|RIZHAO, CHINA-(7-9-2006) Racing got underway today at the 470 World Championships. In light winds and current playing a key factor, two races were completed. After day 1, Ronan DREANO and Ronan FLOCH (FRA) take first place on the 470 Menís leaderboard, followed by Gideon KLIGER and Udi GAL (ISR).† In the Womenís Fleet Yuka YOSHISAKO and Noriko OKUMA (JPN) take the lead, with Title defenders Marcelien DE KONING and Lobke BERKHOUT (NED) right on their tail with one point difference.
The shifty and unstable wind gave the Race Committee a hard time to get racing started. Starts were given on the Menís course, however one race had to be cancelled because of worsening conditions.
On the Womenís course, the Race Committee didnít even manage to get racing started till later in the afternoon. But also for them, shortly after15:00 the first starting signal was given in light, shifty winds of 6 to 8 knots.
During the day the wind increased a little to about 11 knots with also the current getting stronger.
At first impression the results in the Menís Fleet seem remarkable, looking at the current positions on the leaderboard of sailors on top of the World Ranking List.
The difference between the number one and number fourty is only twenty points, the difference between the number one and ten only four points. This makes it too early to draw† conclusions.
Overall leaders Ronan DREANO and Ronan FLOCH (FRA) however are Men to watch. In the 470 Europeans they made a similar opening and finally took home a Silver medal.
Title defenders Nathan WILMOT and Malcolm PAGE (AUS) had a first good race finishing in third position, however with a tenth place in the second race, they drop to sixteenth overall.
470 Ladies Yuka YOSHISAKO and Noriko OKUMA (JPN), currently on thirty-first position in the World Rankings, had a perfect day with a bullet and third place, which puts them in an early lead at this 470 Worlds event.
Dutch Ladies and reigning World Champions Marcelien DE KONING and Lobke BERKHOUT seem to take good advantage of the local elements. In the first race they became fourth, to win the second race of the day in a convincing lead.
At the 470 Women there is more difference in points in this early phase of the Championship. The Title defenders gave themselves a convenient margin of ten points ahead of Therese THORGERSSON and Vendela ZACHRISSON† (SWE), and fifteen points ahead of Ingrid PETITJEAN and Nadege DOUROUX (FRA).