Greeks on fire at 420 Worlds
Superb racing conditions for race day 4 at the 2120 420 Worlds, which marked the start of the six-race final series. With fleets now split into gold, silver and bronze for the 420 Open and Gold, Silver for the 420 Ladies, many of the top teams faced off against each other for the first time. Races 7 and 8 were held in an 18-20 knot breeze, before dropping down to around 12 knots for race 9.
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In the 420 Open fleet, the Greek brothers, Alex and George Kavas, continue to headline the fleet with race wins, notching up another two today. Equipment failure in race 9 forced a retirement for Spain’s Alex and David Charles and pushes them down to third overall, and with a 21 point deficit to the Greeks. Up into second go Guillaume Pirouelle/Valentin Sipan (FRA).
In the 420 Ladies fleet, a takeover at the top of the leaderboard after race 8 by Singapore's Rachel Lee/Cecilia Low, as they seized an advantage from Chile's Nadja Horwitz/Sofia Middleton who posted an unlucky 13th. All was back to the original order after race 9 though, with the Chilean pair securing race victory and pushing themselves back to the front, with Singapore second overall. A 13, 16, 4 from Jessica Lavery/Georgina Mothersele (GBR) moves them up into third overall.
Speed, that is the difference between the Greek brothers, Alex and George Kavas, and the rest of the fleet. Their wins in races 7 and 8 were awe-inspiring, with at least a 100 metre lead over the rest of the fleet. Today’s conditions are what the pair prefer and showcased them in optimum performance mode.
“We prefer the stronger winds, as we have more experience, and we feel confident in these conditions compared to when it is lighter,” said Alex.
They now have a 13 point margin over the rest of the fleet, and with only three races to go, are looking set to dominate the Championship through to its conclusion on Sunday.
A 5,2,5 for Guillaume Pirouelle/Valentin Sipan has promoted them to second overall, helped by David and Alex Charles’ bail out from race 9. Speaking on race 7, Sipan said, “We didn’t start well, but we followed the shift and had a good race. It then increased for the next race and was very shifty and hard on tactics. We again followed the shifts and hunted out the wind.”
Major disappointment for Spain’s Charles brothers in race 9, as Alex explained, “In the last race we had some technical problems. First the block on the vang broke, then we capsized and then we had to retire.”
“Today was a windy day, which we like but it is not our optimum conditions, as we are a light crew. We didn’t sail badly, but not the best we can do. In race 8 we had a bad start.”
Chasing hard are team mates and another sibling pair, Santi and David Mas who raced their best day for a 2,5,2 scorecard and move up from 17th to 4th on the leaderboard
Over in the 470 Open Silver fleet New Zealand’s Taylor Burn/Oscar Rorvik are setting the pace, with Hugo Sloper/James Dodd (GBR) in charge in the 420 Open bronze fleet.
Provisional Top 10 Overall – After 9 Races
1. GRE 51581 - KAVAS Alex/KAVAS Georges – 11 pts
2. FRA 54608 - PIROUELLE Guillaume/SIPAN Valentin - 24 pts
3. ESP 54228 - CHARLES David/CHARLES Alex - 31 pts
4. ESP 54544 - MAS Santi/MAS David (ESP) - 49 pts
5. AUS 54203 - FRANKLIN Josh /GOUGH Alexander - 50 pts
6. GBR 54182 - DIBB Craig/COX Charlie – 58 pts
7. GRE53460 - MPAKATSIAS Fratzekos/TIMOGIANNAKIS Evangelos – 63 pts
8. GBR 54082 - DERBYSHIRE Harry/LOVESEY Tom - 66 pts
9. GBR54164 - MORSLEY Toby/WALLIS Matt – 71 pts
10. BRA 52848 - PARANHOS Ricardo/ESSLE Patrick - 73 pts
420 Ladies Gold
The 420 Ladies Championship is shaping up to be a battle for supremacy between Chile and Singapore. A blip in the performance of Chile’s Nadja Horwitz/Sofia Middleton, who have so far dominated the Championship, with a 12th place finish in race 7, was followed up by a 13th in race 8. A bit of a shock to the system for the pair who up until today had posted consistent top three finishes.
A capsize left Horwitz/Middleton trailing at the back of the fleet in race 8, with only a couple of boats behind them, but they pulled through to catch up over twenty places and cross the line in 13th. “It was not bad for capsizing, when we were really last. In the first race we had a very bad race and I think most of our mistakes were tactical mistakes. Normally we do very well with good wind, so I don’t know why we did so badly today,” said Horwitz.
With two of the day’s three races completed, the Championship lead was now in the hands of Singapore’s Rachel Lee/Cecilia Low who posted a 1,6 – but not for long.
Back on form for race 9, the Chilean pair was motivated by Singapore’s advantage. “We knew the Singapore team had got ahead, and for the third race we were so tired. But we thought, never mind we have to get up and calm down and start racing as we know how. We were a bit crazy after the bad races.” A race win gave them the yellow jersey again, with Singapore 1 point behind in second.
Horwitz is relishing the battle unfolding between the two teams, and looking forward to Saturday’s two races. “It’s going to be hard and tough between us – and it will be fun. We have to concentrate and stay focused,” she said.
Horwitz/Middleton have two double-digit results on their scoreline, compared to only one for the Singapore team, so any more finishes further down the fleet will bring Chile’s gold medal aspirations crashing down.
The Singaporean pair had a ball out on the water, “The conditions were brilliant,” said Lee. “We enjoy sailing in strong winds, so it was a good day for us.” On the race 7 win, she explained, “Basically we had a good start and played the shifts well and the pressure well.”
It was a long day for teams and in a challenging breeze, conditions which had sapped the energy from Low. “I am so tired, really, really tired. The wind was stronger than expected,” she said. “It will definitely be an early night tonight.”
The recently crowned Four Star Pizza ISAF Youth Sailing World Champions, Ilaria Peternoster/Bernedetta Di Salle (ITA) have shown a rather bumpy performance so far, struggling to find their way to the front of the fleet in the lighter breeze which has been dominating. But with conditions today comparable to the Irish Sea where they won gold, the pair pulled a race win, crossing the line significantly ahead of the pack. They have now moved up into sixth overall, only 6 points off third position, and back on track with a chance at the podium places.
The 420 Ladies silver fleet was dominated by Israel’s Tsuf Zamet/Stav Brokman who scored a 5,1,2 and lead the group.
Provisional Top 10 Overall – After 9 Races
1. CHI 54622 - HORWITZ Nadja/MIDDLETON Sofia - 24 pts
2. SIN 53659 - LEE Rachel/LOW Cecilia - 25 pts
3. GBR 54194 - LAVERY Jessica/MOTHERSELE Georgina - 47 pts
4. SIN 53933 - LIM Kimberly/SIEW Savannah - 48 pts
5. SIN 54140 - KHNG Griselda/SHU Xian Lee (SIN) – 53 pts
6. ITA 54550 - PETERNOSTER Ilaria/DI SALLE Bernedetta – 53 pts
7. FRA 54609 - PORET Jennifer/CHEVET Louise – 59 pts
8. ESP 54542 - MIQUEL Aura/CANO Marina – 59 pts
9. ITA 54401 - OMARI Carlotta/CIRILLO Francesca Russo - 59 pts
10. GER 53924 - KNAUS Isabella/FISCHER Laura – 80 pts
Two races are scheduled for Saturday 4 August 2012, with racing getting underway at 1100 hours.
All images: © Paul Szimak - derpaul.at