Worlds Top Youth Sailors Gather For The Volvo Youth Sailing ISAF World Championship

The world's top youth sailors will be gathering In Istanbul, Turkey for the start of racing at the 40th edition of the Volvo Youth Sailing ISAF World Championship which takes place from 8 - 17 July.

There will be a record attendance at the Volvo Youth Sailing ISAF World Championship 2010 with 344 sailors representing 63 nations.

Racing is held across eight events, which use four classes of dinghy and one windsurfer. World champions will be identified for each event for both Boy's and Girl's. Along with the individual events, the prestigious Volvo Trophy, currently held by France, will be awarded to the top performing nation at the championship.

Past notable winners include American's Cup skippers, Russell Coutts (NZL), Dean Barker (NZL), Chris Dickson (NZL); Olympic medallists, Robert Scheidt (BRA), Amelie Lux (GER), Ben Ainslie (GBR), Nick Rogers (GBR), Siren Sundby (NOR), Elise Elise Rechichi (AUS) and Tessa Parkinson (AUS); Volvo Ocean Race sailors like Stuart Bannatyne (NZL) and Richard Clarke (CAN). The most successful ISAF Youth World Champions are Great Britain's Sally Cuthbert and Poland's Zofia Klepacka having won four successive titles in the Laser II and Mistral respectively.

France is the current holder of the Volvo Trophy, awarded annually to the top performing nation at the Youth Worlds. France is the most successful nation throughout the history of the Championship, winning the Volvo Trophy on a record 10 occasions and holding a record 62 medals.

Teams in the 2010 ISAF Youth Worlds

There are eight nations sending twelve sailors (the maximum) to compete in the ISAF Youth Worlds. In Buzios in Brazil in 2009 the French team won the Volvo Trophy for best team overall with Great Britain in second and Italy in third. These three nations plus Australia, Brazil, Denmark and Italy will all be sending a full team compliment with sailors racing in every class.

Duncan Truswell, one of three RYA support staff accompanying the British sailors to Istanbul, believes the youngsters should be looking to take as much from the experience as they possibly can.

He said: "The Youth Worlds is quite different to what most of the sailors are used to, it is a huge event and it offers a unique insight and flavour of the Olympic multiclass experience on a large scale. There is no better regatta for youngsters to learn at and it can be a real tipping point for sailors in making that mental commitment to following the Olympic dream."

High Performance Dinghy Open - 29er

2010 is the first year the 29er will be raced as an Open class. There are 18 entries in this highly competitive high performance dinghy.

Australia are sending a strong team to the ISAF Youth Worlds this year including Byron White and Thomas Koerner who dominated the 29er fleet in their selection event. Byron White has competed at the event before.

"I represented Australia at the Youth Worlds in Denmark in 2008 and it's one of the best experiences you could have at this age," said White. "You meet great people from all different parts of the world, with the same passion, sailing."

"Apart from the cultural experience and meeting new friends, the racing is the most exciting," he said. "The high level of skill, knowledge and passion to win makes for some of the best racing youth sailors will do."

Having just finished fifth at the 29er European Championships only a few days ago the young kiwi pairing of Alexandra Maloney and Sam Bullock arrive in Istanbul in good shape. Other strong performers at the 29er Europeans were Gael Jaffrezic and Julien Bloyet of France who finished eighth overall and the British crew of Henry Lloyd Williams and Samuel Batten who finished tenth in a fleet of over 100 boats.

Boy's and Girl's One Person Dinghy - Laser Radial

The Laser Radial class has the most entries in Istanbul with 54 entered in the Boy's event and 49 entries in the Girl's event.

The US team failed to take home any medals last year in Brazil but intends to make amends this year with a team of eleven sailors Of these Erika Reineke sailing in the Laser Radial class is currently ranked 32 in the ISAF fleet rankings and came an impressive 19th in the ISAF Sailing World Cup regatta in Miami in January.

One of a list of strong Kiwi sailors, Thomas Saunders took out the Laser Radial division at Singapore Airlines Sail Auckland Regatta and the Laser Radial National Championship title.

Benjamin Franklin typifies many of the young sailors racing in their first youth championship. He is looking forward to the opportunity to represent Australia for the first time in a major international regatta.

"This is my first time overseas so I'm looking forward to travelling to a new country and meeting new people but most of all looking forward to racing in such a competitive fleet," said Franklin. "I expect to learn a lot both on and off the water and I'm hoping for a solid result."

Two Person Dinghy Boy's and Girl's - 420

The bronze medallists from 2009 in Brazil, Benjamin Grez and Carlos Vergara of Chili are back to compete in the Boy's division in Istanbul to try and take two more steps up the podium. They will be racing against a competitive field of 35 other teams.

Three of the twelve sailors named in the New Zealand youth squad for this year's ISAF Youth Worlds have previous Youth Worlds experience having competed in Brazil. They include Alexandra Maloney, Logan Dunning-Beck and James Turner.

Alexandra Maloney narrowly missed a bronze medal last year to finish fourth in the Girl's 420 class, however she went on to win the Open Women's International 420 World Championship in Italy the following week. This year Maloney is sailing at the helm of the 29er with Sam Bullock as crew. Logan Dunning-Beck returns to race in the Boy's 420 class in which he placed eighth last year.

Singapore won a gold and bronze medal in last years ISAF Youth Worlds and are back this year with some very competitive sailors especially in the 420 class. At the recent Kiel Week regatta with a fleet of 200 boats, the Singaporeans came first, fourth and fifth. Of these the fourth place finishers Chuang Yang Ko and Andrew Paul Chan are will be strong contenders in the Boy's 420 fleet whilst Rachel Lee who came fifth in Kiel will be racing with Benita Chua in Istanbul. The Singaporeans enjoyed the light conditions encountered in Kiel and will no doubt be hoping for similar conditions in Istanbul.

The host nation, Turkey have representatives in seven out of the eight classes and are likely to know the waters of the Bospherous well especially Ipeknaz Özden and Deniz Gökmeral who are usually sailing their 420 from the Istanbul Sailing Club Also from Istanbul Sailing Club are Cem Aydin and Vokkan Turan

Asenathi Jim and Ashwin Danie of South Africa are competing in the Boy's 420 class. They were discovered by David and Roger Hudson who formed the 'Race Ahead' project to develop African sailing. They are coached by Ian Ainslie (RSA), a highly successful match racer who competed in the 32nd Americas Cup and has enjoyed success racing in the Finn class.

Roger explains, "This winter Race Ahead put together it's first dinghy project. We invested in a couple of 420s and after some intense training sessions, two of our sailors, Asenathi Jim and Ashwin Daniels, managed to win the South African trials for the Youth Worlds in Turkey."

The pair will be up against some of the most competitive youth teams racing in Istanbul but their participation is testament to the hard work behind the Race Ahead programme and an inspiration for other developing sailing nations to follow.

Multihull Open - Sirena SL16

The Open Multihull is one of the smaller classes racing in Istanbul with 12 entries however the quality of the sailing talent is without question high. .

Amongst a strong line up from Great Britain is the multihull pair of Adam Butler and Nicola Boniface who will be shifting their focus to the Sirena SL16 catamaran for this year's event as the multihull changes from the Hobie 16 in which they finished fifth last year

Paul Darmanin of Australia will be one of the younger sailors at this year's championship at the age of 14 years. He and crew Chase Lurati will be racing in the open multihull, the Sirena SL16. Last year in Brazil, the Australian crew of Jason Jason Waterhouse and Lisa Darmanin won the multihull division in the Hobie 16 class.

The Italians are also sending a full complement including Luca Marsaglia who claimed the bronze medal in the Hobie 16 and returns this year to race the new catamaran class the Sirena SL6.

Matthew Whitehead from South Africa is no stranger to the Sirena SL16 catamaran, he grabbed the silver medal at the Volvo Youth Worlds in 2008 in Arhus and returns this year with a new crew, Calene Loubser.

Boy's and Girl's Windsurfer - RS:X

The Israelis and the Poles were dominant in the RS:X Youth European Championships that finished only days ago in Sopot, Poland. Omer Sofer (ISR) narrowly missed out on the gold medal, having to settle for silver but he now heads straight to Istanbul to compete for the Youth Worlds title.

Omer is likely to face stiff competition from Michalis Malekkides of Cyprus who claimed the silver medal last year and aims to go one better this year in Istanbul.

The British team has nine selected sailors making their ISAF Youth Worlds debut whilst the most experienced team member, Liz Hamilton, (Izzy), who competes for her third consecutive year. In Brazil last year she scooped silver and as the RS:X girls Youth World Champion was invited to join Skandia Team GBR development squad training alongside Olympic bronze medallist, Bryony Shaw.

Hamilton's team mate 17 year old Sam Sills has also dominated the Techno junior windsurfing scene winning the World, European and National Crowns last year and will be a strong contender in the boys windsurfing competition.

Also one to watch according to the Girl's RS:X class is Italian Catherine Fogli who was ninth in Brazil last year and likely to be a strong contender in Istanbul.

Athlete Participation Programme Youth Sailors

26 competitors from 12 nations were approved for Athlete Participation Programme (APP) funding support to attend the 2010 Volvo Youth Sailing ISAF World Championship.

A key factor in the increasing number of nations competing at the Volvo Youth Sailing ISAF World Championship has been the ISAF Athlete Participation Programme (APP), which provides funding support to assist sailors attending the championship. Since its introduction in 2003, the APP has directly supported the participation of over 143 sailors and helped introduce 12 new nations to the championship. This year, 26 sailors from 12 nations will benefit from APP support.

The nations to benefit from APP funding this year are: Ecuador, US Virgin Islands, Jamaica, Paraguay, Bahamas, Puerto Rico, St Lucia, Mexico, Nigeria, Columbia, Bermuda and Samoa
For a full list of entries visit:


Thursday 8 July - Arrival Day
Friday 9 July - Training Day and Opening Ceremony
Saturday 10 July - Practice Day
Sunday 11 July - First Official Race Day (3 raced scheduled)
Monday 12 July - Second Official Race Day (3 races scheduled)
Tuesday 13 July - Lay Day
Wednesday 14 July - Third Official Race Day (3 races scheduled)
Thursday 15 July - Fourth Official Race Day (2 races scheduled)
Friday 16 July - Fifth Official Race Day (1 race scheduled) and Prize Giving and Closing Ceremony
Saturday 17 July - Departure Day