Day 4 at the 2014 RS:X Youth Worlds in Clearwater, Florida, and the sound of the day was that of racers whooping and hollering past the race committee boats (two imposing 44-ft power catamarans provided by event sponsor MarineMax) in a breeze that high-wind specialists had been waiting for all week.
After a first race in oscillating 8-12 kts side-off conditions, the wind filled in from the north: a solid cross-shore 12-15 kts breeze greeted the competitors for the second race of the day, before kicking up one more notch to a solid 16-18 kts for the third race. The action was once again set up close enough to shore for spectators to enjoy the show from the beach and Pier 60: gutsy starts, fast racing, spectacular wipe-outs, we had it all on Day 4!
Defending champion Mattia Camboni (ITA) and Radoslaw Furmanski (POL) traded race wins today and separated themselves from the rest of the men’s fleet. “It was great today,” said Camboni, “Radoslaw won the first two races and I won the last one, and at the end of the day I’m one point ahead in the overall. It’s going to be all to play for in the medal race!”
Indeed, nobody else is within striking distance of those two at this point in the championships, and you can count on some serious match racing in the medal race tomorrow. Toni Bonet from Spain doesn’t quite have bronze sewed up yet, and will have to look over his shoulder as Frenchman Oel Pouliquen still has a chance to climb on the podium if he wins the medal race.
Things are even tighter in the women’s fleet: while the race wins today went to Hadar Heller (ISR), Imogen Sills (GBR) and Shahar Tibi (ISR), young Emma Wilson from Great Britain impressed with steady racing in the building breeze and now stands on top of the podium entering the Medal race. Her lead is razor thin though, and she’s going to have to fight for it on Saturday: Marta Maggetti (ITA), Ma Kwan Ching (HKG) and Berenice Mege (FRA) are all within 4 points!
The rest of the fleets will enjoy a final race tomorrow morning, come back ashore and line up on the pier to cheer on their friends in what promises to be an exciting medal race for both men and women!
The Organizing Authority continued to treat competitors to first-class dinner, this time at the Clearwater Community Sailing Center (courtesy of event sponsor Bright House Networks), before everyone rushed back to Pier 60 for a fireworks show (sponsored by Pier 60 Concessions).