ISRAEL 470 NATIONALS WARMS-UP TEAMS AHEAD OF THE 470 WORLDS01 Oct 2015
Day 1 of racing today at the Israeli 470 National Championships in Haifa, Israel could be considered a very early indicator of form for the "real thing" when racing at the 470 World Championships kicks off on 12 October 2015.
A solid of line-up of teams, although only a snapshot of those who will be on the startline at the Worlds in 11 days' time, are in the fray, with 27 teams in the 470 Men and 24 contesting the 470 Women.
Many teams have been out in Haifa for several weeks as they strive to acquire every last piece of the critical knowledge they hope will secure their place high up the leaderboard. For many, the Worlds are about more than Championship glory, with Olympic Qualification at stake too. For those nations as yet unqualified to Rio 2016, they are in the hunt for the 6 nation slots on offer in the 470 Men and 3 in the 470 Women, which will put them on the Olympic starting grid. For others, the 470 Worlds are all part of their national team selection process - do well here and you could secure your Olympic ticket. So performance at the warm-up Israel Nationals is key preparation ahead of what will inevitably be a brutal battle to the finish at the 470 Worlds.
Perfect weather conditions saw the first of 3 races get underway in an 11 knot north-westerly, increasing to 14-16 knots for the next two races.
A predictably consistent performance from reigning World Champions, Mat Belcher/Will Ryan (AUS), saw them pop out of the starting line fully on form to claim a 2,1,2 scorecard and the series lead. Team mates Alexander Conway/Patrick Conway in second, with Spain's Onan Barreiros/Juan Curbelo following in third. Top Israel placed pairing are Eyal Levin/Dan Froylich.
Consistent results were on show in the 470 Women, with Sydney Bolger/Carly Shevitz (USA) claiming the top place from a 7,2,10. With the USA's place at the 2016 Olympics already secure, this young pair are carrying a huge responsibility on their shoulders as they go head to head with team mates Annie Haegar/Briana Provancha to be the team selected to represent America at the Olympics. Finland's Niki Blassar/Mikaela Wulff punched high with a 4,8,8 score putting them in second. Spain's Angela Pumariega/Patricia Cantero sit in third.
Noya Bar-Am/Rimon Shushan are the top placed Israeli team in 4th overall.