. Ranked #14 in the world, so far this year they have finished 10th at the 470 Worlds last month and 15th at the 470 Europeans in Monaco.
Up against them are the defending Junior European Champions, Benedetta di Salle/Alessandra Dubbini from Italy, and last year’s Junior Worlds silver medallists Marina Lefort/Lara Granier.
Turkey’s Beste Kaynacki/Simay Aslan have escalated their performance since benefiting from the coaching skills of Rio 2016 470 Class Olympic Gold Medallist, Igor Marenic. They were third and top women’s team at the warm-up regatta.
As soon as the 470 Junior Europeans wraps up on Sunday 13 July 2017, many of the 470 teams will be heading straight to Enoshima, Japan for the 2017 470 Junior World Championship, 26 August-2 September.
RACING AT LAKE GARDA
Racing is scheduled to get underway at 1300 hours on Tuesday 8 August, with two races scheduled for all fleets. The 420 fleet will race a 12 races series, with the 420 Open contesting a qualification and final series and the under-17 a single series. In the 470 Class, the men will be split into two fleets for a 5-race qualification and 6-race final series, with the women racing a single 11 race series. The top 10 boats in each fleet will race a Medal race on Sunday 13 August.
Racing on Lake Garda swings from predictable to the opposite extreme. The thermal breeze is known as the Ora; a warm southerly wind, emanating from the valleys at the bottom of the lake, which rushes up to the rapidly heating mountains to the north, where Riva is located. The Ora increases dramatically in strength as it funnels between the cliffs which narrow toward the top of the lake.
The theory is that there’s more breeze nearer the cliffs, but that is only true some of the time and also depends on the racing area used.
However, a drop in temperature can prevent the “Ora” from kicking in and if the light northerly, or “Peler”, prevails then then the emphasis for teams will switch to a range of different light wind skill sets.
With a storm blowing down the lake today, and another forecast for Monday, those in the know are expecting a typical “Ora” racing week ahead.
ABOUT THE 2017 420 AND 470 JUNIOR EUROPEAN CHAMPIONSHIPS
The 2017 420 and 470 Junior European Championships is organized by Fraglia Vela Riva at the sailing playground of Lake Garda, Italy, in co-operation with the International 420 and 470 Class Associations and Italian Sailing Federation from 6-13 August 2017.
In the 420 Open and 470 Men fleets will be seeded for the six race Qualification Series into yellow and blue fleets, before being split into gold and silver for the six race Final Series. The 470 Ladies and 420 U17 fleets will sail a single series of 12 races. Races will take place over two race courses.
The schedule is:
6-7 August 2017 - Measurement/Registration
7 August 2017 – Practice Race, Opening Ceremony
8-10 August 2017 - Qualification Series (470 Men and 420 Open) and Single Series (Ladies and 420 U17) - 6 races
11-13 August 2017 - Final Series (470 Men and 420 Open) and Single Series (470 Ladies and 420 U17) - 6 races, Closing Ceremony/Prize Giving
HOW TO FOLLOW
Follow the 420 and 470 Junior European Championships via our daily reports, photos, video and 420 Class Championship APP.
Championship Website: 2017junioreuropeans.420sailing.org
Photo Service – Daily photo galleries in high and low resolution and provided on a daily basis free of rights for editorial use only. Team photo requests for editorial use should be made to: email@example.com
All images used should include the official photograph credit as per the photo.
Championship APP - the 420 Class is running a a Championship APP for the 2017 420 Junior European Championships so you can keep up to date with all the racing action from your favourite sailors wherever you are
Video Images – daily vidoes will be produced for social media and websites, which will be available on the Championship website and 420 and 470 Class social media.
Social – you can follow the 420 and 470 Junior European Championships on:
Championship website - 2017junioreuropeans.420sailing.org
420 on Facebook - www.facebook.com/International420ClassAssociation
420 on Twitter - twitter.com/420class
420 on YouTube - https://www.youtube.com/Int420Dinghy
Get social using #420JuniorEuros #420Class
For further information please contact the 420/470 Class Communications, Luissa Smith on firstname.lastname@example.org
Italian Media Enquires should be sent to Elena Giolai on email@example.com