Greek wind gods deliver at 470 Europeans
Published on July 12th, 2014
Athens, Greek (July 12, 2014) – Greek mythology has it that Aeolus is the ruler of the wind, and today at the 470 Europeans, the wind was in charge across the race track of the Saronic Gulf.
An 18-20 knot breeze for the first race of the day delivering some exhilarating races – three for the women and two for the men.
Yesterday, the seventy-three boat 470 Men fleet were split into Gold and Silver for the final series of races, ahead of the top 10 Medal Race on Tuesday 15 July 2014. So 2 races down today and four more to go to decide the 470 Men top 10. The fifty-one boat 470 Women’s fleet are sailing a single series, so continue as one fleet until the Medal Race.
The quality of the racing was described as beautiful today, as the world’s top sailors battle it out round the race track – it really is a spectacle to witness.
Two race wins for Mat Belcher/Will Ryan (AUS) extends their winning margin to 10 points over the second placed team, whilst behind Finland’s Joonas Lindgren/Niklas Lindgren move up to second place swapping with Spain’s Onan Barreiros/Juan Curbelo who drop to third.
Still very early days in this Championship, with another 4 races scheduled to complete the final series, but Belcher/Ryan are so far trumping the fleet with race wins and consistency. In an amazing display of superiority today, they showed what makes them different. From 5th place at the downwind gate, they headed back upwind, onto the reach and downwind to the finish – by which time they had accelerated to the front and won the race with a 150 metre margin over France’s Sofian Bouvet/Jeremie Mion.
Belcher /Ryan are the defending Open European Champions, with Bouvet/Mion the defending European Champions.
“It doesn’t change things so much in our team,” explained Mion referring to their goal to defend the 2013 European gold medal. “For sure we want to defend the title, but we will just focus on doing what we know. Since last year, as a team we are more sure about ourselves, because last year was the beginning of being in the top 3. But now we have been on a long road for the past year and we won ISAF Sailing World Cup Miami and have been on the podium in a lot of regattas, so we are more confident.”
Bouvet chipped in, “It was not easy today as we didn’t expect these conditions as we were more expecting a sea breeze or meltemi, but we did well because we didn’t give up. Sometimes we were in 25th place and fought back. In race 6 we were in last place in the first upwind, but we succeeded to never give up and it turned out ok. We were not far from everyone each time, and on the reach we found good shifts and pressure. These conditions are not just about the speed, but the tactics and strategy.”
Heading up the silver fleet are Switzerland’s Yannick Brauchli/Romuald Hausser.
The 470 Men Gold and Silver fleets are scheduled to contest 2 races on Sunday 13 July 2014, with the first warning signal at 1300 hours for the Gold fleet.
470 Men – Top 10 after 6 Races
1. Mathew Belcher/Will Ryan (AUS) – 9 pts
2. Joonas Lindgren/Niklas Lindgren (FIN) – 19 pts
3. Onan Barreiros/Juan Curbelo (ESP) – 22 pts
4. Luke Patience/Elliot Willis (GBR) – 25 pts
5. Sofian Bouvet/Jeremie Mion (FRA) – 30 pts
6. Sime Fantela/Igor Marenic (CRO) – 30 pts
7. Lucas Calabrese/Juan de la Fuente (ARG) – 31
8. Matthias Schmid/Florian Reichstaedter (AUT) – 32 pts
9. Panagiotis Kampouridis/Efstathios Papadopoulos (GRE) – 35 pts
10. Panagiotis Mantis/Pavlos Kagialis (GRE) – 39 pts
A perfectly executed race day from Austria’s Lara Vadlau/Jola Ogar who will be wearing the yellow leader bibs tomorrow, with a one point advantage over the 2012 Olympic silver medallists Hannah Mills/Saskia Clark (GBR) from their 2,1,8 score. The series discard came into play after race 4, so with teams now able to discard their worst result the leaderboard has switched around a bit. The 2012 Olympic Gold Medallists and reigning World Champions Jo Aleh/Polly Powrie (NZL) have jumped back up to third.
A tough day for the fifty-one boat women fleet with three demanding races in an opening breeze of 16-18 knots and short waves, easing to around 15 knots for the closing two races.
“It was a tough race today and not a second when we weren’t working hard,” commented Vadlau. “But I think the hard work paid off.”
“The first two races were quite easy for us to read the wind and in the third race the seabreeze came in and it was also OK, but a bit shiftier,” concluded Vadlau.
A misjudged call on a port/starboard incident forced the Austrians into a 720 penalty turn after they crossed the port/starboard incident with the British, and knocked the Austrians back down into eighth place in race 6, a result which Vadlau was hoping would be third before the incident.
Mills/Clark have spent three months out of the boat as they both recover from injury, so a tougher day for them than others.
“Our sailing fitness has taken a bit over the last few months,” said Mills, “so it was a pretty physical day for us and we are feeling pretty exhausted. Physically in the boat, the first race I was a bit nervous as when it is windy is when my back struggles. A few twinges, but everything held up reasonably well and we soon settled into it and could relax during the race.”
Despite their consistent day the British pair were not happy about their boat handling.
“We made it difficult for ourselves,” laughed Clark. “In that wind and those waves shows it. So we were on basic hoists and that kind of thing. We struggled a bit which put us in the pack. But it is really good racing. There are some of the younger fleet who weren’t at the Olympics last time who have pulled through the last two year and are becoming really tough competitors, so it is really good.”
The 470 Men Gold and Silver fleets are scheduled to contest 2 races on Sunday 14 July, with the first warning signal at 1300 hours for the Gold fleet.
470 Women – Top 10 after 6 Races
1. Lara Vadlau/Jolanta Ogar (AUT) – 17 pts
2. Hannah Mills/Saskia Clark (GBR) – 18 pts
3. Jo Aleh/Polly Powrie (NZL) – 27 pts
4 Sophie Weguelin/Eilidh Mcintyre (GBR) – 28 pts
5. Anne Haeger/Briana Provancha (USA) – 36 pts
6. Fernanda Oliveira/Ana Barbachan (BRA) – 36 pts
7. Afrodite Kyranakou/Anneloes Van Veen (NED) – 52 pts
8. Alisa Kirilyuk/Liudmila Dmitrieva (RUS) – 53 pts
9. Tina Mrak/Veronika Macarol (SLO) – 54 pts
10. Roberta Caputo/Alice Sinno (ITA) – 59 pts
Overall Results: http://europeans.470.org/en/default/races/race-resultsall
Event website: Europeans.470.org
Racing Schedule for Sunday 13 July 2014
Two races are scheduled for all fleets on Sunday 13 July 2014, with the 470 Men Gold getting underway first with a scheduled warning signal of 1300 hours, followed by the 470 Men Silver and then the 470 Women.
About the 2014 470 Open European Championships
Nautical Club of Tzitzifies Kallithea (NOTK) in the iconic Olympic sailing city of Athens, Greece is hosting the six days of racing at the 2014 470 European Championships which kicked off on Thursday 10 July 2014. The racing format is an 11 race series scheduled for the 470 Men and 470 Women fleets, after which the top 10 advance to the final Medal Race on Tuesday 15 July 2014.
Report by event media.