ALL CHANGE ON DAY 4 AS SWEDEN AND GREAT BRITAIN SWEEP TO POLE POSITION15 Oct 2015
What a day of drama out on the race track, as two new leaders take over the 470 Men and 470 Women leaderboards, points close and the top ten leaderboards shuffle on day 4 of racing.
Two races for all fleets raced in around 10 knots, with the persistent unpredictably of the race track unseating some teams.
This is going to be a white knuckle ride to the end, with the leader bibs changing race by race. Points are close and Friday will be a gripping decider to determine the top ten teams advancing to Saturday’s medal races and nations claiming Rio 2016 Olympic qualification.
A superb performance from Sweden’s Anton Dahlberg/Fredrik Bergstrom, who found their mojo on the race track and accelerated up the leaderboard, leapfrogging from third going into the day to claim the yellow leader bib. Scoring a 1,8, they are on tiebreak with Croatia’s Sime Fantela/Igor Marenic, counting 39 points each, so will need to stay focused to respond to the challenge from behind.
After three years of racing together, today they bagged a career best performance. Critically right now, the 470 Worlds carry qualifying points towards Sweden’s Rio 2016 selection criteria, so maintaining their performance is key. Hugely experienced, Dahlberg competed at the 2008 Olympics and London 2012, partnering up with Bergstrom soon after in 2013.
“Day 4 was a really, really nice day for us,” said Dahlberg. “We have been working hard through the whole regatta and today turned out really well for us. We have been working hard for a long time and being in first spot we maybe weren’t expecting in the beginning of the regatta, but we know we have the capacity and the tools, so when we sail our best we are really competitive.”
“Four years ago in 2011, I won the 470 Junior Worlds with another guy, and it has been a process from thereon,” said Bergstrom. “It is a big difference from the junior fleet to the senior fleet. Sailing together with Anton has pushed me in my career as a sailor and I have really enjoyed it and learned a lot during the time.”
Australia’s Mat Belcher claimed their fourth win of the series in race 9 to sit in third overall. Fantela/Marenic and the Australians will be ready to resume the World Championship challenge tomorrow. Australia has the history, Belcher has won the Worlds 5 times, the Croatians once. It is anyone’s game with just 26 points separating the top ten on the leaderboard.
On tiebreak of 41 points with the Australians are Russia’s Pavel Sozykin/Denis Gribanov in fourth. The Russians have enjoyed their best ever season of racing in 2015, including a fifth at the Europeans. Dropping out of the top ten go Stuart McNay/David Hughes (USA) and Sofian Bouvet/Jeremie Mion (FRA), with Carl-Fredrik Fock/Marcus Dackhammar (SWE) and Onán Barreiros Rodríguez/Juan Curbelo Cabrera (ESP) bouncing up to replace them in 9th and 10th respectively.
Racing off for the six Rio Olympic qualification places are teams (in leaderboard order) from Finland, Germany, Argentina, Turkey, South Africa, China, Israel and Korea.
Sitting at the front of these eight nations, in sixth on the leaderboard, are Finland’s Lindgren brothers, Joonas and Niklas. Bar some disaster unfolding, it will be hard to unseat the pair.
“We are pretty confident now,” said Joonas. “The whole week we have been trying to take it just one race at a time and more concentrating doing our own thing really well, or as close to perfect as possible and it seems that it has paid off really well. It is definitely a tough competition. There are some good countries who haven’t qualified yet, and we didn’t quite expect to be at this position before the regatta, but it looks nice so far!”
“We have always been very good in sea breeze conditions,” added Niklas, “so it is perfect conditions for us. We feel on top of the game.”
Joonas reflected on the magic ingredient being siblings brings to their partnership. “Being brothers, it leaves a lot of room for communication. It is perfectly fine if we fight in the boat, we don’t have to feel bad about it. I often know what Niklaas is thinking and he knows what I am thinking, so you don’t have to use too many words.”
Olympism runs in the Lindgren family as their father, Jouko Lindgren with crew Georg Tallberg, was third in the 470 at the 1980 Olympics in Tallinn.
Back to back wins in the silver fleet to Canada’s Jacob Chaplin-Saunders/Graeme Chaplin-Saunders pushes them up to second, with Hernique Haddad/Bruno Bethlem leading.
Making their mark in their second ever event in the 470 are local team Ido Bilik/Ofek Shalgi (ISR). The young pair, aged 15 and 16 years, won the under-17 division at the 2015 420 Junior Europeans in August, and switched to the 470 just a few weeks ago to take a shot at the 470 Worlds. A fifth in race 9 will have boosted their confidence.
Friday’s two races will decide the top ten teams advancing to the Medal Race and the six nations qualifying to the Rio 2016 Olympic Games. Based on form so far, we can expect anything and everything to happen at the top of the leaderboard, and all is still open for the eight nations battling for Olympic qualification.
Two races are scheduled, with the 470 Men Gold starting first at 1300 hours, then silver.
470 Men – Results after 9 Races
1. Anton Dahlberg/Fredrik Bergstrom (SWE 349) - 39 pts
2. Sime Fantela/Igor Marenic (CRO 83) - 39 pts
3. Mathew Belcher/Will Ryan (AUS 11) - 41 pts
4. Pavel Sozykin/Denis Gribanov (RUS 5) - 41 pts
5. Jordi Xammar/Joan Herp (ESP 44) - 46 pts
6. Joonas Lindgren/Niklas Lindgren (FIN 7) - 52 pts
7. Ferdinand Gerz/Oliver Szymanski (GER 10) - 54 pts
8. Luke Patience/Elliot Willis (GBR 868) - 64 pts
9. Carl-Fredrik Fock/Marcus Dackhammar (SWE 350) - 64 pts
10. Onán Barreiros Rodríguez/Juan Curbelo Cabrera (ESP 9) - 65 pts
A third place finish in race 7 and the 2012 Olympic silver medallists, Hannah Mills/Saskia Clark (GBR), seized back the lead they held after yesterday’s race 5, pushing Austria’s Lara Vadlau/Jola Ogar into second. Behind these leading two teams, there is a significant 16 points gap to third, so we can anticpate some tricky tactics on Friday as the British and Austrian vie for the advantage.
“We started well and had a very good first beat, apart from the very first race of the regatta, so we have always been in with a shout. But it is really patchy and you are never safe until you are over the finish line,” commented Clark.
Looking to the battle ahead with the Austrians, Clark continued, “We both have reasonably similar discards, but they have 2 points on us if those get used. So it is anyone’s regatta of the top six until we at least get one race done tomorrow.”
A win in race 7 for Camille Lecointre/Helene Defrance (FRA) propelled them back up to third overall, with Jo Aleh/Polly Powrie (NZL) narrowing the points gap and climbing to fourth from a 4,8 scoreline.
“We are yet to have a good day here. But yes compared to the other days it is better,” said Aleh. “We are taking every race as it is at the moment. We will just try to go out there and sail the best and keep pushing.”
“We have had our moments and not so good moments,” added Powrie. “We are just trying to keep learning and chipping away throughout the week.”
Race 8 saw Carrie Smith/Jaime Ryan (AUS) take the lead at mark 1, before some mastery from Chile’s Nadja Horwitz Von Appen/Sofia Middleton who pushed through to hold the lead from the downwind leg to the finish. Another top performance from Spain’s young team, Silvia Mas/Paula Barcelo, who finished in third, just behind Vadlau/Ogar.
Points are very close for those on the cusp of the medal race cut. Spain’s Sofia Toro/Laura Sarasola edged into the top 10, behind team mates Marina Gallego/Fatima Reyes, and between them are looking confident to secure Spain’s slot to Rio 2016.
In the fight for the three Olympic qualification, the points gaphas now spread the thirteen contending teams out to such an extent that the margin is too big to catch up for Finland, Turkey, Portugal and Canada. Locked into the final running here at the 2015 Worlds are teams (in leaderboard order) from Poland, Germany, Spain, Italy, Chile, Australia, Israel, Switzerland and Greece. There are still slots available at the Continental Qualification events later this year and in 2016, so the Road to Rio will continue.
Two races are scheduled for the 470 Women on Friday 16 October, starting after the 470 Men gold and silver fleets.
470 Women – Results after 8 Races
1. Hannah Mills/Saskia Clark (GBR 118) - 30 pts
2. Lara Vadlau/Jolanta Ogar (AUT 431) - 31 pts
3. Camille Lecointre/Helene Defrance (FRA 9) - 47 pts
4. Jo Aleh/Polly Powrie (NZL 75) - 50 pts
5. Anne Haeger/Briana Provancha (USA 1712) - 50 pts
6. Agnieszka Skrzypulec/Irmina Mrozek Gliszczynska (POL 11) - 56 pts
7. Afrodite Kyranakou/Anneloes Van Veen (NED 216) - 71 pts
8. Annika Bochmann/Marlene Steinherr (GER 72) - 76 pts
9. Marina Gallego/Fatima Reyes (ESP 33) - 80 pts
10. Sofia Toro/Laura Sarasola (ESP 113) - 113 pts
470 World Championship Format
Racing gets underway on Monday 12 October, with a qualifying and final series for the 470 Men who will be split into two fleets for the 11 races followed by the Medal Race for the top ten teams. The 470 Women will race a single series of 10 races before the top ten advance to the Medal Race on Saturday 17 October.
Rio 2016 Olympic Qualification
The 2015 470 World Championships is an Olympic Qualification event for the Rio 2016 Olympics, with 6 nation places on offer in the 470 Men and 3 in the 470 Women. Find out more about qualification for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games and details of nations already qualified.
Entry Lists - http://2015worlds.470.org/en/default/races/race-inscriptions
Results - http://2015worlds.470.org/en/default/races/race-resultsall
Official Noticeboard - http://2015worlds.470.org/en/default/toa/race
Live Race Updates - http://2015worlds.470.org/en/default/races/race-directcomplet
Amir Weizman of Aquazoom (www.aquazoom.co.il) has been appointed by the local Organizing Committee as the Official Championship Photographer and Videographer and can be contacted on email@example.com.
High resolution images are available on request.
Media enquiries to: firstname.lastname@example.org
International 470 Class Association on Facebook will bring you regular updates at www.facebook.com/470olympicsailing
Follow the 2015 470 World Championship at http://2015worlds.470.org