WindSurfing: Twenty Boys Techno 293 Sailors Out To Impress At
Nanjing 2014 Youth Olympic Games
The Nanjing 2014 Youth Olympic
Games Boys Techno 293 fleet will feature 20 hungry athletes aiming to
impress, achieve their personal goals and enjoy the YOG experience.
Based on Lake Jinniu in Nanjing the windsurfers, aged 15-16, from 20 nations
will fly their flag on the Chinese waters with racing at the second Youth
Olympiad scheduled to commence on Monday 18 August at 11:00 local time.
A continental qualification system has ensured that the best windsurfers from
Africa, Asia, Central and South America, Europe, North America and the
Caribbean and Oceania have got a spot on the start line.
Myanmar's Set Naing Aung's has had a two year rapid rise in windsurfing and
took the third qualification spot out of three at the Asian Championship in
Singapore in January. He finished sixth overall but his journey to the event
has been a huge upwards curve that has seen him achieve beyond his dreams, "I began preparations for the
27th  South East Asian [SEA] Games 12 months before the actual
event. Prior to that, I had never seen a sail boat in my life nor have
I ever been to the beach and seen the open sea / ocean.
"In the sports
school, I was training in the sport of diving for six months before the
Myanmar Yachting Federation (MYF) selected me to be a part of the sailing
program. I had no idea what I was getting myself into but when I first
saw the windsurfing videos during the recruitment presentation, I knew that I
wanted to do just that.”
Naing Aung took the sport effortlessly and at the SEA Games he claimed top
spot overall, "Being
a newcomer to the sport, I did not plan to win the gold but rather to achieve
a podium position as that was the objective set forth by the MYF.
However, I tried my best and managed to secure the gold which is currently my
proudest achievement in my sports career. Furthermore, the Sports
Ministry also awarded me with the 'Most Improved Athlete 2014' Award which is
also a very proud achievement for me.”
Nine nations were aiming for one of three qualification spots at the Asian
Championship. Japan and Thailand picked up the first two with Naing Aung
taking the final spot for Myanmar, "Qualifying
for YOG was also quite unexpected since the competition was very strong. I
simply sailed as fast as I could, trying to win one race at a time. Finally,
when I was told by Manager and Coach that we managed to qualify, I was so
happy and satisfied. I do not plan to win the YOG but I will certainly do my
best to get the best results. I am just happy I qualified and get a chance to
participate in such a prestigious event.
"This is my first
International event and I am very excited. It is already a privilege to be
competing with the world's best youth sailors and I hope I can make my
country, team and family proud. I hope it will be fun to visit a new country
and also to experience what it feels like to be in the Youth Olympics.”
Like Naing Aung, the Netherlands' Lars van Someren has also tasted
windsurfing success with a Junior Formula Windsurfing World Championship
title under his belt. The Dutch sailor qualified his nation on Lake Garda,
Italy at the European Championship in April and is pleased with his build up
physically and tactically, "There are a lot of things that I can take from Formula to Bic Techno as
the course and the tactics are very similar. Technically, there are some
differences so I don't really have a big advantage from that.
"To prepare myself
for the YOG I have spent a lot of time on the water to fine tune my technical
skills. I have done a lot of mountain biking as well as doing core and
strength exercises in the gym.”
At the European Championship France's Tom Monnet took the title convincingly
and the French sailor was also the highest placed YOG athlete at the 2014
Techno 293 Worlds and van Someren marked him out as one to watch, "I think that Francisco
[Saubidet Birkner] from Argentina, Tom [Monnet] from France and Yoav [Omer]
from Israel are the top favourites and it is going to be very hard to beat
With 155 2014 Worlds entrants Monnet was the top YOG sailor finishing second
overall, Russia's Maxim Tokarev was the next best placed in fourth with
Japan's Kensei Ikeda in fifth. All will be in contention for the top honours
in Nanjing and Monnet is upbeat and well rested going into racing, "To prepare for this test I
have not done any special preparation. I have just taken a break,” said the Frenchman. When asked if the podium finish puts him in a good place
going into YOG, Monnet replied, "Yes,
it always gives confidence for Nanjing.”
The remaining sailors in the fleet includes Mack Van den Eerenbeemt (ARU),
Daniel Pereira (BRA), Ting-Yu Wang (TPE), Chan Tsz Kit (HKG), Ruggero Lo
Maura (ITA), Finn Croft (NZL), Lucas Miranda Martinez (PUR), Martin Berenek
(SVK), Toni Vrscaj (SLO), Thanatip Suebyubon (THA), Safouane Mami (TUN),
Maximo Nores (USA) and Manuel de la Rosa (VEN).
The Opening Ceremony on Saturday 16 August will officially kick off the
Nanjing 2014 Youth Olympic Games. The sailing competition begins on 18 August
at 11:00 local time and will conclude on 23 August.
The four YOG Sailing events are:
Boy's Windsurfer - Techno 293
Girl's Windsurfer - Techno 293
Boy's One Person Dinghy - Byte CII
Girl's One Persona Dinghy - Byte CII
The YOG Sailing Competition will consist of an opening series and final race.
The format will be fleet racing but slalom racing may be run for the Boy's
and Girl's Windsurfers if the weather conditions are suitable.
Images by Patrik Pollak
Byte CII Girls Ready For
Youth Olympic Games
Byte CII Boys Up For
Youth Olympic Games Challenge