USA completes Women’s 470 Trials
Published on March 12th, 2021
Vilamoura, Portugal (March 12, 2021) – The final two races of the opening round at the 2021 470 World Championship were completed today to determine the top ten in each fleet for the final Medal Race, but there was much more confirmed on the penultimate day of the regatta.
As the third and final stage of the US Sailing Team’s Olympic Selection series, and with three teams vying for the entry, it was U.S. Coast Guard LTJG Nikole ‘Nikki’ Barnes (St. Thomas, USVI) and Lara Dallman-Weiss (Hugo, MN) that closed the door today to be nominated as the US representatives in the Women’s 470 for the Tokyo 2020 Games.
Carmen and Emma Cowles (Larchmont, NY) sailed well, scoring a 5th and 6th place, keeping qualification hopes alive at the time and race fans on the edge of their seats. The last race was exceptionally exciting as the Cowles sisters and Barnes/Dallman-Weiss rounded at the head of the fleet and battled all the way around the course in a shifty and choppy final race.
“We didn’t know about Trials when we crossed the finish line because it was so close, so my feeling was just immense pride in our team and how we sailed the regatta,” said Dallman-Weiss. “We went in with a goal to have consistent top 10s and we executed that in the highest-pressure scenario. We laid it all out there, we did all we could, and we pushed till the end.
“When we crossed the finish line, our coach Robby wasn’t sure [about the final results] because the racing was so close, so we were crunching numbers and waiting to see if anyone filed a protest. All of the other competitors towed in and the three of us sat out there refreshing the results page waiting to find out. Nikki started bawling and we felt all the emotions. I am just so proud, so grateful—so grateful we even had a Worlds, grateful we had the other two teams pushing us, just all-around happy.”
Also up for grabs was the final berths for Tokyo 2020 which were claimed by the Portuguese for the men’s 470 class and Turkey that secured the last slot for the women’s class.
With the wind around 12 knots, Swedes Anton Dahlberg and Fredrik Bergström remain in the men’s lead followed by Portuguese sailors Pedro and Diogo Costa in second and Jordi Xammar and Nicolas Rodriguez of Spain in third. The Russians Pavel Sozykin and Denis Gribanov, in 4th place, are still able to contest one of tomorrow’s medals. In sixth is Stu McNay and Dave Hughes (USA) who sit 24 points off the podium.
In the women’s competition the day’s races brought no changes in the leaderboard with the Spanish Silvia Mas Depares and Patricia Cantero Reina keeping the lead for the fourth consecutive day, followed by the Dutch Afrodite Zegers and Lobke Berkhout. The third place is occupied by the Italians Elena Berta and Bianca Caruso. Among the USA teams, Barnes/Dallman-Weiss are in 7th and the Cowles twins in 12th.
In the mixed fleet, Israel’s Gil Cohen and Noam Homri kept their 1st place and Italy’s Maria Vitoria Marchesini and Bruno Festo moved up one place to 2nd. Britons Freya Black and Marcus Tressler now complete the podium. Mixed crews will be the future of the 470 class and the exclusive format to be adopted after the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.
The Championships on March 8-18 will be competed as single series per event, with 11 races and one discard to determine the top ten positions which advance to the Medal Race on the final day. At least 5 races are required to be completed to constitute the regatta series and/or to enter the Medal Race.
USA qualification scores: https://www.ussailing.org/olympics/selection/olympic-games/2020trials/
Tokyo Olympic Sailing Program
Men’s One Person Dinghy – Laser
Women’s One Person Dinghy – Laser Radial
Men’s Two Person Dinghy – 470
Women’s Two Person Dinghy – 470
Men’s Skiff – 49er
Women’s Skiff – 49erFx
Men’s One Person Dinghy Heavy – Finn
Men’s Windsurfing – RS:X
Women’s Windsurfing – RS:X
Mixed Multihull – Nacra 17
Original dates: July 24 to August 9, 2020
Revised dates: July 23 to August 8, 2021