We could hardly wish for better conditions for the opening day of the 470 Junior World Championship here in Portorož, Slovenia. The sailors finished three races in nice sea breeze of maximum around 11 knots and averaging around 6-8, with a wind dropping significantly in the last race. 

The seabreeze filled the racing course just a bit too late for the initially scheduled 12 o’clock start, so the three fleets - the blue and the yellow for men and mixed crews, and the women’s fleet, waited ashore. At quarter past 12 race officer Bojan Gale displayed the D flag and the fleet was called to the racing course. The first start went smoothly for most of the yellow fleet, except for the young GER 68 sailors, who touched the rib at the pin end of the starting line, and had to make a 360 degrees penalty turn, and the three UFD boats FRA 97, POL 513 and FRA 12. Most of the fleet decided for the left part of the racing course, and the first to reach the upwind mark were FRA 78, ITA 54 and GER 22. In the meantime, the blue fleet started clear, with EST 21 UFD, and the first boats at the upper mark were USA 1834, FRA 33 and GBR 859. Before the first women’s start the wind shifted, so the race committee adjusted a starting line accordingly. The last start for the first of today’s races was for the 12 women teams, and it went smoothly, too. The fleet, except for GER 77, decided to head left, towards the Croatian part of the Piran bay, which obviously proved to be a good decision. The top three on the first upwind mark were GER 69, FRA 77 and GER 20. After just about an hour, the first three sailors from the yellow fleet - ITA 54, GER 22 and FRA 78 crossed the finish line. The first three teams in the finish from the blue fleet were USA 1834 with a huge lead before SUI 1478 and ITA 76. The first three places in the women fleet went to GER 69, FRA 77 and GER 20 team. The wind dropped a bit after the first race, so for the next one the race committee decided to shorten the second upwind leg. There were no issues on the second start for any of the groups, and the best three from the yellow group on the first upwind mark were ITA 757, GER 22 and FRA 78. The local sailing enthusiasts were happy to see their Slovenian team SLO 21 turning the upwind mark as first in the blue group, followed by FRA 81 and UKR 75. The best three girls upwind were FRA 77, FRA 19 and JPN 9. We had a couple of protests at the first upwind mark in the second race, the sailors cleared them with penalty turns. 

At about that time, the yellow fleet finished their second race, with ITA 757 as first, followed by GER 22 and FRA 78. The Slovenians SLO 21, helmed by 2015 world optimist champion Rok Verderber, kept the lead and finished first, followed by UKR 75 and FRA 23. The best three from the women fleet changed places slightly from the first race. The same two German teams were still there, accompanied by the winning French - FRA 19, GER 69, GER 20. The girls called a day, while men and mixed fleets had one more race to go. The wind dropped even more, and the race committee shortened the second upwind leg once again. Both fleets started clear, the yellow one in the second attempt, after the general recall in the first. The best at the first upwind mark were AUT 7, ITA 757 and ITA 54 for the yellow group and POL 13, SLO 21 and NED 1 for the blue. Interesting change in the lead happened in the second part of the race in the yellow fleet, so the finishing order was AUS 7, ITA 757 and POR 21, while the top three sailors from the blue fleet remained on the same positions from the start - POL 13, SLO 21 and NED 1.

We have a couple of protests still going on at the moment, so the above mentioned results are at this point still unofficial.

After the first day the vice champions from the 2018 worlds, Italian team ITA 75, Giacomo Ferrari and Giulio Calabro, are in the lead (3 points, (7), 1, 2) before the Slovenian team SLO 21 Rok Verderber and Matej Planinšič (3 points, (10), 1, 2) and the GER 22 Daniel Göttlich and Linus Klasen (4 points, 2, 2, (7)), who finished 7th last year and were leading today until the last race. The best placed mixed team is ITA 54 Maria Vittoria Marcesini and Bruno Festo on fifth, who won the first today’s race in their yellow group. We have another mixed team who won a race today, the POL 13 Sewervn Wysokinski and Hanna Dzik, who came first in the last race for the blue group.

In women competition the 5th from last year’s worlds GER 65 Luise Wanser and Helena Wanser are in the lead with three points total, followed by the bronze from last year FRA 19 Paola Amar and Marine Riou with 6 points, and the last years’ silver GER 20 Theres Dahnke and Birte Winkel are forth with 6 points. The third place after today’s races go to FRA 77 Solenza Mariani and Yona Blacher, with a total of six points as well.

The standing at the moment looks very exciting, with the experienced world vice champions leading with the same number of points as the local, 470 class newcomers in the men / mixed groups, and with the three women teams who all scored 6 points today. Let’s see how it goes in the next days, when a bit stronger and gusty NE bora wind is forecasted.

Photos: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/mppf75taot0jdgd/AACabSf2ZOz-LkO-9O6I1W9Sa?dl=0
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