Buenos Aires prepares to host
100 sailors at the Youth Olympic Games
third Youth Olympic Games, to be held in Buenos Aires, Argentina, between
6-18 October 2018, will welcome 100 sailors from 44 different nations.
events will take place at Club Náutico San Isidro in the Argentine
capital, including debuts for two classes – Girl’s and Boy’s Kiteboarding
(Twin Tip Racing) and the Mixed Multihull (Nacra 15). Elsewhere, Girl’s
and Boy’s Windsurfing (Techno 293+) will return for its third consecutive
Nacra 15 will race in one fleet, with up to 12 opening series races and
one final race.
Techno 293+, the first race of the opening series will be a fleet race.
Following the first race, either a fleet or slalom single elimination
series race will be held. All fleet races will race in one group and each
slalom race will be divided into four heats with semi-finals and finals
to decide who gets maximum points from that race. The final race will be
a fleet race, featuring all the competitors.
Tip Racing Kiteboarding, however, will include up to 24 qualifying races,
with a heats-based system eventually determining which four athletes will
progress to the final. The racecourse will also contain several obstacles
as an extra challenge for the kiteboarders.
of qualification regattas across all five events were held to help
dictate which nations would compete at the Youth Olympic Games. Places
were awarded to the highest performing nations in the World Championships
of each class before a series of continental qualification regattas
across six regions took place. Hosts Argentina were automatically awarded
a spot in each fleet.
than eight medal-winning athletes from this year’s Youth Sailing World
Championships, held in Corpus Christi, Texas, USA, will be competing in
the Youth Olympic Games, including three World Champions.
sailors Teresa Romairone and Dante Cittadini stormed to gold in Corpus
Christi by an astonishing 36 points, dominating the fleet with just one
race finish outside the top five throughout the competition. The
Argentine duo will be sailing on home waters at Buenos Aires, with
Cittadini also selected as his country’s official flag-bearer at the
Watson (GBR) is the other 2018 Youth Worlds gold medallist participating
at the Youth Olympic Games. In a competitive RS:X Girls fleet, the
British windsurfer won three out of her last four races to claim the
title by two points. In Buenos Aires she will be racing on the Techno
293+ and will be joined by some tough competitors.
ten Have (NZL) and Giorgia Speciale (ITA) shared the podium with Watson
in Texas and they will both be aiming to claim the Girl’s Windsurfing
fleet in Buenos Aires.
Ten Have, who took the silver medal at the Youth Worlds, has had a busy
few months – she also made an appearance at the Hempel Sailing World
Championships in Aarhus, finishing 52nd overall out of 62 sailors.
meanwhile, picked up bronze in Corpus Christi, finishing 23 points ahead
of fourth-placed Palma Cargo (CRO), who will also race at the Games. The
Italian heads to Argentina in good form, with a recent 2018 RS:X Youth
European Championship title under her belt.
compatriot Nicolo Renna is the sole male RS:X Youth Worlds medal-winner
to be making the trip to South America; he won silver in Corpus Christi,
12 points ahead of third place.
Champion Geronimo Nores won’t be at the Youth Olympic Games but his
younger brother Manuel (USA) is part of the Techno 293+ line-up in Buenos
Aires. Similarly, the younger sister of Youth Worlds bronze medal-winner
Fabien Pianazza, Manon, is amongst the Girl’s Windsurfing pack.
the 2018 Youth Worlds podium representatives are silver medal-winners
Andrea Spagnolli and Giulia Fava (ITA), who will be taking on Romairone
and Cittadini in the Nacra 15 fleet.
some of the brightest young names in Kiteboarding will light up the water
as the discipline makes its Youth Olympic Games debut.
winners of the 2018 Kiteboarding TwinTip: Racing Youth Worlds completely
dominated the regatta. Both Deury Corneil (DOM) and Nina Font Castells
(ESP) ran riot to claim a winning total of just four points each, and
they’ll be eager to recapture that form on the global Olympic stage.
there were several teenage competitors at this year’s Kiteboarding
TwinTip: Racing World Championships in Italy, with many of the Youth
Olympic Games representatives tasting success.
Tomasoni (ITA) won her first senior championship, while the Pump Kite
Trophy was won by Poland’s Oliwia Hlobuczek.
qualified for the Youth Olympic Games via the Africa and Europe
Qualification tournament in Dakhla, Morocco, in February this year, where
Toni Vodisek (SLO) also snatched a place in the Boy’s event after a tight
battle with France’s Benoit Gomez.
Jingle Che (CHN), who became Asia’s first Kiteboarding World Champion in
2017 at the age of 16, finished first in the Asia/Oceania Kiteboarding
Qualifier regatta in March this year to seal her spot at the Games.
two previous Youth Olympic Games, held in Singapore in 2010 and China in
2014, a host of participants have gone on to compete in the London 2012
and Rio 2016 Olympic Games.
medallists are continuing to perform at the highest level of sailing –
six previous Youth Olympic Games medal winners were present at the Hempel
Sailing World Championships in Aarhus, including Kieran Holmes-Martin
(GBR), Techno 293+ bronze medallist in 2010, and Daphne van der Vaart
(NED), Techno 293+ silver medallist in 2010.
all 31 sports are also represented by Athlete Role Models, who will
provide support in a mentoring capacity throughout the competition.
Taking on the task for sailing are Rio 2016 Nacra 17 gold medallists and
Argentine nationals Cecilia Carranza Saroli and Santiago Lange; Lange
himself is from San Isidro, the very heart of this year’s Games.
racing begins at 12:00 local time (UTC-3) on Sunday 7 October, with the
Kiteboarding and Nacra 15 events following suit at the same time on
Monday 8 October.
Windsurfing will then finish one day earlier on
Friday 12 October, before Kiteboarding and the Nacra 15 wrap up on
Saturday 13 October.
By Liz Owen - World Sailing