Olivier Pinlou 

France’s Olivier Pinlou leapt to the top of the Raceboard Youth rankings before insisting “I must do better tomorrow” on day four of the IWA Junior, Youth and Masters Windsurfing World Championships.

The 17-year-old from Bohars scored two thirds and a first on his RS:X today (Thursday 27 August) to overtake overnight leader Ali Masters (GBR) and nestle in the top spot with two days of racing remaining at the RYA Events-run Championships at the Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy.

Pinlou is one of four Frenchmen dominating the top five placings in the Raceboard Division with Britain’s Masters in third the sole challenger to the French supremacy.

But despite having worked his way into pole position, Pinlou felt he could have had an ever better day today.

He said: “I made a lot of mistakes in the last race and I must do better tomorrow. But I was not thinking at the start of the competition that I might come first so I am very happy with my performance so far.

“I am also very pleased that the other French sailors are doing so well, my friend Benoit (Bigot) is second and that is good for the team. Ali Masters is a great competitor and it is always hard racing against him so it should be a good end to the Championships.”

In the Raceboard Masters, five-time Olympian Joao Rodrigues (POR) continues to head the pack with two more second places seeing the Madiera legend extending his lead to eight points from second-placed Barrie Edgington (GBR) with Patrik Pollak (SVK) third.

But Rodrigues’ main threat for the title remains from 1996 Olympic champion Nikos Kaklamanakis who picked his up fifth and sixth race wins of the regatta to move up to fifth with just three more races required before he is able to discard his day one Did Not Compete (DNC) score.

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Nikos Kaklamanakis

Five-time Olympian and 1996 Olympic Champion Nikos Kaklamanakis made light work of atrocious conditions in Portland Harbour to move stealthily up the Raceboard Masters rankings at the 2009 IWA Junior, Youth and Masters Windsurfing World Championships today (Wednesday 26 August).

The Greek legend, also winner of three Mistral World Championships during a celebrated career, did not compete in the lighter breezes on his RS:X board on Monday’s opening day of the regatta opting to wait for conditions to become more favourable.

But the 41-year-old has been in sensational form since stepping on to the water on day two, winning all four races he has competed in, including the two run today in winds gusting over 30 knots and heavy rain.

Portugal’s own quadruple Olympian Joao Rodrigues continues to sit atop the pile in a fascinating Masters contest, Rodrigues posting two more second places to consolidate his lead while Skandia Team GBR RS:X coach Barrie Edgington moves up to second courtesy of two thirds.

Kaklamanakis is 10th with one more Did Not Compete (DNC) score to discard, which will kick in once the fleet races for an 11th time. They have currently completed six races.  

Kaklamanakis is revered in his home country as one of Greece’s greatest ever sportsmen and for youngsters such as Stratis Doukas, who is competing at his first ever Worlds in the Bic Techno Under 17s, just being at the same event as a national hero is almost incomprehensible.

The 14-year-old said: “For me it is very inspiring to be next to an athlete like Nikos in the Greece team tent. Before I started windsurfing I knew he was a really good sailor but then he became my idol and to be so close to him here and to be able to ask his advice just makes me want to be like him.

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Saskia Sills 

It’s a 1-2-3 for Britain in the race for the girls’ Under 15 Techno World title as twins Saskia and Imogen Sills and newcomer Emma Labourne upped the tempo on day two of the IWA Junior, Youth and Masters Windsurfing World Championships.

Although it was Imogen who sealed victory in the two races run at the Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy (WPNSA) today (Tuesday 25 August), it was Saskia that edged into pole position just a point ahead of her sister courtesy of two second places.

Meanwhile, 12-year-old Labourne, competing at her first World Championship event, is keeping the 13-year-old twins on their toes with an outstanding performance over the first two days of the regatta to lay third.

In April the Sills’ both medalled at the European Championships, Saskia claiming silver and Imogen bronze but after admitting their pleasure with their current placings they conceded the standard of competition was so high they could not take anything for granted for the rest of the week.

Saskia said: “The standard’s really improved even since the Europeans. Marta Maggetti from Italy who is fourth overall at the moment has really come through since then and Emma is sailing so well as well. She’s been really good but that’s great because that competition just keeps you on your toes.”

Imogen added: “We expected the Israeli girls to be strong and they were really good in the lighter winds yesterday but it’s also great to see girls here from countries like the USA and Singapore racing in the Under 17s because that means more girls are windsurfing around the world, which is good for the sport.”

Emma said: “I didn’t really know what to expect at this event but I’ve surprised myself with my performance so far, I’ve been really pleased and I’m enjoying the challenge of competing against the best girls in the World. My aim for this week was to get experience for next year’s Worlds and be selected for the RYA National Junior Squad so I’m hoping I can keep my performances going for the rest of the week.”

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