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09 Aug 2008

Event Guide: Men's Two Person Dinghy - 470

Image: © MENAHEM KAHANA/AFP/Getty Images

Fifty-eight athletes represent 29 nations in the Men's Two Person Dinghy event sailed in the 470 dinghy at the 2008 Olympic Games - get the low down on the event here...

The 470 was first on the Olympic Programme in 1976 and has remained there ever since. Initially an open event, the 470 gained two fleets and became the first women’s only sailing event at the 1988 Games.

The 470 is both a technical and tactical boat and popular the world over with the World Championship events regularly attracting well over 150 competing team. This strength in depth means that the reigning World Champions in the class did not even qualify to compete at the Games! With the gold medal winning crew from Athens also having retired, the Men’s 470 fleet one of the hardest to call of this Olympic Games.

At A Glance

Event: Men’s Two Person Dinghy
Equipment: 470
Racing Dates: 11-18 August
Medal Race: 18 August

Find out more about the event and the equipment and past champions here 

Click here for a full list of all previous 470 medallists 

Form Guide

Leading to charge to Beijing are the Nathan WILMOT and Malcolm PAGE, the #1 crew in the ISAF World Sailing Rankings. The Men from Australia missed their objective during Athens 2004 and have “unfinished business” as they say. In 2004 they won the World Championships, and continued to rule the 470 Men to fetch the title in 2005, miss gold by a few metres in 2006, and win the title again in 2007. When both Australia’s men and women 470 crews won the last Test Event in 2007, expectations became even higher, especially while not only the sailors themselves, but also coach Victor Kovalenko has an agenda to maintain his list of Olympic medals as coach for the Ukraine in 1966 and Australia in Sydney 2000.

The 2006 Test event winners and Athens silver medallists Nick ROGERS and Joe GLANFIELD (GBR) are also likely to be amongst the leading contenders. The top team of Great Britain have earned a lot of medals at international championships and major events, although it never claimed the World Championship title. They have felt the pressure of an Olympic event twice before, and will be dedicated to go for the gold medal this time.

Sven COSTER and Kalle COSTER of the Netherlands are also a team too look out for. The Dutch are known as heavy air specialists and 470 Class dare-devils because of their guts to hoist the spinnaker in heavy gusts. Where others capsize or break masts, they fly into a position that brings them on the podium. Before Athens, they trained with eventual gold medallists Paul FOERSTER and Kevin BURNHAM (USA) and made an impressive Olympic debut by finishing sixth, almost winning bronze until they pushed too hard and capsized in one of the final races.

A team which could be particularly suited to the Qingao conditions are Frenchmen Nicolas CHARBONNIER and Olivier BAUSSET, who are especially strong in light to moderate winds. CHARBONNIER has an amazing record of World Championship titles in the 420 class and also the experience of America’s Cup campaign. Gideon KLIGER and Ehud GAL of Israel are also strong performers in the lighter conditions and are consistent performers with many medal from major events. Gabrio ZANDONA and Andrea TRANI of Italy, the 2003 World Champions, are another crew strong in all conditions and have been impressive over recent events, as have been the Portuguese crew of Ãlvaro MARINHO and Miguel NUNES.

Two younger teams to look out for are the Croatians Sime FANTELA and Igor MARENIC, both 22 and Carl EVANS and Peter BURLING of New Zealand, who are both just 17 years old.


The principal qualification regatta for the Men’s 470 event was the 2007 ISAF Sailing World Championships in Cascais, Portugal where 21 of the 30 nations where decided. The 2008 470 Worlds in Melbourne, Australia decided final eight national places. In addition there is one automatic place for the host nation China. One rejected place was reallocated to the one person events and therefore a total of 29 nations will be represented in Qingdao.

Find out more on the qualification events here.

About the 470

The 470 was designed in 1963 by Andre CORNU (FRA) as a modern fibreglass planing dinghy with trapeze and spinnaker.

In 1969 the class was given international status and has been on the Olympic programme since 1976, sailing initially as an open event.

The 470 was the first dinghy of the modern Olympic era, could accommodate light and medium weight crews and be sailed as effectively by men as women.

In 1988, the IYRU (now ISAF) created the first women's only event and selected the 470. In parallel a men's double-handed dinghy event was created, also using the 470. A technical and tactical boat, the 470 is popular around the world. World and continental championships take place annually.

Find out more about the 470 dinghy with the International 470 Class Association's online video guide to the class here.

The Sailors 

Argentina - Javier CONTE and Juan DE LA FUENTE 
Ages: 32 and 31
ISAF World Sailing Ranking: 25

Australia - Nathan WILMOT and Malcolm PAGE 
Ages: 29 and 36
ISAF World Sailing Ranking: 1

Austria - Matthias SCHMID and Florian REICHSTADTER 
Ages: 27 and 28
ISAF World Sailing Ranking: 29

Belarus - Sergei DESUKEVICH and Pavel LOGUNOV 
Ages: 25 and 25
ISAF World Sailing Ranking: 34

Brazil - Fabio PILLAR and Samuel ALBRECHT 
Ages: 22 and 26
ISAF World Sailing Ranking: 78

Canada - Stephen LOCAS and Oliver BONE
Ages: 27 and 27
ISAF World Sailing Ranking: 47

Croatia - Sime FANTELA and Igor MARENIC 
Ages: 22 and 22
ISAF World Sailing Ranking: 6

Finland - Niklas LINDGREN and Heikki ELOMAA 
Ages: 20 and 22
ISAF World Sailing Ranking: 64

France - Nicolas CHARBONNIER and Olivier BAUSSET 
Ages: 27 and 26
ISAF World Sailing Ranking: 7

Great Britain - Nick ROGERS and Joe GLANFIELD 
Ages: 31 and 30
ISAF World Sailing Ranking: 4

Ages: 39 and 25
ISAF World Sailing Ranking: 33
Ireland - Gerald OWENS and Philip LAWTON 
Ages: 29 and 30
ISAF World Sailing Ranking: 19

Israel - Gideon KLIGER and Ehud GAL 
Ages: 28 and 29
ISAF World Sailing Ranking: 5

Italy - Gabrio ZANDONA and Andres TRANI 
Ages: 31 and 31
ISAF World Sailing Ranking: 13

Japan - Tetsuya MATSUNAGA and Taro UENO 
Ages: 29 and 27
ISAF World Sailing Ranking: 37

Korea - Cheul YOON and Hyeongtae KIM 
Ages: 37 and 37
ISAF World Sailing Ranking: 42

Netherlands - Sven COSTER and Kalle COSTER 
Ages: 29 and 25
ISAF World Sailing Rankings 2

New Zealand - Carl EVANS and Peter BURLING 
Ages: 17 and 17
ISAF World Sailing Ranking: 14

Poland - Patryk PIASECKI and Kacper ZIEMINSKI 
Ages: 22 and 17
ISAF World Sailing Ranking: 24

Portugal - Álvaro MARINHO and Miguel NUNES 
Ages: 32 and 32
ISAF World Sailing Ranking: 11

PR China - Wang WEIDONG and Deng DAOKUN 
Ages: 25 and 30
ISAF World Sailing Ranking: 67 

Russia - Michael SHEREMETIEV and Maxim SHEREMETIEV
Ages: 23 and 21
ISAF World Sailing Ranking: 32
Singapore - Yuan Zhen XU and Seng Kiat Terence KOH 
Ages: 23 and 20
ISAF World Sailing Ranking: 23

Slovenia - Karlo HMELJAK and Mitja NEVECNY 
Ages: 25 and 25
ISAF World Sailing Ranking: 20

Spain - Onan BARREIROS and Aaron SARMIENTO 
Ages: 26 and 21
ISAF World Sailing Ranking: 12

Sweden - Anton DAHLBERG and Sebastian OSTLING
Ages: 23 and 24
ISAF World Sailing Ranking: 36

Switzerland - Tobias ETTER and Felix STEIGER
Ages: 27 and 28
ISAF World Sailing Ranking: 41

Turkey - Deniz CINAR and Ates CINAR 
Ages: 23 and 22
ISAF World Sailing Ranking: 60

USA - Stuart MCNAY and Graham BIEHL 
Ages: 27 and 21
ISAF World Sailing Ranking: 9

Source: ISAF