Published: Wednesday, 06 July 2016

Keiju Okada and Naoya Kimura from Japan took the title of 470 Junior World Champion in Kiel, Germany June 20-26. Daichi Takayama and Akira Takayanagi from the same country finished in third after David and Alex Charles from Spain in second place. Silvia Mas Depares and Paula Barcelo Martin from Spain claimed victory at 470 Women Junior.

Japanese Sailors Triumph At 470 Men Junior World Championship 9

(Photos: 470 Olympic Sailing - Keiju Okada and Naoya Kimura)

470 Men

The Japanese winners bringing home the gold medal was not decided before the last downwind of the final race. Okada/Kimura were eighth much of the way round and so would have dropped to second step on the podium. But they crossed the line in sixth, winning the final downwind thriller to secure the title.

A protest on Saturday evening from Okada/Kimura dropped Vice World Champions from the previous year Malte Winkel and Matti Cipra (Kiel/Germany) back second to seventh because they had to count their BFD. And after the medal race the Germans stayed fifth.

Keijua Okada and Naoya Kimura emerge from Japan’s prolific Universities 470 sailing programmes. Okada was third in the Optimist Worlds in Malaysia as a youngster and finished fifth in the 420 at the ISAF Youth Worlds in Dublin.

Japanese Sailors Triumph At 470 Men Junior World Championship 1

(470 Men podium)

“We are so happy to be champions. We had a bad start and at the time I felt bad, very nervous, but we just kept pushing and got up to sixth. So we can't quite believe it. We had to do the maths carefully and check the blackboard to be sure. But we feel great,” says Okada. “We are looking to stay together and be at the Olympics next time.” The winning duo have only sailed together for one year and sailed for their universities Wasada and Nippon Universities.  

David and Alex Charles of Spain fought back after two weighty scores in the last couple of days – finding themselves on the wrong side of big, unexpected windshifts on both occasions – and won the medal race from the start gun, to finish runners up.

The last of the five racing days saw another Japanese team make it to the podium. Daichi Takayama and Akira Takayanagi secured bronze with a confident medal race leaving the French 2015 world champion Guillaume Pirouelle/Valentin Sipan to fourth, fifth are Giacomo Ferrari/Giulio Calabro and sixth are Maor Abu/Yoav Rooz.

Japanese Sailors Triumph At 470 Men Junior World Championship 8

470 Men - Final Results
1. Keiju Okada/Naoya Kimura (JPN 4562) - 52 pts
2. David Charles/Alex Charles (ESP 1) - 55 pts
3. Daichi Takayama/Akira Takayanagi (JPN 4585) - 64 pts
4. Guillaume Pirouelle/Valentin Sipan (FRA 76) - 67 pts
5. Giacomo Ferrari/Giulio Calabro' (ITA 757) - 71 pts
6. Maor Abu/Yoav Rooz (ISR 10) - 76 pts
7. Malte Winkel/Matti Cipra (GER 13) - 78 pts
8. Hippolyte Machetti/Sidoine Dantes (FRA 79) - 83 pts
9. Balázs Gyapjas/Zsombor Gyapjas (HUN 1) - 86 pts
10. Thomas Ponthieu/Quentin Paturle (FRA 95) - 96 pts

470 Women

Before the start of the medal race of the women, the podium places were not decided yet. But at the the placings stayed the same: The gold medal goes to the fast duo Mas/Barcelo from Spain, the silver medal to the French team Marina Lefort and Lara Garnier, and the bronze medal goes to the Vice World Champions from the previous year Maria Bozi and Rafailina Klonaridou from Greece.

Japanese Sailors Triumph At 470 Men Junior World Championship

(470 Women podium)

“We have worked so hard for this. This is big for us. We work so well as a team,” says Helm Depares. “Here the wind is very shifty, it is very complicated and so it is normal that the crews get angry with each other, but we are always helping each other. We support each other and every race that was bad - we made it go well. And we are fast. Our coaches are Gustavo Martinez (Doreste) and Natalia Via Dufresne (double Olympic silver medal). They make the boat fast, we just turn up and sail!”

But the disqualification of the Italians Paternoster/Karuso for starting early meant the cards were redistributed and the Germans Loewe/Markfort missed out of third. "We have made so many mistakes in the last days, normally rank one should have been possible. Now we are looking at the Olympics 2020,” says Greek crew Maria Bozi.

Japanese Sailors Triumph At 470 Men Junior World Championship 2

470 Women - Final Results

1. Silvia Mas Depares/Paula Barcelo Martin (ESP 18) - 44 pts
2. Marina Lefort/Lara Granier (FRA 7) - 66 pts
3. Maria Bozi/Rafailina Klonaridou (GRE 21) - 69 pts
4. Frederike Loewe/Anna Markfort (GER 26) - 71 pts
5. Benedetta Di Salle/Alessandra Dubbini (ITA 74) - 83 pts
6. Fabienne Oster/Anastasiya Krasko (GER 95) - 91 pts
7. Theres Dahnke/Birte Winkel (GER 20) - 94 pts
8. Ilaria Paternoster/Bianca Caruso (ITA 33) - 102 pts
9. Noya Bar-Am/Rimon Shoshan (ISR 11) - 103 pts
10. Yahel Wallach/Shahar Tibi (ISR 12) - 104 pts

Japanese Sailors Triumph At 470 Men Junior World Championship 7