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470 World Championships Gets Underway on San Francisco Bay

Courtesy of Event Organizers Courtesy of Event Organizers
470 World Championships - 470 World Championships Gets Underway on San Francisco Bay
SAN FRANCISCO, CA. USA-(23-8-2005) The 2005 International 470 World Championships hosted by the St. Francis Yacht Club kicked off yesterday, Monday, August 22nd. Facing heavy currents and changing winds, 198 sailors from 28 countries competed in 6 races. The fleet was divided into three groups (two men's and one women's) with each group completing 2 races. Reigning world champions, Nathan Wilmon & Malcolm Page posted first and second place finishes in their races, while the Dutch team of Marcelien de Koning and Lobke Berkhout lead the women's division after taking two first in both their starts.

With a light southerly breeze of approximately 10 kts, the first race started at 1100 following a brief delay to allow ship traffic to clear the channel (and let the wind build...or not). Sailing on a traditional trapezoid course and facing a flood currents greater than 4 knots, competition at the windward mark. Because of the heavy currents and light breeze many boats ended up short, missing the mark entirely. Local knowledge proved valuable as most of the local teams made the mark on the first try while the 'out-of-towners' struggled. One visiting team took 6 tries to get around while t-boning another boat along the way. Chaos prevailed as one parent was overheard commenting that her son headed into the mark in 4th place and came out 25th.

`Seven boats approached the mark, all on port tack. One guy tacks and ends up taking out everyone else,` commented Eden Kim. `Next group, same thing. There were three groups, 25 boats and it was utter mayhem,` he added.

The second race started at 1530 with heavy winds (18-25 kts) and choppy seas. After starting the two men's fleets, the race committee called the beach master to hold back the women but the call came too late -- the majority of the fleet were already back on the water and ready to push on. Starting well after 1630 and finishing at 1830, the women proved they were here to compete.

6 starts, great racing and good times. Who knows what we'll see today and we're just getting started - 6 more days to go.

Source: Event Media

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