The first starting signal was given today for the Final series of the 470 World Championships. During six qualifying races the last three days, sailors have decided on positions in the Gold Fleets. Two races were completed today and as the event moves on, excitement increases. Nathan WILMOT and Malcolm PAGE hand over their event leadership to Nic ASHER and Elliot WILLIS, while Marcelien DE KONING and Lobke BERKHOUT retain their lead and win position by the losses of rivals Therese TORGERSSON and Vendela ZACHRISSON.
Racing got started with a light off-land shifting breeze of 6 knots, freshening to about 12 knots, enough to hoist the yellow flag during the race. A strong current of over 30 cm/s decreasing during the race gave an extra dimension to the start of first final series’ racing.
After the first race, wind started to turn direction, giving the sailors some rest while waiting for the increasing breeze to choose a steady direction along the shoreline.
With a strengthening breeze up to 18 knots and increasing current, reaching speeds of 31 cm/s, the starting signal was given for the second race today, pushing the 470 event closer to the event Medal Race highlight where finally Medals will be decided.
Consistency, the key to success in the 470 Men’s Fleet
Having a consistent set of results, playing safe but attacking at the right moment was the key for success today in the Men’s Fleet.
ZANDONA / TRANI (ITA), KLIGER / GAL (ISR), MARTINEZ / WOOD (ESP), ROGERS / GLANFIELD, BONNAUD/ BONNAUD (FRA), all being top overnight leaders do not manage to do so, and significantly give away points.
For Australia’s Nathan WILMOT and Malcolm PAGE, their leading position shivers under their feet. In today’s racing, they seem to have more problems staying on top racing the best sailors in one Gold Fleet.
In race seven, the first race today, they finish fifth, giving their leading position out of hand to Great Brittain’s Nic ASHER and Elliot WILLIS who score a bullet.
In race eight, they weaken their leading position even more with an eleventh place.
The remaining Gold Fleet challengers take good advantage of the situation.
Youth 470 sailors Sime FANTELA and Igor MARENIC from Croatia make their debut taking a top three position in a senior 470 Worlds event. The winners of the 470 Junior Europeans, and Silver Medallists of the 470 Junior Worlds had a terrific day with a second and fourth position.
Dutch brothers Sven COSTER and Kalle COSTER set an average defending eighth position in race seven, Australia’s Matthew BELCHER and Nick Behrens do an improving sixth. Together they make a perfect move in race eight later in the day, and walk out on the others downwind to cross the finish line in resp. second and first place.
Two to One competition between Japan and The Netherlands in 470 Women’s Fleet.
Some very exciting developments in the Ladies Fleet also today.
Marcelien DE KONING and Lobke BERKHOUT, who took the lead yesterday and retain this after first day’s finals, expand their lead over Therese TORGERSSON and Vendela ZACHRISSON. The Ladies from Sweden score an under average set of results, resp. an eleventh in race seven, and fourteenth in race eight.
At this moment, the current leaders see their major threat coming from Japanese side. Yuka YOSHISAKO and Noriko OKYMA finished fifth in both races of today. Ai KONDO and Naoko KAMATA scored a bullet in race seven, however they finish at a twenty-fourth last row position in race eight, which they now take as their discard.
“The conditions today were as tricky as usual during this Championship. The wind shifted within a margin of 40 degrees. Especially in the first race it was important to catch the first shift correctly and proceed tacking high while concentrating where the next shift would come from”, said BERKHOUT.
Number one of the Word Rankings, Great Brittains’s Christina Bassadone and Saskia Clark weren’t in the spot light of this Championship yet. By crossing the finish line in third and fourth position today, they continue their improving efforts of yesterday which brings them a major lift on the leaderboard up to sixth overall, just a few points away from the 470 Women from Sweden taking fifth.
Four races to go in two days to decide on Medals in one
For both the Men and Women, there are four races to go in two days.
On the 13th of September the top ten of both Gold Fleets will decide on medals in the final Medal Race.
Racing resumes tomorrow at 12am local time (GMT+8)