2011 RS:X Youth World Windsurfing Championships: there's a pizza for everyone in the finish line

Pawel Tarnowski and Agnieszka Bilska were crowned 2011 RS:X Youth World Windsurfing champions, in Cagliari, Italy. Up to 115 RS:X windsurfers raced for gold, but in the last Medal Races, only the best showed sailing skills to take the top places.

Agnieszka Bilska took the initiative and had a clean start to lead the fleet with Kamila Smektala chasing hard. After the three laps it was Bilska who wound her way through the slalom to take the Medal Race win. Smektala crossed behind her to keep her Silver position.

Further back down the fleet, Jeanne Dantes needed to beat Barbara Dmuchowska by 5 boards to stop a Polish clean sweep. Dantes did manage to finish ahead of Dmuchowska and even managed to get the board of Laura Kishon inbetween but it was not enough and Dmuchowska finished in fifth to take the Bronze with Dantes in fourth overall. Kishon finished the Medal race in fourth and jumped up a couple of spots to claim fifth overall.

The battle between Noelle Finch (GBR 703) and Shani Rottenberg (ISR 100) for the U17 title was equally close. Finch started the day with a 6 point buffer over the Israeli and did enough by finishing ahead and adding this title to the U17 win at the Europeans from last month.

The Boys were up next and with the wind peaking towards 19 knots in the gusts it was pretty obvious to those watching that this would be a big boys race. Pawel Tarnowski who has led from start to finish this week went into todays race with a healthy 10 point buffer over second place Frenchman Louis Giard.

Tarnowski kept an eye out for his competition but in reality could afford to sail his own race, simply needing to avoid silly mistakes like a false start or a penalty which could cause the upset the French were desperately looking for. Tarnowski took off the line level with Giard but lost out as Giard caught an extra puff of wind which gave him a speed boost and allowed Giard to find some clear water between himself and the Pole.

Tarnowski was not phased and just hung onto the tailcoat of Giard and shadowed him around the course as they finished with Giard taking the race win and Tarnowski finishing second and claiming the World Championship.

Giard had certainly done enough to secure himself the Silver medal but had Fabian Pic done enough to protect Bronze? Sam Sills had other ideas and sailed a fantastic race to finish the Medal Race in third place having led at the top mark – now where was Pic? Pic was having what you would call a bad day at the office – having had a difficult start Pic was lingering back down the pack in ninth place as they entered the slalom which was unfortunately not enough to retain his Bronze medal.

Unable to make up ground through the slalom or take any positions back Sills took the Bronze and rounded out the Podium.

Amazingly, Tarnowski has another year to sail in the Youth fleet before he moves up and having claimed the European title as well as the World Championship will surely only look to repeat his performance next year.

In the U17 fleet, Italian Mattia Camboni took the title having had a very good start to the week which gave him a lead which Joe Bennett could not quite make up. Bennett finished in second in the U17 and Frenchman Dante Chaipello third.

2011 RS:X Youth and U17 World Windsurfing Championships:

Men:

1. Pawel TARNOWSKI
2. Louis GIARD
3. Sam SILLS
4. Fabian PIC
5. Sebastian FLEISCHER

Women:

1. Agnieszka BILSKA
2. Kamila SMEKTALA
3. Barbara DMUCHOWSKA
4. Jeanne DANTES
5. Laura KISHON