Congratulations to our new 420 World Champions Jose Manuel Ruiz/Fernando Davila of Spain in the 420 Open and Carlotta Omari/Francesca Russo Cirillo of Italy in the 420 Ladies.
A waiting game on Sunday’s final day of racing at the 2014 420 World and Ladies World Championships as teams waited anxiously under postponement ashore for the call to the race track and contest the final two races. But the forecast from early in the week delivered, with an early morning thunderstorm and torrential rain, followed by virtually no wind giving no chance of racing on Sunday’s final race day.
The Race Committee held off until 1400 hours to wait for a stable breeze to kick in in, before taking the decision to call off racing.
Ten races in total for the 2014 420 Worlds, six in the qualification and four in the finals, delivered a rounded Championship, with a range of weather conditions testing all 390 sailors. The talent pool was simply incredible, with different winners in virtually every race. This year’s Championship reflected the ongoing growth in the 420 class with 27 nations from all six continents competing across the 111-boat 420 Open and 84-boat 420 Ladies Fleets.
Alongside the new 2014 World and Ladies World gold, silver and bronze medallists, Junior World Champions and Spain’s top nation performance, there are numerous other notable results. As an overall picture, fourteen of the 21 nations in the 420 Ladies World Championship were represented in gold fleet racing and of the twenty-six nations in the 420 Open, 22 were represented in gold fleet.
Malaysia fielded one team in each of the open and ladies fleets, including the ISAF Youth Worlds 420 boys silver medallists, Muhamad Faizal Norizan/Ahmad Syuki Abdul Aziz (MAS). Both teams finished well inside the top ten. Greece achieved two teams in the 420 Ladies top ten including bronze medallists Aikaterini Tavoulari/Fotini Koutsoumpou.
Angola made their debut appearance at the 2013 420 Worlds in Spain and were back this year with two new teams. Top result was a 4th place in race 2 for Francisco António Kilombo/Francisco Kapusso Artur who finished 57th overall in the gold fleet.
Host nation Germany fielded a team of 56 sailors, with 14 teams in each of the 420 Open and 240 Ladies fleets, with three teams finishing inside the top 20. The Huck Scott Memorial Trophy was awarded to Germany’s Nils Sternbeck/Finn Kenter as the youngest competing crew in the Championship, with both aged just 13 years old. They finished 37th overall.
Gold to Jose Manuel Ruiz/Fernando Davila of Spain who dominated the Championship from day 3. The pair has been sailing together for two years and certainly didn’t anticipate such an epic performance.
“Now it is real,” said Davila. “I feel really good really happy.”
“It is different,” added Ruiz. “It is unbelievable. It is a long Championship and long days with difficult conditions.”
Reflecting on their win, the pair admitted it almost all went horribly wrong in race 8 when they finished right at the back of the fleet in 45th and slipped to second overall. “It was very bad for us, but we worked really hard in the next races and we felt really good after that. It was good work from our minds to come back with two good results,” explained Davila.
“I think that Fernanda and me we are a good team, because we just have perfect communication. This is our best ever result,” smiled Ruiz. “Our goal was this Championship and we will now see what next, perhaps the 470.”
They both moved to the 420 Class from Optimist, with Ruiz a former three-time Spanish National Champion who represented Spain at two Optimist World Championships.
Hippolyte Macheti/Sidoine Dantes of France were crowned 420 Junior World Champions as the highest placed team aged 18 and under in the year of the Championship and received the John Merrick Trophy and gold medals.
Last year the pair finished top of the silver fleet, so a massive improvement in just 12 months.
They faced the added demand of racing at the 420 Worlds straight off the back of the ISAF Youth Worlds, where they finished 4th overall, missing out on the bronze medal on tiebreak.
“We were quite stressed waiting, but we wanted to race today to try and win overall. But we are second and we are very happy,” said Dantes.
On being the best junior team, Macheti said, “It is great to be the best junior team. It was a particularly difficult Championship as the conditions on the water were complicated and there were a lot of boats in the fleet so it was easy to have a bad race. I think to win this Championship sailors need to be really concentrated.”
A motivating result for the team as they now take the next step in their sailing career and step to the 470 Class, “This title is really important for us, as we know in the 470 Class we will be starting at the bottom and having to work up to learn how to race.” But first they will be aiming to conquer the title at the 2014 420 Junior Europeans which kick off on 11 August in Poland.
Adding to their bronze medals, Ido Bilik/Ofek Shalgi from Israel were also awarded the William Sanchez Trophy as the highest placed team aged 16 and under in the year of the Championship.
Top team in the silver fleet was Russell Clarida/Forrest Thomas (USA).
420 Open – Top 10 Overall after 10 Races
1. Jose Manuel Ruiz/Fernando Davila (ESP) – 69 pts
2. Hippolyte Macheti/Sidoine Dantes (FRA) – 72 pts
3. Ido Bilik/Ofek Shalgi (ISR) – 73 pts
4. Robin Folin/Tao Manni (FRA) – 79.7 pts
5. Muhamad Faizal Norizan/Ahmad Syuki Abdul Aziz (MAS) – 82 pts
6. Adrian Dominguez/Calixto Abalo (ESP) – 85 pts
7. Jia Yi Loh/Jonathan Yeo (SIN) – 90 pts
8. Nital Hasson/Yoav Shpliman (ISR) – 99 pts
9. Santiago Mas/Luis Mas (ESP) – 122 pts
10. Swann Hayewski/Alexis Thomas (FRA) – 126 pts
Former 420 World Champions include 2012 Olympic Gold Medallist and four-time 470 World Champion Mat Belcher, who won with brother Daniel Belcher in 2000. Carl Evans/Peter Burling (NZL) took back to back wins in 2006 and 2007, going on to compete in the 470 Class at the 2008 Olympics, then claiming a silver medal in the 49er class at the 2012 Olympics
The gold medal and 420 Ladies World Championship title goes to Carlotta Omari/Francesca Russo Cirillo of Italy who were presented with gold medals and the International 420 Class Ladies World Championship Challenge Cup.
“I am so very happy,” said Omari, whose 420 Ladies World Champion crown is secure on attempt three. In 2012, the pair finished 7th and a devastating final day at the 2013 420 Worlds saw a podium finish fall out of their hands.
“This year was difficult, but we were more prepared than last year,” explained Omari. “Psychologically and physically we are better and we trained a lot.”
The pair was in third overall going into what turned out to be the final day of racing on Saturday, and it almost was a repeat of 2012 after a 29th in the opening race 8 of the day.
“It was difficult as we had a bad opening race yesterday”, said Omari. “But we found the strength to keep going. And we won the Championship from our last two races yesterday. Last year we just lost concentration on the final day.”
The John Merricks Trophy and 2014 420 Ladies Junior World Championship gold medals were presented to Kimberly Lim/Savannah Siew from Singapore who were the highest placed team aged 18 and under in the year of the Championship. The Worlds marks the final 420 Championship for the pair as they wrap up their junior sailing careers.
“We came here with the aim of a podium and with a silver from last year, the pressure was on us,” said Lim. “This performance was quite good and we sailed the event pretty well, although the last day was a bit messy, it went as well as it could.”
Next stop for the pair is the 2014 Asian Games held in late September 2014 in Incheon, Korea where they will compete in the 420 Class. Lim is no stranger to the pressure of what is Asia’s biggest sporting event after the Olympics, having secured the silver medal in the Optimist Class at the 2010 Asian Games.
“When we get back to Singapore, we have a month of catching up on school and then training for the Asian Games,” said Lim. “We will get to Korea pretty early to get used to the venue and train. For us the event is a big deal as in Asia the Asian Games is really important and there is quite a lot of expectation on us.”
The bronze medal went to Aikaterini Tavoulari/Fotini Koutsoumpou from Greece.
The William Sanchez Trophy was awarded to Paulina Fauroux/Ariel Ponthieu from France as the highest placed team in the 420 Ladies aged 16 and under in the year of the Championship.
Ladies – Top 10 Overall after 10 Races
1. Carlotta Omari/Francesca Russo Cirillo (ITA) – 40 pts
2. Kimberly Lim/Savannah Siew (SIN) – 45 pts
3. Aikaterini Tavoulari/Fotini Koutsoumpou (GRE) – 47 pts
4. Elena Picotti/Maria Coluzzi (ITA) – 59 pts
5. Souzana Bakatsia/Nikoletta Papageorgiou (GRE) – 61 pts
6. Nuraisyah Jamil/Umi Nurwahida Sallehuddin (MAS) – 66 pts
7. Paula Barcelo/Margarita Alba (ESP) – 70 pts
8. Silvia Mas/Marta Davila (ESP) - 74 pts
9. Carmen Davila/Julia Davila (ESP) – 75 pts
10. Clara Addari/Arianna Perini (ITA) – 83 pts
Top team in the silver fleet was Jenny Smallwood/Danielle Thomas (GBR).
Omaria/Cirillo join a host of well-known names who have won the 420 World Championships, including 2012 Olympic Gold Medallists in the 470 Class Jo Aleh/Polly Powrie (NZL) who won the 420 Worlds in 2007. 2012 Olympic Silver Medallist in the 470 Hannah Mills (GBR) won the 420 Worlds in 2006 with then crew Peggy Webster. Australia’s Elise Rechichi/Tessa Parkinson won the 420 Worlds in 2004 and just four years later the pair secured gold at the 2008 Olympics in the 470 Class.
The 2014 420 World Championships came to a celebratory end with the Closing Ceremony on the beach and national teams gathered on what turned into a warm blue sky evening.
Prizes were awarded by the Organizing Committee for teams in 18th up to 1st in both fleets, with the International 420 Class presenting the overall trophies and Championship medals.
The Francis Mouvet Trophy was awarded to Spain as the top performing nation, with the highest placed three boats in the World Championships. 2014 marks Spain’s third successive victory and this year Spanish teams were again on form with three teams inside the top 10 overall in each of the 420 Open and 420 Ladies fleets.
Future 420 Championships
Next stop is the 2014 420 Junior European Championships in Gdynia, Poland from 11-18 August. National team quotas are also in place for the 420 Junior Europeans to ensure a world class racing line-up with nations limited to sending 7 teams and 14 slots for host nation Poland. Follow at http://junioreuropeans.420sailing.org
The 2015 420 World and Ladies World Championships will be hosted at Castle Bay Karatsu and the Saga Prefecture Yacht Harbor in Japan from 17-25 July 2015. A comprehensive charter boat programme is in place so teams can simply fly in and go racing. CLICK HERE for more information.
Participating nations in the 420 World and Ladies World Championships:
Angola, Argentina, Australia, Austria, Brazil, Canada, Chile, France, Great Britain, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong, India, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, New Zealand, Poland, Portugal, Singapore, Spain, Switzerland, Turkey, USA.
Visit worlds.420sailing.org for daily press release, race updates and photos.
Christian Beeck is the Official Championship Photographer. Images will be published on the Championship Website and the International 420 Class Association Facebook page. You can also find all the images from the championship on Christian Beeck's gallery.
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About the 2014 420 World and Ladies World Championships
The 2014 420 World and Ladies World Championships, 25 July-3 August 2014, is being held on the Priwall Peninsula off Travemuende and is organized by the Lübeck Yacht Club in partnership with the German 420 Class Association, Deutscher Segler Verband and the International 420 Class Association.
390 sailors from 27 nations are competing, with 111 boats in the 420 Open and 84 in the 420 Ladies. Teams contest a qualification series and final series, with a single race discard coming into play after race five. The 420 Open and 420 Ladies are each split into two fleets for the qualification series with reseeding after each day’s racing. For the final series, teams will advance to gold and silver fleets, based on their position on the leaderboard from the qualification series.
Entry quotas apply with nations limited to seven teams in each of the 420 Open and 420 Ladies fleets, with host nation Germany entitled to 14 entries in each. Defending World Champions are also entitled to an entry.
CLICK HERE for details of past 420 World and Ladies World Champions.