The tables have turned after day four at the 2013 470 World Championships on now in La Rochelle, France with NZL Sailing Team’s Jo Aleh and Polly Powrie regaining the lead in the Women’s fleet, while Paul Snow-Hansen and Dan Willcox didn’t fair so well and have dropped to 11th in the Men’s Championship.
All fleets sailed three races in 10-15 knot winds in La Rochelle today.
After starting the day lying 6th the reigning Olympic Champs came out fighting on day four managing to deliver the best performance of any female crew for the day with a win and two 2nd places which sees them pop to the top of the leader-board.
With mixed results coming from the other top placed crews Aleh and Powrie have not only regained the lead, they now have an eight point buffer on rivals Camille Lecointre and Mathilde Geron (FRA) who have held the top spot since Tuesday. The kiwi crew are pleased;
“We started out well with a decent start in the first race, rounding the top mark in the first pack, then chipped away at the leaders to take the lead just before the last mark to the finish and win the race,” says Jo Aleh.“The next one was a little trickier, we didn't have the greatest start, but we got a bit of space and got the boat going nice and quick.”
“The last race of the day was definitely the most difficult; we had a great start, but got a bit out of phase on the first leg of the race, to round the top mark in the middle of the fleet... We then worked our asses off to move up into the top five by the last top mark and one more good downwind leg and a great final reach put us into 2nd place at the finish once again.”
“So overall a 1,2,2 and no extra silly points for doing something stupid, so a bit of an improvement on yesterday!”
Tina Mrak and Veronika Macarol, of Slovenia round out the top three of the Women’s fleet, six points adrift of the French pair.
Tomorrow is the penultimate day of the regatta and the last day of the finals rounds ahead of Saturday’s medal race. By the end of the tomorrow only the top eight placed boats are still in the hunt getting the opportunity to sail the double-points grand finale.
The fortunes of Paul Snow-Hansen and Dan Willcox fell the other way and after today’s three races they find themselves in 11th overall with a battle on their hands to climb back into the top eight for a medal race start.
After a 17th, a 26th and an OCS on the course today the young kiwi combination have slipped from 2nd overall with two races left to close up the points gap.
Coach Hamish Willcox reports; “The boys had a tough day four..... Hard to put your finger on it but obviously the wind conditions were stronger with 10 knot seabreeze building to 15 with large chop.”
“Race one they nailed first beat and were nine at top, some very screwy stuff on the second beat meant they dropped all the boats who got right of them, a localized puff, their nine turned into 17th.”
“Final race today and they finished 11th only to find out they were over start early and disqualified. A solid day tomorrow will have them in the top eight and that will put them in the medal race. That's what they deserve.”
2013 Men’s and Women’s World Championships
New Zealand’s current standings…
Men’s 470 World Championship (114 boats)
11thPaul Snow-Hansen and Dan Willcox (3, 15, 1, 17, 26, OCS)
53rd Francisco Lardies and Luke Stevenson (18, 11, 16, 20, 16, 15)
98th Richard Power and John Power (16, 19, 18, 19, 27, 25)
Coaches: Nathan Handley and Hamish Willcox
5, 6, August: Qualifying Series
7, 8, 9 August: Final Series
10 August: Medal Race and Prize-giving
About the NZL Sailing Team
NZL Sailing Team includes New Zealand’s top Olympic campaigners who share the ultimate goal to win Olympic medals for New Zealand at the Rio Games in 2016.
NZL Sailing Team sailors all started out at grass roots yacht clubs around the country and with commitment, dedication and drive have risen to be world class athletes; they work hard in the gym, train long hours on the water and are supported by great coaches.
For more information contact
Communications Manager, Yachting New Zealand
M. 021 709 065