Everybody (well, not exactly . . .) was waiting for the wind but we got some dark clouds instead, and some rain too, threatening the fourth day of the Techno 293 World Championships in Cagliari. But it didn't last. By noon sun was out, sky was blue and all sailors were rushing to the course, with the Under 17 and Under 15 boys now split between Gold and Silver fleets. A couple hours of fantastic racing later, the Mistral test confirmed that the two Under 17 gold medals are reserved already, by Yoav Cohen and Katy Spychakov of Israel. Everything else is still to be decided.
With the wind blowing from shore, Race committee had finally a chance to set one of the courses really close. People at the beach during lunch break, in a beautiful, bright day that felt like late summer and not the end of October, enjoyed the Under 15 fleets battling around the marks. Race started with 10-12 knots but wind direction was not very stable. Later it set on Mistral, NW 12-15 knots, with some gusts just to spice things up. Not a relaxing afternoon for the kids that had enjoyed the lighter winds of the previous days, maybe, but just fair for everybody else, after so much pumping and struggling. Easy to complete three races for all fleets, in these conditions.
At the end, one of the happiest sailors was Katy Spychakov, ISR 32, still leading among the Under 17 girls. She raced by herself the whole time and with a 1-1-1 cut every discussion short, putting some more points between her and the only two credible challengers, Italians Giorgia Speciale and Enrica Schirru. "Strong wind and no waves: perfect conditions, finally," said Katy at the end. "Let's hope for something like this also for the last two days. I'm starting to believe that I could lead all the way to the end."
Yoav Cohen, undiscussed leader in the Under 17 boys fleet, doesn't even have to worry about the weather forecast. He performed well in all conditions and with the latest 2-6-2 has a safe 16 points lead. All the others can battle for silver and bronze, now. ESP 211 Fernando Lamadrid Trueba and HKG 36 Ho Yin Cheng are second and third, with early leader Mateo Dussarps (FRA 17) just a few points away from the podium. After missing the cut for the Gold fleet, Italian Riccardo Renna is sure having fun (1-1-1) in Silver.
Among the Under 15 boys it's a very tight race between Leonidas Tsortanidis of Greece (1-4-1) and French sailor Fabien Pianazza (2-2-2): just one point between them after 8 races. "I love gusty wind, this was exactly my day," said Leonidas. "Finally I found the right pace." FRA 781 Yun Pouliquen is now third but will have to defend a possible bronze medal from two Italians, Edoardo Tanas and Giorgio Stancampiano, just a few points behind.
Heloise Macquaert (FRA 946) will keep the Under 15 girls' yellow lycra at least for one more day, but she really had to work for it. "Today it hasn't been easy. Everybody knows that I race better in lighter winds," confirmed the young French sailor. "Good for me that I managed to finish second in the last race." Podium is more or less defined in this fleet, with FRA 322 Enora Tanne second and ISR 442 Linoy Geva third, but positions could still be switched. Just for the record, none of the top three girls could take a Mistral race: the winners were Capucine Marsaudon (FRA 1801), Mollie Densley Robins (GBR 3030) e Dominique Slater (USA 220).
In the Plus fleets, great day for local sailor Elena Vacca. She knows all the secrets of the course, she knows Mistral, and she managed to beat Lucie Pianazza twice, taking away the second place overall from Jeanne Penfornis of France. Gold is probably out of reach, but Elena can contend the silver medal to Jeanne and to Momoka Hara of Japan (very good her 1-2-3 with strong wind). In the men fleet another local champion, Michele Cittadini, still leads, but every day the Japanese team finds a new challenger for him: Yuta Iwasaki took away 7 points from his lead in just three races.
Forecast says that wind will probably arrive later on Friday. Race committee postponed the first possible start to 11:00. Leaders' lycra ceremony at 9:45.