A host of potential Olympic stars of the future and those who still cut the mustard at the top level will descend on Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy (WPNSA) from this Saturday (22 August) for the 2009 IWA Junior, Youth and Masters Windsurfing World Championships.
Incorporating the Bic Techno Under 15 and Under 17 and Raceboard Youth and Raceboard Masters Worlds, the event brings together no fewer than 215 windsurfers from across the globe, as well as the age spectrum, for what is set to be six days of scintillating competition off the Dorset coastline.
Among the Brits looking to make worlds-winning waves in Weymouth and Portland will be 2007 Under 15 World champion and reigning Under 17 European champion Sam Sills from Launceston.
RYA Team GBR will also have high hopes in both the boys’ and girls’ Under 15 Techno 6.8 competition with both Cheadle’s Kieran Martin and Noelle Finch, from Clevedon, landing European crowns in the division earlier this year.
With a strong challenge expected to come across the board from the Israeli sailors, Louis Giard (FRA), Marcin Urbanowicz (POL),Kiran Badloe (NED) and Omer Sofer (ISR) are among the ones to watch in the boys’ U17 event, Sofer recently finishing fifth U17 on the RS:X 8.5 at the RS:X Youth Worlds.
In the boys’ 6.8 event, Mattia Camboni (ITA) and Albert Chaillot (FRA) are likely to be among the frontrunners while in the girls’ 7.8 competition, Lea Mattei (FRA), Veronica Fanciulli (ITA) and Clidane Humeau (FRA) – who dominated the medals at the Europeans - could all feature again at WPNSA.
Portugal’s Joao Rodrigues, silver medallist at the 2008 RS:X Worlds and 11th at Beijing 2008, will be one of the hot favourites for the Raceboard Masters crown although Paco Wirz (ITA), the defending 2008 Masters World Champion and 2009 Masters European Champion will not be willing to give up his crown without a fight. Patrik Pollak (SVK), who clinched the 2009 European Raceboard crown in June, will also be hot on their tails.
In the Raceboard Youth event, RYA Volvo Youth Squad sailor Izzy Hamilton, 17, has been in sensational form recently landing silver at July’s ISAF Youth Worlds in Brazil before going one better at the RS:X Youth World Championships in Turkey and clinching the World Under 19 title.
Solving Sayre was also in action at the ISAF Youth Worlds representing the USA and could be in the mix for the girls’ title.
For the boys, Hamilton’s RYA Volvo Youth squadmate Ali Masters will be keen to impress on home waters while Marc Noesmoen (FRA), fourth at last year’s Worlds, and Oliver-Tom Schliemann (GER) are also among the leading contenders.
Racing at the 2009 IWA Junior, Youth and Masters World Championships gets underway on Monday 24 August with Friday 28 August scheduled as a reserve day.
The IWA Junior, Youth and Masters Worlds is the first of three back-to-back World Class events being run by the RYA, supported by UK Sport, and hosted at WPNSA with the RS:X World Championships taking place the following week, before the Skandia Sail for Gold Regatta – the final round of the 2009 ISAF Sailing World Cup Series – welcomes the cream of the World’s Olympic Classes sailors from 14 – 19 September.