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470 Men and Women Worlds - Champs take over leaderboard

by 470 International Association Class on 19 Sep 2014
Mathew BELCHER and Will RYAN (AUS11) - 2014 470 Men and Women World Championship Nikos Alevromytis / Alen Photography http://www.alen.gr
A strong wind of around 25 knots delivered some stunning racing at the 470 Men and Women World Championships. Conditions which keep other fleets ashore were perfectly sailable for 470s, with gusts up to 30 knots just adding to the thrill of the ride this morning. The breeze eased off a bit this afternoon as the 470 Women finished gold fleet race 8 and the 470 Men got their gold fleet races 5 and 6 underway.

A demanding day for the 470 Men, who were first out on the race track just before midday, to race the gold/silver split decider on Murimar Course. The wins went to Japan’s world ranked number five pair Kazuto Doi/Kimihiko Imamura and Croatia’s Sime Fantela/Igor Marenic. So the Croatians advanced safely to the gold fleet as series leaders, Panagotis Mantis/Pavlos Kagialis in second and Sofian Bouvet/Jeremie Mion (FRA) in third.

Relieved to get the qualification series wrapped up, teams headed ashore for a brief breather, lunch and awaited confirmation of the Gold and Silver fleet splits. With the world’s best 470 sailors now compressed into one fleet, it was soon back out for gold fleet racing, where Australia’s defending World Champions left no doubts on their performance, opening their assault with two back to back race wins, leaping up from a leaderboard 11th at the start of today to headline the 37-boat fleet.

'It’s been an interesting week,' smiled Mat Belcher. 'Certainly something that I really haven’t experienced before, so many different things, whether it’s race management concerns, the conditions have just been horrendous really, the fact of so much waiting and we are really far behind schedule still. I never thought we would be just doing two gold fleet races and then tomorrow’s the last day before the medal race. But, the conditions today were really difficult. So for us to come away with two race wins, we are really, really happy.

'We couldn’t really ask for any better start. It was nice to race all the guys again, because we hadn’t had the opportunity to race the Croatians or any of the other group.'

Belcher edges ever closer to his fifth successive 470 World Championship win, and if he succeeds, it will mark his second title in partnership with Will Ryan. 'The good thing is we have obviously been in this position before. We know how to finish a regatta.We are just focusing on ourselves, we are pretty happy with how we are sailing and hopefully we can keep it up tomorrow,' he concluded.


Going into the penultimate day of racing, Belcher/Ryan carry a 2.5 point lead over Fantela/Marenic, with Mantis/Kagialis in third.

Twenty nations in the gold fleet are now in with a shot at securing one of the 13 nation places up for grabs at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games. In country order, they are: Australia, Austria, China, Croatia, Finland, France, Germany, Great Britain, Greece, Israel, Italy, Japan, New Zealand, Portugal, Russia, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United States of America.

470 Men Gold Fleet races 7, 8 and 9 will take place on Telefonica Course with scheduled warning signal at 1100 hours. The 470 Men Silver Fleet races 7,8 and 9 will follow with a scheduled warning signal at 1330 hours.

470 Men - Provisional Results after Race 6
1. Mat Belcher/Will Ryan (AUS 11) - 13.30 pts
2. Sime Fantela/Igor Marenic (CRO 83) - 16 pts
3. Panagiotis Mantis/Pavlos Kagialis (GRE 1) - 21 pts
4. Stuart Mcnay/David Hughes (USA 1713) - 24 pts
5. Tetsuya Matsunaga/Yugo Yoshida (JPN 12) - 26 pts
6. Sofian Bouvet/Jérémie Mion (FRA 27) - 28.30 pts
7. Luke Patience/Elliot Willis (GBR 863) - 29 pts
8. Guillaume Pirouelle/Sipan Valentin (FRA 76) - 33 pts
9. Anton Dahlberg/Fredrik Bergstrom (SWE 349) - 40 pts
10. Jordi Xammar/Joan Herp (ESP 44) - 41 pts


470 Women Gold Fleet racing got underway in the early afternoon for races 6, 7 and 8 and ended with the 2012 Olympic Gold Medallists and defending World Champions Jo Aleh/Polly Powrie (NZL) leaping into the lead from their 1,4,2 scoreline. Just a point behind are overnight leaders Lara Vadlau/Jola Ogar (AUT), with the USA’s Anne Haeger/Briana Provancha rounding out the top three, five points off the Austrians.

Coming ashore Aleh and Powrie had already left the competition on the race track and were into their own personal competition, comparing calorie counts from three back to back races. 2300 calories burnt for Jo and 2368 for Polly had them looking ahead to a calorie boosting supper tonight. 'That means lots of food,' the pair said in unison. 'On a day like today, when it is that windy, it is really physical,' added Aleh.

Today felt like the first proper day of Gold fleet racing for many of the teams, and the Kiwis are so far sitting pretty as the only team in the top 10 counting an all top 10 scorecard, so they still have room in case of any upsets.

'It’s been a long time coming in some ways, with a slow start to the regatta,' reflected Powrie. 'Yeh, it was just great to get three races away today. We were racing right under the Caba Mayor, so it was pretty wind and pretty puffy and it got worse as the day went on. You had to keep your head out of the boat and it wasn’t over until it was over.'

With racing now back on schedule for the 470 Women Gold Fleet, teams can look forward to rounding out their Championship with two more races tomorrow to decide the top 10 teams advancing to the Medal Race and confirmation of the nations securing their place in the 470 Women fleet line-up for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games. There are currently nine nations sitting inside the top-10 cut, in a mix of young talent excelling alongside seasoned campaigners.

470 Women Gold Fleet races 8 and 9 will take place on Telefonica Course with scheduled warning signal at 1100 hours. The 470 Women Silver Fleet races 7,8 and 9 will follow with a scheduled warning signal at 1330 hours.

470 Women - Provisional Results after Race 8
1. Jo Aleh/Polly Powrie (NZL 75) - 25 pts
2. Lara Vadlau/Jola Ogar (AUT 431) - 26 pts
3. Anne Haeger/Briana Provancha (USA 1712) - 31 pts
4. Camille Lecointre/Hélène Defrance (FRA 9) - 36 pts
5. Hannah Mills/Saskia Clark (GBR 118) - 40 pts
6. Michelle Broekhuizen/Marieke Jongens (NED 6) - 46 pts
7. Tina Mrak/Veronika Macarol (SLO 64) - 51 pts
8. Afrodite Kyranakou/Anneloes van Veen (NED 216) - 54 pts
9. Fernanda Oliveira/Ana Luiza Barbachan (BRA 177) - 56 pts
10. Ai Kondo Yoshida/Miho Yoshioka (JPN 1) - 57 pts

Full report to follow ...









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