The National Yacht Club's Nicole Hemeryck has finished in the top ten in the Girls Laser Radial fleet at the Youth Sailing World Championships that concluded in New Zealand yesterday. Team mate Johnny Durcan of Royal Cork was 16th in the boys fleet. Full up–to–date results are here.
In the girl's fleet it was anyone's guess who would claim the title. In contention was Germany's 2015 Youth Worlds silver medallist Hannah Anderssohn, Uruguay's Rio 2016 flag bearer, Dolores Moreira Fraschini and the reigning champion Maria Erdi (HUN). Sandra Luli (CRO) and Carolina Albano (ITA) were a little further back, but still in reach of a podium place.
Coming home in fifth ahead of her main rivals was Fraschini. The Uruguayan had completed her game plan, "I just knew I had to beat Germany, Hungary and Croatia. I was looking for them all through the race,” explained the new Youth Worlds champion.
When the win had sunk in Fraschini said, "I feel super happy. I had a good start but then a bad upwind, so I had to just focus on recovering. I kept gaining and then I crossed the line, it was like a dream come true.”
The dream was helped by Erdi finishing 13th and Anderssohn 19th. Those results also opened the door for Luli and Albano and dropped last year's medallists off the podium altogether.
It was Albano who came out fighting and headed straight for the front of the pack to win the final race. The Italian had done all she could and just had to sit and wait to see where her rivals would finish. Luli came home in sixth to give her 45 points to tie with Albano. Luli was awarded silver on countback.
With a lead of 27 points, Australia's Finnian Alexander just had to avoid a final day disaster to take the boy's Laser Radial title.
A smiling Alexander returned to shore after finishing 20th, enough to secure him the gold, "It feels so good and such a sense of relief after skating on thin ice all week,” said Alexander.
That 'thin ice' was a disqualification from the very first race. A score that could have derailed his ambitions, "It took a lot to come back from that,” said the relieved Aussie, "but crucial that I did. It's not the ideal start but it feels really good to know that I can carry myself through a regatta like I did from there.”
Italy's Paolo Giargia had a seven point cushion over USA's Carrson Pearce and Spain's Ismael Iess Falcon. That cushion was enough in the end to give the Italian a silver medal as he crossed the line in 11th and Pearce ninth. Pearce took the bronze medal from Falcon as the Spanish sailor could only finish in 26th place.