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Zhik 2024 March - LEADERBOARD

470 World Championship 2024 at Club Nàutic S'Arenal - Opening Ceremony

by Andy Rice 25 Feb 06:37 PST 26 February - 3 March 2024
Llucmajor hosted the official presentation of the 470 World Championship © Bernardí Bibiloni / www.bernardibibiloni.com

On Saturday night the spectacular Claustre de Sant Bonaventura in Llucmajor hosted the official presentation of the 470 World Championship, which will bring together 64 teams of 27 nationalities at the Club Nàutic S'Arenal until the 3rd March.

The event was presided over by the Mayoress of Llucmajor, Xisca Lascolas, and was attended by the President of Club Nàutic S'Arenal (CNA), José Ramón Picó; the President of the Federación Balear de Vela (FBV), Catalina Darder; the Vice President of the Real Feederación Española de Vela (RFEV), Joaquín González; and the President of the 470 Class, Andreas Kosmatopoulos.

José Ramón Picó highlighted the importance of this World Championship and the special relationship between the club and the 470 Class: "More than two decades ago, in 1998, the Club Nàutic S'Arenal organised a 470 World Championship. It was a historic moment for the club, and since then the 470 class and the CNA have developed a strong bond. We must not forget that this class has given us great Spanish sailors with Olympic medals, such as Jordi Calafat, Theresa Zabell and Natalia Vía Dufresne. The CNA becomes the epicentre of world sailing, and it is an opportunity to celebrate our passion for the sea and the sport. It will also be the first Olympics where men and women will share a boat in the 470 as a sign of the evolution of our sport."

Andreas Kosmatopoulos thanked the organisers: "I would like to thank the local authorities, and especially Club Nàutic S'Arenal, not only for hosting us, but also for their hospitality. This event will decide four tickets to the Games, so it is especially important. Among the crews that will compete for this World Championship are the Olympic champions of Paris 2024."

For her part, Xisca Lascolas highlighted the international projection of the event: "I am proud as mayoress that the CNA is hosting a world event of these characteristics; that our sea and our bay become the epicentre of this competition with athletes from 27 countries who will compete not only to become the best in the world, but also for those last Olympic places for the Paris Games." The Mayoress of Llucmajor was in charge of officially opening the 2024 World Championship: "I declare this 470 World Championship open."

The event ended with a performance of the ball de bot, a traditional Mallorcan dance, in the setting of the Claustre de Sant Bonaventura, a 17th century building considered to be the most important civil monument in Llucmajor.

The 470 World Championship will feature 64 crews of 27 nationalities, and will select the last Olympic spots in the 470 class for Africa, South America, North America and Europe.

The 470 World Championship will kick off on Monday, 26 February, with the official training regatta. The points distribution will start at 12:00 on Tuesday, 27 February. After three days of qualifying races and two days of Final Series, the top ten teams will decide the title in the Medal Race on the sixth and final day of competition, Sunday 3 March.

The 470 World Championship 2024 is organised by the CNA, the International 470 Class Association, the Real Federación Española de Vela and the Federación Balear de Vela, with the support of the Govern de les Illes Balears, the Consell Insular de Mallorca and the Ajuntament de Llucmajor.

More information, at www.2024worlds.470.org

Spain's Olympic duo are narrow favourites

Arguably the most consistent performers of the past two seasons have been Spain's Jordi Xammar and Nora Brugman. They have won almost everything except the World Championship and there would be no better place to do it than on home waters, as Brugman commented: "The 470 World Championship is the big event of the year with the exception of the Olympic Games, which is our main objective. That's why in one way or another the Worlds are always very important for us."

"For us the period that we are in the Bay of Palma is always very special because it means being at home, even more so if this year we can extend it by doing the world championship and have the support of our people. The Club Nàutic S'Arenal does an excellent job every year with the biggest regatta on the circuit and we know that organising the World Championship will be a success here."

While the Spanish have the luxury of knowing they're already selected to represent their country at the Olympic Regatta in Marseille this July, for others the Worlds is a stepping stone towards that goal. No one will be keeping anything back, the Worlds is an event where everyone puts out their very best performance.

The past two World Championships have been dominated by two different teams. In The Netherlands last summer, Keijo Okada & Miho Yoshioka (JPN) sailed to a very easy victory, the Japanese showing they remain a strong force in the 470 despite the switch to mixed gender teams from the single gender competition of the past few decades. Okada and Yoshioka also won on these waters a year ago at the Trofeo Princesa Sofia Mallorca by Iberostar 2023, so the Japanese couldn't be in a better place for defending their world title.

A year earlier the 2022 World Championships were also won easily in Israel by a German team Luise Wanser & Philipp Autenrieth (GER). However it was other German crews who rose to the top during the 2023 season, notably the husband and wife team of Malte and Anastasiya Winkel (GER), and Simon Diesch & Anna Markfort who always look devastatingly quick in the stronger breeze. These three crews remain locked in a battle for Olympic selection and the German battle will be one of the features of racing this week in Palma.

France always fields a strong squad for this regatta, and double Olympic medallist Camille Lecointre (FRA) continues to show good progress with former men's world champion Jérémie Mion on the trapeze, with up-and-coming Matisse Pacaud and Lucie de Genes also pushing hard at senior level.

The 2022 European Champions from Sweden, Anton Dahlberg & Lovisa Karlsson (SWE), have been in patchy form over the past season but Dahlberg won men's silver at the 2020 Tokyo Games and has the experience to raise his game for the big occasion.

Stu McNay (USA) is back campaigning in a 470 with new teammate Lara Dallman-Weiss, and now aiming for a fifth time at the Games. They're in the unusual situation of having won the US trials and earned their national spot for the Games, except they have yet to qualify the nation, so these are critical times for this experienced team.

There are plenty of other good teams to watch out for, the competition is wide open and we can expect good performances from Italy, Australia, Austria, Brazil along with many others.

The 470 World Championship will feature 64 crews of 27 nationalities, and will select the last Olympic spots in the 470 class for Africa, South America, North America and Europe.

Monday 26 February is practice race day and the end of registration and measurement. The first race of the Championship is scheduled for 1200 hours local time on Tuesday 27 February. After three days of Qualifying Races and two days of Gold Fleet the top 10 teams will race each other in the concluding Medal Race on the sixth and final day of competition, Sunday 3 March.

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