Monthly Archives: February 2016
Update from the Waszp design team
Here’s the latest news for Andrew ‘amac’ McDougall
Andrew, can you update us on what has been happening since the last status report at Christmas?
As we mentioned in our last update we’ve been working hard on the rig and have gone back to the cambered sail.
We not only do we now know that this is our only performance option, we have also improved it dramatically since we first started working on that style of rig. It’s now much more like our latest Mach2 sail – just a little bit more powerful. We have also slightly increased the size for the large sail to 8.25 sq. metres.
We have made new camber inducers for the bottom battens to match the larger mast diameter, which are working really well. The sail is made with similar materials to the KA Sail moth sail although we have gone with slightly softer materials in the luff panels to give us a more user-friendly sail that rotates better and has increased reaction to downhaul tension.
The upside also of this material is that the sail is more colourful, and on that note we have added coloured panels to the main body to make the sail really stand out.
Above is the outline and graphics of the 8.25 sq.m:
How about getting the rig up, are there still any issues there?
It’s now amazingly easy. As soon as we got the weight out of the rig everything changed but we wanted it to be fool proof.
We redesigned the boom to mast attachment so the boom can be connected once the mast is up. With just the mast and sail all the issues are gone.
And the trolley ?
We have continued to work hard on the trolley and we now have a hybrid solution.
You can tip the boat on its side and attach the trolley which some people will prefer to do. This is what I like as it suits where we sail at Black Rock and it works well.
But we have also incorporated a ‘shallow’ trolley design which means you can float it onto the trolley.
It becomes a little challenging in a lot of wind and waves, but very do-able. And the way which we are now attaching the trolley to the boat stabilizes everything once it’s on and makes for a very solid solution.
I think the big gain with the WASZP over the Moth is just to be able to wheel the boat in and out with the foils in. It really is so much nicer than the Moth where foils have to be separated.
You just wheel the boat up, detach the boom, pull the mast down, roll the sail and it’s done.
So that leaves the question of production and pricing?
It has been a long road to get a final price on this boat and this week we have finalized all negotiations.
We are very happy to confirm we can meet the price we originally estimated.
The ex-factory price will be US$10,500 with a shipping cost to most countries of US$1,100.
Local import costs, taxes and duties, if any, are additional and vary by country.
There will be few countries that the shipping costs is cheaper and in some countries that are harder to get to the shipping cost will be more expensive.
And what’s happening at the factory – are we still on track to start production in March?
We have already started production – we are building hulls, we are building masts, we are building sails, we are building plastic components and we are building aluminum foils. Hopefully everything will come together by the end of March and will start putting complete boats together.
I’m off to China again in a few days and will be back over again towards the later part of March to oversee the final packing.
So notwithstanding any delivery issues with a critical component, we will be shipping as promised.
How about the class set-up, any action there ?
We’ve been making good progress on drafting the WASZP Class rules.
Overall, the intent is to make sure we have a very strict one-design so that it is a true boat vs. boat contest straight out of the box.
So with the exception of changing out ropes or pulleys that may need replacement with aftermarket alternatives, adding a GPS and doing repairs back to original there is not much else that can be done that will not be ‘as supplied’.
A draft will soon be available to download for review and comment.
That’s it for now.
Andrew McDougall and the WASZP team
Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series Oman – Overall
Sensational racing set to a backdrop of Oman’s stunning coastline rounded off the inaugural Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series Oman on Sunday as Sir Ben Ainslie’s Land Rover BAR team snatched victory.
The first ever America’s Cup event to be held in the Middle East was hailed a storming success by sailors and spectators alike following two days of intense battle in Muscat
And after two days of nail-biting action under Muscat’s blue skies that saw Land Rover BAR claim a dramatic last-minute victory, the first ever Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series Oman was given a resounding thumbs up.
Land Rover BAR went into the second of two days of racing on top following a dominant display yesterday where they won two of the three races in light airs.
A slightly stronger breeze of around 10 knots greeted the teams on what was dubbed ‘Super Sunday’ because of the double points on offer.
A slow start from Ainslie’s crew allowed Emirates Team New Zealand to rocket ahead and extend their lead all the way to the finish line to claim the first race win of the day.
Canny tactics saw Land Rover BAR scrap back into second place ahead of Dean Barker’s SoftBank Team Japan.
Desperate to avenge a fifth-place finish in race 1, Jimmy Spithill’s Oracle Team USA flew out of the starting blocks in race 2 as the teams traded blows in front of crowds of spectators.
They saw off a late challenge from Groupama Team France, with Adam Minoprio at the helm in place of injured skipper Franck Cammas, to pick up maximum points.
With Oracle Team USA getting an early jump on the fleet in the sixth and final race of the ACWS Oman it looked all over for Ainslie’s men when they were penalised at the start along with Artemis.
But the Brits fought back thanks to some bold calls by tactician Giles Scott to finish the race in third behind Groupama Team France and Oracle Team USA.
The result handed the first ever ACWS Oman title to Land Rover BAR by just two points.
Their spectacular win makes them the first team to win two ACWS events, having won in Portsmouth, UK, last year.
It also puts them just one point behind second-placed Oracle Team USA on the overall ACWS leaderboard.
Emirates Team New Zealand continue to lead the series by six points going into the next round in New York in May.
Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series Oman Results:
1st Land Rover BAR – 8, 10, 10, 18, 14, 16 – 76pts
2nd Oracle Team USA – 9, 6, 9, 12, 20, 18 – 74pts
3rd Emirates Team NZ – 10, 7, 5, 20, 16, 12 – 70pts
4th Groupama Team France – 5, 8, 7, 10, 18, 20 – 68pts
5th SoftBank Team Japan – 6, 9, 6, 16, 10, 14 – 61pts
6th Artemis Racing – 7, 5, 8, 14, 12, 10 – 56pts
Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series Results:
1st Emirates Team New Zealand – 192pts
2nd Oracle Team USA – 186pts
3rd Land Rover BAR – 185pts
4th SoftBank Team Japan – 161pts
5th Artemis Racing – 161pts
6th Groupama Team France – 150pts
Photos © Matiaz Capizzano
470 World Championship at San Isidro, Argentina – Overall
In a medal race battle to the end, stepping away victorious with Gold medals are Camille Lecointre/Helene Defrance (FRA) and Sime Fantela/Igor Marenic (CRO).
A nail biting conclusion to the preceding five day of racing all came down to the medal races at the 2016 470 World Championship in Argentina.
In the 470 Women, any one of the top eight going into the medal race had a punt at a medal, whilst in the 470 Men the podium chancers were a bit more clear cut. Series leaders, Sime Fantela/Igor Marenic (CRO) were guaranteed a medal and fighting for gold with the Kiwis and Aussies. Whilst the French were in the hunt for silver or bronze.
After yesterday’s storms, calms and in-betweens, medal race day was a much more sanguine schedule. The 470 Women got off first at 1100 hours for their short, sharp twenty-five minute windward/leeward race, followed by the 470 Men.
Series leaders going into the double points medal race, France’s Camille Lecointre/Helene Defrance had a 6 point advantage, giving them very little margin for error. A fifth place finish was more than good enough to secure their first ever Worlds title.
“I have never had this feeling before,” grinned the new 470 World Champion helm, Camille Lecointre, “so I don’t know how to describe it. It is so good to win with Helene today and I am so proud how we sailed well this week. Nothing was done before the medal race and it was very tricky with very shifty wind. We kept following the wind, even if we were not in the best position all the time, and in the end it worked.”
“This morning we thought if we want to avoid all the problems, all the points calculations, we just have to go out to win the medal race,” she explained Lecointre. They didn’t quite do that, but as good as, by winning gold at the end of it.
“This is something we have never experienced and now I know what the feeling is when you win a World Championship. It is crazy,” said a delighted Defrance said, “I am so happy to achieve something you know big, something solid and we are just proud. A lot of emotion. A new feeling I would say.”
This surely will seal the French pair’s date in Rio come August 2016, although they still await formal confirmation.
“I hope this will be enough,” added Lecointre. “I think this is good for our confidence, but nothing is done, as the level in the girls is really tight. This doesn’t mean we will be Olympic Champions, we will continue working, but it is a big boost. To know we can win a big event is important.”
Despite their slow opener to the Championship, which even pushed them out of the leaderboard top ten, 2012 Olympic Gold Medallists Jo Aleh/Polly Powrie (NZL) dug deep when it mattered and converted their third overall going into the medal race to a silver medal. They needed to finish the high pressure medal race ahead of Austria’s Lara Vadlau/Jola Ogar, the defending 470 World Champions, and did just that. An impressive performance in any medal race, but this was a cut above, as crew Powrie has battled illness for several days. To work their way through the fleet from 5th at the first mark to 3rd by the end was some undertaking.
“Polly was incredible; I was so proud today. She was worried about letting us down, she was amazing. She called a few of the bits in the race that actually made the difference,” said Aleh after coming ashore. “She could croak things out. She used up the last of her voice in the race. I’m really amazed with Polly’s performance.”
On their performance at a World Championship in an Olympic year Aleh added, “Yeah, I think it is good. The good thing for us is that there are so many things that we didn’t get quite right this week. To still be able to pull off a silver medal feels good. We’ve got a lot of things to go and work on, so we’ll do that and we’ll be back fighting fit.”
Rounding out the podium are Lara Vadlau/Jola Ogar, who already count gold in 2015 and 2014 and silver in 2013, and now add the missing bronze medal to their collection.
“Here the competition was not easy, so we are happy we have the medal,” commented Ogar. “I must say Camille deserved to be first, because she was brilliant tactically and figured out how to avoid the weed. Our finish is OK, but we are looking forward to Rio and this is one of the steps we have to do. We are super happy, because in these conditions to have a medal is quite something.”
“We wanted to win gold, but we took what we could take. We did our job and we are ready to work even more,” said Vadlau.
Describing the team’s race plan, she said “We knew the left side would pay off, and the Kiwis tacked three times on us, which stopped us from going left and I didn’t expect this. From this moment on, we were already too far behind to be better than 6th position. Really we killed ourselves from the start, which is a pity but still I am happy.”
Glory in the medal race went to Poland’s Agnieszka Skrzypulec/Irmina Mrozek, who overhauled early leaders Fernanda Oliveira/Ana Barbachan (BRA) by the second rounding of the upwind mark.
“We were waiting for our moment to push the button,” said a thrilled Skrzypulec. “We are very happy that we did it today and this is our first victory in a Championship medal race. This will give us a lot of self-confidence. I don’t know if it is a good expression in English, but this gives us a ‘licence to kill’,” she laughed in reference to the James Bond character.
“Our result is doubly special, as today our team mates won gold in the RSX Men and Women Worlds, so this is a golden day for Polish Olympic sailing,” she concluded.
470 Women Results: (top ten, full results here)
1. Camille Lecointre/Helene Defrance (FRA 9)
2. Jo Aleh/Polly Powrie (NZL 75)
3. Lara Vadlau/Jolanta Ogar (AUT 431)
4. Fernanda Oliveira/Ana Luiza Barbachan (BRA 177)
5. Agnieszka/Irmina Orozek (POL11)
6. Anne Haeger/Briana Provancha (USA 1712)
7. Xiaoli Wang/Lizhu Huang (CHN 1221)
8. Sydney Bolger/Carly Shevitz (USA 88)
9. Afrodite Zegers-Kyranakou/Anneloes Van Veen (NED 216)
10. Bàrbara Cornudella Ravetllat/Sara López Ravetllat (ESP 14)
“It feels amazing,” said a delighted Fantela. “It has been a tough week and we are really happy. After seven years, we got gold back. Mostly every day of this week I was refreshing memories from our gold at the 2009 Worlds in Denmark and I am very happy.
“We had 13 points in hand, which seemed quite easy for us,” explained Fantela in reference to their points advantage going into the medal race. “We rounded first at the gate, then suddenly we hit weed, five boats passed us and we rounded 8th at the upwind mark, with the New Zealand guys winning the race and just in a brief moment we were losing it. Fortunately we had a good downwind, stayed calm and we managed to regain some places and secure gold. It looked easy, but this was tough. I am proud of Igor and proud of myself and proud to have the gold medal in our pockets.”
Overcoming adversity as faced by the Croatians in the medal race demands special skill sets. “It helps that we have been in many medal races and we know we have to stay calm whatever,”
“Definitely there are moments when we are losing it, but a few deep breaths, some discussion between us, and we are back calm and positive. Plus, there is an automatic instinct which kicks in through all our training.”
“We have been so close the last two years especially,” said Marenic. “This is a team effort and we did so well this week both of us. At some points this experience we have, our 15 years together, comes to the surface. And in these really, really tough conditions, I think it was harder for the younger and less experienced teams to deal with.”
Their fifteen years of experience, so far includes two Olympic appearances, with Rio making it three, two 470 World Championship gold medals, two silver and three bronze, three 470 European Championship medals, and a stack of other top results.
Add to that an Optimist World Championship gold medal sixteen years ago for Fantela and you start to get the picture of the massive depth of knowledge these two have built up.
The speed machines this week, with 5 race wins to their credit including the medal race, were silver medallists Paul Snow-Hansen/Dan Wilcox. They opened their ticket with two wins, and simply were on a mission.
“Our medal race was really good to out on a win, and we are really stoked to have the silver medal,” said Snow-Hansen. “It’s been a hugely complicated week and everyone has had a story to tell here. You just had to keep concentrating on what you were doing.”
The Olympics is in the DNA of the Willcox family. Dan’s sister Anna competed in the slope style event at the Sochi 2014 Olympics and is campaigning for 2018, and father Hamish, who has been coaching the boys this week, won gold at the 1984 and 1983 470 Worlds and bronze in 1982.
The scoreboard puts three-time World Champions Mat Belcher/Will Ryan (AUS) and Sofian Bouvet/Jeremie Mion (FRA) on tiebreak, from a redress decision due to a scoring error. Both teams were awarded third place, so in a unique situation they stepped up to the podium together to receive their medals and prizes.
“It’s been good competition and apart from the first day’s racing we were really happy with how we came back,” said Belcher. “Overall, we’re happy with our performance, but we’re disappointed with the result. When you have won so many worlds, you want to win and that’s what we are here for. It’s a credit to the others and their performance and they seemed to handle conditions a bit better than we did. We learnt our lessons this week. It hurts a bit now, but we’re looking forward to making a few changes and hopefully for the Games we’ll be ready to go.”
“This is our first medal at a World Championship,” said Mion. “It was a tough medal race with very shifty wind and we succeeded to be top three at every mark throughout the medal race. We are very happy with how we sailed throughout the Championship and that it paid in the medal race.”
470 Men Results: (top ten, full results here)
1. Sime Fantela/Igor Marenic (CRO 83)
2. Paul Snow-Hansen/Daniel Willcox (NZL 2)
3= Mathew Belcher/William Ryan (AUS 11)
3= Sofian Bouvet/Jérémie Mion (FRA 27)
5. Luke Patience/Chris Grube (GBR 868)
6. Gabrio Zandona/Andrea Trani (ITA 2)
7. Ferdinand Gerz/Oliver Szynmanski (GER10)
8. Panagiotis Mantis/Pavlos Kagialis (GRE 1)
9. Anton Dahlberg/Fredrik Bergström (SWE 349)
10. Onán Barreiros Rodríguez/Juan Curbelo Cabrera (ESP 9)
Next up for many teams is Trofeo Princesa Sofia, 25 March-2 April 2016, which will be the 470 Men and 470 Women European Continental Qualification with one nation quota awarded in each event, and the 470 Women African Continental Qualification also with one nation slot awarded. A few days off, and then teams will compete at the same venue for the 2016 470 European Championship from 5-12 April 2016.
Championship Website – 2016worlds.470.org
RS:X World Championships at Eilat, Israel
With just six months to go until the Rio 2016 Olympics, Polish sailors won both RS:X World titles in Eilat in a predominantly light airs regatta.
In the women’s division Malgorzata Bialecka sailed a consistent series to take the gold medal from the rapidly advancing British windsurfer, Bryony Shaw who just managed to take the silver medal on countback from Dutch sailor Lilian de Geus.
In the mens division Piotr Myszka blitzed the fleet to comfortably win by 16 points from the Dutch duo, Dorian Van Rijsselberge and Kiran Badloe who were also only separated by countback. The more experienced Dorian just getting the nod with a second in the medal race. Britains Nick Dempsey came into the medal race in second only to be disappointed in the final 50m of the race course when he was squeezed out of a medal.
Full tilt now to Rio 2016 in August.
RS:X Women – (top 10 overall) (58 entries)
1 POL 21 Malgorzata Bialecka 12 51 pts
2 GBR 94 Bryony Shaw 6 58 pts
3 NED 3 Lilian de Geus 8 58 pts
4 POL 8 Zofia Noceti-Klepacka 10 61 pts
5 RUS 271 Stefania Elfutina 4 62 pts
6 FRA 4 Charline Picon 2 80 pts
7 ESP 5 Marina Alabau Neira 16 87 pts
8 POL 104 Kamila Smektala 18 96 pts
9 HKG 11 Sonia Lo 14 96 pts
10 RUS 1 Olga Maslivets 20 99 pts
RS:X Men – (top 10 overall) (81 entries)
1 POL 82 Piotr Myszka 18 45 pts
2 NED 8 Dorian Van Rijsselberge 4 61 pts
3 NED 9 Kiran Badloe 10 61 pts
4 GBR 1 Nick Dempsey 14 63.8 pts
5 FRA 1 Louis Giard 8 75 pts
6 ISR 11 Shahar Zubari 2 76 pts
7 SUI 36 Mateo Sanz Lanz 6 77 pts
8 POL 182 Pawel Tarnowski 20 79 pts
9 CHN 1 Aichen Wang 12 96 pts
10 FRA 6 Julien Bontemps 16 99 pts
Photo © Matiaz Capizzano
470 World Championships at San Isidro, Argentina
Weather extremes this morning delivered thunder, lightning and heavy rain, keeping fleets ashore, before a breeze of 38 knots swept across the race track.
The wind died, picked up and then settled at around 17 knots for racing, serving up the breeziest day of the Championship so far.
An early 0930 hours decision by the Race Committee to postpone racing until 1300 hours, meant teams could stay at their accommodation or at least stand down their level of preparedness.
A further one hour postponement until 1400 hours, before the fleets headed out to the track, with 2 races completed for each fleet.
A crunch day and last chance for teams to secure their place in the top ten leaderboard who advance to Saturday’s medal race. Getting the mix to work out on the race track was crucial, with some intense jostling for positions makng the difference between success and heartache.
Their leading position and points advantage at the 2016 Worlds marks the strongest chance yet for Sime Fantela/Igor Marenic (CRO) to unseat the dominance of Mat Belcher/Will Ryan (AUS). The Croatians hold a 13 point advantage over second placed Paul Snow-Hansen/Daniel Willcox (NZL) on 55 points, with Belcher/Ryan in third on 58 points – with each of these three teams capable of securing gold. The only other team with a shot at the podium are fourth placed Sofian Bouvet/Jeremie Mion of France, but the best they can upgrade to is silver or bronze.
In the 470 Women, Camille Lecointre/Helene Defrance (FRA) also hold a useful points advantage, although not quite as significant as the Croatians. Counting a 44 point scoreline gives the French team a 6 point margin over defending World Champions Lara Vadlau/Jola Ogar (AUT), with 2012 Olympic Gold Medallists Jo Aleh/Poly Powrie (NZL) 1 point behind in third. Points are close and any of the top 8 teams have a punt at the podium.
On Saturday 27 February, the 470 Women will race first at 1100 hours, followed by the men at 1145 hours. The course format changes, with a short, sharp 25 minute windward/leeward race.
No surprise to note that three of the top four teams going into the 470 Worlds Medal Race were the top three teams at the Rio 2015 Test Event – they are simply amongst the best in the world.
A perfect day for Sime Fantela/Igor Marenic as they get ready to rise to the challenge of medal race success and potentially walk away with the gold medal tomorrow. A 2,1 scoreline boosts their advantage to 13 points, which is not insurmountable, but will prove tough to crack for the other two teams in gold medal contention.
“We had a great day in a difficult spot like any other day, and I am really pleased how Igor and I sailed today, practically and technically as well,” said Fantela. “I am just feeling happy and relaxed right now. It was another long day and we are just looking forward to tomorrow, to stay focused, stay calm and that is the plan.”
The pair has stood on the 470 Worlds podium every year bar 2013 since they won gold in 2009, and 2016 marks their closest prospect since to claim victory. They are guaranteed a medal whatever their result.
“This time we are closer than in Haifa [2015 470 Worlds] to win the gold, so it’s all good. We came here not with a huge imperative to win something. We have had good sailing and our goal is the Olympic Games, this is just all part of it. If we win we will be happy, and if we don’t win we will go on,” continued Fantela.
Behind the Croatians, the Kiwis, Aussies and French could walk away from the medal race very happy or hugely disappointed, as they have as much chance of securing a medal as not.
Closest in pursuit of Fantela/Marenic are Paul Snow-Hansen/Daniel Willcox (NZL).
“Our goal before the regatta was to be in the shot for a medal and we have put ourselves in a position to do so,” said Willcox, “so we are just excited and happy to be here and will enjoy getting amongst it tomorrow in the medal race.
“It’s going to be tight and exciting racing. In Olympic sailing the competition is so close and if you make a mistake you feel it, so tomorrow is going to be about whoever can put together a good performance around the medal race course. It’s going to be close and we are looking forward to it.”
Mat Belcher, six time consecutive 470 World Champion, has more often than not led the series going into the medal race.
“The challenge for most of the sailors for the last couple of days has been staying out of trouble,” reflected Belcher. “We are pretty happy with our results, although certainly during the races today we stopped a lot. It is just tough racing and something we are not quite used to,” he said referring to the added race track dynamic of the weed.
“That’s nice, that’s part of it,” Belcher smiled about the three-way battle for gold. “That’s why we are here, it’s good competition and I am sure everyone’s going to be going out pretty hard and that’s why we do it. It’s will be interesting to see how it all works out.”
An opening race 9 win to France’s Sofian Bouvet/Jeremie Mion (FRA) pushed them up to third, dropping to fourth after a 6th in race 10. The team, who were 470 Junior World and Junior European Champions in 2009 and 2010, can move on in to claim either the silver or bronze medals tomorrow.
“It’s long to get to the top as there are teams with a lot of experience so we are fighting,” Mion commented about the years spent mastering their craft in the 470 fleet. “We did good at the 2013 470 Europeans and won, but the Europeans is not the World Championship and the Worlds is more intensive as it is the most important event for every country, so everybody wants to be the best at this moment. So it is very nice that today we can be in the top four for sure. We are happy as we know we can do it, but at the Worlds it is different and it would mean a lot for us to get a medal.”
Clambering into the top ten after today’s two race go Germany’s Ferdinand Gerz/Oliver Szymanksi in 6th overall and Luke Patience/Chris Grube (GBR) in 8th.
The 470 Men fleet was put on notice that South Africa’s 470 sailors are well and truly in the hunt for glory when Asenathi Jim/Roger Hudson’s scorching performance on day 3 at the 470 Worlds saw them take the series lead. The pair grappled to find consistency in the second half of the regatta, wrapping up in 11th overall, but still marked a career best performance at a 470 Championship.
“We are very delighted especially in this year’s Worlds as we build up to the Games,” said Jim. “I can say it is the right message to our competitors, and it is the right step for us to see what we can do with good equipment. It has given us more motivation of what we can do and where we need to work now.”
“Sure the boat has helped,” commented Hudson, referring to the new boat they raced at the Worlds, “but we have been training like crazy for a very long time and it is nice to be paying off. 32nd at the ISAF Worlds in 2014, 21st at the 2015 470 Worlds and 11th here.
We are making progress in the right direction which is the most important thing. And we are hungrier than ever to keep working hard and get to an end goal. It’s a real honour to come 11th in a fleet of this calibre – as there are such good sailors all the way through.”
470 Men Medal Race Top 10: (full results here)
1. Sime Fantela/Igor Marenic (CRO 83) – 42 pts
2. Paul Snow-Hansen/Daniel Willcox (NZL 2) – 55 pts
3. Mathew Belcher/William Ryan (AUS 11) – 58 pts
4. Sofian Bouvet/Jérémie Mion (FRA 27) – 62 pts
5. Panagiotis Mantis/Pavlos Kagialis (GRE 1) – 91 pts
6. Ferdinand Gerz/Oliver Szynmanski (GER10) – 93 pts
7. Gabrio Zandona/Andrea Trani (ITA 2) – 93 pts
8. Luke Patience/Chris Grube (GBR 868) – 94 pts
9. Anton Dahlberg/Fredrik Bergström (SWE 349) – 98 pts
10. Onán Barreiros Rodríguez/Juan Curbelo Cabrera (ESP 9) – 109 pts
There has been no stepping on the toes of France’s Camille Lecointre/Helene Defrance who have controlled the 470 Women fleet since race 4. The pair has never before been in the position of leading going into a medal race, a fact not lost on Lecointre.
“We are very happy to be in this position right now and we think after being third or fourth going into the medal race, we think it is good to go into the medal race with points ahead. Yes, we are very positive.”
The French took bronze at the 2015 470 Worlds.
“We are all very close, 6 points is nothing, but it will maybe help and we will focus tomorrow on sailing the best we can and we will have our fingers crossed for first place,” she added.
It would seem a foregone conclusion that the team will be in Rio, but they are still waiting for confirmation from their national authority.
“We are very happy for our week and we really hope the selection will be announced as soon as possible, but all this time with Helene we have been really focused on Rio. It is very different from the last campaign,” she said referring to the build up to London 2012 with former crew Mathilde Geron where the teams in contention for national selection were much closer, “but here we feel much freer and our sailing has got better.”
Collect a medal here tomorrow and it might come sooner than expected for the French. There is no underestimating the strength of mind of Austria’s young protégé Lara Vadlau and crew Jola Ogar. When Vadlau wants something, she has shown she is more than capable of getting it, and a third title is at their fingertips.
“First of all it has been a really tough event and we did a pretty job today. We didn’t have the easiest job in the second race, as we had a brilliant start, brilliant upwind and then we caught the sea grass and it went in our centreboard case,” explained Vadlau on their day.
“I think it is really nice to go into the medal race like this, because usually we go as leading position and we will have had a great week and we can think oh we can’t muck up the medal race. And so tomorrow, we are really excited to go into the medal race like this. It’s going to be fun,” she added with a smile.
Whilst there is no denying the plants on the water have been a challenge, many teams, including the Austrians, recognize it is a perfect training ground ahead of Rio.
“I think Rio is worse, because here you can see the grass floating and you can see from far away where the weeds are,” commented Ogar. “But in Rio the trash is submerged half a metre and you can’t see it from far away, and only see it when you are virtually on it. I think this is good training, and if you can do well here, you will do well in Rio.”
On her expectations for Saturday’s medal race making it a World Championship hat trick, Ogar wisecracked, “I would prefer to have two World titles, and a gold medal in the Olympics!!”
‘On it at last’ would be fair sentiments for the 2012 Olympic Gold medallists, Jo Aleh/Polly Powrie (NZL) as they took out their first win of the series in race 8, followed up with a 7th and are now ready to race for a medal tomorrow.
“It’s been a pretty hard week,” said Aleh. “We have struggled a bit with a few different issues, so are sort of surprised we are still in the mix, which makes tomorrow fun.
“I haven’t really looked at the results that closely, but the way it looks everyone is pretty close so it’s just going to be a matter of sail the race. Sail the race to win the race, and I guess we’ll be doing that, so it’s just another race but 10 boats, which will be a nice change. It will be a good challenge.”
Up close behind the Kiwis in 4th place are China’s Xiaoli Wang/Lizhu Huang. The halfway stage of the regatta marked a tipping point for the pair, as they accelerated from thereon in, and now both silver and bronze medals are within reach. At the 2013 470 Worlds, history was made for Chinese sailing, when Wang with her former crew claimed the nation’s first ever medal at a 470 Women World Championship, securing bronze. They could match or improve on that tomorrow.
Bronze medallists at the 2015 470 Europeans and winners of the Rio 2015 Test Event and Annie Haegar/Brianna Provancha found themselves in a bit of a spin today, and go into the medal race in 8th.
“We made most probably every single mistake you could make in the first race, didn’t fetch the pin, didn’t get the time, didn’t have a line sight, fouled at the mark, missed the layline three times, couldn’t get the rudder down on the downwind, it was the snowball effect,” said a tired Provancha after racing.
Despite past performance, for them national selection to Rio 2016 comes down to their results here and at the 470 Europeans – a tough process. A perfect example of their resilience was their ability today to climb from last place at the first mark to 15th by the end.
“Hats off to the girls that had a good day, because it was very challenging out there,” said Provancha.
In an amazing display of raw talent, Israel’s Noya Bar-Am/Rimon Shoshan left the fleet in their wake in the final race of the day, coming alive in the stronger breeze to wrap up a race win.
The top ten leaderboard at the start of the day featured the same teams two races later, just a different order, apart from the French leaders.
470 Women Medal Race Top 10: (full results here)
1. Camille Lecointre/Helene Defrance (FRA 9) – 44 pts
2. Lara Vadlau/Jolanta Ogar (AUT 431) – 50 pts
3. Jo Aleh/Polly Powrie (NZL 75) – 51 pts
4. Xiaoli Wang/Lizhu Huang (CHN 1221) – 56 pts
5. Fernanda Oliveira/Ana Luiza Barbachan (BRA 177) – 58 pts
6. Sydney Bolger/Carly Shevitz (USA 88) – 63 pts
7. Agnieszka/Irmina Orozek (POL11) – 67 pts
8. Anne Haeger/Briana Provancha (USA 1712) – 68 pts
9. Bàrbara Cornudella Ravetllat/Sara López Ravetllat (ESP 14) – 75 pts
10. Afrodite Zegers-Kyranakou/Anneloes Van Veen (NED 216) – 76 pts
Championship Website – 2016worlds.470.org
Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series in Oman
Ben Ainslie and Jimmy Spithill had big recoveries on Saturday to vault to the top of the leaderboard at the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series in Oman.
Ainslie and his team were the class act of the field. After incurring a penalty for starting prematurely in the first race, he sailed back up the fleet to salvage a third place finish.
Then, two victories. And Land Rover BAR finished the day four points clear. But Ainslie said it was anything but easy in the light winds.
“These conditions make it very challenging for everyone on board,” he said. “You need a decent start and to go the right way, so it’s tough on the tacticians. And then the big Code Zero headsails make for hard work for everyone else. It’s a big day for the team.”
Oracle Team USA appeared to be in jeopardy at several points during the afternoon. But when the points were tallied, Spithill had his team in second place.
“Racing in these conditions is something we know we have to work on, so this has been great for us,” Spithill said. “I thought Tom Slingsby did a great job finding the wind. I think the boys took a step in the last race on our boat speed. There’s still a lot to learn in the light stuff. We want to get better in these conditions. We’re improving each race.”
Emirates Team New Zealand sped away to a ‘horizon job’ victory in the first race, but fell back into the fleet later in the afternoon. For skipper Glenn Ashby it simply felt good to be out competing again.
“Great racing out there today,” he said. “It’s been so long since we all battled it out. It felt good. We had a great first race, but unfortunately we got bounced around a bit in the last one.”
SoftBank Team Japan skipper Dean Barker found himself in familiar territory. His team flashed some brilliance, but couldn’t hold on through a full race for a strong finish.
“I’m happy with the improvements we’re making,” he said. “We can see that we’re getting better. The last one was frustrating. It was looking so good for a while. But one mistake can be so costly. We’re just making little errors and in this fleet you get punished for it.”
Artemis Racing tactician Iain Percy had to take solace from the good moments as the team didn’t get any breaks, ending the day equal points at the bottom of the table with Groupama Team France.
“I’m really happy with the way we sailed and our speed, we just didn’t get the normal clean starts we needed,” he said. “We were going fast and I’m looking forward to tomorrow. If we get our start, it will be hard to catch us.”
Adam Minoprio, sailing in his first Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series event on the helm of Groupama Team France said he needs to get better starts to earn better results at the finish.
“The startline line was pretty short so there wasn’t a lot of room,” he said. “I don’t think I was aggressive enough. But the team kept it together and we managed to claw back points around the race course. I need to fight for my spot. The other guys have been doing these reaching starts for a year already, so I need to learn fast.”
Fortunately for Minoprio and the others chasing Ainslie, the regatta format offers a chance at salvation. Super Sunday racing has double scoring points on offer in all three races scheduled. So the leaderboard may look very different in 24 hours.
Provisional Results: Race 1 – Saturday
Emirates Team NZ – 10 points
Oracle Team USA – 9 points
Land Rover BAR – 8 points
Artemis Racing – 7 points
SoftBank Team Japan – 6 points
Groupama Team France – 5 points
Race 2 – Saturday
Land Rover BAR – 10 points
SoftBank Team Japan – 9 points
Groupama Team France – 8 points
Emirates Team New Zealand – 7 points
Oracle Team USA – 6 points
Artemis Racing – 5 points
Race 3 – Saturday
Land Rover BAR – 10 points
Oracle Team USA – 9 points
Artemis Racing – 8 points
Groupama Team France – 7 points
SoftBank Team Japan – 6 points
Emirates Team New Zealand – 5 points
Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series Oman Leaderboard after 3 races:
Land Rover BAR – 8, 10, 10 – 28 points
Oracle Team USA – 9, 6, 9 – 24 points
Emirates Team NZ – 10, 7, 5 – 22 points
SoftBank Team Japan – 6, 9, 6 – 21 points
Artemis Racing – 7, 5, 8- 20 points
Groupama Team France – 5, 8, 7 – 20 points
RS:X World Championships at Eilat, Israel
After the final day of fleet racing for the RS:X World Championships in Eilat, Israel, going into the Medal Races Saturday, the Polish sailors Piotr Myszka and Malgorzata Bialecka lead the men and women’s events respectively.
Set on the stunning Red Sea waters of Eilat, Israel, the 2016 RS:X World Championship is a key event in the final countdown to Rio. Yesterday’s day off gave the athletes some time to recover from the physical demands of racing but it was game on again today.
In the mens event, Piotr Myszka, one of a group of flying Poles has mathematically claimed the 2016 world title with a lead of 22.9 points. But a change in the podium places as redress was given to Britain’s Nick Dempsey in the final race moving him from 24 to 11.8 points and from 5th to 2nd overall. Dempsey is 22.9 points behind the leader Piotr Myszka, who barring any accidents will take the title. Winner of the first race was Kiran Badloe of Holland who sits in third. In fourth is Dorian Van Rijsselberge of Holland.
In the womens fleet some intensely close racing. In the women, Malgorzata Bialecka (POL) has a 12 point lead and with the next three competitors fighting for the other two podium places, should be safe. There was a jostle for position amongst those currently in podium places on the penultimate day of racing. Ultimately, it was Lilian de Geus (NED) who found the right lanes of pressure on the course climbing into second place with the likes of Marina Alabau (ESP), Bryony Shaw (GBR) and Charline Picon (FRA) nipping at her heels.
On Saturday competitors will face the last chance to advance through to the medal race, so it’s an all or nothing day, close and intense. Who will hold their nerve to make the cut?
Full results: http://www.rsxclass.com/worlds2016/?page_id=188
Event website: http://www.rsxclass.com/worlds2016/
Photos © Matiaz Capizzano
470 World Championships at San Isidro, Argentina
Taking advantage of the morning breeze, the Race Committee got teams off early on race day 4 at the 470 Worlds to complete three races.
In a breeze of around 10-12 knots, the 470 Women kicked off race 5 at 1005 hours, followed by the 470 Men. A long day for all, with around 8 hours spent out on the water avoiding islands of camelote plants.
Birthday girl, Camille Lecointre and crew Helene Defrance (FRA) raced a dream series, 10,1, 6 and continue to hold the overall lead. Another superb day from China’s Xiaoli Wang/Lizhu Huang, including a win in race 7 propels them to second overall, with Sydney Bolger/Carly Shevitz (USA) in third.
In the 470 Men, as predicted yesterday, the advantage was initially with Onan Barreiros/Juan Curbelo (ESP) who came into their own as the only team to count an all top ten scoreline, and bounced up to first overall after race 6. But a 21st and OCS penalty in races 7 and 8 dropped them to 7th by the end.
Reclaiming the leader’s bibs by the end are New Zealand’s Paul Snow-Hansen/Daniel Wilcox, with Mat Belcher/Will Ryan (AUS) in third.
The camelote plants made a return to the race track in greater numbers. Their appearance is a rare phenomenon due to storms last month. But, as teams recognize, they all face the same challenge.
Just two more races now remain to decide the top ten teams who will advance to Saturday’s Medal Race. Those at the front of the pack look hard to unseat, but for the teams in the lower half of the top ten leaderboard, anything could happen tomorrow.
All was looking good for Spain’s Onan Barreiros/Juan Curbelo, as they claimed the lead after race 6, but it was short lived as a 19th in race 7 unseated them. A race 7 win propelled Sime Fantela/Igor Marenic (CRO) to the front, and no surprise to find defending Championship Mat Belcher/Will Ryan (AUS) chipping away at the leaderboard, moving up to third after race 7 and sitting tight after race 8.
There was a log going on across the race track, as the camelote plans unseated a lot of race strategies and meant there was a huge amount to concentrate on. Back on form after their 24th place yesterday, Paul Snow-Hansen/Daniel Wilcox (NZL) checked out of race 6 with a win, moved up to second overall, and their second win of the day in race 8 secured their number one position.
“We are pretty pleased with the day. It’s been pretty tough with the weed out there and a lot going on, so getting good results on top of the chaotic sailing conditions is really awesome,” said Paul-Hansen.
He attributes much of their success to the support team around them, saying, “We have to say a huge thanks to our coaches for doing some good work with us, and also the young boys Sam and Zak. We really appreciate all they have contributed to our campaign.”
Four race wins so far is an epic delivery at a World Championship, and cause for celebration. “Whenever you win a race at a Worlds, you really, really enjoy it and it is amazing to do. We just want to make good decisions around the race course and sail fast, and if it’s a race win that’s great,” concluded Snow-Hansen.
Fantela/Marenic were the last team to win a 470 Worlds title, before the six year run of glory by Mat Belcher, three golds with Malcolm Page and three with Will Ryan. They almost reversed things at the 2015 470 Worlds, but couldn’t quite catch the Australians in the medal race. In tomorrow’s two races anything can happen, but Fantela/Marenic are on a roll.
“It is very close and very tough racing and the conditions are really, really challenging for the sailors and the Race Committee,” commented Marenic.
“The weed means we cannot focus only on sailing, but other than that we are super pleased with our performance today. We had a good strategy and we followed it to the end. We played a lot with the shifts, which is a game we like, so today was working really well for us.”
Already guaranteed a place in the medal race line up, tomorrow will be a day of consolidation for the Croatians, as they try to maintain their position.
After the glory of yesterday’s first ever race win which pushed them to the front of the leaderboard, South Africa’s Asenathi Jim/Roger Hudson kicked off today on the back foot scoring their worst result of the series so far, a 22nd, dropping to 4th overall. Their change in fortunes continued, following up with a 22,28 to drop to ninth. Jim partially attributed their performance to exhaustion, saying,
“We were here until late last night fixing our slot gasket, and here early this morning, I am just exhausted.”
A surprise performance so far from Argentina’s 470 stars, Lucas Calabrese/Juan de la Fuente places them in 16th overall, 25 points off the top ten, something not anticipated on their home stamping ground.
“We are not lucky in this Championship,” said a dismayed de la Fuente. The Argentineans broke their rudder in race 6 and were forced to retire. A quick fix to the pin between races got them going again, but racing a home Worlds they were imagining better.
“For sure we were hoping to do better,” he added. “We are still working with the equipment and I don’t think we made a good approach to the Championship, as in the end this is not our main target. It is important as it is a Worlds in Argentina, but it is all about the Olympics.”
Ferdinand Gerz/Oliver Szymaski (GER) drop out of the top ten, with Stu McNay/David Hughes (USA) shifting up.
470 Men – Results after 8 Races
1. Paul Snow-Hansen/Daniel Willcox (NZL 2) – 37 pts
2. Sime Fantela/Igor Marenic (CRO 83) – 39 pts
3. Mathew Belcher/William Ryan (AUS 11) – 48 pts
4. Sofian Bouvet/Jérémie Mion (FRA 27) – 55 pts
5. Anton Dahlberg/Fredrik Bergström (SWE 349) – 56 pts
6. Panagiotis Mantis/Pavlos Kagialis (GRE 1) – 69 pts
7. Onán Barreiros Rodríguez/Juan Curbelo Cabrera (ESP 9) – 69 pts
8. Gabrio Zandona/Andrea Trani (ITA 2) – 74 pts
9. Asenathi Jim/Roger Hudson (RSA 1) – 81 pts
10. Stu McNay/David Hughes (USA 1 ) – 84 pts
CLICK HERE for full results
Celebrating her 31st birthday Camille Lecointre, with crew Helene Defrance, found herself locked in a points battle with defending World Champions Lara Vadlau/Jola Ogar (AUT), sitting on 18 points apiece after race 5. A win in race 6 and a 6th put the French firmly ahead, whilst the Austrians dropped to 4th.
The French pair took their first medal at a 470 Worlds last year in Israel, sealing bronze. Before that, with her previous crew, Lecointre took silver at the 2012 470 Worlds and won the 2013 470 Europeans. Right now, they look to be hitting the right notes as they prepare for Rio.
“It was hard for the nerves today, because of all the weeds,” admitted Lecointre. “There is more pressure because every time you catch one you slow down so much and it changes all your strategy as well. Sometimes you really have to avoid it and we were a bit lost in the first race,” she said referring to their 10th place.
“The wind was hard to get,” added Defrance, “especially the last race. We did some mistakes too, and we just keep trying to be more accurate to avoid losing points.”
“Our coach was not so happy, as we did some stupid mistakes so it destroyed a bit my birthday joie de vivre,” smiled Lecointre.
China’s Xiaoli Wang/Lizhu Huang pressed their opponents every step of each race, scoring 7,2,1 to improve their overnight position by 4 places moving up to second overall. China has three teams competing here, as they battle through their national selection process.
A slow and steady climb for 2012 Olympic Gold Medallists, Jo Aleh/Polly Powrie (NZL), who today stepped up four leaderboard positions to 5th.
“We had a few speed issues earlier in the week, and we are slowly just trying to work through them and solve them and try and get a bit quicker,” explained Powrie. “It is also just trying to piece together the whole race, as its really not over until is over here.”
Recognizing the step up all teams seem to be delivering in the final months before Rio, Powrie added, “Certainly the racing has been really tight. It feels like everyone has stepped it up a level and it’s great to try and be a part of it and go along with it.”
Aleh/Powrie last won a Worlds in 2013, but medals are not at the forefront of their minds. “We don’t really focus on the result to be honest, it’s more to tick off the things we have been working on and try and keep progressing forward”, concluded Powrie.
Elsewhere in the fleet, the battle for national selection doesn’t get any easier.
Raising their game this Championship are Spain’s Barbara Cornudella/Sara Lopez, although it almost ended in disaster in the day’s opening race 5. A collision with another boat damaged their bow and water soon filled the tanks
“In the first upwind we broke the bow of our boat, and water was coming in throughout the race. We discussed whether to retire or not, but thank goodness we kept on going and finished 15th,” said Cornudella.
Between races, they hauled their 470 onto the coach boat to drain the tanks and a spot of tape plugged the damage for the next two races. No harm done, as they continued a superb day of racing with a 5, 2 and move up three places to 7.
“In a career you have a level, but sometimes you are going down and you see the results in some races they are so bad. And then there is a time that you go up again, and then you go higher than your level,” Cornudella added in reference to their escalation on past performance, which positions them as the top Spanish team.
In a surprise turn of form, World #7 team and 2015 470 European silver medallists, Tina Mrak/Veronika Macarol (SLO) are languishing at the back of the fleet.
“This is a Championship to forget, that’s for sure,” commented Macarol. “Every day was really bad. Today in the first race we got caught in the plants and then we got a black flag, and the third was again bad.”
“I think after all these races we are not concentrating and we just don’t sail how we know, and I don’t know, it is just to forget and I hope the next regatta will be good.”
Their opening race of the series, a 7th, reflected where they would normally be in the leaderboard, but that result was also a disappointment for the pair, as Macarol continued, “Even that was a bad race for us. We could have finished 2nd, but we didn’t. For everyone, for sure it is difficult here in Argentina, but for us and also the British girls it is not good.”
The British Girls are 2012 Olympic silver medallists and world #1 pair Hannah Mills/Saskia Clark, who sit in 23rd and it will take a miracle for them to convert their current standing of 122 points to anywhere near the top 10.
“No, you could say that,” quipped Mills in response to this not being their Championship. “We have had a tough week. We’ve sailed alright actually and we don’t feel we have been sailing that badly, but it’s just not quite clicked. We have two OCS scores which doesn’t help anyone’s series, but we are still positive and we have learnt a heap coming here, so it has still been really worthwhile. It’s the challenges that make you stronger and we will learn from this as best we can and move forwards.”
470 Women – Results after 7 Races
1. Camille Lecointre/Helene Defrance (FRA 9) – 25 pts
2. Xiaoli Wang/Lizhu Huang (CHN 1221) – 28 pts
3. Sydney Bolger/Carly Shevitz (USA 88) – 32 pts
4. Lara Vadlau/Jolanta Ogar (AUT 431) – 36 pts
5. Jo Aleh/Polly Powrie (NZL 75) – 43 pts
6. Anne Haeger/Briana Provancha (USA 1712) – 43 pts
7. Bàrbara Cornudella Ravetllat/Sara López Ravetllat (ESP 14) – 46 pts
8. Afrodite Zegers-Kyranakou/Anneloes Van Veen (NED 216) – 49 pts
9. Fernanda Oliveira/Ana Luiza Barbachan (BRA 177) – 50 pts
10. Agnieszka/Irmina Orozek (POL11) – 58 pts
Friday 26 February, racing is scheduled to start at 1100 hours, with 3 races for the 470 Women who will start first, followed by 470 Men who will do 2 races.
Follow the 2016 470 World Championship at 2016worlds.470.org
RS:X World Championships at Eilat, Israel
First day of final series racing at the RS:X World Championships in Eilat, with the Poles taking the lead in both mens and womens divisions. New leader in the men is Piotr Myszka of Poland and in the women, Malgorzata Bialecka, also of Poland keeps her lead.
In the men, Thomas Goyard of France took the first race, with Dorian Van Rijsselberge of Holland second and Switzerland’s Mateo Sanz Lanz third. Previous leader Nick Dempsey (GBR) was 32nd.
In the second race, Piotr Myszka won ahead of Shahar Zubari of Israel, third was Dempsey.
In the final race, Kiran Badloe of Holland took first ahead of Mateo Sanz Lanz, with Aichen Wang of China third.
RS:X Men – (top 6 after 7 races (81 entries)
1st POL 82 Piotr Myszka 21 pts
2nd FRA 1 Louis Giard 32 pts
3rd ISR 11 Shahar Zubari 32 pts
4th POL 182 Pawel Tarnowski 33 pts
5th GBR 1 Nick Dempsey 33 pts
6th NED 8 Dorian Van Rijsselberge 34 pts
In the women’s event the first race went to Lilian de Geus of Holland with Eugenie Ricard of France second and Blanca Manchon of Spain third.
Race 2 went to Marina Alabau Neira of Spain with 2nd Stefania Elfutina of Russia and third Zofia Noceti-Klepacka of Poland.
The final race and winner was Charline Picon of France with Malgorzata Bialecka taking second to keep a one point lead overall. Third was Zofia Noceti-Klepacka. Shaw finished 7th and Wilson 22nd.
RS:X Women (top 6 after Race 7 races) (58 entries)
1st POL 21 Malgorzata Bialecka 19 pts
2nd NED 3 Lilian de Geus 20 pts
3rd POL 8 Zofia Noceti-Klepacka 30 pts
4th ESP 5 Marina Alabau Neira 35 pts
5th GBR 94 Bryony Shaw 39 pts
6th FRA 4 Charline Picon 39 pts
470 World Championship at San Isidro, Argentina
The 470 Men got underway first just before 1600 hours, followed by the 470 Women. The original schedule of three races was scuppered by the earlier postponement ashore with 2 races completed for the 470 Men and one for the 470 Women. Five races down in the 470 Men, puts the fleet at the halfway stage of the Championship opening series of 10 races.
Watching the race unfold is intriguing, as the sailors analyse each section of the race track, try to anticipate how a threat can be dealt with, how they can catch the boat in front and work through the fleet. Perfecting that today with a superb tactical move were South Africa’s Asenathi Jim/Roger Hudson. They executed a text book gybe set to pass Germany’s Ferdinand Gerz/Oliver Szymanksi and win race 5, building on their 11th place in the day’s first race. With it, they jump to first overall on tiebreak with Spain’s Onan Barreiros/Juan Curbelo. Anton Dahlberg/Fredrik Bergstrom (SWE) in third.
In the 470 Women, defending World Champions Lara Vadlau/Jola Ogar (AUT) pulled their first win of the Championship out of the bag in race 4 and move up to second overall. Camille Lecointre/Helene Defrance (FRA), who won the preceding South Americans, pushed the Austrians hard, but had to settle for second place, although still move up to first, carrying a narrow 2 point advantage. Afrodite Kyranakou/Anneloes van Veen (NED) are in third on tiebreak with the French.
The Race Committee has done a brilliant job, making the call to race to optimise weather conditions and a race track as clear as possible of the floating camelote plants which have washed down the Parana River. Add to the mix, the challenge of a racing area which is incredibly hard to read, as the silt turns it murky brown and incredibly difficult to pinpoint surface weather patterns.
A win at a World Championship is a pretty special achievement, and even more so for the recently crowned 470 African Champions, Asenathi Jim/Roger Hudson (RSA), as it marks their first ever World’s race win. The pair boost their profile to first overall, from sixth going into the day.
“It is a great feeling to actually have a race win at a World Championships, really amazing,” said Jim.
“We seem to have a bit of pace but you know it was really tough to make any good moves in the fleet, because the wind was all over the show. It was interesting, as we bailed out of situations when we were deep.”
The current made the racing extremely difficult, as Hudson explained, “It is really complicated conditions, really tricky and it is very chaotic as well, so you have to keep looking for the next opportunity and stay alive. As Asenathi said, a couple of times we were in trouble and we managed to find our way back into the race in both cases. We are very happy and quite frankly we would have been happy with second in that race, because we are just trying to get good scores on the board. In this place, a good score is most probably anything inside the top 15. We managed to get a gybe set on Ferdi [GER10] which is a very special feeling to win a race at a World Championship. We are delighted.”
Hudson/Jim have come a long way in pursuit of flying the flag for sailing in South Africa. Looking ahead to the top ten medal race, Hudson continued, “We have quite a bit to go before the weekend. We are just trying to keep going one race at a time and hope to be here on Saturday to contest the Medal Race. That would be a dream.”
Onan Barreiros/Juan Curbelo (ESP) delivered a solid 4, 20, and with their 20th place discarded are critically the only team in the 470 Men fleet counting an all top 10 scoreline. They will just be waiting for their moment to pounce.
Holding firm in third are Anton Dahlberg/Fredrik Bergstrom (SWE), with the defending World Champions Mat Belcher/Will Ryan (AUS) hunting down the top three places, just 4 points behind in fourth from their 6,3 scores today.
Panagotis Mantis/Pavlos Kagilais (GRE) took the win in the day’s opening race, following up with a 16th, to move up to 6th overall.
A day of two halves for Germany’s Ferdinand Gerz/Oliver Szymanksi who opened with a 33rd place finish and then engaged in a finely balanced battle with the South Africans, which they lost, finishing race 5 in second place. The pair qualified Germany to the Olympics at the 2015 470 Worlds in Israel, but their place on the Olympic starting line is not yet certain as they have to meet their National Olympic Committee criteria.
Japan’s Kazuto Doi/Kimihiko Imamura were leading for much of race 4, before the depth in performance behind, saw them overtaken and finishing third. Not such a strong showing in race 5, with a 31st place finish.
A notable 4th place result from Chile’s brother partnership of Andres Ducasse/Francisco Ducasse in race 5.
470 Men – (top 10 provisional 5esults after 5 races)
1. Asenathi Jim/Roger Hudson (RSA 1) – 21 pts
2. Onán Barreiros Rodríguez/Juan Curbelo Cabrera (ESP 9) – 21 pts
3. Anton Dahlberg/Fredrik Bergström (SWE 349) – 27 pts
4. Mathew Belcher/William Ryan (AUS 11) – 31 pts
5. Sime Fantela/Igor Marenic (CRO 83) – 31 pts
6. Panagiotis Mantis/Pavlos Kagialis (GRE 1) – 32 pts
7. Paul Snow-Hansen/Daniel Willcox (NZL 2) – 33 pts
8. Gabrio Zandona/Andrea Trani (ITA 2) – 35 pts
9. Sofian Bouvet/Jérémie Mion (FRA 27) – 39 pts
10. Ferdinand Gerz/Oliver Szymaski (GER 10) – 43 pts
Back to back World Champions in 2014 and 2015, Lara Vadlau/Jola Ogar (AUT) pride themselves on their consistency, but recognized yesterday they hadn’t quite found their mojo here. Today that changed as they seized their first win of the Championship and move on up to second overall.
Growing familiarity with the conditions contributed to their win, as Vadlau explained, “Our start to the Championship was pretty tough,with really light wind and hot conditions, but we are getting more and more use to this area and are trying to figure out how it works. Today we got it right!”
“It is difficult,” added Ogar. “But this is really good training before Rio, as Rio is also quite a difficult venue, with a lot of things going on, like here. You have to be the smartest one and we are getting better every day, its nice.”
Camille Lecointre/Helene Defrance (FRA), who won the preceding South Americans, pushed the Austrian hard, but had to settle for second place, but still leap up to first, holding a 2 point advantage over the Austrians. Afrodite Kyranakou/Anneloes van Veen (NED) are in third on tiebreak with the French.
There is no let-up in the neck and next battle for national selection to Rio between the USA’s Annie Haegar/Briana Provancha and Sydney Bolger/Carly Shevitz, as the pair trade positions. Haegar/Provancha now hold the advantage in fourth overall, with their adversaries 4 points behind in fifth.
The 2012 Olympic Gold medallists Jo Aleh/Polly Powrie are the proud owners of four World Championship medals, one gold, two silver and one bronze, so well used to being at the front of the fleet. Their start to the Championship has been slower than usual over the past two days, but today they found their groove around the track, finishing in third and move up into the top ten, in ninth.
The battle for national selection to the Rio 2016 Olympics is unrelenting, and for the six Spanish teams competing here, the decision will be made based on the best combination of results from the 2016 470 Worlds in Argentina and 2016 470 Europeans in Mallorca, Spain.
From a ranking perspective, the world #11 pair Marina Gallego/Fatima Reyes should be sitting pretty out front, but so far it is the world #23 pair of Barbara Cornudella/Sara Lopez who are showing the best form in tenth overall.
Gallego/Reyes have finished mainly mid-fleet so far, and there is no doubt the racing conditions here are tough to master.
“The physicality of racing here and ability to pump takes its toll,” explained Reyes. “I like the hardness of pumping conditions. I feel more the motivation to make the boat go faster than the fatigue. Here, in Argentina the recovery between races is not easy. We are having very warm days and it´s easy to end dehydrated.”
The Race Committee called off any more racing, as the increasing current made starting difficult and it would be impossible to finish a race in the time limit, leaving the fleet to head ashore with just one result added to their scoresheet.
470 Women – (top 10 provisional results after 4 races)
1. Camille Lecointre/Helene Defrance (FRA 9) – 8 pts
2. Lara Vadlau/Jolanta Ogar (AUT 431) – 10 pts
3. Afrodite Zegers-Kyranakou/Anneloes Van Veen (NED 216) – 10 pts
4. Anne Haeger/Briana Provancha (USA 1712) – 12 pts
5. Sydney Bolger/Carly Shevitz (USA 88) – 16 pts
6. Xiaoli Wang/Lizhu Huang (CHN 1221) – 18 pts
7. Fernanda Oliveira/Ana Luiza Barbachan (BRA 177) – 18 pts
8. Linda Fahrni/Maja Siegenthaler (SUI 5) – 21 pts
9. Jo Aleh/Polly Powrie (NZL 75) – 22 pts
10. Bàrbara Cornudella Ravetllat/Sara López Ravetllat (ESP 14) – 24 pts
Thursday 25 February, the breeze is set to take a different turn, with around 13 knots at 1000 hours. Racing is scheduled to start at 1000 hours, with three races for each fleet. 470 Women will race first followed by 470 Men.
For details of protests, please take a look at the online Noticeboard.
Follow the 2016 470 World Championship at 2016worlds.470.org