It was a day for the underdogs in many cases on the third day of competition at the 2014 ISAF Youth Sailing World Championship with improvements made and personal goals attained across the fleets.
Historically the ISAF Youth Worlds has seen French, Italian and British teams dominate proceedings but in a light westerly breeze, sailors from Slovenia, South Africa, Portugal and Argentina shone brightest in their fleets.
Frustrations were afoot early on in the Portuguese day with light winds present on-shore but after a slight postponement six of the eight fleets took to the water to complete their racing schedule. No racing was possible in the RS:X fleets.
South Africa's Brandon Wijtenburg and Todd Fisher had a superb day on the water in the 16-boat SL16 fleet, sailing three exceptional races.
A bullet, a second and a fourth push the South Africans up to eighth overall and they were thrilled after racing, “It was a pretty good day,” said Fisher. “In the first one we came second and in the second race we came first but only because the boats that won the race were over the line
“Hopefully the wind will be the same tomorrow as it was today so we will do the same and try to do better,” concluded Fisher.
The South Africans were the benefactors of race leaders Louis Flament and Charles Dorange (FRA) and Kim Vidal and Antonio Lopes (BRA) being over the line in the second race of the day. It was not all bad for Flament and Dorange though as they took the days other race victories.
The French hold top spot on 16 points and are followed by Spain's Jordi and Ruben Booth on 31 points and the Brazilians on 40 points. With the French and Brazilians discarding their OCS they cannot afford any errors with four races remaining.
Australian crew Michelle Bursa and Chelsea Haynes are sitting on seventh overall after getting a second in the last race of the day.
France's Brice Yriex and Loic Fischer Guillou extended their 29er advantage to 18 points after a steady race day but stealing the show was Slovenia's Peter Lin Janezic and Anze Podlogar.
The Slovenians were the dominant duo out on the race course and picked up a bullet, a second and a fourth to advance to fourth overall and Podlogar was full of smiles after racing, “We did great and we are really happy about the day, we loved it,” said the Slovenian crew. “We had a really bad day yesterday and today we opened a new page and decided to go from zero for a new beginning.”
Janezic and Podlogar started well in the opening race and were sitting in second to Singapore's Elisa Yukie Yokoyama and Samantha Annabelle Neubronner but in some of their favourite conditions they came back as Podlogar explained, “In the first upwind we were second but then we gained on them in the second to take first and then there was only the downwind left and we kept first place. There were about five knots and lots of waves and I like that a lot.
“We're going to give it all, 100%,” concluded helm Janezic.
Quinn Wilson and Riley Gibbs (USA) are second overall behind the French pair on 37 points and are followed by New Zealand's Markus Somerville and Isaac Mchardie. The Slovenian racers are 13 points off the podium with four races remaining.
James Colley and Shaun Connor sit in 12th after getting better top ten results.
Portugal's Diogo Pereira and Manuel Macedo threw themselves into 420 Boys lead after dominating the 32-boat fleet on home waters on the third day of racing.
Pereira, a 2013 bronze medallist, and Macedo controlled the pack in both of the day's races, storming to double bullets that leaves them first overall going into the penultimate day. They are four points clear of overnight leaders Ibuki Koizumi and Kotaro Matsuo (JPN) and a further three ahead of Malaysia's Mohammad Faizal Norizan and Ahmad Syukri Abdul Aziz
“We struggled a little bit before but we managed to get the difficulties behind us today with two first places,” concluded Macedo.
Australians Emerson Carlberg and Lachlan Gilmour are 24th finding it difficult to get in the top 20 in this strong 32 boat fleet.
In the 27-boat 420 Girls fleet Spain's Silvia Mas and Marta Davila remained consistent on the race course once again and with a second and a first they regain top spot.
Germany's Theres Dahnke and Birte Winkel held the overnight lead but a sixth and a discarded 12th allowed the Spanish pair to move 10 points clear.
After racing a chirpy Winkel said, “Today was a really difficult day because there was no wind. It was a really long hard day. We're really happy though because that type of wind is not our best and we're at the top.”
Nia Jerwood and Lisa Smith are finishing strongly with a fourth in the last race (6) keeping them in 8th overall.
With two days of racing remaining there are three more races scheduled across the 420 Boys and Girls fleets.
Argentina's Francisco Guaragna Rigonat was the epitome of consistency in the 57-boat Laser Radial Boys fleet as he took double bullets.
His successful day moves him to second overall and he is ten points off leader Seafra Guilfoyle (IRL) who picked up a fifth and discarded a 17th in the light Tavira winds.
Martin Lowy (BRA) was disqualified in the opening race but hit back to take a second and he is third overall, tied with the Argentinean and Ryan Lo (SIN) in fourth.
Following double bullets on Tuesday 15 July, Spain's Martina Reino made it three in a row in the 46-boat Laser Radial Girls fleet before a sixth in the final race of the day. As a result the Spanish racer moves into top spot on 17 points.
Alistair Young is keeping a credible 6th overall with consistent placings in top ten. For the laser Radial Girls Anna Philip is also doing well with two fourth placings but a disastrous race six (22nd) to put her in 9th overall.
It was a frustrating day for the RS:X Boys and Girls fleet with no racing possible. With the breeze playing hard ball on their course the race committee made the decision to send the fleets home shortly after they were released and at 17:20 the decision to cancel any possible action was made.
Lara O'Brien is 13th overall for the Australian RS:X Girls, while Jock Calvert holds 22nd place for the Boys.
In the overall Nations Trophy Australia sits 12th, one place ahead of New Zealand.