Jan Germani and Giorgia Bertuzzi (ITA) burst onto the 49erFX scene with a sixth at the 2020 Kieler Woche. Italy has been in need of a leading replacement after the retirement of Conti – Clapchich and these two young women emerged at the top of the game just before the final Olympic qualifier. Unfortunately for them, and Italy, the 2021 Lanzarote regatta did not go their way and Italy failed to qualify for Tokyo.
A few months farther along, and it is clear this setback won’t be forever, as the duo sits atop the 2021 Junior World Championship after three days of qualifying. Heading into two days of Gold fleet to decide the title, the pair have finished nine races each in the top six, and hold a three-point lead in the 54 boat fleet.
Chasing the Italian pair are the first of five German teams in the top ten, Inga-Marie Hofmann with Catherine Bartelheimer who managed to win two races thus far, and are certainly well in contention overall. Returning bronze medalists from the 2019 Junior World Champions, Willemijn Offerman with Elise Ruyter (NED) sit as third female and fourth overall.
Winning day three was Mathilde Lovadina with Alicia Fras (FRA) with a 1, 2 and moving up into sixth.
The 2021 Junior World Championship is the first time the fleet has gotten back together in full, all be it at the Junior level since Covid struck. While the number of competitors from outside Europe is down, especially from Oceania and Asia due to travel restrictions, teams from both America’s are competing, and the overall fleet size is almost at a record.
The 49er fleet is lead by Mikolaj Staniul with Jakub Sztorch (POL) on their home waters in Gdynia, Poland. They have built a seven-point lead and won five of nine qualifying races to date, so clearly they are on the tops of their game right now. Chasing them are Uruguay’s Hernan Umpiere with Fernando Diz. One of two South American teams in the top twelve, Hernan is the younger brother of Phillip Umpiere who raced on the 49er scene for years. Prettner with Flachberger (AUT) sint in third place over a top ten compresied of eight nations. Of additional note is the first appearance of Mathias Berthet with Alexander Franks-Penty (NOR), as the pair won three 29er World titles in 2018 and 2019, and now have worked their way up into the ranks of 49er.
The Nacra 17 fleet has its largest ever Junior contingent with fourteen boats on the starting line. Gianluigi Ugolini with Maria Giubilei (ITA) so far look well on their way to defending their 2019 title with six wins from nine races, though they had their two worst races thus far to finish out day three.
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