Published: Tuesday, 15 July 2014

Sunshine, steady breeze and great racing provided the perfect start for the opening day of competitive action at the 2014 ISAF Youth Sailing World Championship in Tavira, Portugal.

After a slightly calm morning the breeze kicked in mid-afternoon allowing a full complement of races across the eight events.

The 367 sailors from 67 nations were spoilt by the Portuguese conditions with a 12-15 knot breeze coming consistently from a south-westerly direction.

Tavira Provides Perfect Conditions For Isaf Youth Race 2

The 30-boat 29er fleet was the first to launch and start racing in Tavira and as the start gun sounded at 13:42 local time it signalled the start of ISAF Youth Worlds Race.

New Zealand’s Markus Somerville and Isaac McHardie started with a bang and got off to a superb start as they took the first victory but stealing the day was Hong Kong’s Yann Thierry D’Argrenlieu and Nathan Bradley who hold the overall lead.

“The racing was hard,” says D’Argrenlieu. “It’s my first time here and all the people racing are national champions so it’s nice to race against them.”

“I’m overjoyed to be here,” says Bradley. “We obviously had to qualify to get here and this event it’s like the pinnacle of youth sailing and just to be here and represent my country is a good feeling and show what I’ve got. I’m excited and nervous for the week but looking forward to it. Today is like a dream come true.”

The RS:X fleets headed out to the race course late in the day and got their first start in at 16:38 local time. They enjoyed the early evening breeze.

Imogen Sills (GBR) holds the lead in the RS:X Girls fleet following a second, a first and a discarded eighth.

Trailing Imogen Sills is Russia’s Stefaniya Elfutina and China’s Shi Hongmei.

In the RS:X Boys Yael Paz (ISR) and Evgenii Aivazian (RUS) are tied for the lead on three points. Both have a 1-2 to their names with the Israeli discarding a fifth and the Russian losing an 18th.

Tavira Provides Perfect Conditions For Isaf Youth Race 3

For the Laser Radial, America's Haddon Hughes came out with intent on the opening day and stole the show as she took the opening race win and backed it up with a second in the 46-strong Laser Radial Girls pack.

Laser Radial Boys racer Seafra Guilfoyle (IRL) had reason to be all smiles post racing as he holds the lead in the 57-boat fleet.

In the 420 Silvia Mas and Marta Davila got off to a steady start in the 420 Girls and lead by one point over Germany's Theres Dahnke and Birte Winkel.

Japan's Ibuki Koizumi and Kotaro Matsuo had a sublime start in the 420 Boys fleet and with a second and a first they have a four point advantage over the chasing pack.

For the SL16 Brazil's Kim Vidal and Antonio Lopes took two out of three SL16 race victories and with the discard kicking in after three races they hold the lead on two points.

Racing resumes on July 15 at 13:00 local time.