Please select your home edition
Edition
C-Tech 2021 SnuffAir 728x90 TOP

470 Europeans: Kiwis on verge of winning Silver in Vilamoura

by Michael Brown/Yachting NZ 6 May 16:53 PDT
New Zealand - Day 5 - Open Mens European 470 championship - Vilamoura, Portugal - May 2021 © Joao Costa Ferreira

Paul Snow-Hansen and Dan Willcox didn't really know how they would stack up heading into their first international regatta in 18 months but they will be sailing for a medal tonight (NZ time) at the 470 European Championships in Portugal.

The pair have sailed consistently well over five days of fleet racing, with all eleven results in the top 10, and they find themselves in second, eight points behind the French combination of Kevin Peponnet and Jeremie Mion going into tonight's top-10 medal race.

The Spanish and Swedes are tied in third, seven points behind the Kiwis, and there is another 10 points back to Australia's Mathew Belcher and Will Ryan who have won five world titles and an Olympic crown together.

Snow-Hansen and Willcox were eighth and fifth in their two races overnight, sailed in a shifty 10-12 knot sea breeze.

"It was a pretty solid day," Willcox said. "We sailed pretty cleanly and banked two keepers and we are in a position now going into tomorrow’s medal race where anything can happen. We have an opportunity to get any colour medal, which is exciting.

"It’s been a long 11-race series and we are happy with the way we have sailed. We have been consistent so it’s pretty exciting for us given we haven’t raced internationally for a year-and-a-half. We are really happy and excited to rip into it tomorrow."

With double points at play and only 10 boats on the race track, anything can happen but Snow-Hansen and Willcox also have their eye on the bigger picture with the Tokyo Olympics less than 12 weeks away.

They've spent plenty of time over the last 18 months working with training partners Simon Cooke and Andre Van Dam and have clearly made progress on their speed.

"It’s been really cool to have been away from the fleet and work on some weaknesses but the opportunity to see how that all stacks up has been really cool before the Olympics," Snow-Hansen said. "We are all pretty pumped with how we have been going and excited to see where we get to before the Games.

"We have got some areas of our sailing that haven’t gone as well as others. We have some focus points but we think we can plug them before the Games."

The regatta has been sailed in mostly light to moderate breezes, which has taken its toll on crews physically, especially given the closeness of racing among the world's best combinations.

"They are all top boats and it's really close points," Snow-Hansen said. "I know the crews are pretty tired after a tough week pumping on the wire.

"It has been really tight racing all week. It’s going to be one last push to get a few boat lengths. Dan has been phenomenal so we will see how it goes."

The men's medal race is scheduled to start at 12.30am tomorrow morning (NZ time) and you can watch the Live Stream. Follow the action on the water via Vilamoura Sailing / You Tube channel.

Results and standings after Day 5 of the 470 European Championships in Vilamoura, Portugal:
Men (29 boats)

1st: Kevin Peponnet / Jeremie Mion (FRA) 9 9 1 4 (13) 2 2 1 5 4 2 - 39 points
2nd: Paul Snow-Hansen / Dan Willcox (NZL) 1 (10) 6 7 1 4 4 3 8 8 5 - 47 pts
3rd: Jordi Xammar / Nicolas Rodriguez (ESP) 10 2 4 5 6 11 (12) 8 3 1 4 - 54 pts

Full results

Related Articles

Kevin Burnham Memorial Award announced
To honor Athens 2004 Olympic Gold Medalist Kevin Burnham The US Sailing Foundation has announced an award to honor Athens 2004 Olympic Gold Medalist Kevin Burnham, open to sailors who compete or previously competed in Olympic classes and/or the Olympic Development Program. Posted on 3 Dec
Mills and McIntyre named World Sailors of the Year
In recognition of their sensational Tokyo 2020 gold medals in the 470 Hannah Mills and Eilidh McIntyre scooped the ultimate accolade in recognition of their sensational Tokyo 2020 gold medals as they were named World Sailors of the Year. Posted on 3 Dec
Australian Sailing Awards 2021
Belcher, Ryan and Darmanin create history Olympic champions Mat Belcher and Will Ryan along with Nacra 17 star Lisa Darmanin have created history at Australian Sailing Awards, taking out Male Sailor of the Year and Female Sailor of the Year awards for the fifth and fourth times respectively. Posted on 25 Nov
Yachting New Zealand: Annual Awards live and free
Yachting New Zealand: Annual Awards to be live and free to air Friday at 6pm The annual awards were due to take place at the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron on November 12 but will now be screened on our Facebook and YouTube pages at 6pm on November 12 with Jesse Tuke as your host. Posted on 10 Nov
Gladwell's Line: Lockdown squalls hit kiwi sailing
Kiwi sailors count the cost to their sport of losing their sailing 'freedoms' to Lockdowns The cancellation announcement of the SailGP NZ regatta, due to have been held in Christchurch in January 2022, was one of the first inklings that New Zealand sailors will pay a hefty price for COVID lockdowns in coming seasons. Posted on 9 Nov
Q&A Live Call with Joe Glanfield
The Road To Gold concept in medal-winning action Coached by Hamish Willcox, Joe Glanfield raced to two Olympic silver medals in the 470 class with his friend and helmsman Nick Rogers. Join Road To Gold this Thursday for the live Q&A session with Joe. Posted on 8 Nov
Australia's Olympic Flag bearer joins Zhik Board
The move comes following his win in the 470 Class at Tokyo 2020 with Will Ryan Triple Olympic medalist Mat Belcher is used to being at the top of his game and, in the wake of his Gold medal at Tokyo 2020, has just been appointed to join the Zhik Board of Directors. Posted on 20 Oct
Bringing our Olympic Sailors into your homes
Direct access to some of the Australian Olympic Sailing Team Over the past six weeks the heroes of Australia's recent Olympic campaign have been engaging with the sailing community through Australian Sailing's Olympic Webinar Series. Posted on 19 Oct
Australian Sailing celebrates Iain Murray
Iain Murray AM has many accomplishments on his resume Australian sailing legend Iain Murray AM has many accomplishments on his resume, but the man affectionately known as "Big Fella" can now add leading an Olympic campaign that netted two gold medals to it. Posted on 1 Oct
Paris 2024 : The Numbers Are In
The continual push towards data-driven performance analytics Each Olympic cycle brings something unique. Classes are introduced and discontinued, formats evolve and new stars arise through incredible dedication, hard work, and smarter training practices. Posted on 24 Sep
North Sails 2021 Innovation - FOOTERHyde Sails 2021 - Basic FOOTERDoyle Sails 2020 - By Sailors For Sailors 728x90 BOTTOM