Campeonato J80: El balance

April 20th, 2014

EL MAQUECHE, DE JAVIER PADRÓN, CAMPEÓN DE ESPAÑA DE J80

Javier Aguado y su Peugeot-Promoparc es segundo, seguido del Great Sailing de Jose María Van der Ploeg. Los cántabros José María Torcida –Oxital- e Ignacio Camino –PAR- se quedan a las puertas del podio, con un cuarto y quinto puesto.

Tras una jornada aciaga, por falta de viento, el título de Campeón de España recae en manos de la embarcación cántabra MAQUECHÉ. Los catalanes del PEUGEOT-PROMOPARC de Javier Aguado y el GREAT SAILING, de José María Van der Ploeg, se reparten los cajones del podio.

No ha sido nada fácil. El cetro de Campeón de España de J80 ya tiene dueño, recaayendo en manos del equipo del Real Club Marítimo de Santander, que patrona Javier Padron, MAQUECHE , mientras que la segunda y tercera plaza se van a Cataluña con el PEUGEOT-PROMOPARC de J.Aguado y GREAT SAILING de J.M Van der Ploeg.

De las nueve regatas programadas por la organización del VIII Campeonato de España tan solo se han podido realizar tres en la jornada del viernes y dos en la del sábado, con el domingo dejando en blanco las clasificaciones debido a la falta de viento.

Pese a disputarse 5 de las 9 regatas programadas el descarte del peor resultado en los casilleros se ha podido realizar, dando un vuelco a la clasificación tras las regatas disputadas en la jornada del sábado.

LIDERATO REÑIDO REGATA A REGATA

La clasificación del Campeonato de España ha contado con protagonistas que han ido variando regata a regata. Si en la primera jornada los protagonistas fueron el OXITAL de Jose María Torcida, el PEUGEOT-PROMOPARK de Javier Aguado y el PAR de Ignacio Camino en el podio, la segunda jornada vio un cambio drástico con el MAQUECHE de los hermanos Paz escalando al podio -tras resarcirse de una descalificación el día anterior-, mientras el PROMOPARK-PEUGEOT aguantaba la segunda plaza y el GREAT SAILING de Jose María Van der Ploeg escalaba al tercer escalón del podio.

Los hermanos Paz han ganado tres de las cinco regatas realizadas en el abra santanderina mostrando así un excelente estado de forma en la disputa de este VIII Campeonato de España.

El altísimo nivel de la flota ha quedado patente en los siguientes puestos de la clasificación general y es que del segundo al quinto clasificado tan sólo hay 5 puntos de margen.

El PEUGEOT-PROMOPARC finaliza en segunda plaza con 18 puntos, mientras el GREAT SAILING es tercero con 19, el OXITAL de José María Torcida es cuarto con 20 puntos, el PAR de Ignacio Camino anota 21 y el gaditano HERBALIFE de Juan Luis Paez finaliza en sexto puesto con 23 puntos.

CANTABRIA, CATALUÑA, ANDALUCIA Y MURCIA DESTACAN ENTRE LOS 10 PRIMEROS

Las flotas de Cantabria y Cataluña han sido las mejor posicionadas en este VIII Campeonato de España de J80, seguidas de la andaluza y murciana.

Cantabria: La flota cántabra continúa manteniendo un altísimo nivel como demuestra el primer puesto alcanzado por el MAQUECHE de los hermanos Paz, junto con el OXITAL de José María Torcida en cuarto lugar y el quinto del PAR de Ignacio Camino.

Cataluña: La flota catalana ha demostrado en Santander estar haciendo los deberes cara al Campeonato de Europa que se celebrará en El Balis en pocos meses, con un segundo y tercer puesto en el Campeonato de España (PEUGEOT-PROMOPARC de Javier Aguado y el GREAT SAILING de José María Van der Ploeg) y un séptimo y octavo puesto en manos del NEW TERRITORIES de Hugo Rocha y BRIBON-MOVISTAR de Sofía Bertrand y Marc de Antonio.

Andalucía: El mejor representante andaluz ha sido el HERBALIFE de Juan Luis Paez con una sexta posición, en un campeonato en el que han anotado dos terceros puestos como mejor resultado en las cinco regatas disputadas.

Murcia: Carlos Martínez y su DELTASTONE, número 1 del ranking Nacional, ha sido el único representante de la flota murciana finalizando en 10 posición.

FOTOGRAFÍAS: MARIAN PIÑAN/J80. Fotos libres de derechos para uso editorial.

Arranca el Campeonato Nacional de J80

April 17th, 2014

Máxima acogida de la disputa del título nacional con un número de participantes superior al esperado. Las 37 unidades J80 ya se encuentran en Santander con los últimos preparativos.

Cantabria es la comunidad con más participantes (23 unidades), seguido de Cataluña (8), Andalucía (3), País Vasco (2) y Murcia (1)

Del 17 al 20 de abril se disputa en aguas de Santander el VIII Campeonato de España de la clase J80, un monotipo de 8 metros de eslora que tiene una gran aceptación en España y que es referencia a nivel mundial por su alto nivel.

Factor Energía, el equipo de José María van der Ploeg

Factor Energía, el equipo de José María van der Ploeg

Las 37 unidades que pelearán por el cetro nacional ya se encuentran concentradas en Santander, donde durante el jueves celebrarán su regata de entrenamiento oficial, antes de comenzar la lucha el viernes.

9 PRUEBAS Y TAN SOLO UN ERROR POSIBLE

El Campeonato de España, que se celebrará en el Abra de Santander –en caso de que las condiciones meteorológicas sean adversas se disputará en la bahía- contará con 9 pruebas puntuables, distribuidas en 3 regatas diarias. La línea de salida estará muy disputada con casi una cuarentena de J80 y en las que la regularidad será un factor de gran importancia.

De las nueve pruebas que se van a disputar los aspirantes al nacional sólo podrán descartar de sus casilleros el peor de los nueve resultados, por lo que no habrá mucho margen para el error.

El entrenamiento oficial se disputará el mismo jueves a partir de las 15.00 horas, mientras que las regatas previstas para las jornadas de viernes, sábado y domingo comenzarán a partir de las 12.00 horas.

4 CAMPEONES DEL MUNDO, 1 CAMPEÓN DE EUROPA Y 2 CAMPEONES DE ESPAÑA EN LA LÍNEA DE SALIDA

La lista de inscritos es una de las más importantes de los últimos años. Santander contará con 4 campeones del Mundo (Hugo Rocha en 2013, el medalla de Oro Olímpica Jose María Van der Ploeg en 2012, Ignacio Camino -doble Campeón del Mundo- en 2011 y 2008 y José María Torcida –doble Campeón del Mundo- en 2010 y 2007. Junto a los títulos mundiales hay que destacar al murciano Carlos Martínez – Campeón de Europa en 2010- y a Jaime Piris –Campeón de España 2011.

Desde luego el precio del título nacional de J80 en 2014 tendrá un valor similar al de la disputa de un título continental o mundial, debido al altísimo nivel de la flota que se citará en la prueba que organiza el RCMS.

Andalucía: De la comunidad andaluza hay que destacar el alto nivel de sus 3 representantes. El Herbalife de Juan Luís Páez –que ha demostrado un excelente rendimiento en las pruebas disputadas en el Sur de España, el Puerto Sherry de Dionisio Martínez y el Puerto de Sotogrande, de Nacho Alcina.

Cantabria: La flota más numerosa con 23 J80 en la línea de salida y en la que es difícil de enunciar favoritos en ella debido a su gran nivel. Se pueden destacar entre otros unidades que siempre pueden estar en lo más alto, como son el Oxital de José María Torcida, el Pas de Ignacio Camino, el Go-Fit de David Madrazo o a los hermanos Piris con sus embarcaciones Fonestar y Yates y Cosas.

Cataluña: La segunda flota más numerosa en la cita nacional cuenta con un excelente nivel, con la presencia del Campeón del Mundo y de España 2013 Hugo Rocha y su New Territories, del Peugeot-Promopark de Javier Aguado –entrenando en Santander desde hace meses-, el Great Sailing del medallista Olímpico en Barcelona 92 José María Van der Ploeg, o Marc de Antonio patroneando el Bribón-Movistar y que pese a ser nuevo en la clase J80 ha demostrado un gran potencial.

País Vasco: Dos unidades acuden a Santander en representación de la flota Vasca: el Biobizz de José Azqueta y el Fingolfin de Gonzalo Chávarri

Murcia: El número 1 del Ranking Nacional, Carlos Martínez y su Deltstone es otra de las unidades que habrá que seguir de cerca.

LOS LOCALES NO SERÁN TAN LOCALES

Pese que a priori podría parecer que la flota cántabra sale con la ventaja propia de conocer los campos de regatas del Abra santanderina, las unidades andaluzas, catalanas y del País Vasco pueden jactarse de no ser nuevos en estas aguas Atlánticas.

Los diferentes trofeos organizados por el RCMS durante el invierno les han servido como banco de pruebas a diversas unidades catalanas, andaluzas y a las del País Vasco.

Todo está muy competido en este VIII Campeonato de España y las apuestas están más que abiertas.

Todos los resultados en: http://www.rcmsantander.com/es/default/regatas/results

FOTOS: MARTINEZ STUDIO y Luis Fernandez.

Sailing a Serious Ocean: Sailboats, Storms, Stories and Lessons Learned from 30 Years at Sea

Neutrogena en la Barcelona World Race con Guillermo Altadill y Jose Muñoz

March 27th, 2014

Neutrogena® se embarca en la Barcelona World Race 2014/2015

El equipo es el cuarto inscrito en la vuelta al mundo a dos. Guillermo Altadill regresa a la Barcelona World Race y José Muñoz es el primer participante sudamericano en una vuelta al mundo IMOCA.

Neutrogena®, marca experta en el cuidado de la piel hasta en las condiciones más extremas, se embarca en la Barcelona World Race para acompañar al equipo formado por el español Guillermo Altadill y el chileno José Muñoz. Eficacia en las condiciones más extremas, superación, alivio y reparación inmediata son valores arraigados en el ADN de Neutrogena® y que comparte con la Barcelona World Race, haciéndolos realidad en esta aventura.

Según Letizia Tanca, Responsable de las marcas de dermocosmética de Johnson&Johnson en España, “Desde Johnson & Johnson, patrocinador oficial de Barcelona World Race, sabemos que las condiciones climatológicas a las que los equipos se enfrentarán serán muy extremas: calor, frio, viento, agua… La piel de las manos y del rostro es la que más sufrirá durante este desafío y es importante repararla y tenerla bien protegida en todo momento. Nuestro propósito es que ellos se centren en lo importante: navegar, competir y llegar al final de la travesía, incluso ganar. Nosotros, desde Neutrogena® les proporcionaremos el cuidado necesario para hidratar y proteger su piel en esta aventura”.

Neutrogena
Neutrogena

Foto de Nico Martínez

Guillermo Altadill no precisa presentación en el universo de la competición oceánica. Es el navegante español que más millas (unas 400.000) y más vueltas al mundo ha completado (seis), y el más rápido de todos los tiempos: cuenta en su haber dos récords alrededor del globo y es uno de los especialistas en velocidad oceánica de mayor prestigio internacional. Su experiencia no se limita al mundo oceánico: ha participado en la America´s Cup 2007 y a ha sido el entrenador del equipo de Tornado que consiguió la medalla de oro en los JJ OO de Atlanta 1996.

Ahora vuelve a la carga con la única regata alrededor del mundo que se le ha resistido: la Barcelona World Race.

En la primera edición de 2007/08, junto a Jonathan McKee se vio obligado a abandonar en Ciudad del Cabo por una serie de averías y su proyecto para la Barcelona World Race de 2010/11 no llegó a cristalizar.

Regresa ahora a la tercera edición tras un segundo puesto en la Transat Jacques Vabre 2011, junto a Alex Thomson, y una brillante victoria en IRC 3 con el Varuna en la pasada Sydney - Hobart, la gran clásica australiana que ya ha ganado en dos ocasiones. El 31 de diciembre zarpará del puerto que le ha visto crecer con la firme resolución de no volver hasta después de haber dado la vuelta al mundo.

José Muñoz por su parte cuenta con un amplio currículo en vela de alta competición y es el navegante chileno con mayor experiencia en regata oceánica. José logró el segundo lugar en la Portimao 2008/09 junto a Felipe Cubillos. A bordo del Desafío Cabo de Hornos, tuvieron una brillante actuación, logrando el segundo puesto en la general y dos victorias de etapa. Muy especial fue la victoria en el tramo entre Nueva Zelanda y Brasil, durante la cual viraron en primera posición el mítico cabo de Hornos.

Por otra parte, José Muñoz, que ha atravesado el Atlántico tres veces, es un especialista en regatas IMS, MUMM 36, J24 y Soto 40, y un experto en cualquier posición del barco. José es el primer navegante chileno que participa en una regata de la clase IMOCA.

El barco Neutrogena® tiene un enorme potencial: cuenta en su palmarés con un récord transatlántico oeste-este, la victoria en la Ruta del Ron 2010 y la tercera posición en la pasada Vendée Globe 2012/13.

Andor Serra, director general de la Fundació Navegació Oceánica Barcelona (FNOB) organizadora de la Barcelona World Race, hace hincapié en el potencial deportivo del equipo y el valor compartido con el patrocinador y los navegantes: “Contar de nuevo con Neutrogena® es el resultado de siete años de trabajo conjunto con Johnson & Johnson y nos reafirma en la consolidación de la Barcelona World Race. Confirma la filosofía deportiva y humana que hemos potenciado, apostando por el compromiso por el medio ambiente, la sostenibilidad, la educación y la proyección científica de la regata.

Serra destaca de forma especial la presencia de Chile en la vuelta al mudo a dos: “Es una gran satisfacción además contar con José Muñoz como co-patrón de Guillermo Altadill. La entrada de Chile, país de una vocación oceánica natural, en la Barcelona World Race tiene que prolongarse en el tiempo.”

Por su parte, Letizia Tanca afirma que “Desde Johnson & Johnson estamos muy orgullosos de contar en el barco Neutrogena® con dos auténticos campeones como son Guillermo Altadill y José Muñoz. Desde hace unas semanas el equipo Neutrogena® ya está inmerso en los entrenamientos y el compañerismo entre ambos y su gran experiencia los convierten en auténticos protagonistas de la competición”.

El reto de lo incierto: La aventura de la Barcelona World Race (Plataforma testimonio) (Spanish Edition)

Neutrogena joins Barcelona World Race

March 27th, 2014

NEUTROGENA® JOINS THE BARCELONA WORLD RACE 2014/2015

The team is the fourth entry to sign up for the two-crew, round the world regatta. Guillermo Altadill returns to the Barcelona World Race line-up and José Muñoz becomes the first South American sailor to take part in an IMOCA round the world event.

Neutrogena®, the expert skincare brand for even the most extreme conditions, is getting on board the Barcelona World Race by joining forces with Spain’s Guillermo Altadill and Chile’s José Muñoz. Effective protection in even the most extreme conditions, endurance and immediate relief are the cornerstones of the Neutrogena® DNA and are values shared by the Barcelona World Race, which come to life through this round the world adventure.

According to Letizia Tanca, Group Product Manager for Johnson&Johnson in Spain: “Here at Johnson&Johnson as official sponsors of the Barcelona World Race, we know that the weather conditions that the crews go up against are extreme; heat, cold, wind, water… The skin on the face and hands will suffer the effects the most during this challenge and it is important to repair damage and to try to protect the skin at all times. Our aim is that the skippers focus on what matters: sailing, competing, finishing the course and winning the race. Here at Neutrogena® we will provide them with the necessary care to protect their skins during this adventure.”

Neturogena - Photo: Nico Martinez

Guillermo Altadill requires no introductions in the world of ocean sailing. He’s Spain’s most experienced ocean sailor, having clocked up the highest mileage (some 400,000 miles) and having completed the highest number of circumnavigations (six). He is also the fastest ever Spanish sailor; he has two round the world records and he is one of the world’s most esteemed ocean speed sailing experts. However, his experience is by no means limited to the world of ocean sailing; he took part in the America’s Cup in 2007 and also coached the Tornado Class squad to Olympic gold at the Atlanta Olympic Games in 1996. Now he’s back in battle for the only round the world regatta to defy him so far: The Barcelona World Race.

In the first edition of the competition in 2007/08 he and crew mate Jonathan McKee were forced to withdraw at Cape Town following a series of issues with their yacht and in 2010/11 his Barcelona World project Race didn’t quite take off.

He’s back for a third edition after a second-place finish in the Transat Jacques Vabre 2011 with Alex Thomson and a brilliant IRC 3 victory on Varuna in the most recent Sydney-Hobart; an Australian classic the skipper had already won on two occasions.

On the 31st of December he’ll be setting off from his home port, with the intention of not returning until he has circumnavigated the entire globe.

José Muñoz boasts a track record brimming with top-level competitive sailing and he is Chile’s most experienced ocean sailor. José took second place at Portimao 2008/09 alongside Felipe Cubillos. The pair gave a brilliant performance aboard Desafío Cabo de Hornos (Cape Horn Challenge) taking second place overall and two leg victories. A particularly special leg win was between New Zealand and Brazil where the pair rounded the legendary Cape Horn in the lead.

José Muñoz has also crossed the Atlantic three times and is a specialist in IMS, MUMM 36, J24 and Soto 40 racing, as well as expertly adapting to any position on the boat. José is the first ever Chilean sailor to take part in an IMOCA regatta.

The Neutrogena® boat has huge potential. It has a track record including a West to East transatlantic record, a Route du Rhum 2010 victory and a third place finish in the Vendée Globe 2012/13.

Andor Serra, Director General of the Fundació Navegació Oceánica Barcelona (FNOB) organisers of the Barcelona World Race, highlighted the sporting potential of the team and the values shared with the sponsor and its sailors: “Getting Neutrogena® back on board is the result of seven years of work alongside Johnson&Johnson and it reaffirms the consolidation of the Barcelona World Race. This is confirmation of the sporting and human philosophy that we have been nurturing, our commitment to the environment, sustainability, education and the scientific mission of the regatta”.

Serra also underlined the special presence of Chile in the two-crew, round the world event: “It is of great satisfaction for us to have José Muñoz on board as co-skipper to Guillermo Altadill. Chile’s participation in the event, a country with such a great natural oceanic vision, is something that must be built on well into the future”.

Letizia Tanca said: “At Johnson&Johnson we are very proud of the Neutrogena® boat with two leading sailors such as Guillermo Altadill and José Muñoz on board. The Neutrogena® team has been immersed in training for some weeks now and the camaraderie between the pair and their impressive joint experience will make them worthy protagonists of this competition”
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Sailing a Serious Ocean: Sailboats, Storms, Stories and Lessons Learned from 30 Years at Sea

470 World Championships: Australia Wraps Up Worlds Title, China and Poland Qualify to Olympics

May 19th, 2012

On the penultimate day of racing at the 2012 470 World Championships, Mat Belcher and Malcolm Page (AUS) secured their third successive World Championship title, with their win in race 12 sealing victory for the pair.
In the 470 Women Gold Fleet, the teams from China and Poland have qualified their nations to the 2012 Olympic Games. The final two Olympic qualification places in the 470 Women event will be fought out on Saturday’s final race between the teams representing Croatia, Austria and Russia. With only 4 points separating them – everything is at stake.

Another shifty day with a breeze of 12-14 knots tested the sailors to the limit.

470 MenThe 470 Men favourites and world #1 pairing of Mat Belcher/Malcolm Page (AUS) have on paper wrapped up the World Championship title with a bullet in race 12, to make it a hat trick Championship for them, with successive wins in 2010, 2011 and 2012. Their 12-race scoreline includes wins in eight races – an unprecedented achievement. Those wins did not come easy, with several times the pair found themselves nearer the back of the fleet than the front.

Mat Belcher/Malcolm Page © Thom Touw
Mat Belcher/Malcolm Page © Thom Touw
Malcolm Page is the most successful 470 sailor ever and, in his previous partnership with Nathan Wilmot, also secured victory at the 2004, 2005 and 2007 World Championships.

On crossing the line and sealing victory, Page said, “I was very excited. I gave Mat a lot of pats on the back and a few hugs here and there. This is my sixth 470 Worlds title, but I am as excited as the first.”

Commenting on Saturday’s medal race aspirations, Page continued, “We will just go and see what comes tomorrow. I am sure we will fight hard. We will wait and see what the weather brings tomorrow to see what the exact plan will be, but we won’t be jumping the start and we will be racing hard.”

Pierre Leboucher/Vincent Garos (FRA) © Thom Touw

In theory, Pierre Leboucher/Vincent Garos (FRA) also have the silver medal in their pockets. An OCS could unseat them, but there is no chance the French will let that happen. They just have to sail the course to claim their medal. So the battle is on for the bronze medal.

For the two Greek teams through to the Medal Race, tomorrow will decide which of them goes to the Olympics. Panagiotis Kampouridis/Efstathios Papadopoulos just have to finish ahead of Panagiotis Mantis/Pavlos Kagialis to secure selection. For Mantis/Kagialis to come out on top, they need to finish six boats ahead of Kampouridis/ Papadopoulos.

Sime Fantela/Igor Marenic (CRO) © Thom Touw

470 Men – Top 10 Medal Race Line-Up
1. Mathew Belcher/Malcolm Page (AUS) – 20 pts
2. Pierre Leboucher/Vincent Garos (FRA) - 39 pts
3. Joonas Lindgren/Niklas Lindgren (FIN) - 59 pts
4. Sime Fantela/Igor Marenic (CRO) - 59 pts
5. Lucas Calabrese/Juan de la Fuente (ARG) - 68 pts
6. Gideon Kliger/Eran Sela (ISR) - 73 pts
7. Onán Barreiros/Aarón Sarmiento (ESP) - 75 pts
8. Panagiotis Kampouridis/Efstathios Papadopoulos (GRE) - 79 pts
9. JRyunosuke Harada/Yugo Yoshida (JPN) - 81 pts
10. Panagiotis Mantis/Pavlos Kagialis (GRE) - 92 pts

470 Women
“Let the bell ring for the medal race,” was the exclamation of Lobke Berkhout (NED) after she came ashore to discover that having gone into today on equal points with Hannah Mills/Saskia Clark (GBR), she and helm Lisa Westerhof end the day on an equal 59 points apiece!

“It is funny to finish on equal points again – we have never been in this situation, although we know what it is to be so tight going into a Medal Race. It is going to be interesting and the four boats only want one thing,” Berkhout commented.

Hannah Mills/Saskia Clark (GBR) © Thom Touw

In third place, just one point behind the top two teams, are Jo Aleh/Olivia Powrie (NZL), with previous Championship leaders Camille Lecointre/Mathilde Geron (FRA) 3 points further back in fourth.

Aleh is excited by the closeness of the teams going into the Medal Race, saying, “It is quite impressive. It is going to be a pretty good race tomorrow. Somebody’s going to be pretty annoyed at the end of it – that’s the first thing I can think of. With four of us that close it is winner takes all – just don’t stuff it up.”

The World Championship concluding Medal Race on Saturday will see the top 10 teams face off in a windward/leeward battle. Any one of these top four teams could win the gold medal tomorrow, and equally all of them could miss out.

Jo Aleh/Polly Powrie (NZL) lead to the mark © Thom Touw

Further down the leaderboard and the focus was on Olympic qualification, which was accomplished perfectly by China’s Xu Xiaomei/Yu Chunyan. Their win in race 11, followed up with an 8th placing in race 12, guarantees that China will be at the Olympics. Now it is game on amongst the three Chinese teams to determine who will be selected to that place.

Poland’s Agnieszka Skrzypulec/Jolanta Ogar made history today by becoming the first ever Polish 470 Women team to qualify to the Olympics. They knew they needed to be towards the front half of the pack in race 11, which they achieved, and then just needed a safe finish in race 12 – job done and the Olympics beckon. To say the team are thrilled is an understatement. “Now I don’t feel we are at the Olympics and I think it is going to be some time to realize we will really be there. The plan was to sail safe and smart which we did,” said Skrzypulec.

Not so much fun for the teams from Austria, Croatia and Russia who face their final showdown tomorrow as they compete for the final two nation places. With 4 points separating the teams, it is unpredictably close.

The host nation’s hopes were dashed today as Spain’s defending World Champions, Tara Pacheco/Berta Betanzos were over the line in race 12 and tumbled down the leaderboard to 18th overall.

470 Women – Top 10 Medal Race Line-Up
1. Hannah Mills/Saskia Clark (GBR) - 59 pts
2. Lisa Westerhof/Lobke Berkhout (NED) - 59 pts
3. Jo Aleh/Polly Powrie (NZL) - 60 pts
4. Camille Lecointre/Mathilde Geron (FRA) - 63 pts
5. Ingrid Petitjean/Nadege Douroux (FRA) - 78 pts
6. Martine Grael/Isabel Swan (BRA) - 91 pts
7. Gil Cohen/Vered Bouskila (ISR) - 92 pts
8. Ai Kondo/Wakako Tabata (JPN) - 92 pts
9. Henriette Koch/Lene Sommer (DEN) - 93 pts
10. Fernanda de Oliveira/Ana Barbachan (BRA) - 95 pts

Securing their nation qualification in Perth was the first step for Japan, and today the teams who achieved that in Perth were rewarded as Japan Sailing confirmed the Olympic selection of Ai Kondo/Wakako Tabata in the 470 Women and Ryunosuke Harada/Yugo Yoshida in the 470 Men, after their results here in Barcelona.

Harada said, “We have been training really hard and this selection means a lot to us. I am very, very happy. Ever since I started sailing, the Olympics has been my goal and dream. The fact that I am now going to the Olympics is amazing.”

470 World Championships: Denmark qualifies on Day 5

May 18th, 2012

Every race is crucial, but with only five races left in the 2012 470 World Championships, race day 5 was a crunch day as teams positioned themselves to make the medal race cut, and the points started to stack up amongst the 470 Women teams in the challenge for Olympic qualification.

Another day of racing being postponed, waiting for the breeze to fill in, with racers sent out at 1400 hours.


The Lindgren brothers from Finland. FOTO: Thom Touw

A glory day for Denmark’s Henriette Koch/Lene Sommer who, subject to ISAF ratification, left the venue tonight with Olympic qualification in their hands in the 470 women event. With a 5,14 scoreline today, they acheived a points advantage sufficient that it is impossible for any of the other five nations to oust them. No such safety net for the teams from Austria, China, Croatia, Poland and Russia who will be fighting to the end.

470 Women Gold Fleet action © Thom Touw

470 Women
Hannah Mills/Saskia Clark (GBR) took both race wins to leap up into first overall, but only just. On equal points with the second placed Lisa Westerhof/Lobke Berkhout (NED), their advantage is due to the tiebreak countback.

The Dutch are now delighted they chose to compete, having initially planned to focus on their Olympic training in Weymouth, as Berkhout explained, “We were first going to train in England and skip the Worlds, as we thought the conditions in Barcelona would be lighter breeze and we wanted to get the circumstances in Weymouth. But after a disappointing regatta in Palma we decided to have more practice in lighter breeze and shifty conditions.” Berkhout confirmed the team are now focused on winning in Barcelona, “We will take it race by race and a world title would be a nice thing to achieve again.”

Reflecting on the other team’s performances, and the game raise during Berkhout’s 470 career, she continued, “The level has gone up and it is really climbing. Since 2001 people have got more professional, train harder and have a better understanding about the boat. That is why it is really intense racing at this moment in the girls’ fleet.”

In third overall are Jo Aleh/Olivia Powrie who again delivered a safe pair of results and another impressive race day. “I think this is one of the closest Worlds, with everyone fighting for every spot. They are quite tricky conditions here, you have to work hard to get out of the waves, but also keep your head out of the boat to see what is going on,” commented Powrie.

Jo Aleh/Polly Powrie (NZL) © Thom Touw

With the Danish now through and going to the 2012 Olympics, for the teams from the five nations still gunning for one of the remaining four qualification places, the fight is set to go to the bitter end.

After today’s races, the leaderboard for the five nations has Poland in 18th place with 115 points, the three Chinese teams in 19th, 20th and 23rd, Austria’s Lara Vadlau/Eva Maria Schmik in 24th and carrying 121 points, then Croatia’s Enia Nincevic/Romana Zupan in 25th overall on 122 points and Russia’s Natalia Ivanova/Diana Krutskikh in 26th place with 130 points.

Of the three Chinese teams trying to qualify China, Wang Xiaoli/Huang Xufeng are currently the top placed in 19th overall and are also ahead in the Chinese selection trials.

As the lowest placed team going into tomorrow, Russia’s Ivanova feels the pressure of their situation. “We are all so close and tomorrow will be a hard day for everybody with a lot of pressure. I think for us the plan will be just to make our best. We will not focus on somebody, because everybody is so close there is no one enemy with whom you have to fight. So we will try to do a good start and a secure result and that’s it. For everybody the Olympic Games mean a lot. You spend four years of your life preparing and if you don’t finally go it is a shame for everybody – very hard.”

It doesn’t get closer than this – and in the pressurised environment out on the race course all the teams must remember is to stay ahead of the others. No race wins are required here, just safe sailing!

Both the Croatian and Polish teams are hoping to make history by becoming the first teams to ever qualify their nations to the Olympics in the 470 women event.

Poland’s Agnieszka Skrzypulex/Jolanta Ogar hoping to make history © Thom Touw

The world #1 ranked team of Ai Kondo/Wakako Tabata had no automatic guarantee of Olympic selection, despite securing Japan’s qualification slot at the Perth 2011 ISAF Sailing World Championships, as teammates and world #14 ranked team Yuka Yoshisako/Noriko Okuma are chasing at their heels. The selection policy of Japan Sailing remains open to both teams, but it will be a tough call for Yoshisako/Okuma to meet the requirements that will sway the outcome in their favour, as they need to finish in the top three and Kondo/ Tabata place 15th or lower. Kondo/Tabata’s pedigree includes top 10 finishes at the past three 470 World Championships and a 14th at the 2008 Olympic Games. Yoshisako placed 11th at the 2004 Olympics, with a different crew, and has finished 17th or better at every 470 World Championships since 2003, except 2005 when she didn’t compete.

470 Women Overall - Top 10
1. Hannah Mills/Saskia Clark - GBR 118
2. Lisa Westerhof/Lobke Berkhout - NED 11
3. Jo Aleh/Polly Powrie - NZL 75
4. Camille Lecointre/Mathilde Geron - FRA 9
5. Ingrid Petitjean/Nadege Douroux - FRA 4
6. Henriette Koch/Lene Sommer - DEN 143
7. Ai Kondo/Wakako Tabata - JPN 1
8. Martine Grael/Isabel Swan - BRA 187
9. Gil Cohen/Vered Bouskila - ISR 311
10. Kathrin Kadelbach/Friederike Belcher - GER 21

470 Men
Another one in the bag for Mat Belcher/Malcolm Page (AUS) in race 9, bringing their claim to a three-time World Championship victory even closer.

Finland’s Lindgren brothers almost took the gun in race 9, but wrong footed themselves, as Joonas explained, “We were leading until the last downwind but I made a big mistake at the bottom mark and I over stood the lay line quite a bit. A big mistake. It is a big question how it happened. We looked at the wrong mark and realized a bit late. The Aussies then managed to put some distance between us.“

Finland’s Lindgren brothers holding off Belcher/Page (AUS) © Thom Touw

Belcher/Page surely now have the World Championship wrapped up, but Belcher would not be drawn on that and said the team are just taking it one race at a time, “We are sailing well. For us the results are one thing and the performance another. We are synching very well together and our form coming into this event was very good, winning most of the events this year. It is nice and good recognition for our hard work. Today was a classic example where we fought our way back. We just chip away and pass the boats we can and it was fantastic to come away with a win in race 9. The last race was really rewarding, we rounded the first mark in 27th, but we chipped away and fought hard and to come away with a 5th is probably one of our best performances, to be able to come back through this quality of fleet.”

The French pair of Pierre Leboucher/Vincent Garos posted two third places, with their race 10 result put down partly to luck by Garos. “It was an important day for the boats that want to go through to the Medal Race. We were lucky to have the good side in the first race and in the second race we had a good start and then sailed into a shift and were 20th at the first mark. We then tried to do our best in the downwind and then after we went to the left upwind where there was more pressure and made a very good comeback to finish 3rd.”

Pierre Leboucher/Vincent Garos © Thom Touw

Great result for Ferdinand Gerz/Patrick Follmann (GER) who sailed a perfect race 10 to take the win and are now in an improved position to try and qualify through to the medal race.

Decision day is dawning, particularly for the Greek and Japanese teams fighting for Olympic selection. It remains advantage to Panagiotis Mantis/Pavlos Kagialis over Panagiotis Kambouridis/Efstathios Papadopoulos by just 4 points. The margin is slightly bigger for Japan’s Ryunosuke Harada/Yugo Yoshida in 10th overall, with a 15 point margin ahead of the 16th placed Tetsuya Matsunaga/Kimihiko Imamu.

Germany heading for victory © Thom Touw

470 Men Overall - Top 10
1. Mathew Belcher/Malcolm Page - AUS 11
2. Pierre Leboucher/Vincent Garos - FRA 44
3. Gideon Kliger/Eran Sela - ISR 7
4. Joonas Lindgren/Niklas Lindgren - FIN 7
5. Sime Fantela/Igor Marenic - CRO 83
6. Lucas Calabrese/Juan de la Fuente - ARG 7
7. Alvaro Marinho/Miguel Nunes - POR 1
8. Panagiotis Mantis/Pavlos Kagialis - GRE 1
9. Onán Barreiros/Aarón Sarmiento - ESP 9
10. Ryunosuke Harada/Yugo Yoshida - JPN 4

Two races are scheduled for all fleets on Friday 18 May, with racing scheduled to get underway at 1200 hours. The 470 men and Women gold fleets will continue to race on bravo course, with all other fleets on course area alpha.

470 World Championships Day 4: Washing machine conditions…

May 17th, 2012

The Race Committee held the fleets ashore waiting for the wind to stabilize, but the sailors were still faced with very unsettled conditions on the first day of the final series. Described as “washing machine” conditions, the day definitely didn’t suit everybody.
Two races were completed for all fleets, except the 470 Men bronze fleet, who completed only race 7. The breeze was around 9 knots from 170 degrees across the two races courses, very shifty and with a confused sea.

The day after the night before had given time for the reality of Olympic qualification to hit home. Benjamin Grez, who secured Chile’s place on the Olympic startline said, “I don’t feel it yet, it is still so recent. We certainly don’t feel that we are going to the Olympics yet and can’t quite believe it. It is a great moment. We are really happy and didn’t expect we would have such a good day as yesterday, as we were far away from the cut and we made a great day. This is really important for us. Until now there was just a Laser from Chile going to the Olympics and it would have been the third time he goes alone.”

For Grez’s crew, Diego Gonzalez, their Olympic qualification has an even more special significance, as the last time Chile qualifed and competed in the 470 back in the 1984 Olympics, his father Alberto Gonzalez helmed the team to 18th overall. According to Grez, the senior Olympian’s advice for the 2012 470 Worlds was to “sail quiet and the easiest way they could.”

470 Women
Same three women’s teams at the top of the leaderboard, just a shuffle round in positions. Despite posting their worse results so far – a 12,6 - up into first overall go Ingrid Petitjean/Nadedge Douroux (FRA).Their day was just more consistent than others, including their team mates Camille Lecointre/Mathilde Geron, who were knocked down from first overall to third. Up into second overall go Jo Aleh/Polly Powrie.

The seasoned Olympic campaigner Fernando Sesto of Argentina will compete at her fourth Olympics this summer, and her quality of performance so far in Barcelona reflects those years of experience, with up until today a scoreline of top ten finishes.

Speaking on the team’s ability and motivation to keep sailing at such a high level, Sesto said, “It is not easy to keep on training and focus on the events. Today was the most difficult day of the Championship so far. It was not stable, shifty and very wavy. It was very difficult and we lost many places and then we go up many places. It was not easy sailing. We made a top 10 and a top 20, so we are still in there. We are happy with our scoreline of all top 10 until the last race. We made so many mistakes in the last race today, but it was so difficult I think many of the fleet made mistakes.” Sesto and crew Consuelo Monsegur ended the day in 11th overall.

Defending World Champions Tara Pacheco/Berta Betanzos (ESP) were victims of the conditions today, only managing a 26, 12 and drop down the leaderboard from 9th to 12th. Now carrying their discard result of 26 from today’s race 7, they are really going to need to punch in some top placed results over the next four races of the final series, to guarantee their place in the top ten Medal Race.

The battle for Olympic qualification is shaping up and is a long, long way from being determined, as Austria, China, Croatia, Denmark, Poland and Russia fight for one of the final five nation places on offer at the 2012 470 World Championships.

Denmark’s Henriette Koch/Lene Sommer have consolidated their position even further as the highest unqualified nation on the leaderboard, moving up into 7th overall after a win in race 8. Sommer said, “It was so tricky today, so it is still just about keeping cool, keeping your head down and working hard. We have five races left. There were big waves today and not much wind, shifty and with pressure coming, so it was really difficult today. I am really happy that we found the rhythm and did well in the last race.”

For the other teams fighting for selection, there is a total shuffle in positions, with China now the next best placed unqualified nation behind Denmark, followed by Poland, Croatia, Austria and Russia.

World championship 2012: 470 Gold Fleet

470 Women gold fleet © Thom Touw

470 Women - Top 10 Overall
Pos SailNo Crew R1 R2 R3 R4 R5 R6 R7 R8 Pts
1 FRA 4 Ingrid Petitjean
Nadege Douroux 1 5 4 5 2 1 12 6 24
2 NZL 75 Jo Aleh
Polly Powrie 3 3 4 2 1 4 10 16 27
3 FRA 9 Camille Lecointre
Mathilde Geron 1 8 3 5 2 1 8 14 28
4 NED 11 Lisa Westerhof
Lobke Berkhout 6 1 1 1 7 6 18 10 32
5 GBR 118 Hannah Mills
Saskia Clark BFD 2 7 7 1 3 13 2 35
6 JPN 1 Ai Kondo
Wakako Tabata 4 1 5 2 17 4 7 18 40
7 DEN 143 Henriette Koch
Lene Sommer 14 5 9 9 5 2 15 1 45
8 ITA 23 Giulia Conti
Giovanna Micol 15 3 2 4 9 19 11 4 48
9 GER 21 Kathrin Kadelbach
Friederike Belcher 2 7 6 4 12 2 16 19 49
10 ISR 311 Gil Cohen
Vered Bouskila 7 2 1 1 10 5 24 OCS 50
470 Men
Australia’s run of six race wins was broken today by Lucas Calabrese/Juan de la Fuente (ARG) who won race 7 and Nicolas Charbonnier/Jeremie Mion (FRA) who took the gun in race 8

Unlikely that Mat Belcher/ Malcolm Page (AUS) are too concerned by this, as there 2,5 scoreline from races 7 and 8 still gives them an impressive 20 point margin over second placed Gideon Kliger/Eran Sela of Israel. Rounding out the top three are Pierre Leboucher/Vincent Garos (FRA).

Moving up to second overall today, from 6th yesterday, Kliger/Sela are pleased with their performance. Sela said, “We are pretty happy, except the black flag in the second race of qualification. We have sailed good in all the other races. Today was tough and it was a game of which team took the decision first, because if you tack too late you will just be after everyone. Everybody today just had to sail on what they felt.”

The team are hoping that their fourth place finishes at each of last year’s pinnacle 470 Championships, the Worlds and Europeans, will be upgraded to a podium finish in Barcelona. Selan explained, “We were a bit unlucky last year, but even those Championships we felt we sailed good and were happy. After last year, we searched for what we could improve and everything is coming together now, which is good.”

With the final seven nation qualification places awarded yesterday (subject to ISAF ratification) to Canada, Chile, Ireland, Korea, Russia, Turkey and South Africa, most of the teams can now just focus on racing the World Championships.

Tetsuya Matsunaga/Kimihiko Imamura (JPN) © Thom Touw

But for Greece’s Panagiotis Mantis/Pavlos Kagialis and Panagiotis Kampouridis/Efstathios Papadopoulos the ba

ttle is getting really close, just 5 points between them, as they strive to be the team selected to represent Greece. Whichever team finishes ahead at the Worlds will go to the Olympics. Kampouridis/Papadopoulos had the better performance today, with a 12,4 and reduce the points advantage held by Mantis/Kagialis.

Kagialis commented, “Well done to the other team as they had a good race and did really well. It was a little confused with the weather, but it is only day. There is a lot of pressure, but you know the best will go do the Olympics. We will continue, there are another five races.”

Both Greek teams have every likelihood of making it through to Saturday’s top 10 medal race, so this head to head has a long way to go yet before either of their 2012 Olympic aspirations are sealed.

Mantis/Kagialis (GRE) with Sime Fantela/Igor Marenic (CRO) © Thom Touw

470 Men - Top 10 Overall
Pos SailNo Crew R1 R2 R3 R4 R5 R6 R7 R8 Pts
1 AUS 11 Mathew Belcher
Malcolm Page 1 1 1 1 1 1 2 5 8
2 ISR 7 Gideon Kliger
Eran Sela 6 BFD 3 5 2 2 8 2 28
3 FRA 44 Pierre Leboucher
Vincent Garos 1 3 9 3 3 7 13 3 29
4 CRO 83 Sime Fantela
Igor Marenic 5 1 4 1 7 4 11 9 31
5 FIN 7 Joonas Lindgren
Niklas Lindgren 3 3 1 4 1 10 OCS 11 33
6 ARG 7 Lucas Calabrese
Juan de la Fuente 4 6 2 12 2 7 1 14 34
7 GRE 1 Panagiotis Mantis
Pavlos Kagialis 2 2 6 4 9 4 10 23 37
8 POR 1 Alvaro Marinho
Miguel Nunes 5 2 2 1 12 1 18 16 39
9 ESP 9 Onán Barreiros
Aarón Sarmiento 8 3 5 2 10 9 7 6 40
10 JPN 4 Ryunosuke Harada
Yugo Yoshida 7 4 4 6 4 7 9 8 40
Racing is scheduled to get underway at 1200 hours on Thursday 17 May, with the 470 men bronze fleet up first on course area alpha, followed by the 470 men silver and then the 470 women silver. On course area bravo, the 470 women gold will race first, followed by the 470 men gold.

470 World Championships Day 3: 7 more sailors heading for the Olympic Games

May 16th, 2012

Race day 3 at the 2012 470 World Championships was a tense and enthralling day. Seven nations secured their right to be at the 2012 Olympic Games in the 470 Men, whilst six nations in the 470 Women continue to fight their way for the remaining five nation places.
Another blue sky day in Barcelona, with all fleets completing two more races and determining the teams proceeding through to the 470 Men gold, silver and bronze fleets and the 470 Women gold and silver fleets. The breeze was not quite as strong as forecast, around 10 knots and shifty.

Lara Vadlau/Eva-Maria Schimak (AUT) © Thom Touw
Lara Vadlau/Eva-Maria Schimak (AUT) © Thom Touw

470 Women
After 6 races of qualification series, the gold and silver fleet splits are now determined, with 27 boats allocated to each fleet for the next stage of the 2012 470 World Championship.

Coming ashore after race 6, the air was tense as teams waited to find out who had qualified through to the gold fleet and place themselves one step closer towards their World Championship aims and Olympic qualification. The story has unfolded in the most dramatic way possible.

With only five Olympic qualification places available at the 2012 470 Worlds, six unqualified nations have made it through to the gold fleet and will now battle for the slots – so this adventure continues. There are seven more races of the final series to go and this story is a long way from over yet … as teams from Austria, China, Croatia, Denmark, Poland and Russia go head to head.

If Croatia’s Enia Nincevic/Romana Zupan achieve their goal, it will make the first time Croatia has qualified to the women’s two-person dinghy event. The pair were really disappointed not to secure Olympic qualification in Perth. “It has been a very emotional day. We are feeling great and we hope that we will continue sailing like this. We worked really hard for this, and I think that we managed to correct things that were not good before and we are not afraid of anything that might come our way. We are now second among the nations that are trying to qualify for the Olympics and we hope that the ones behind us will remain there,” Zupan said and laughed.

Lara Vadlau/Eva-Maria Schimak (AUT) © Thom Touw

By a two point margin, Lara Vadlau/Eva-Maria Schimak are the last of the six teams to make it through to the gold fleet. Alongside her gold medal at last year’s ISAF Youth Worlds, Vadlau also won gold in the one-person dinghy event at the inaugural Olympic Youth Games in 2010. A relieved Vadlau said, “The first moment when we came ashore we were down as we thought it was over, but then I saw my father dancing and I realised that we were still in and have a chance. I hope we can stay in this game as we have sailed well over the last three days. ”

Denmark’s Henriette Koch/Lene Sommer have accelerated their chance of Olympic qualification and are the top placed nation within the gold fleet after a solid 5,2 scoreline today. Koch said, “We are feeling really good. It has been a tough day, but we remain focused on one race at a time.” Sommer added, “I think it is nice to have a good race, we are sailing well and feel in control.”

Henriette Koch/Lene Sommer (DEN) © Thom Touw

At the front of the 470 Women leaderboard are Camile Lecointre/Matilde Geron on 12 points, with team mates Ingrid Petitjean/Nadege Douroux one point behind in second. Despite last night’s bicycle injury, birthday girl Jo Aleh of New Zealand and crew Olivia Powrie still managed to notch up a race win and fourth place to end the qualification series in third overall. “I think it all merges together a bit,” Aleh laughed, referring to her injury, birthday and race win. “I gave myself an early birthday present last night by doing a face plant flip off my bike and decided to grate up my face on the concrete. I spent six hours at Barcelona hospital, which was hard after such a big day on the water yesterday. So yes today, I thought we had to win a race because it was my birthday. It was tricky out there. The wind didn’t do what anyone thought it was going to do and shifted around a lot.”

Twenty one nations are represented in the twenty-seven teams in the gold fleet, clear evidence of the broad talent pool.

Xu Xiaomei/Yu Chunyai (CHN) © Thom Touw

The Netherlands and Australia: Hat tricks delivered!!

May 14th, 2012

Every race counts, but with three races today it was really crucial for teams to pump in some good scores and position themselves as solidly as possible before Tuesday’s final two races of the qualification series at the 2012 470 Worlds.
Perfect sailing conditions ensured Barcelona lived up to its reputation as a spectacular sailing venue.Racing got underway in 12 knots building to around 15-17 knots as the fleets completed race 4, with fairly wavy conditions.

470 World Championship 2012 Barcelona Spain

It doesn’t get better than three wins from three races, which is exactly what Lisa Westerhof/Lobke Berkhout (NED) delivered in the 470 Women blue fleet, matched by Mat Belcher/Malcolm Page (AUS) racing in the 470 Men yellow fleet.

470 Women
Racing at the front of the 470 Women fleet is tough, with no margin for error and no comeback. Whilst, it is impossible to identify an outright favourite to win the 2012 470 World Championships, the two-time World Champions in 2009 and 2010, Lisa Westerhof/Lobke Berkhout (NED) had no errors on their scorecard and very simply were in control of each of today’s three races in the 470 women blue fleet. They went to the right of the course in every race and won convincingly.

“It was a lot of fun, nice waves, nice breeze and the wind was picking up a little bit. Race 4 we were leading from the outset, but the other two races were a battle,” said Westerhof.

Packing in an almost equivalent performance in the 470 women yellow fleet were Gil Cohen/Vered Bouskila (ISR) who posted a 2, 1, 1 to end race day 2 in second overall, just 2 points behind the Dutch.

Rounding out the top three are the world #1 ranked pair of Ai Kondo/Wakako Tabata (JPN) with a 1,5,2 scoreline.

An error fraught race 4 for defending World Champions, Tara Pacheco/Berta Betanzos (ESP), after a port/starboard infringement. With a 4,2 in the bag already, they set off on starboard to the leeward of the fleet in race 4, then tacked onto port go to the right hand side of the course. But a collision with the Malaysian team resulted in a near capsize and two penalty turns for the Spanish, who end the day in eleventh place.

China’s Xu Xiaomei/Yu Chunyai are intent on qualifying their nation to the Olympics and had a solid 10,10, 3 and are currently positioned as the top placed unqualified nation in 13th overall – unlucky for some, but not for the Chinese so far. Keep racing like this, and they will be on their way to the Olympics as whoever qualifies China will be the team selected.

Hannah Mills/Saskia Clark have a reputation for making things hard for themselves, or as they would put it, “we relish a challenge”. A penalty for being over the line in race 1 yesterday, was exchanged for a solid, 2,7,7 scoreline today. Clark seemed happy , explaining, “We had an alright day – three top tens. Trying to keep it a bit tidy after the disaster yesterday.“ Before Mills chipped in, “we are good at having disasters on the first day!”

Lara Vadlau of Austria has only recently made the transition from the 420 to the 470, and owns a gold medal from the 2011 ISAF Youth Sailing World Championship. Racing with crew Eva-Maria Schimak, Vadlau is hoping to qualify Austria to the Olympics and is sitting in 25th overall with a 15, 16, 14, 6 race series. “The plan is to sail like normal, have fun and qualify,” explained Vadlau. Dressed in colourful sailing attire, Vadlau is counting on her shorts. “They are supposed to be my lucky shorts, because they look nice and I like them. It is a thing in my mind that maybe when I wear my lucky shorts it is helping us, “ she said with a big smile.

With Olympic qualification on the minds of many, for Rike Belcher, who will be representing Germany at the Olympics with helm Kathrin Kadelbach, the 2012 470 Worlds and 2012 Olympics are bitter sweet. “For me it is a bit sad as in 90 days my Olympic career will be over,” explained Belcher, referring to her plans to focus on her post-Olympic career and a family. Solid racing so far positions the pair in 7th overall.

470 Women - Overall after 4 Races
Pos Sailno Crew R1 R2 R3 R4 Pts
1 NED 11 LISA WESTERHOF/LOBKE BERKHOUT 6 1 1 1 9
2 ISR 311 GIL COHEN/VERED BOUSKILA 7 2 1 1 11
3 JPN 1 AI KONDO/WAKAKO TABATA 4 1 5 2 12
4 NZL 75 JO ALEH/POLLY POWRIE 3 3 4 2 12
5 FRA 4 INGRID PETITJEAN/NADEGE DOUROUX 1 5 4 5 15
6 FRA 9 CAMILE LECOINTRE/MATILDE GERON 1 8 3 5 17
7 GER 21 KATHRIN KADELBACH/FRIEDERIKE BURNET 2 7 6 4 19
8 ITA 23 GIULIA CONTI/GIOVANA MICOL 15 3 2 4 24
9 GBR 862 SOPHIE WEGUELIN/SOPHIE AINSWORTH 2 4 11 9 26
10 ARG 8 FERNANDA SESTO/CONSUELO MONSEGUR 5 7 9 7 28
470 Men
Mat Belcher/Malcolm Page (AUS) demonstrated why they are two-time World Champions today, storming to victory in all three races, and sent out a clear message they are the team to beat here at the 2021 470 World Championships.

Belcher commented, “It is nice. To get those kind of results at a World Championship, you couldn’t ask for anything more. We are happy we had a bit of wind today and the way we were sailing felt quite stable and we were into a groove. We worked out that at the last two Worlds we have done the triple as well. It is something you don’t expect as you sail race by race and we were lucky today to get the three wins.”

In the 470 Men red fleet Alavaro Marinho/Miguel Nunes (POR) had the most consistent form, with a 2,2,1 and are now positioned 6 points behind the Aussies in second overall.

Croatia’s Sime Fantela/Igor Marenic, the defending bronze medallists, dominated in the blue fleet and are in third overall just one point behind the Portuguese.

Behind these leading boats, the battle is on for Olympic qualification. Currently the highest placed unqualified nation is Russia, with the Sheremetyev brothers Mikhail and Maxim in 13th overall. Two more good results in the bag tomorrow and they should have done enough to qualify their nation.

Not far behind are the teams from Canada, Ireland, Korea, South Africa, Turkey and Slovenia who are currently leading the charge of the nations gunning for Olympic selection, but there are still two more races to the final series, which itself consists of a further six races.

An impressive race day for Canada’s Luke Ramsay/Mike Leigh with a 2,1,4 scorecard. “They were challenging conditions and we were pretty fast uphill and really working on our speed. Once we got out in front, it was much easier to control the fleet downwind. It was really good and we are really happy,” explained Ramsay.

South Africa’s Team Race Ahead also had great form with a 13,4,7 and led the red fleet to the windward mark in race 3, before dropping back to finish fourth overall. Asenathi Jim/Roger Hudson were particularly delighted with race 3, as Jim explained, “We had a great start, we thought we were over, but other boats went back and the flag went down, so we knew we were clear. We then just put our heads down and hammered the boat and made some good calls upwind. At a 470 World Championships to round the top mark first was a good moment for us and a first.”

If the South African team keep the same pace on tomorrow, they should find themselves safely through to the gold fleet.

470 Men - Overall after 4 Races
Pos Sailno Crew R1 R2 R3 R4 Pts
1 AUS 11 MATHEW BELCHER/MALCOLM PAGE 1 1 1 1 4
2 POR 1 ALVARO MARINHO/MIGUEL NUNES 5 2 2 1 10
3 CRO 83 SIME FANTELA/IGOR MARENIC 5 1 4 1 11
4 FIN 7 JOONAS LINDGREN/NIKLAS LINDGREN 3 3 1 4 11
5 GRE 1 PANAGIOTIS MANTIS/PAVLOS KAGIALIS 2 2 6 4 14
6 FRA 44 PIERRE LEBOUCHER/VICENT GAROS 1 3 9 3 16
7 ESP 9 ONAN BARREIROS/AARON SARMIENTO 8 3 5 2 18
8 AUS 13 SAM KIVELL/WILL RYAN 2 7 5 6 20
9 JPN 4 RYUNOSUKE HARADA/YUGO YOSHIDA 7 4 4 6 21
10 GRE 165 PANAGIOTIS KAMPOURIDIS/ESFSTATHIOS PAPADOPOULOS 8 4 9 2 23
All fleets have been re-seeded, so tomorrow the teams will be up against a different set of opponents. Just two more races tomorrow to complete the qualification series and determine the split for the Gold and Silver fleets in the 470 Women and Gold, Silver and Bronze fleets in the 470 Men. The race throw out will come into play after five races, so expect some leaderboard shuffling.

Tuesday will prove to be a crucial day and will determine some of the next nations qualifying to the 2012 Olympic Games – so a day of ecstasy for some and heartache for others is to be expected.

1st day of the 470 World Championship in Barcelona

May 13th, 2012

A patient morning was in order for the first race day of the 2012 470 World Championships to get underway as the sailors were kept postponed ashore waiting for wind. From early on, it was evident the scheduled start of 1200 hours was never going to happen.
The postponement flag eventually came down just after 1430 hours. The ninety-five boat 470 Men were split into three fleets – yellow, blue and red – and raced on the more northern course area alpha, with the fifty-four boat 470 Women split into two fleets – yellow and blue – and racing on course area bravo.

PHOTO: Thom Touw

The conditions were really tricky, shifty and light winds of around 6 knots, and pressure moving all over the course, with only one race completed for all fleets.

470 Women
It was a French show of prowess today, with the recently selected French Olympic team of Camille Lecointre/Mathilde Geron (FRA) taking the win in the blue fleet, with Ingrid Petitjean/Nadege Douroux (FRA) delivering the same in the yellow fleet.

Petijean summarized their race, “We had a good start and were leading the first half of the first leg, but we were 3rd at the first mark. So then we didn’t take any risks, because 3rd in the opening race is good enough. We had some good speed on the last downwind and got to first at the finish. The first race is like any race, but we are not the kind to start a series well, as normally we start average and build, so we are happy to win. The goal now is to sail as well for the rest of the regatta.”

The two Canadian 470 Women teams competing both have the same mission, qualify Canada to the Olympic Games and secure team be selected as the team. Between them, it was advantage Dana Archibald/Karen Dexter with a 9th place finish in the yellow fleet, over Hannah Meers/Erin Flanagan with a 20th in the blue fleet. Archibald explained,

“Basically we are trying to keep it simple, good start, stay clean and not get psyched out by the whole thing. There is a lot of pressure on a lot of teams and we are trying to use support from home for encouragement, rather than letting the pressure get in our heads and mess up our game plan.”

With 2004 Olympic Gold medallist Kevin Burnham (USA) coaching the pair over the past few months, their performance is improving, as Archibald explained, “Yeh, Kevin has been the key role for us lately. We just started working with him for Palma and Hyeres. We struggled with speed previously and that has definitely been the biggest gain and now being able to go as fast as the other boats, we have been able to put other things into play such as tactics, which have been different for us beforehand.”

A perfect comeback was executed by the Brazilian team of Fernanda Oliveira/Ana Barbachan who clawed their way up from the back of the fleet to cross in 10th, as Oliveira explained, “We had a good start but the first leg, the wind changed a lot so it was shifting and we made some mistakes and then we were at the back of the fleet. But we recovered and improved. It was really hard. Tomorrow is another day.”

Whilst relishing the light conditions, the Danish pair of Henriette Koch/Lene Sommer, who narrowly missed out on nation qualification at the Perth 2011 ISAF Sailing World Championships, did not have the best start to their series, taking a penalty turn after touching the stern of the Singaporean boat around a mark to end their race in 14th. Koch said, “It reminded me of the film ‘Fast and Furious’, we were trying to get through, but the boat in front just stopped!”

470 Women - Top 10 after Race 1

Pos Sailno Name R1
1 FRA 4 INGRID PETITJEAN, NADEGE DOUROUX 1
1 FRA 9 CAMILE LECOINTRE, MATILDE GERON 1
3 GBR 862 SOPHIE WEGUELIN, SOPHIE AINSWORTH 2
3 GER 21 KATHRIN KADELBACH, FRIEDERIKE BURNET 2
5 CHN 1261 FENG HUIMIN, HUANG LIZHU 3
5 NZL 75 JO ALEH, POLLY POWRIE 3
7 JPN 1 AI KONDO, WAKAKO TABATA 4
7 POL 11 AGNIESZKA SKRZYPULEC, JOLANTA OGAR 4
9 ARG 8 FERNANDA SESTO, CONSUELO MONSEGUR 5
9 AUS 1 ELISE RECHICHI, BELINDA STOWELL 5
470 Men
The 470 Men yellow fleet got underway first, following by the blue fleet and red, with each completing one race.

Racing in the yellow fleet, and gunning for Olympic selection are Panagiotis Mantis/Pavlos Kagialis (GRE). They successfully qualified Greece to the Olympic Games last year, but the 2012 470 Worlds will be the ultimate decider as to which Greek 470 team takes the nation slot. Mantis/Kagialis are the #2 world ranked team, and are facing off against the #7 world ranked team of Panagiotis Kambouridis/Efstathios Papadopoulos. A hard pill to swallow, despite both being amongst the top ten teams in the world, only the team that finishes ahead in Barcelona will go to the Olympics.

Kagialis commented, “It was a very good day, pretty light winds. We had a bad start, but we gave it our best because we must and we finished 2nd. It was a nice start and we must keep going and see what happens. It was pretty light winds, a lot of good boats with good speed and it was very difficult today.” Their adversaries finished 8th overall in the red fleet, but there is a long way to go yet and another 11 races scheduled before Saturday’s Medal Race.

Not surprisingly, Mat Belcher/Malcolm Page (AUS) delivered a race win in the yellow fleet, as did Pierre Leboucher/Vincent Garos (FRA) in the blue fleet, and Sofian Bouvet/Vincent Guillarm (FRA) in the red fleet.

Belcher/Page are going for a hat trick of three World Championship victories in a row, as Page explained, “It’s amazing to be in a position to be going for our hat trick. A World Championship is always the most important regatta for us in any year… except in this Olympic year, for obvious reasons. So with this in mind we are just concentrating on our preparation towards the games and using every event to hone our skills and measure against the best 470 sailors in the world. We are obviously very happy with our preparations and seem to be on a roll at the moment, but 470 sailors are very good, the competition is very fierce across so many nations that you can never expect any certain results.”

Chile is fielding two teams, Martin Westcott/Carlos Vergara and Benjamin Grez/Diego Gonzalez. For Diego Gonzalez, the two teams benefit each other, “It is great to have another boat to train with before the Worlds, and it is also nice to see that Chile is represented here and that we have several 470s in Chile.” Speaking on the racing, he continued, “It as was a pretty light day and difficult. We didn’t have a good start, so couldn’t get to the favoured side of the course, but we worked our way back up during the race and finally finished top 20. It wasn’t a good race and we know we can do better, but it is not a bad place either.”

In the men’s blue fleet, great to see Korea’s Gunwoo Park/Sungmin Cho lead off after a great start and continue in front to the first mark, going onto record a 10th overall.

470 Men - Top 10 after Race 1

Pos Sailno Name R1
1 AUS 11 MATHEW BELCHER, MALCOLM PAGE 1
1 FRA 27 SOFIAN BOUVET, VINCENT GUILLARM 1
1 FRA 44 PIERRE LEBOUCHER, VICENT GAROS 1
4 AUS 13 SAM KIVELL, WILL RYAN 2
4 FRA 8 KEVIN PEPONNET, JULIEN LEBRUN 2
4 GRE 1 PANAGIOTIS MANTIS, PAVLOS KAGIALIS 2
7 ARG 11 FRANCISCO SUCARI, FRANCISCO RENNA 3
7 FIN 7 JOONAS LINDGREN, NIKLAS LINDGREN 3
7 ITA 71 ANDREA BARCHIESI, LORENZO PICCIONI 3
10 ARG 7 LUCAS CALABRESE, JUAN DE LA FUENTE 4

Racing is scheduled to get underway at 1200 hours tomorrow, with the same fleet allocations as today. The 470 Women will race on course area alpha and the 470 men on course area bravo. The Race Committee is aiming to hold three races for each fleet, which they are hopeful of achieving as the sea breeze of 9-12 knots should be in around 1300 hours and building from thereon.