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World Laser 4.7 Youth Championship 2009

Fri 24th July 2009 - 31st July 2009

Buzios, Brazil

Reports courtesy of Murillo Novaes
Pictures courtesy of Gonzalo Arselli

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Friday 31st July 2009

Jonathan Martinetti, from Ecuador, wins the Laser 4.7 Worlds in Búzios, Brazil. Girls champion is Slovenian Urska Kosir.

The rainy and windless day didn't allow for any races this Friday in Brazil and yesterday's leaders celebrated the world title in Búzios Vela Clube.

The World Laser 4.7 Championship came to an end this Friday with no final races on the water. Unfortunately Búzios, hailed as one of the best sailing venues in the world, only lived up to its reputation for a couple of days during this championship. Today was marked by continuous rain, fog and low temperatures which gave the beach town, made famous by Brigitte Bardot, a London look.

After being on the water for over 4 hours surrounded by a lot of rainwater and fickle winds from southeast to southwest (from 130 to 205 degrees) between 2 and 6 knots, the athletes, judges and technicians returned to the club with a tip of frustration, but happy with the ending of another great sailing event. However, at least for two sailors the day was perfect. The leaders of yesterday, Jonathan Martinetti (ECU) and Urska Kosir (SLO), both pictured right, celebrated when the Race Committee cancelled the races for the day and brought the world title dream closer to them.

"We tried to have at least one race today. We were even able to set the course in the 200 degrees heading, but the wind dropped a lot and when we were 20 minutes close to the time limit of 3pm we called it off because it was very cold and uncomfortable for everybody. In the end we did 7 good races from the 12 scheduled and had a high-level competition that made everyone happy. Unfortunately the wind gods decided to take a vacation from Búzios these days", said the Principal Race Officer Nelson Horn Ilha.

Jonathan Martinetti, who lives in Guayaquil and sails in the beach of Salinas, despite being only 17 years old, has, in his résumé, a South American Optimist Class title (2006), the U.S. Sunfish Class title (2008) and is the Ecuadorian champion of Laser 4.7 and Laser Radial (2009). He is also the national vice-champion in the Laser Standard (2009), despite weighting only 62kg.

"I used to sail in weak winds in Salinas. With 8 to 10 knots I feel at home here in Búzios and the conditions were good for me", spoke with modesty the young world champion. His parents, however, explained the secret of success: "He was always watching his older brother sailing. As the difference in age between them is great, as soon as he could go on the water, Jonathan began to sail almost every time. It is common to see him practicing alone in the waters of Salinas", they assured.

The Slovenian Urska Kosir, also an ex-Optimist class sailor, intensely celebrated her victory. "I am proud to have reached it, I still cannot believe that I won so well, with so many points of advantage. This is the first time I'm sailing in the Americas and to go home with the world title is very, very good", Urska said. She has been sailing for only two years in the Laser class and trained throughout the Slovenian winter for this championship.

Among the Brazilians the most prominent were the young people. In girls, the best-placed Brazilian Claudia Mazzaferro ended in the 14th position overall and took the bronze in the 'Under 16' category. In the boys fleet, the Brazilian who had the best result was João Pedro Oliveira, in 18th place overall and sixth among the boys 'Under 16' category. The award ceremony of the championship was held in the evening, at Chez Michou crêperie, on the famous Búzios 'rocky road'. Despite the winter climate, all competitors expressed their joy in coming to Búzios and promised to return again to sail in its waters.

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Thursday 30th July 2009

Ecuadorian Jonathan Martinetti gets back leadership in another hard day in the Laser 4.7 Worlds in Búzios, Brazil.
Urska Kosir from Slovenia extends her lead to 12 points over the rest of the girl's fleet.

Another atypical day of winter in Búzios only allowed the completion of one race with low winds and drizzle.

On a rainy Thursday with weak winds in the racecourse of Manguinhos, the Laser 4.7 World Championship reached its penultimate day today with a virtual champion among the girls and a favorite among the boys. The Slovenian Urska Kosir kept the overall lead despite a 11th place in the only race of the day, but still has an advantage of 12 points on second placed Japanese Tomoyo Wakabayashi. Among the boys, Ecuadorian Jonathan Martinetti got a second place against a ninth of his direct rival, Hermann Tomasgaard from Norway, and took a 6 point lead in the fight for the title.

In the girls fleet, Urska delivered an impressive performance at the beginning of the championship and although the winds have been weaker in recent days, she is keeping a close watch on her competitors to hold on to her lead. Moving up the leaderboard are Japanese sailors Tomoyo Wakabayashi and Hitomi Murayama, who came in second and third respectively in today's race to occupy the same positions in the overall ranking.

However, best performance of the day came from Spanish Patricia Leveque (pictured right) who won the race and took fifth place overall, three points behind the 4th placed Kim Pleitkos, from Slovenia. Claudia Mazzaferro remains the best placed among the Brazilian. She is in 14th with 84 points.

Among the boys, the race was very tense and the Ecuadorian star Jonathan Martinetti (pictured right) shone stronger. Despite the victory of another Spanish sailor, Tono Alcazar, the Ecuadorian was always in the leading pack and the second place was an excellent one that let him edge closer to final victory with just 21 points. Direct rivals remain the Norwegian Hermann Tomasgaard, with 27 points, and Croatian Juraj Divjakinja, with 33 points. With a forecast of east winds of up to 12 knots tomorrow the fight promises to be intense until the end.

Among the Brazilians, the best placed is João Pedro Oliveira, 18th overall after having obtained an excellent 5th place yesterday. Felipe Castellari sits in 24th and Carlo Mazzaferro in 28th place. With these results, Brazil is definitely out of the race for a podium spot.

With a total of 7 races so far the championship is validated, although the weather is playing a hoax in Búzios. The local typical strong winds, whether rain or shine, is not coming and doing justice to Búzios's reputation. The unusual weather conditions for this week, with very unstable and weak winds, are giving the sailors and the organizers a hard time.

The Race Committee arranged two starts for the boy's gold and silver fleets but then had to postpone the departure of the girls and finally cancel the races that were already in progress due to a shift in the wind of over 45 degrees. "I did not expect this kind of difficulty here. Usually we think Búzios is going to be easy, with strong and constant winds. But that is part of the sport of sailing and today, after the wind came from 185 to 140 degrees and then to 160 degrees, at least we could have a fair race for everyone", said Nelson Ilha, the Principal Race Officer of the event.

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Wednesday 29th July 2009

Hermann Tomasgaard from Norway takes leadership of the Laser 4.7 Worlds in Búzios, Brazil.

In another day of good winds on the Brazilian Sun Coast, with the men's fleet divided into gold and silver, two races were held today and began to show the favourites int he race for the 2009 world title.

This Wednesday was another unstable sailing day in Búzios. With fickle and weak winds from the east, with speeds from 4 to 6 knots, another day of competitions took place on the 8th Laser 4.7 World Championship. The Race Committee was able to run two races and favorites have begun to emerge on the Manguinhos race course. The fight is fierce between the Norwegian Hermann Tomasgaard (pictured right), with 18 points, and the Ecuadorian Jonathan Martinetti, who won again today, but counts a 15th place in the first race of the day and left the top of the table by one point. "This winter here is the best I ever had. I usually spend the winter in -4 degrees Celsius", said the new leader of the tournament.

Among the girls the highlight was the Japanese Tomoyo Wakabayashi (pictured right) who won both races today and is now in third overall with 26 points, one less than the vice-leader Kim Pleitkos, from Slovenia. Another Slovenian, Urska Kosir, maintained her overall lead in the female fleet despite a 4th and a 6th (discarded) today. "I feel good sailing here, the weather is very good. I intend to keep the same strategy until the end of the competition", said Urska, who prefers winds up to 10 knots and is fifteen points ahead of her second placed compatriot.

Among the Brazilians, the best is Rodrigo Mendonça, in 25th place, and João Pedro Oliveira, 26th. Despite having the largest number of competitors, only 12 athletes from Brazil are in the gold fleet and continue on the fight for the podium. In the female group, Claudia Mazzaferro remains the best placed local. With 57 points lost, the young yachtswoman who won, less than a month ago, the North American championship in Optmist Class, is in 11th place overall and 3rd among the under 16s.

After the four qualifying races when the male fleet was split into two groups (blue and yellow) and sailors randomly re-assigned, the 55 best placed sailors formed the gold fleet and the remaining 55 are in the silver fleet. The women's fleet remains unchanged with the 38 sailors gathered in one group.


Tuesday 28th July 2009

Jonathan Martinetti, from Ecuador, wins three races today and leads the Laser 4.7 World Championship in Búzios, Brazil.

With good winds, there were three races in the Manguinhos racecourse and already discounting the first discard, foreigners stand out in Rio de Janeiro state.

Finally a perfect day. With the typical wind of the Búzios peninsula, 10 to 12 knots, from the eastern quadrant, there was one more day of competition at the 8th World Championship of Laser 4.7. The strong winds enabled the Race Committee one more race than originally planned, totaling three races today and four in the championship.

With the first discard already in play, two sailors of the blue male group stood out, the Ecuadorian Jonathan Martinetti, who won three races today - and discarded his 23rd of yesterday -, and Croatian Juraj Divjakinja who counts a third and two seconds as valid results. Breno Martins is the best placed local sailor in 15th place overall.

In the girls category, the Slovenian Urska Kosir continues with an impressive performance. After winning the first race yesterday, today she won two more races and took a second place, which was discarded as her worst result. The Turkish Nazli Hilal Karadeli is in second overall and another Slovenian, Kim Pletikosa, comes in third. The recent winner of Northa American women Optmist championship, Claudia Mazzaferro is the best Brazilian, in fifth place overall, tied in number of points with the fourth placed, Patricia Leveque, from Spain.

Today, after five hours at sea, the 148 sailors, from 27 nations participating, could try all Brazilian hospitality. Arriving on land they were greeted with a barbecue in Búzios Sailing Club, where the competition is based. Tomorrow are scheduled two or three races and the forecast is for winds from south, from 3 to 7 knots over the afternoon.

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Monday 27th July 2009

After much waiting finally the first race of the Laser 4.7 World Championship in Búzios, Brazil, got started. England and Argentina come out in front.

In another day of weak and fickle winds, the 148 sailors made only one of the two races scheduled for the day.

After more than three hours in the water, almost at the end of the limit time, finally the gun sounded to give start for the first official race of the 8th Laser 4.7 World Championship in Búzios, Rio de Janeiro. The second day of competitions at the Manguinhos racecourse began with little winds, extremely unstable, leaving everyone without much hope on the holding of the races scheduled for the day. At 3pm the south/southeast finally got steady at about 8 knots and as soon as the course was set, at 3:30pm, the first and only race of the day was started.

"Today we hold a race because we were very insistent. I always worry about the return of competitors to the land, which cannot be done after sunset. We were lucky and the wind, which was blowing from the east to the south, fixed in the southeast and let the three groups finally run a good race", said Nelson Horn Ilha, the Principal Race Officer.

With a strong current from the south and the tide filling in, the race was very difficult and demanded attention of the young skippers. Divided into three groups (yellow and blue, male. And red, female) the fleet alternated between inner and outer loop courses. In the end, many protests delayed the release of results and increased the anxiety of athletes, parents and technicians that returned to the land almost at night.

With the results finally ready - only at 2am today - who could celebrate was the British Ben Robinson, the Argentine Juan Ignacio Biava and Slovenian Urska Kosir, winners in their groups. Brazil, that has the largest team, with 51 boats, did not start well and only Carlo Mazzaferro (13th overall) and João Bulhões (19th) managed to finish the first race among the Top 10 of their groups. Felipe Souza (21st) also stood out among the Brazilian and Sérvio Túlio, from Brasilia, who led most part of the race, was punished with a yellow flag and finished 15th in his group and 29th overall, two positions behind Lucas Swan (27th), all from the local squad.


Sunday 26th July 2009

Going out for the first race of the Laser 4.7 World Championship in Buzios Brazi the 145 sailors from 27 countries sailed to the race area in time, but then the wind dropped completely.

At about 13:00 it came back from another direction at 6-7 knots. The Race Committee started the starting procedure but again the wind started to drop. The first boys fleet started but the wind was still dropping. The starting procedure for the second boys fleet was postponed and a minute later the fleet aleady racing was abandoned.

The wind never came back so fingers are crossed for more wind tomorrow.

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