2009 IWA Junior, Youth and Masters World Championships

The Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy has become a hive of windsurfing activity today (Saturday 22 August) as some 300 sailors from across the globe have descended for the 2009 IWA Junior, Youth and Masters World Championships.

But one lad who is taking all the commotion in his stride is Launceston’s Sam Sills, who goes into the event as one of Britain’s best hopes for silverware in the Bic Techno Under 17 World Championship.

The 16-year-old Cornishman, who was crowned Under 17 European Champion in April, arrives on the Dorset coast looking to go one better than the silver Worlds medal he claimed in Sopot, Poland last summer.

Having won the Under 15 World title in 2007, this is Sills’ fifth and final Techno Worlds event and the level-headed youngster is hoping to make it a memorable Technos swansong.

He said: “I’ve been concentrating on the Worlds since around the middle of June and I’m really looking forward to racing getting underway on Monday. This is my fifth Worlds now and I just try to approach it like any other event – I’m sailing fast, I feel well-prepared and I’m happy that my kit is as perfect as it can be.

“For me the next couple of days are just about staying relaxed and chilled and keeping hydrated as I find that if I get wound up or think too much about it all then I perform worse. I felt at last year’s Worlds that I could have done even better than I did so it would be nice to do that here.

“I’ve never had an international competition in England before, they have always been abroad, so for my final Worlds to be at Weymouth and Portland is pretty cool as I know the venue pretty well and it’s unusual not to have to acclimatise to a different country, which also helps with keeping relaxed.”

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RS:X Open Nordic Windsurfing Championship

The RS:X Open Nordic Windsurfing Championship was held in perfect conditions last weekend.  On Friday, the shifty breeze at the top mark made life demanding for everyone. This highly technical and physically tough class showed how action-packed and extreme windsurfing at this level really can be. 

2 sailors one from Hungary and the other from Denmark, collided just after the start of race 3 in 20 knots of breeze. Aron Gadorfalvi [HUN] struck Jacob Holst [DEN] just in front of the mast. His fin buzz-sawed through Jacob's hull to a depth of  5-10 cm!. Aron wound up in hospital with a badly bruised thigh. Result: no serious damage but it was the end of the line for him in terms of racing!

Saturday, it was raining with poor visibility. Racing was postponed to 1200hrs.  3 races were completed in a decreasing wind.

Sunday, a further 3 races were completed in excellent conditions... sunny  and 10 m/sec!

The two German brothers Christian and Florian Freimüller were dominant. Christian beat out his elder brother, Florian to take the title with Anders Nors [DEN] on the bottom step of the improvised podium

Tuuli Petaja [FIN] was top woman and 4th overall, 2 points up on Bettina Honoré [DEN]. Nikola Girke [CAN] was just one point off the pace in 3rd.

In the RS:X Youth Division, it was Sebastian Fleischer who beat out the local talent Thomas Møhl [DEN] and Thomas Nikolaj Hangaard [DEN].
There were a total of 9 races for the RS: X's

The battle for supremacy between Sebastian and Thomas is close as it has been since the spring when Sebastian grabbed the selection for Volvo Youth Sailing ISAF Worlds. From the local perspective, the result, unfortunately, once again, was the same.

Sebastian won again. The close competition between these 3 young talents though is leveraging their development and making each one all the more determined to show who is boss at the 2010 RS:X World Windsurfing Championships.

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Sam Sills

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.

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