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Two Aussie teams through to the 470 Europeans medal race

by Australian Sailing Team 13 May 19:22 PDT 6-14 May 2019
Australian Sailing Team - 470 European Championships 2019 © Australian Sailing Team

Crews spent day five (May 13) at Sanremo, Italy, ashore as the 470 Open European Championship race committee monitored the strong winds, up over the 40 knot mark at times, eventually flying the AP flag just before 1800hrs.

With six fleet races scored the top ten teams move directly to the medal races and Australia will be represented by Mat Belcher and Will Ryan in the men's fleet, currently first, and Nia Jerwood and Monique de Vries in the women's fleet, currently ninth overall.

During their wait ashore Jerwood spoke to Australian Sailing's high performance director Iain Murray saying, "We had a really tough year last year and finished off a lot of regattas with disappointing results. We are really excited to get into this medal race."

Her West Australian crew added, "We haven't been in a medal race in an Open fleet before so this is exciting, and a bit new. We are really happy to have had a great week here and hopefully some more good sailing tomorrow." "Some sailing..." chimed in Jerwood with de Vries grinning and adding, "Any sailing would be good!"

Britain's Hannah Mills and Eilidh McIntyre are the frontrunners in the women's fleet with France second and the Spanish third.

It's been a tough regatta with breeze at both ends of the spectrum and plenty of time ashore.

"Conditions have been really up and down, days with no wind and days with too much," Belcher said. "There's too much today; the race committee went out three or four times and it got up to 45 knots. It's 6pm and we've been here since 9am hoping to get out. We are looking forward to tomorrow."

While Belcher and Ryan are in the enviable position of holding a 7 point overall lead on the Swedes in second and 13 points between them and the Spanish, they expect the double points medal race on Tuesday May 14 to be cutthroat. Follow live updates via the event website here.

Ryan commented: "The reduced racing has meant less point separation between the fleet. We will go into tomorrow doing what we've been doing this week which is making small improvements from our earlier events. We can't be OCS tomorrow and if we sail to our ability, we'll come out in the top three."

The first warning signal for the medal race is scheduled for 1100hrs for the women, followed by the men at 1145hrs.

Australian Sailing Team Results after Day 5:

470 Men's (70 boats)
1st Mat Belcher and Will Ryan 1, 1, 1, 2, 1, (7) = 6pts
31st Chris Charlwood and Josh Dawson 11, 18, 11, 17, (29), 25 = 82pts

470 Women's (40 boats)
9th Nia Jerwood and Monique de Vries, 16, 18, 3, 20, 1, 5 = 43pts

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