29er fleet separated by gender for the first time at Youth Worlds

29er Colley Hansen
 
The 2015 Youth Sailing World Championships shows off its increase in participation as the 29er class is separated for the first time. In previous editions the fleet has been an open affair but the boost in numbers sees the boys and girls battling it out for separate honours this time around.
Sailing from the 27 December to 3 January, there will be 32 nations in the boys and 25 in the girls section who will be looking to get their hands on their new respective split fleet gold medal.

In Tavira, Portugal 2014, the last edition of the Youth Worlds, Netherlands' Odile Van Aarnholt placed fourth, but top of the competing girls in the mixed fleet. She will be looking to emulate that form with crew Ismene Usman and take outright honours in the girls.

Van Aarnholt also has previous experience at high level competition to guide her in her quest as she has competed, and returned with a silver medal, from the Nanjing 2014 Youth Olympic Games in the Byte CII.

Despite sailing with new crew, all signs point to Van Aarnholt to take home a medal of some colour as only her and the Italian team of Francesca and Claudia Gamburin, who finished down in 21st place last time around, return in the class.

Christmas and New Year is a family occasion for many around the world, and the 29er girls are no different with the Italians one of six family teams in the start list. They are joined by the Frykman's from Canada, Munte Carrasco's from Spain, Stewart's from New Zealand, Ferres' from Uruguay and the Toppa's from the USA.

While the girls keep it in the family, the boys are looking to keep it in the country, the gold medal that is. That task is presented to Gwendal Nael and Pierre Tydgat who will try to keep up the run of successive gold medals from the last two editions for France. But they have stiff competition.

Trying to make the most of the previous French winners being out of age, and therefore out of the regatta, is USA's Quinn Wilson. Forget three, Quinn is looking to make it fourth time lucky as he tries to go that one step further and improve on the silver medal he had last time out.

In Ireland 2012 Quinn finished fourth. In Cyprus 2013 he finished sixth. He broke the barrier in 2013 with his second place, but with new helm Romain Screve, Quinn has to be determined for gold and one of the hot favourites for the win.

New Zealand have returned two bronze medals at the last two Youth World Championships, and new pair Jackson Keon and Nick Egnot Johnson have the challenge of elevating the country to a higher finish. In the French and USA teams, they, like the rest of the field, will surely be in for a medal fight.

 
Australia will be represented by the highly-credentialled pair of Kurt Hansen and Jim Colley in the boys and Amelia Stabback and Pia Doyle in the girls.

Sailors will start to arrive at the Langkawi venue on 27 December where they will receive the supplied equipment from Ovington, UpMarine, Nautivela, Sirena Voile, Neil Pryde and Laser Performance/Maclaren.

From there, the ceremony on 28 December will signal the start of the Youth Worlds before racing commences on 29 December. Racing will run through to Sunday 3 January with Friday 1 January a lay day for the sailors.

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