2010 Byte CII World Championship
& Youth Olympic Games Open Qualifier.
Darren Choy of Singapore and Niki Blassar of Finland share the honours at the Byte CII World Championships
April 11, 2010
Final Championship Results
Niki Blassar, winner in the Women's fleet and Darren Choy, 2009 World Champion and winner in the Men's fleet,
share the Inuit sculpture which is the Permanent World's Trophy. Presenting the trophy is Jean Pierre Champion,
Darren Choy of Singapore won what turned out to be the final race of the Championship when the final two scheduled races were abrupty cancelled as the wind suddenly built to 30 knots in a matter of minutes during the starting sequence for the third race and was soon followed by crashing seas. This was his second consecutive World's win and it was done with incredible consistency in a wide range of conditions. No one else was close as he finished 36 points clear of the second place finisher, Ian Barrows of the US Virgin Islands who was coming off a win in the NA and Caribbean Qualifier in Cayman three weeks prior. Third place went to Kaarle Tapper of Finland who had previously qualified his Country with a 2nd place finish in the European Championships in Imperia, Italy.
President of the French Sailing Federation. Photo by Philippe Guegan, Voile et Voiliers.
Ian Barrows US Virgin Islands 2nd, Darren Choy Singapore the Photo by Philippe Guegan, Voile et Voiliers.
winner and Kaarle Tapper Finland 3rd.
In the women's event, the racing went down to the wire. Lara Vadlau AUT lead by two points going into the last day but the early series leader, Niki Blassar FIN had two 2nds to Lara's two 5ths and ended up winning the Champioship by 4 points. Both competitors had qualified their country in the European's, Lara in 2nd and Niki in 4th. Third place in this Championship went to Netherland's sailor Daphne van der Vaart, also a qualifier in the Europeans in 3rd place.
Lara Vadlau Austria 2nd, Niki Blassar, Finland, the winner and Photo by Philippe Guegan, Voile et Voiliers
Daphne van dae Vaart, Netherlands 3rd.
This Championship was also a final Open Qualifier for the World Youth Olympics in Singapore. 6 male places and 6 female places were open for countries that had hitherto not qualified in their Continental Qualifier. These places were won as follows:
Male: Ukraine, Slovenia, Portugal, Turkey, France, Switzerland
Female: Denmark, Italy, Germany, Slovenia, Spain, Ukraine
First World Championship sailed in separate male and female fleets
All Byte regattas, and not just the World's, are sailed as an open event. However, as this was an important qualifier, it was decided to split the fleet to avoid ant possible chance of a sailor being prejudiced. This raised the queston of who should be declared the World Champion as both male and female have won in the past. The level of sailing was so high in both fleets that declaring one or the other was out of the question. In fact, the elapsed times of the winners of the male and female fleets for each race were examined and an interesting statistic emerged.
In three of the races, the females beat the males around the course by 1, 1 and 2 minutes. In four of the races the males beat the females by 1, 1, 2 and 2 minutes. In the two remaining races the times were the same. After 5 hours and 6 minutes of actual race time by the winners, the total difference was 2 minutes in the men's favour. An on-the-spot decision was made by the Class, with the approval of all present, to award the Permanent Trophy jointly in 2010!
More trophy photos will be posted shortly but some sailing shots follow.
"Hey guys this looks like it could be fun!!" Photo by Cesar Sans
A Race Officer's nightmare as the two fleets meet at the same mark.
Photo by Philippe Guegan, Voile et Voiliers.
There are private yachts and then, there are private yachts! Photo by Matias Capizzano
A Cayman registry at anchor in Cannes.
Photo by Matias Capizzano
Photo by Matias Capizzano
Day 4. FINALLY the wind!! Lara Vadlau AUT now top female - Darren Choy SIN stretches his lead.
April 10, 2010
Top mark wipe out in the women's fleet in the heavy air last race Philippe Guegan Voile et Voiliers
New names in the Winner's circle in second day of racing!
It started off looking much the same as the previous two days that were scrubbed for lack of wind and there was concern that, maybe, the minimum 4 races to constitute a Championship would not get sailed. Then, about 11:00 am, it slowly started to build and the RC got off a very short Race 4 to make sure they got in the crucial 4th race!
In light 4 - 5 knot winds, but fair sailing, the men's Race 4 was won by Race 2 winner Ian Barrows ISV followed by Pierre Gueguen FRA and Angelo Gasparini ITA. In the women's race it was Lara Vadlau AUT, Khairunneeta Moh'd Afendy MAS and Celine Carlsen DEN.
Race 5 was also a light 5 -7 knots, but still fair sailing, and Owen Siese BER won his first race of the regatta followed by Goncalo Pires POR, with his best finish, and Darren Choy SIN in 3rd. In the women's division it was Elise Beavis of NZL with her first win, Lara Vadlau AUT sailing consistently and Natasha Yokoyama SIN in 3rd with her best finish.
Racing was then postponed when the wind died away and the RC eventually had to move the course to a better location. For Race 6, the wind came back up to 8 - 11 knots and, in the slightly heavier air, it was Peter Batho HUN, the European Champion from Imperia, winning his first race followed by ever-consistent Darren Choy SIN and Marti Llena ESP in 3rd with his best finish of the series. In the women's, it was World Champion Najwa Jumali SIN, with her first win, followed by Niki Blassar FIN, the series leader after day one and followed by Lara Vadlau, again in a top three position.
The wind then really started to build before the start of Race 7 and, before it was over, was a solid 16 kts, just touching 17. Harald Faste from Norway won his first race followed in 2nd by Pierre Gueguen FRA with another 2nd place and, in third, Kaarle Tapper FIN, who basically lost his throw out race with a black flag in Race 5 and has slipped to 6th overall. In the women's, Ines Sobral POR led from start to finish, Lara Vadlau had another 2nd and Daphne van der Vaart had a 3rd and her best finish in the series.
YEEEEES!!! Happiness is tacking onto starboard and into 1st place Philippe Guegan Voile et Voiliers
at the windward mark! Ines Sobral on her way to a win in Race 7.
Click here for full results
Countries in the top qualifing positions after 7 races and 1 drop. 1st six to qualify.
Men's: POR, SLO, UKR, FRA, SUI, TUR /// DOM, NED, MON, POL, LTU
Women's: DEN, ITA, SLO, GER, ESP, UKR /// SUI, RUS, MON, SMR
Day 3. Sun, sun and more sun - but alas no wind!
April 9, 2010
Cannes continued under the influence of a large area of high pressure and no races were sailerd for the second day in a row. Positions are from Day 1. As with yesterday, the Yacht Club reporter continued speaking with the coaches and one of those interviews is printed below with the Polish coach Andrzej Piasecki.
Interview with Andrzej Piasecki
Photo Ian Bruce
Hello Andrzej. Even more than a World Championship, this event is a Youth Olympic Qualifier. So let�s get right to the point - what was your reaction when you heard the choice of the CII for the Singapore Youth Olympic Games?
I thought it was a very good choice. This boat is excellent - especially as it allows for lighter weight people to compete. It has a great potential for kids right after Optimist, because they are at an age when it�s still not sure if they will be tall or short, light or heavy, and sailing a CII they have a chance to achieve good results whatever their final body shape.
Also, it�s a technically challenging boat with many possibilities to reconfigure the rig and change the shape of the sail. It is not easy to get it right every time and in every weather condition, especially when the wind changes and that is the challenge. However, although very technical, physical preparation is also very important, especially for sailing in waves.
The hull is light, it�s comfortable when balanced and has a more ergonomic shape which makes it more comfortable to sit on. I like also the proportion between the sail and the hull platform which looks very attractive, even to people who know nothing about sailing.
Do you think the Sailing Federations will eventually confirm the CII?
I think our International support is very important to build up a strong class. The CII has a target group of sailors that no other boat addresses - it�s the step in between Optimist and the more difficult/sophisticated/adult classes. And I see at CII regattas there is always this very friendly atmosphere, because the kids are all of the same age group and already know each other from Optimist regattas. There is great cooperation between teams, they train together, they exchange information and their experience. It�s not like in Laser where there are kids and adults who are very different people of different ages all together at regattas and all just minding their own business. In my opinion, the CII is already a very nice Class � it has a great potential to become a very important Class.
What do you think about the ISAF Qualification system?
It is only my opinion, but the highest level of athletes at �Olympic� Games should be more important than having the broadest possible representation, which ISAF has tried to do with this system. An open qualification system, like that used in other sports would be better, so that the level of the games would always be higher and more challenging. Also, in this qualifying system, the CII and Windsurfer are two completely different mentalities and we are forced to pick between them.
What are your personal experiences with the CII?
My daughter Sara, who is very light (168cm/48kg) won the European Championship and the first race in Imperia with over 25 knots wind and big waves, beating far heavier sailors which would have not been possible on other boats. We are of course very pleased with that type of experience and the results it makes possible.
The IOC has announced the next YOG in 4 years. Byte CII ??
I believe that the CII should be chosen again for those Youth Olympic Games, which will be hosted by China, considering that the characteristics of this boat are ideally suited to the Asian athletes typified by the Malaysian team and the great Singapore team competing here. We also need to maintain the very high technical sailing standards we see at this event.
A wish and a recommendation.
I hope that a Calendar of 8 - 10 International Regattas per year will now start being organized by the Class to support all the young athletes who are interested in making a future career in the CII.
Day Two a dud! Even after two attempts no races were completed for lack of wind.
April 8, 2010
Correction! In previous Event News items we mistakenly identified current Women's race leader Niki Blassar and her teammate Kaarle Tapper as bring from Norway. In fact, they are from Finland. We also identified Celine Carlsen as being from Sweden whereas she is Danish. Our sincere apologies. Editor.
The Coaches� Corner
When, due to lack of wind, nothing important happened on the water on Day 2, it gave the YC de Cannes news reporter a chance to sit with a couple of coaches that are here with teams from smaller countries. Dino Weber and Brother Pablo, both from the Argentine, are resident coaches in Bermuda but are also coaching the US Virgins, the Netherlands Antilles and the Dominican Republic. As the reporter spoke with these coaches, there is still a lot of sailing to be done but the Dominican Republic sits in the 6th qualifier spot (BER, AHO and ISV are already qualified).
Interview with Dino
Photo Ian Bruce
Dino, we understand this is not your first experience coaching the CII.
Four years ago I started coaching the Bermudans, then came tems from Curacao, Dominican Republic, US Virgin Islands, US and Canada.
Are you here in Cannes coaching all those teams?
Yes, except the US and Canadians.
What about the ISAF choice of the CII for the Youth Olympic Games? Was it a good or bad one?
You know, the rig is amazing. It looks easy but it�s not, it�s very technical and that makes it challenging and a good choice as an Olympic boat. It even has a very good potential as an Olympic female boat because this rig can be very competitive for a wide weight range of sailor and there are no other boats like this.
How did your guys approach the boat or did they already have some experience with it?
With the Bermuda team we started in August 2009. The kids took to the boat right away because, even though it�s a technically difficult boat, it�s not impossible to learn how to sail it, and that made it an attractive challenge for them. Of course they have made a lot of progress since then.
Is there a good age for the kids to start or are they are all mostly experienced Optimist sailors?
Mostly experienced Opti sailors. This boat is a very technical platform and, in the Optimist, you should know that they are already starting to become very technical so this makes it the perfect progression from the Optimist.
Are your sailors qualified for the Olympics?
Yes. Bermuda, US Virgins, Curacao for the males; Canada and US for the females. The Dominican lad is still trying but I am told he is presently sitting among the qualifiers..
Is there any problem in adapting to a Charter boat as you really have no option?
Not really, they are just the same as ours at home. The sails may show signs of wear but the Mylar fabric always holds its shape well. The possibility to charter and have a close-to-identical boat makes things very easy for teams in terms of organization.
Will you be coming to the Europeans at Garda?
No. Unfortunately this event overlaps with important school dates so the kids can�t be there. They would be there if it was left to them!!
Would you consider participating more in Europe if there was a full program of regattas?
Yes, for sure.
You and Pablo have done Optimist events all over the world - what�s your impression of this event in Cannes?
The organization is excellent, everybody is very friendly and you couldn�t ask for more. The administration of this Class is very personal and friendly and this combined with the efficient regatta management of the Yacht Club in such a nice atmosphere is making the regatta competitive but very friendly. It�s great to see so many different nations; many small countries that normally don�t race in more popular Classes are here and the level of sailing is very high.
Finland's Niki Blassar and Singapore's Darren Choy lead female and male Divisions on Day 1 of CII World's
April 7, 2010
A female competitor sails into the starting area after the men's fleet get off their start line under a black flag and
against the spectacular Cannes skyline. Photo Sensation-Voile
Country qualifying positions after 3 races. Top 6 will qualify based on their final results.
Male: UKR, SLO, POR, SUI, MON, DOM, // TUR, FRA, POR, LTU, POL
Female: SLO, DEN, GER, ITA, UKR, ESP // SUI, MON, RUS, SMR
Finland's Niki Blassar finished with two firsts and a second today to pull herself 12 points clear of second place Ling Ying Koh of Singapore. The first two races were sailed in12 -14 knots but, just before the start of the third and last race, the wind started to fade and the race ended in 5 - 6 knots. While she was not as dominant in the third race, her second place finish will not have left any misconceptions! Eva Paternelj, Slovenia, the first reserve qualifier in the Europeans, sits in third spot.
The Yacht Club de Cannes reporter caught up with Niki after the race.
An Interview with Niki Blassar, Women�s leader after Day 1.
YCC: Hello Niki. With two firsts and a second today, you must be quite happy!
Niki: Sure, very happy. I had a very good boat speed and I found the race, tactically, quite easy as the left side was definitely stronger in all three races.
YCC: You seem to be a very good size for the boat. Does that mean that you have good speed in all wind conditions?
Niki: Actually, I find I slow down a bit in the light wind so I have to try to open up the rig for more power and use very little Cunningham.
YCC: What boats have you been sailing before you started to qualify for the Youth Olympic Games.
Niki: I had very good results with the 4.7 but I find it is very underpowered. I find the Byte much more challenging and it is fun to sail.
YCC: Has Finland qualified for the Youth Olympics yet and, if so, are you selected to go?
Niki: Yes. Both of us, myself and Kaarle Tapper, qualified Finland in the men�s and women�s divisions in the European Championships in Imperia and we have both been selected to go to Singapore. We are now training together.
YCC: Good luck in Singapore to both of you!
In the men's Division, World Champion Darren Choy of Singapore was the most consistent on the day and opened up a modest 6 point lead on Ian Barrows from the US Virgin Islands. This may well be a fore-runner to the rest of the week as Ian was the lowest point finisher in all the Continental Qualifiers when he won the NA and Caribbean Qualifier in the Cayman Islands last month.
Editor�s note: Kaarle is standing third after the first day�s racing. The top ten female finishers are shown below. Click here for full results.
Not all that far behind are Kaarle Tapper FIN and Marco Benini ITA, both of whom qualified their countries in the Europeans. Only a point further back is Owen Siese - much to the delight of the Bermudans in the spectator fleet! Bermuda is already qualified but have not picked their sailor and the same is true for Italy.
Top ten are below. Click here for full results.
Opening Ceremonies put an end to training as the Championship gets underway on Wednesday 7th.
April 6, 2010
Opening Ceremony photos
Follow this link to the Yacht Club de Cannes Website for extensive photographic coverage of the opening ceremonies.
World Sailors converge on Cannes
70 Sailors from 29 Countries have been streaming into the Yacht Club de Cannes for the Byte CII World Championships and Open Youth Olympic Games Qualifier. Many of the sailors have already qualified their Countries in their Continental Qualifiers where the highest placed sailors qualified a place for their country but not necessarily themselves. Some who have now been named to represent their country are here to train; others, like the Netherlands Antilles, Bermuda, Holland and Italy are here because the qualified Country is using this regatta to pick their male or female sailor for Singapore.
Even the host nation Singapore, (with two automatic spots in the Games), is here in force with 4 male and 4 female sailors including 2009 World Champion Darrel Choy and World Women�s Champion, Najwa Jumali. The team is using this as their qualifier whilst sailing against the best the world has to offer. That includes competitors from as far away as New Zealand and Malaysia that have been arriving over the past two weeks to acclimatize themselves for the Championship.
Racing starts on Wednesday the 7th.
An Interview with Ian Bruce
The Sailing Secretariat of the Yacht Club de Cannes caught up with Ian Bruce, Designer and builder of the Byte and freshly arrived from the recently completed North American and Caribbean Qualifier in the Cayman Islands and posed a few questions on the impact that the Youth Olympic Games selection could be having on the Byte.
YCC: We had French entries in both the ISAF World Youth Girl�s events of 2000 and 2002 in the standard Byte rig but, since the advent of the CII rig, we have not seen a lot of the boat in France. Are you hoping that this will change as a result of the very successful Continental Qualifiers that have been taking place?
Ian: A simple answer is yes, we very much hope so. You mentioned the advent of the CII rig and it was actually a turning point in the development of the Class � to its detriment! ISAF was looking for a strictly one-design, �out of the box� boat to replace the Europe that would cater to a wider weight range of sailor. We developed the CII rig specifically for that and, while we probably satisfied the criteria as well or better than any, the rig was not fully developed and the Radial won out in a landslide. At that moment in time it became a case of, either or, CII or Radial, and the merits of the rig ceased to be considered.
YCC: Do you think that might be changing?
Ian: The single most important thing coming out of the CII�s choice for the YOG has been the discovery by a huge segment of the sailing world that the rig really does work! Some coaches have expressed total surprise. Others see that the boat can be a real developmental platform, not just for further singlehanded sailing but for many of the sophisticated doublehanders of today. It is after all, a true self-depowering skiff rig and as technical as any boat being raced.
YCC: We have to ask the question! What about the 4.7?
Ian: Let�s be realistic, we are not going to replace the 4.7!! However, as I have just mentioned, we feel that there is room in the whole youth developmental process for a boat that is a quantum level more sophisticated and that can develop in youngsters the skills not just to follow down the singlehanded pipeline that started even earlier with the Optimist but to take their new skills into any of a number of different Classes. And not just as skippers but as prized crews. Never forget that the best crews in the world are all excellent skippers in their own right!
YCC: Merci et bonne chance!
In the dinghy park
Two very good friends from Holland, Dewi Couvert (left) and Daphne van der Vaart would both have qualified the country with their finishes in the Europeans as both finished ahead of the 7th place qualifier. Daphne was the higher finisher with a 3rd but now they are sailing in Cannes for the same place in Singapore! Jelmer van Beek rounds out the team. He sailed the Europeans, did not qualify Holland but he tries again!
Rahiem Steede, who led the Bermudan qualifiers in Cayman to secure
a place for the Island, is in Cannes with 4 of his fellow sailors, all looking
to qualify for Bermuda's spot.