Men's 470 ready to pounce at Miami World Cup


Paul Snow-Hansen and Dan Willcox tend to go about their business in a quiet fashion but their steady climb up the men's 470 leaderboard at the World Cup regatta in Miami won't have gone unnoticed.

Paul Snow-Hansen and Dan Willcox are fourth overall at the Miami World Cup. Photo: Sailing Energy / World Sailing.

The pair were second and fourth in today's two races to improve another four places into fourth, only six points behind the Swedish pair of Anton Dahlberg and Fredrik Bergström in third. Snow-Hansen and Willcox, who won silver at the 2016 470 world championships, enjoyed the increased breeze on the third day of competition off Miami.

They have now finished in the top four in three of the last four races and are well placed with four more fleet races before the medal race.

"Today we had a lot of breeze, around 20 knots, which was awesome," Willcox said. "It was really good fun to race in the breeze again against some of the top boats.

"We had a two and a four, which was the second or third best day [of everyone in the fleet] so we were were happy to move up the rankings. We feel like we are sitting in a good position to pounce.

"The forecast looks like similar conditions for the next two days and we are really looking forward to another breezy day and trying to improve on what we did today. It should be good fun and we can't want to get back out there tomorrow."

Fellow Kiwi Sam Meech is also in fourth in the Laser, banking a second and 20th in today's two races to keep himself in the hunt.

The news wasn't so good for Tom Saunders, who started the day in third. Saunders was 49th in the final race of the day after being stuck at the top mark and dropped down to 12th overall but he was also embroiled in a protest.

He was always a little vulnerable after a 57th on the opening day, which is still his discard, so any other big score was going to be costly.

Meech has been one of the more consistent sailors in the 70-boat Laser fleet and his 20th today was his worst result to date.

"It was an interesting day out there today," he said. "We had a lot more wind, which was fantastic. It was great to stretch the legs and they are feeling pretty sore now.

"I had a good first race. I was on the right-hand side and managed to come through towards the front of the fleet and work my way up to second, which was a great way to start the day. 

"In the second race I got off to an awesome start but the wind went really far right and I got quite stuck. There were opportunities to come back into the race but I didn't really take them so I ended up with a fairly average result for that sort of breeze. But 20th is my worst race so far. I would like to be able to drop that [as my discard] but it wouldn't be the end of the world to carry."

Olympic champion Tom Burton has opened out a handy 10-point leader over Germany's Philipp Buhl but can't afford to make too many mistakes with a 34th on his scorecard.

The breeze is expected to remain fresh for the remainder of the regatta, which finishes on Monday morning (NZ time).

Results and standings after the third day of the World Cup regatta in Miami:

Laser (70 boats)

1st: Tom Burton (AUS) 4 (34) 2 7 6 6 - 25 points
2nd: Philipp Buhl (GER) 6 3 18 (25) 1 7 - 35 pts
3rd: Nick Thompson (GBR) 11 15 6 1 (18) 5 - 38 pts

4th: Sam Meech (NZL) 12 16 1 10 2 (20) - 41 pts
12th: Tom Saunders (NZL) 14 (57) 5 3 9 49 - 80 pts

Men's 470 (37 boats)

1st: Luke Patience / Chris Grube (GBR) 2 8 (28) 3 1 2 - 16 pts
2nd: Kevin Peponnet / Jeremie Mion (FRA) 7 3 (11) 7 4 1 - 22 pts
3rd: Anton Dahlberg / Fredrik Bergström (SWE) (15) 2 5 5 8 6 - 26 pts

4th: Paul Snow-Hansen / Dan Willcox (NZL) 12 (19) 2 12 2 4 - 32 pts

Full results can be found here.

25 Jan 2018
26 Jan 2018