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11 Aug 2008

French Lead The Way In Men's 470

Image: © DON EMMERT/AFP/Getty Images

Nicolas CHARBONNIER and Olivier BAUSSET of France displayed their renowned guile in extreme conditions on Monday, finishing sixth and third to lead the standings after the first day of racing in the 470 Men class.

Onan BARREIROS and Aaron SARMIENTO (ESP) and Ãlvaro MARINHO and Miguel NUNES (POR) have 10 points apiece and sit in second and third places following the first two races of the series. Sailors went out in 8 knots of breeze from the southeast, with the current switching from 272 degrees to 55 degrees at 15:00 and its velocity peaking at 17:00 at more than 1.3 knots on Course D. The breeze abated throughout the afternoon and became more shifty. However the tricky conditions did nothing to stop the French charge. "It was not a big surprise for us. Both of our 470 teams have excelled in light air conditions. This is exactly what we wanted, and we will win medals in this kind of game," Nicolas CHARBONNIER said. 

Tetsuya MATSUNAGA and Taro UENO (JPN) had a stellar first race. They had a clear lane all the way up the right side of the first leg and reached the top mark 11 seconds ahead of MARINHO and NUNES. The boats sailed their own race while those behind them used different methods to try to pass one another on the trapezoidal course.

World #1 ranked Nathan WILMOT and Malcolm PAGE (AUS) clawed back from an eighth-place position around the first mark into fourth. In the second race, the Australians finished in the middle of a pack of 10 boats. The separation between that pack and the next group was more than two minutes. 

Ger OWENS and Philip LAWTON (IRL) surprised everybody by rounding the top mark of the lighter-air second race, popping the chute and leading around the remainder of the course.

Rather than reel in the Irish, second placed BARREIOS and SARIMENTO had their hands full fending off many of the regatta favourites, such as the teams from France, Italy, Great Britain, Croatia and Australia.

Overall Results - click here

Find out more on the 470 dinghy with an exclusive video clip on the International 470 Class Association’s Olympic microsite www.sail470.org/og2008

Source: ISAF / Olympic News Service