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A record 261 young windsurfers, from 25 countries representing 4 continents, have been in action at Weymouth & Portland National Sailing Academy (UK)- the host venue for the 2012 Olympic Sailing Games. The 2009 Techno 293 World Championships, the premier event for junior racers, attracted event debuts for competitors from Argentina, Canada, Greece, Hungary, Japan, Peru, Singapore, Sweden, Turkey, and USA.
The thrill and excitement surrounding participation in the event was summed up by one member of the american team -
"It is very, very exciting being among the first group of young Americans coming through and taking part in this event. We all look up to the top British and European sailors and to be competing at this incredible venue against the best young European sailors is a great test for us and a fantastic experience."
Meanwhile, an experienced spanish sailor summed up the hopes and aspirations on many - "There is nothing better in windsurfing than planing when there is good wind, going really fast, and we hope that we will be doing a lot of planing this week!"
He was not to be dissappointed, although -"Breezes gusting over 40 knots made racing an impossibility on day five.........." This only increased the tension around the race venue as - "It means that the race for the 2009 IWA Junior World Championships titles go down to the wire with all medal positions being decided on what is set to be a thrilling final day of racing ..."
Great Britain's windsurfers are riding a crest of a wave after landing Three of the four World titles up for grabs on the final day of the Championships.
Sam Sills, 16, romped to glory in the Bic Techno Under 17 boys' division while 14-year-old Kieran Martin and Sam's sister Saskia Sills, 13, ensured Britain enjoyed a golden whitewash in the Under 15s', taking the top prize in both the boys' and girls' events at the RYA Events-run Championships.
There was further medal joy for the host nation as Saskia's twin Imogen took Under 15 girls' silver following a ding-dong battle with her sister for the crown all week while Adam Purcell (Under 15 boys)claimed a bronze medal.
Veronica Fanciulli's (ITA) dominance of the Under 17 girls' fleet was transformed into a gold medal today, and Gonzalez Ruiz (ESP) clinched the Techno Open title.
For Sam Sills, the 2009 Techno Under 17 title is his second World crown, Sills having won Techno Under 15 gold in 2007. Sills was also crowned 2009 Techno Under 17 European Champion in Lacanau, France in April. He was the standout act in the fleet, leading from day two and picking up no fewer than eight race wins in his 11-race series as Mateo Sanz Lanz (ESP) wins silver and Louis Giard (FRA) bronze. However the laidback Brit insists victory wasn't as easy as it looked.
He said "It was a really tough competition the fleet was double the size of the Europeans and the standard's been really high. I've been really pleased with my speed this week and have managed to stay consistent and with safe starts. I didn't want any letter scores.
"I really wanted to nail this event with it being my last on the Techno and in Britain. People may have expected me to do well but I try not to let that pressure bother me and I actually tend to do better when the pressure's on a bit. The whole British team has performed and made a big statement here so I am really pleased."
Kieran Martin is another 2009 World and European Champion - he enjoyed a close battle with Albert Chaillot (FRA) during the early exchanges of the week but after taking a six-point lead into the last day, Martin's final day scores confirmed victory with Chaillot second and Martin's RYA Team GBR team mate Adam Purcell putting on a great show for bronze.
The Sills twins, also both medallists at the Europeans, swapped the lead over the course of the regatta before a nail biting final race climax saw Saskia snatch the gold ahead of her sister.
Veronica Fanciulli was also untouchable from day two and the 2009 European silver medallist made no mistake taking gold this time out enjoying a 14-point final advantage over Clidane Humeau (FRA) in second with Hadas Zaga (ISR) in third.
Italy also enjoyed success in the Bic Techno Under 15 girls' class where Marta Maggetti won bronze, the only non-British sailor to get into the top five in that division.....while Sara Martel and David Valliverdu ensured it was a medal cleansweep for Spain in the Techno Open.
See you in Martigues (France) for the 2010 Worlds !
Visit www.techno293.org for full results, photos, and daily reports of the 2009 Techno 293 World Championships.
Official Event Photo Gallery - Paul Wyeth Marine Photography:
Under 17 Boys - http://www.pwpictures.com/gallery/383
Under 17 Girls - http://www.pwpictures.com/gallery/384
Under 15 Boys - http://www.pwpictures.com/gallery/385
Under 15 Girls - http://www.pwpictures.com/gallery/386