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Top Five Start for O'Dowd

22nd July 2010
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Top Five Start for O'Dowd

Fresh from a top ten finish at the ISAF Youth Worlds, Dun Laoghaire sailor Matthew O'Dowd has started the Radial Youth World Championships in Largs with a second place finish.

The Laser fleet numbers some 210 boats, and has been split in three for the initial group stages. O'Dowd's second place in his 70-boat group puts him in fifth overall and sets a good tone for the rest of the regatta.

The Worlds, held in Largs, Scotland, lost its first day to light airs and had to wait until late in the afternoon yesterday to get racing in, whena steady, building northerly breeze trickled down the Clyde this afternoon allowing racing to commence. 

The conditions were far from what the senior Radial fleet experienced at their world championship the previous week when gusts of 40kts swept through the fleet, but adequate enough to allow the 320 competitors to enjoy the first tactical race of the series.

Sailing on ‘home waters’, it was good to see 16-year-old GBR sailor Elliot Hanson demonstrating why he is one of the hot favourites here this week. Hanson finished sixth on these same Clyde waters last week at the Laser Radial World Championships.  A former Topper UK national and world champion he benefited from the leading Hungarian’s windward mark-rounding error, and enjoyed a good race with Matthew O'Dowd (IRL), to win the one and only race of the day on the Boys’ course. Tadeusz Kubiak (POL) was also on top form winning Blue fleet, while Matthew Mollerus (USA) has made his intentions clear by winning the Red fleet.

On the girls’ course, set further to the north of Cumbrae, the situation was equally exciting with Julia Vallo Arjonilla (ESP) winning the first race in the Blue fleet and finishing third in Race 2 which puts her in a leading overall position. Pauline Barwinska (POL) snatched a win in Yellow fleet when Marketa Audyova (CZE) who crossed the line first, was deemed OCS.

Barwinska, fresh from competing at the Volvo Youth Sailing ISAF World Championship in Turkey is another race sharp sailor who showed she’s a real force to be reckoned with. She’s only been competing at international level for one year, so today’s result has given her a massive boost. The Japanese girls are also on top form with Manami Doi, and Momoko Tada taking wins in the second races (Yellow and Blue fleets).

Elliot Hanson (GBR): “We had quite tricky conditions to start with because the wind was up and down. I was second round the windward mark and then managed to chop and change with Matthew Odowd until the last run when I just managed to pull away. We started off with the most wind of the day at 12kts from the north generally. There were more pressure changes than shifts. The key today was to keep the speed up and reach the first windward mark in a decent position. But I think staying in the highest pressure was the key factor of the day. Some of the other British sailors did well today too and Cam Douglas – who was at the ISAF event, and John Currie who was second at the Youth Trials – are definitely two I’ll be watching out for this week.”

 

Full results from the event are HERE.

 

Published in Youth Sailing
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