Wildness at 470 Europeans

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Sanremo, Italy (May 12, 2019) – Tough conditions on the fourth day of the 470 Europeans as the men’s Gold and Silver fleets and the women had their first race of the day in the late morning in some 15 knots of wind that kept increasing and exceeded 25 knots.

The strong winds put the crews in the Olympic doublehander to the test, causing several capsizes including the one by the reigning European champions Anton Dahlberg and Fredrik Bergstrom from Sweden who were forced to abandon the race.

Given the conditions, the Race Committee called a stop and the crews went back to the marina. After some waiting they headed out at for a 17:00 start. The 15 to 20 knots at the beginning soon turned into over 30 knots, making it for a challenging race for everyone and causing some equipment failures, including a broken mast for Spain’s Jordi Xammar and Nicolas Rodriguez, one of the most serious contenders for the podium.

Further to today’s races, the overall standings have changed, but the top spot is still occupied by Australians Mathew Belcher and Will Ryan who today scored a first and a seventh. Behind them is Dahlberg/ Bergstrom, with a discard and a second place, managed to stay on the second provisional step of the podium.

In third place is Xammar/ Rodriguez, who also discarded one race and got a fourth, whilst Panagiotis Mantis and Pavlos Kagialis from Greece are currently in fourth but very close to the top and, mostly, have taken over Austria’s David Bargher and Lukas Maehr, who scored a 6 and 28.

New Zealanders Paul Snow- Hansen and Daniel Willcox recorded the strongest comeback with a win in the sixth race.

In the women’s fleet, UK’s Hannah Mills and Eilidh McIntyre showed good performances in today’s strong breeze by bagging a third and a second place, going back to the top of the scoreboard, followed by France’s Camille Lecointre and Aloise Retornaz (6-1 today) and by Spanish Silvia Mas Depares and Patricia Cantero Reina (4-4 today), who keep a three-points margin on Afrodite Zegers and Lobke Berkhout from the Netherlands.

“It’s been very difficult conditions on the water, very strong winds, we had to be careful with the gusts and we are happy on how we raced,” said the Spanish crew. “We had a good day, it was tough and also we tried not to capsize but we managed to stay upright and had two good races and up in the overall standings. We’re happy with our performance today.”

Representing North America are three teams from the USA: Stuart McNay and David Hughes in 15th (17-14 today), Atlantic Brugman and Nora Brugman in 30th (23-13 today), and Nikole Barnes and Lara Dallman-Weiss in 37th (41-25 today) after not competing on day one due to illness.

Tomorrow, penultimate day of the Championship, the first start is scheduled for 12:00 with weather conditions very hard to predict.

Racing at the 470 European Championship is on May 9 to 14 in Marina degli Aregai, Italy.

The 470 Europeans consist of a series of fleet races and a final medal race, if more than five qualifying races have been completed, for the top 10 teams in each fleet. The racing will be on windward/leeward or trapezoid courses. The championship has an open format, that means that non-Europeans crews can compete but cannot run for the European title.

Source: Carla Anselmi / sailingscuttlebutt

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