470 Spring Cup final day in France was Sunday 17 April. A rollercoaster of position changes – which un-shuffled the Japanese domination of the three podium places they had secured on the penultimate day of racing.
Japanese dominate the Spring Cup - 470 Spring Cup
With three races held for both the Gold and Silver fleet, and three different race winners for all the races – the change in leaderboard was significant.
In the gold fleet, the Netherlands' Steven Le Fevre and Steven Krol claimed the win in the opening race six, followed by an eighth and a DNF. It was sufficient to push them up to sixteenth overall up from 19 – but a long way off the leaders. The race win in race seven went to Australia's Sam Kivell and Will Ryan, which they followed through with their worst result of the series, a 23 in race eight – but their win still leapfrogged them into ninth overall.
The race win which really made the difference and secured them the bronze medal was delivered by Lucas Calabrese and Juan de la Fuente of Argentina. They went into the final day of racing just one point adrift of Ai Kondo and Wakako Tabata of Japan who were in third overall. Their race win combined with Japan's worst race day of the series shifted everyone's fortunes. For Calabrese and De La Fuente this is their best result of 2011, although just short of the silver medal they secured at the 2010 Spring Cup.
Series leaders on the opening day, Paul Snow-Hansen and Jason Saunders from New Zealand went into the final day of racing in sixth overall and with a fairly major challenge on their hands – and knowing that their aim for a podium place would be fiercely protected by some of the world's best sailors. Their day's results of two, five and sixteen put them on equal points with the Argentineans, but the Kiwis secured the silver medal on count back.
The points at the top were incredibly close and alongside their Japanese teammates, who ultimately fell off the podium places, the overall winners Tetsuya Matsunaga and Kimihiko Imamura from didn't have their best day of racing – but it was sufficient to secure them the gold. With an ISAF World Ranking of #28 – they have really been on form this year and went to the Spring Cup fresh from a fourth place at the Princess Sofia Trophy.
The top place women's team was Jo Aleh and Bianca Barbarich-Bacher in eighth overall after a disappointing final day. Second women's team was Ai Kondo and Wakako Tabata from Japan in eleventh overall, and the third were Virginia Kravarioti and Olga Tsigaridi from Greece who finished #21.
Other notable finishes went to Vladimir Chaus and Denis Gribanov of Russia who finished sixth – one of their best results together. Similarly for Germany's Jasper Wagner and Tobias Bolduan, who are sailing as a new partnership, who finished in tenth overall.
Seventy two boats from 23 nations competed at the 470 Spring Cup. Next stop for most of the sailors is Semaine Olympique Francaise in Hyeres, event number four on the ISAF Sailing World Cup series.
Final Top 10 Overall
|1||HARADA Riyunosuke / YOSHIDA Yugo||Japan||42|
|2||SNOW-HANSEN Paul / SAUNDERS Jason||New Zealand||44|
|3||MATSUNAGA Tetsuya / IMAMURA Kimihiko||Japan||48|
|4||CHAUS Vladimir / GRIBANOV Denis||Russia||50|
|5||FANTELA Sime / MARENIC Igor||Croatia||52|
|6||CALABRESE Lucas / DE LA FUENTE Juan||Argentine||57|
|7||MANTIS Panagiotis / KAGIALIS Pavlos||Greece||60|
|8||ALEH Jo / BARBARICH-BACHER Bianca||New Zealand||62|
|9||COSTER Sven / COSTER Kalle||Netherlands||67|
|10||KIVELL Sam / RYAN Will||Australia||68|
470 Spring Cup