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Leaders change as final Medal Race comes closer

470 World Championships - Leaders change as final Medal Race comes closer
RIZHAO, CHINA-(11-9-2006)  With only two Medal Race qualifying races to go, the 470 World Championship seems far from being decided in both the Men’s and Women’s Fleet.
During two races today in light winds, the Dutch influence raises at the 470 Men, and drops in the 470 Women’s Fleet. 470 Men Nathan WILMOT and Malcolm PAGE (AUS) take back what they lost yesterday, while Ai KONDO and Naoko KAMATA (JPN) take advantage of the bad scores of their rivals and catch the lead.

Wind conditions got as light as they could today. After a short postponement, racing got underway at about 13:00 in a SE 6 knots breeze along the shoreline.

Although the wind was steadier today, sailors had to be very alert on the current that varied in strength and direction on different regions on the race course.
At the marks, the current was hard to estimate and with tension reaching high levels, many boats floated against the upper mark and had take their penalties.

Fighting for single points in 470 Men’s Fleet

Australians Nathan WILMOT and Malcolm PAGE fight their way back on top with an eighth and second position in today’s racing over the overnight leaders Nic ASHER and Elliot WILLIS from Great Brittain, on who they now lead by only one point.

Dutch brothers Sven COSTER and Kalle COSTER keep on improving step by step during the entire Championship and now move into a third overall position, with a shared number of points with Gideon KLIGER and Udi GAL from Israel.

It is not too common that in a final phase of a Championship the difference in points is so small. The numbers three to six on the 470 Men’s leaderboard, which is four spots, only have one single point difference.
This is called close racing, with athletes fighting for every single score and not taking any loss for granted.

“We had a satisfying first race today, but in the second we had a bad start and chose the wrong side to round the upper mark as twenty-fifth. With in mind what it might cost to lose all our discard margin, we managed to fight back during the race to finally end as fourteenth, which is a fair result, but manageable” said Kalle COSTER

Championship open again in 470 Women’s Fleet.

The sailors of the day in the 470 Women’s Gold Fleet definitely are Ai KONDO and Naoko KAMATA. With a third and eighth position in today’s races, they take huge advantage of the relatively fair performance of their opponents and now take the lead in the Championship.

Marcelien de KONING and Lobke BERKHOUT took a RAF (Retired after finish) in race nine today, admitting they were guilty in a “right of the way” situation and so avoid a further protest.
In race ten they have a bad start and choose the wrong side of the course. Although they have proven to have the ability to make the right choices along the event, they have a bad day and cannot recover to finally cross the finish line in twenty-third position.

With today’s losses, the Dutch Title defenders allow their main opponents of this Championship to get closer, even being lucky that Yuka YOSHISAKO and Noriko OKYMA had bad scores also.
Sweden’s Therese TORGERSSON and Vendela ZACHRISSON would have had best chances today to perform an attack in this so crucial phase, which they do not do and securely hold position.
Great Brittain’s Christina BASSADONE and Saskia CLARK, and Sylvia VOGL and Caroline FLATSCHER from Austria take advantage of the situation thankfully and join the leading group with just a little amount of points difference.

Ingrid PETITJEAN and Nadege DOUROUX make great efforts. The French Ladies who started the Championship far below average, now make a great come back in this final phase. Currently taking the thirteenth spot on the leaderboard and only five points behind number ten, they increase their chances to take part in the final Medal Race.

The Championship in the 470 Women’s Fleet seemed to form such a clear pattern the last few days, but by the outcome of today’s races, the Championship is fully open again!


The conclusion that may be drawn tonight, before the last two Medal Race qualifying races take place tomorrow, is that those who make no more mistakes will have a convenient start position in the Medal race. Those who make mistakes may drop hard.

Source: 470 Internationale

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