Another stunning performance from Australia at 2011 420 Junior Europeans
Of the 101 boat entry list from 21 nations at the 2011 420 Junior Europeans, thirty-four teams from 14 of those nations are competing in the gold fleet - a strong indicator of the depth of 420 talent.
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Of the 101 boat entry list from 21 nations at the 2011 420 Junior Europeans, thirty-four teams from 14 of those nations are competing in the gold fleet - a strong indicator of the depth of 420 talent. Today was certainly a deciding day for many of those talented teams as the challenging conditions yet again delivered high points scores for some in the gold fleet.
A grey day with light drizzle soon turned to sun and a light breeze of 8-10 knots for racing. However, the strong current and light breeze from almost the same direction made it a challenge for the Race Committee to set the course. The first attempt at race 9 for the 420 Gold fleet got underway and the leading pack were just over half a minute away from mark 1 when the time limit expired and the race had to be abandoned. Another start for race 9 and again the leading pack were almost at mark 1 when the race was again abandoned, but this time due to a 90 degree windshift.
The next attempt was fine, with a clear bonus for those starting at the pin end – as spotted by the Australians Angus Galloway/Alexander Gough who headed off on starboard tack, punching upwind a long way before tacking onto port and stylishly crossing the fleet. They arrived at the windward mark significantly ahead and from then on continued to extend their edge and deliver their fourth race win of the series and with it leap into first overall on the leaderboard. Yesterday we predicted the pounce about to happen and today the Aussies impressively delivered.
Gough commented on their race, “I guess we kind of thought at the start we liked the left and kind of planned our race around it. And then with thirty seconds to go there was no-one on the pin end and we pulled on and then tacked when we thought would be the best time, as there was more pressure on the left. There was a black cloud off the left and it kicked up the breeze a little bit.” Galloway took over, “We kinda hit the straps and we had a really good one. Once you have a really good start and cross everyone, it's quite easy then, you have clear air and can do what you want,” before adding, “although the race is not over until you cross the finishing line.”
Their margin is only one point over Guillaume Pirouelle/Valentin Sipan (FRA), who up until today had dominated since race 3. There is then a 9 point deficit to the third placed Tim Gratton/Ed Riley (GBR), who claimed their stake on the top three by crossing the line in third and replacing Alexander and George Kavas (GRE) who drop down to fourth.
The Kavas brothers played a mid-line start today and headed right up the race track, but this did little to help them as they were buried deep in the pack at the first mark and were then playing catch up.
Top women's team around the track were the reigning Ladies World Champions Annabel Vose/Megan Brickwood (GBR). Vose explained today's success, “We had a great start to the race. The wind was a lot more than we thought, as we had all ready completed two other beats in the morning, and for the final start there was a lot more,” as Vose referred to the first two races which were abandoned. “There was a tight reach and we were about to get rolled by some Portuguese guys and then something happened on their boat so luckily they were out, so we managed to hold our position on the reach, but we lost a bit as we are quite a bit lighter and it is quite hard. Then on the next run and beat we were trying to hold our lane and be in defensive mode. We managed as well as could I think and held onto seventh.”
Prior to the race start they were conscious of the black cloud loitering adjacent to the race course which was set to impact the weather, as Vose continued, “We knew the wind was going to pick up, we just didn't realise by that much. We had about 5 minutes to change settings, so we just about managed, but we were lucky with the recalled start, as it was quite good for us to be able to keep preparing for the race.”
After a redress decision from day 3, the Italian pairing of Giulia Lantier/Martha Faraguna are back in contention in the gold fleet and currently leading the four-strong women's teams who are giving the men a run for their money. At this stage no one team has yet secured an established claim on the medals. “It now makes it more exciting,” commented Brickwood. “We will race our own race tomorrow, but hopefully we are in with a chance of medals now, we definitely picked up places today.” That they certainly did, going to 18th from 21st on the leaderboard and shifting into position as the third women's team. But it is going to be tight tomorrow, with only 11 points separating the four.
In the 420 Silver Fleet, Francesco Bendandi/Frederico Pasini (ITA) take over the lead, with Benoit Truc/Benoit Amsler (SUI) heading up the bronze fleet.
Top 10 Overall – After 9 Races
1. Angus Galloway/Alexander Gough (AUS) - 18 pts
2. Guillaume Pirouelle/Valentin Sipan (FRA) - 19 pts
3. Tim Gratton/Ed Riley (GBR) - 28 pts
4. Alexander Kavas/George Kavas (GRE) - 33 pts
5. Goncalo Pires/Caetano Lacerda (POR) - 41 pts
6. Jordi Xammar/Alex Claville (ESP) - 45 pts
7. Gal Cohen/Hadar Moran (ISR) - 47 pts
8. Floris van Werken/Laurens van de Werken (NED) - 54 pts
9. Tim Fischer/Sebastian Ziegler (GER) - 54 pts
10. Adrian Barcelo/Pedro Terrones (ESP) - 58 pts
Two races are scheduled for tomorrow's final day of racing, with a scheduled start at 1400 hours.
The 2011 420 Junior European Championships are taking place together with the 2011 470 Junior European Championships in Nieuwpoort, Belgium from 7-15 August 2011.