Australia wins the Volvo Trophy for third time

20th July 2007

Australia has won the Volvo Trophy at this year’s Volvo Youth Sailing ISAF World Championship with 259 points, breaking France’s domination of the event.  Denmark was second (248 points) and New Zealand was third (230 points)

Glenn Bourke, CEO of the Volvo Ocean Race, was delighted with the result.  Speaking from Australia he said:

 “As an Australian myself, it hard not to be proud of the standard of athletes my home country has fielded in this year’s world championship and I am thrilled that Australia is now the holder of the Volvo Trophy. 

“This championship is a gateway to the Olympic Games and also the Volvo Ocean Race and I congratulate all the competitors for their skill and determination and look forward to watching their progress in the years to come.”

Team Leader, Kristen Kosmala, said, “It was a full team effort and we all worked together as a strong unit.  It’s pretty amazing and all the kids are really excited.”

Helping to secure the Volvo Trophy were:
Laser Boys: Jye Murray 10th
Laser Radial Girls: Gabrielle King GOLD
29er Boys Luke Parkinson/Paul Kelly 12th
29er Girls Hannah Nattrass/Michelle Muller BRONZE
Multihull Open: Jason Waterhouse/Michael McCormick BRONZE
Windsurfer Girls: Alisha Kawalla 4th

Awarded by Volvo to the best performing nation taking part in the Volvo Youth Sailing ISAF World Championship, the Volvo Trophy was first offered by Volvo in 1999 and has been presented every year since, with the exception of Madeira 2003.  Australia last won the event in 2003.

29er Girls: USA Gold, GBR Silver, AUS Bronze
In the girls 29er fleet it was the American duo of Emily Dellenbaugh (17) and Briani Provancha  (18) who claimed the gold medal with a race to spare in a fleet of 18 boats.

 “It hasn’t really sunk in yet,” exclaimed helm Emily Dellenbaugh, the daughter of top America’s Cup sailor David.  Both Emily and crew Briana were thrown into the dock in traditional fashion once they realised they had won.

 “We didn’t expect to do this well,”  said an elated Dellenbaugh, but Provancha, who claimed the silver in Korea two years ago with Megan Magill says they were always aiming for a top five finishing position.

Sophie Weguelin and Sophie Ainsworth won the last race and took the silver medals, ahead of the pre-race favourites, Australia’s Hannah Nattrass and Michelle Muller who were only two points behind the British girls. 

29er Boys: DEN Gold, NZL Silver, GBR Bronze
Henrik Solgaard (17) and Soren Kristensen (17) from Denmark emerged the eventual victors and the winners of the gold medal after a showdown that has lasted throughout the entire regatta.  In exciting final race on the lake today, capsizes were commonplace in the strong northerly breeze, and there were a couple of spectacular wipeouts which held up the Danes.  The British team of James Ellis and Robert Partridge sailed a great race  to take the bronze medal and New Zealand’s Paul Snow-Hansen and Blair Tuke  hung on to the silver.

Laser Radial Girls: AUS Gold, USA Silver, DEN Bronze
Gabrielle King (16) from Australia went into the final race at the Volvo Youth Sailing ISAF World Championship knowing she could not be beaten and has won the gold medal with a 20-point margin over silver medalist Anne Haeger from the USA. 

King, who started sailing at the age of 10 only began racing only four years ago. She was 5th at the 2006 Volvo Youth Sailing World Championship in Weymouth last year and is currently 89th in the ISAF women’s one person dinghy.

“I’m really excited,” said King.  “It is really surreal.  I came here hoping to medal and it is great to see that it happened.  I now have to go home and study for a little while and then start training for selection for both youth worlds next year and the open Laser radial worlds.  The team is great, a lot of fun, everyone gets on very well and they have all been very supportive.”

In a nail-biting final race, Denmark’s Sarah Gunni  put in a stunning performance to finish third which was enough to take her ahead of  Tuula Tenkanen (FIN)  and to take the bronze medal by just two points. 

Laser Boys: CYP Gold, NZL Silver, GER Bronze
After already qualifying for the Olympic Games in Beijing, Pavlos Kontides (17) from Cyprus added the gold medal in the boys Laser class to his collection of accolades and sat out the final race today.

“I’m on top of the world,” said a smiling Pavlos.  “I’m really excited right now.  It was my aim to win and when things go well and the results come, it feels very nice.”

Apart from finishing 24th in race seven, Kontides was consistency itself, never finishing out of the top six in the fleet of 38.  With three wins to his credit he went into the final race with an unassailable lead and the knowledge that he was this year’s gold medalist.  Kontides, who started sailing with his father when he was nine years old, was also competing at the youth worlds in Weymouth last year where he finished seventh.

Josh Junior from New Zealand took the silver medal ahead of Germany’s Philip Buhl in bronze. 

Windsurfer Girls: ITA Gold, GER Silver, POL Bronze
Laura Linares from Italy has claimed her second gold medal in the 15-board fleet, adding to the gold medal she won in Weymouth last year and the bronze she collected two years ago in Korea.  

Linares has never finished out of the top three in this year’s series and only three points separated the Italian from her nearest rival, Moana Delle (GER).  Delle had to count an expensive 16 point penalty in race one, but from then on her regatta improved with a win in race seven and a clutch of second places to add to her score and culminating in the silver medal. 

Bronze was claimed by Poland’s Nina Szymczyk who was consistently in the top six throughout the series.  

Windsurfer Boys: FRA Gold, ISR Silver, GRE Bronze
Pierre Le Coq (FRA) finally claimed his first gold medal in the boys windsurfer class after finishing in bronze position in 2006 and silver in Korea (2005). Discarding his worst scores of three points in race one and five points in race four, Le Coq posted three wins, a second and four third places. 

The silver and bronze medal positions went down to the wire in the last race of the series sailed in a strong northerly breeze in which Israel’s  Ron Asulin, sailing in this event for the first time,  finished second, pushing Dimitris Vlachakis from Greece back into bronze by two points.

Multihull Open: GBR Gold, DEN Silver, AUS Bronze
Britain’s Glover brothers, Richard (18) and Andrew (15), from Weymouth, Dorset, led the multihull open division from start to finish.  But it wasn’t all plain sailing; they were always being pressed by Danish team of Emil Landry/Jacob Dannefer who were nipping at their heels throughout the series and eventually took the silver medal, four marks behind. 

The Australian duo of Jason Waterhouse/Michael McCormick were always in contention, finally taking the bronze medal with 29 points.

PREVIOUS WINNERS OF THE VOLVO TROPHY
2006 Italy
2005 France
2004 France
2003 Australia
2003 New Zealand
2001 France
2000 France
1999 France
1996 Great Britain
1995 New Zealand
1994 New Zealand
1993 Australia
1992 France
1991 France.

Next year’s event will be held in Arhus, Denmark from 10 – 19 July 2008.