470 Worlds: South Africa leads Men’s event
Published on February 24th, 2016
Buenos Aires, Argentina (February 24, 2016) – The 470 World Championship has proved to be as much a test for the race committee as competitors, with liberal use again on day three of the postponement flag to wait for suitable winds.
The 470 Men got underway first just before 1600 hours, followed by the 470 Women. The original schedule of three races for each fleet was scuppered by the earlier postponement ashore, followed by a change of weather and increase in current at the end of the day. By days end, two races were completed for the 470 Men and one for the 470 Women.
An obstacle on the course has been the ‘camalote’, a sea weed type invasive plant. There has been a bloom of them this Argentinian summer which has led to two official rulings:
• If a boat cannot pass a compact mass of plants and has to change course substantially, when she is sailing directly towards it and at one of her hull lengths from it, this compact mass is considered an obstruction. If she can pass, it is not an obstruction.
• The rudder blade shall be in its fully lowered position. However it may be raised momentarily to clear sea weed or other floating objects.
With five races now completed, South Africa’s Asenathi Jim/Roger Hudson sits on top the 42-boat flee. The South Africans closed the day with a perfect 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. Spain’s Onan Barreiros/Juan Curbelo is in second with equal points and Anton Dahlberg/Fredrik Bergstrom (SWE) just six point back in third.
Americans Stu McNay/ Dave Hughes continue to struggle, posting a 14-UFD and are now 19th overall. “It’s been a thoroughly crazy regatta from the start,” shared Hughes. “Light air, plenty of current, and huge shifts, all complicated with an impressive amount of sea plants. But quite simply we are not sailing our best and that’s what counts. We have more than half of the regatta left, so opportunities are in front of us.”
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 after four races. Camille Lecointre/Helene Defrance (FRA), who won the preceding South Americans, pushed the Austrians hard, but had to settle for second place, but still move up to first overall, carrying a narrow 2 point advantage. Afrodite Kyranakou/Anneloes van Veen (NED) are in third on tiebreak with the French.
The Americans dropped slightly today, with Annie Haeger/Briana Provancha finishing seventh to slip to fourth overall, and Sydney Bolger/Carly Shevitz getting 19th to be in fifth overall. “We made a foul in today’s only race which cost us a few points,” explained Bolger. “But it’s a long championship and we remain confident. We have been really in sync with one another and having a lot of fun racing. It’s always good when the racing is tight and conditions are challenging, but you’re still able to crack a few jokes and enjoy the sailing!”
The Worlds are the first event in the US selection series for the Rio Games.
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, US Sailing Team