Experience counts as 470 Class evolves

Published on September 18th, 2022

The doublehanded 470 dinghy may be the most senior of boats in the Olympic Games, having been used since Montreal 1976, these are early days with the class converting to a mixed format for Paris 2024. From the most evolved, new team formations are learning how to sail again.

An early test has been the 2022 470 European Championship in which 52 teams competed September 13-18 in Cesme, Turkey. The top three all had male helms from Tokyo 2020 remaining in their role, and finished in similar order. All female crews were also well versed in the 470, with two competing in Tokyo.

Top three from Europeans with their Tokyo finish in parenthesis:
1. Sweden – Anton Dahlberg (2)/ Lovisa Karlsson (14)
2. Spain – Jordi Xammar (3)/ Nora Brugman (did not qualify for USA)
3. Italy – Giacomo Ferrari (6)/ Bianca Caruso (13)

Three USA teams competed, and after Louisa Nordstrom and Trevor Bornarth struggled in the big breeze at the start of the event, this new duo worked their way up the rankings to finish 13th.

At the award ceremony, the first team of the Mixed fleet was awarded the 470 Kevin Burnham Trophy, named after the USA sailor who passed away at 63 in 2020. Dahlberg and Karlsson received the trophy along with their winners’ gold medals.

It is one of the most enduring images from Olympic competition when Paul Foerster and Burnham (USA) crossed the finish line of the Olympic Regatta at Athens 2004 as winners of Olympic gold. Aged 48 at the time, Burnham rolled back the years to beat his younger rivals and celebrated with an exuberant backflip out of the boat.

“Kevin embodied everything that is great about 470 competition,” said Andreas Kosmatopoulos, President of the International 470 Class Association. “He was a fierce competitor on the race course and was always having fun in the boat park. His enthusiasm was infectious and inspirational. In the 60-year history of the 470, Kevin was and will always be one of the great characters of our class.”

The next test for this new Mixed Two Person Dinghy event will be at the 2022 470 World Championship to be held October 24-29 in in Sdot Yam, Israel.

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