2012 Olympics- 470 Women close gap before final day of World Champs

Mens fleet - 470 World Championships 2012

New Zealand's Womens 2012 Olympic representative crew held onto third place on the leaderboard ahead of tomorrow's Medal Race in the 470 Worlds being sailed in Barcelona, Spain.

The 470 is used for the Mens and Womens Two handed event in the 2012 Olympics.

A lack of wind on the final day of the Finn Gold Cup left the NZL Sailing Team’s Dan Slater ranked 16th at the end of the 2012 Finn World Championship in England. Meanwhile in Spain at the 470 World Championships, Jo Aleh and Polly Powrie are still in third but have closed the gap on the leaders before tomorrow’s medal race.

Although Slater missed the cut for the Medal race in the singlehanded Finn class, he did better his result from last years’ world championship by five places. Matt Coutts also bettered his own by six points, finishing with a personal best score of 22nd overall.

The Finn Gold Cup was won for a record sixth time by Ben Ainslie (GBR), and he will celebrate this victory by being the first torch bearer for the start of the Olympic Torch Relay tonight (NZT).

On the final day of series racing for the 2012 470 World Championship, NZ Women’s pairing of Jo Aleh and Polly Powrie held on to their third place position. Although the finished an uninspiring 5th and 12th in the final two races of the fleet racing section of the regatta, that combined points result was in fact better than the other two crews at the top ebd of the leaderboard, by a margin of about five points, and that was sufficient in two races, to close down the gap between them and the lead boats (GBR and NED).

The top two crews in the regatta are tied on 59pts with the New Zealanders in third spot, on the low points scoring system, on 60pts.

Given that the final short course Medal race scores for double points, the medal places in the regatta will all hang on its outcome. A French crew is fourth just three points behind the NZers, and there is a big gap back to ffith place.

'It is quite impressive.' Jo said in relation to the closeness of the top boats. 'I haven’t really looked at the results, it is going to be a pretty good race tomorrow. Somebody’s going to be pretty annoyed at the end of it.'

Jo and Olivia will go into tomorrow’s double point medal race with a guarantee to finish inside the top five overall, and a spot on the podium could be given to any crew in that top five. The medal race for the women starts live at 11:15am local time (1:15am Sunday morning NZT), and live tracking can be viewed online the event website http://worlds.470.org

Paul Snow Hansen and Jason Saunders, the NZL Sailing Team Men’s 470 crew improved their overall rank in their two races today, now up to 22nd overall. They will face one final race tomorrow for the remaining gold fleet that are not in the medal race.

In Germany, Sara Winther had an unlucky two opening races in the gold fleet at the Laser Radial World Championships, she received a black flag penalty in both races for being over the start line too early within the minute prior to start. The points awarded in a race with this penalty are equal to the last place finisher + 1, in this fleet it’s a whopping 68 points.

Sara has dropped back to 32nd overall, but there are still four more races over two full race days at the Radial World Championships which end on Sunday night (NZT).

Jo Aleh with Olivia Powrie, Paul Snow Hansen with Jason Saunders and Sara Winther will all be representing New Zealand at the 2012 Olympic Games ten weeks from now. New Zealand has qualified a nations spot for the Finn but a selection decision has not yet been advised.

May 19th final standings
Finn Gold Cup (World Championship)


94 boats, after 9 races
16th – Dan Slater
22nd – Matt Coutts
59th – Rob Coutts

May 19th current standings

470 Womens World Championship
54 boats, after 12 races
3rd - Jo Aleh & Olivia (Polly) Powrie

470 Men’s World Championship
95 boats, after 12 races
22nd - Paul Snow Hansen & Jason Saunders

Laser Radial World Championship
133 boats, after 8 races
32nd - Sara Winther


For the official site and results on the 470 Worlds http://worlds.470.org!click_here

For the full Finn Gold Cup results http://www.falmouthfinnfestival.com/goldcup-results/C1!click_here

For full results Laser Radial results http://www.laserworldchampionship.com!click_here
http://www.sail-world.com/97382