470 Worlds: USA Women Tied for Lead
Published on February 23rd, 2016
Buenos Aires, Argentina (February 23, 2016) – Another light start to the day at the 470 World Championships, with 2 knots the only breeze sniffing around the race track at the scheduled start time of 1400 hours.
Postponements ashore required patience from the Race Committee and teams, as everyone waited for an opening in the weather, which was rewarded by late afternoon. Racing got underway in in an 8-9 knot easterly breeze with pumping allowed, increasing to 10-11 knots.
Sailing on the Rio de La Plata, the silt from the delta turns the water brown, making it very hard to physically see the breeze on the water and to see where the breeze will come next. In addition, the water is quite flat with more than one knot of current and a lot of weed at the moment, which makes racing complicated for the crews trying to not run over anything.
Despite a UFD penalty score, Paul Snow-Hansen/Daniel Wilcox hold firm wearing the yellow leader’s bibs as they discard their race 3 result.
“We ended up starting at the committee end of the line, and unfortunately were over,” said Wilcox. “We felt like we sailed a good race, which was a positive, so hopefully we can just take forward the positives into tomorrow. Round the race course we were sailing really well, so we are happy with what we did on the water.”
Mat Belcher/Will Ryan have redeemed yesterday’s performance by making it a clean win today, and jumping from a leaderboard 33rd to 11th.
An upgrade from fifth going into the day to second at the end for Anton Dahlberg/Fredrik Bergstrom (SWE) after a second place result. Dahlberg is about to compete at his third Olympics, although it will be a first time appearance for crew Bergstrom, the 2011 470 Junior World Champion.
Early days, but South Africa’s Asenathi Jim/Roger Hudson mark their best ever opener to a 470 Championship, having steamed up to the top three from a solid 3,16, 6 scoreline. However, with just three races down, the recently crowned 470 African Champions are understandably cautious.
“It feels nice to be up there with the top guys and playing their games,” smiled Jim. “The three races have been fantastic and we just need to keep the momentum going and keep building on what we have. We seem to have great speed and are making good calls,” he added referring to their tactics around the track.
“It’s early days, so we don’t want to get ahead of ourselves,” chipped in Hudson. “This is the first time in six years we have ever had a brand new boat and we spent ten days preparing it before the Worlds. We definitely have an extra shade of speed that we haven’t had before which is extremely helpful at a venue like this.”
Stu McNay/ Dave Hughes (USA) posted a 22nd to drop to 20th overall.
Three teams on an equal 5 point scorecard sit at the top of the 470 Women leaderboard, with tiebreak advantage to Afrodite Kyranakou/Anneloes van Veen, over Sydney Bolger/Carly Shevitz (USA) and Annie Haegar/Briana Provancha (USA).
A long day in light breeze, but when the time came the Dutch pair of Kyranakou/van Veen put their foot on the pedal with some impressive downwind speed, to take the lead at the first downwind gate.
“It was a difficult day for everyone and a lot of current,” commented Kyranakou on the conditions. “It was not something extreme today, just for the first time we took a good start and then we just did what the coach taught us to do. You know it was just normal, it was not something spectacular. It was a big step for us to have a good start, as yesterday we were battling a lot to keep up in the race. There’s a long way to go and we will just keep going.”
“It was challenging,” commented Shevitz on their fourth place finish. “We were happy, we had pretty good speed around the course and the Oscar flag saved us as we were able to be extra kinetic when we weren’t happy with our position and really get up and away from a lot of boats. Getting to the corner was key for us at the top of the course.”
The 2016 470 World Championships will be raced February 22-27 on the waters off Club Nautico in San Isidro, a province just north of Buenos Aires, Argentina. The format for the 470 World Championship is 11 fleet races, followed by a double-points medal race on Saturday 27 February for the top ten teams advancing from the fleet race series.
81 Teams from 6 Continents / 27 Nations: Argentina, Australia, Austria, Brazil, Canada, Chile, China, France, Great Britain, Germany, Israel, Italy, Japan, Netherlands, New Zealand, Poland, Portugal, Singapore, Slovenia, Spain, South Africa, Switzerland, Sweden, Turkey, USA
Source: 470 class, Australia Sailing