High concentration day at 420 Worlds
After a postponement ashore, the fleets headed out to the race areas at around 1500 hours. Time ashore was spent enjoying a paddle boarding “head-to-head” relay, pitching nations against each other, commented in lively style by Austria’s 2000 Olympic Gold medallist Christoph Sieber.
Paddle board racing © Paul Szimak - derpaul.at
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With many teams on the cusp of qualification, today was make or break for the gold, silver and bronze fleets going into the final 6-race series. A light and very shifty breeze of about 7-8 knots challenged everyone, from front to back of the fleet in a day demanding high levels of concentration on the race course.
In the 420 Open fleet, the two-day tie break has now been broken between the two brother teams of Alex and George Kavas (GRE) and David and Alex Charles (ESP). The Greeks took another race win, with the Spanish finishing second in their fleet.
In the 420 Ladies, Chile’s Nadja Horwitz/Sofia Middleton continue to dominate and hold a string of top three results from the qualification series, with Singapore now holding the second and third positions.
Whilst some of the 420 Open teams were intent on showing off their prowess in the paddle boarding, others sought the shade and reserved their energy for racing. Australia’s Josh Franklin/Alexander Gough did exactly that, chilling out with the Kavas brothers in the grassy and shady boat park. Outcome for the Aussies a fifth place finish and move up to fourth overall, two steps closer to the podium finish they covet.
“We are good friends with the Greeks, we have all been racing against each other for about two years or something and we are all pretty friendly,” said Gough. They are impressed with the brothers’ performance so far, with Gough adding, “At the moment they are the team to watch and are really consistent in this regatta. We are a new team so are a bit more up and down.”
Franklin continued, “We are pretty happy, we have got the basics down pat and the racing is good. There are a few things to work on which should get better throughout the regatta, such as starting is a big thing and to get off the line better.”
Last year, with a different helm, Gough secured bronze at the ISAF Youth Worlds and won the 2011 420 Junior Europeans.
420 Open Fleet © Paul Szimak - derpaul.at
The Greeks gained the advantage today over the Spanish brothers, with another race win making it five wins out of the six races, and with it broke the points tie break.
“We like to win, but we didn’t expect to do this, but with the strong wind on the first day it was good. Going into the final series, we will make sure not to get any black flags and continue to race as we have been,” said older brother George.
Posting a second place finish to their scoreline today, recently crowned ISAF Youth Sailing World Champion, Alex Charles, commented, “Today the racing was quite difficult because it was a different direction to normal, and we haven’t sailed with this wind. It was a really light breeze and we just did our best, got to the first mark in fourth and fought for each position. We are really happy with the result.“
When racing continues on Friday 3 August, the Greek and Spanish brothers will come face to face for the first time at the Championship, something Alex relishes, “We will do what we are doing. I think we are sailing really well and have a lot of speed, but the Greeks do too, so my team mates said to me. It will be nice to sail against them."
Spanish 420 Team © Paul Szimak - derpaul.at
The 108 team 420 Open fleet is now split into three fleets – gold, silver and bronze – with 36 teams in each.
Provisional Top 10 Overall – After 6 Races
1. GRE 51581 - KAVAS Alex/KAVAS Georges – 5 pts
1. ESP 54228 - CHARLES David/CHARLES Alex - 6 pts
3. FRA 54608 - PIROUELLE Guillaume/SIPAN Valentin - 13 pts
4. AUS 54203 - FRANKLIN Josh /GOUGH Alexander - 21 pts
5. GBR 54082 – DERBYSHIRE Harry/LOVESEY Tom - 22 pts
6. BRA 52848 - PARANHOS Ricardo/ESSLE Patrick - 26 pts
7. USA 54066 - WADDELL Wade/FERNBERGER Henry - 26 pts
8. SIN54066 – TANG Andrew/YEO Jonathan – 29 pts
9. GRE53460 – MPAKATSIAS Fratzekos/TIMOGIANNAKIS Evangelos – 32 pts
10. GBR54164 – MORSLEY Toby/WALLIS Matt – 33 pts
Chile’s Nadja Horwitz/Sofia Middleton continue to blitz the fleet, posting another race win today to give them a 7 point margin over the second placed Singapore pair of Rachel Lee/Cecilia Low. The Chileans are well on track to convert their fifth place finish at the 2011 420 World Championships to a gold medal in Austria.
That Horwitz/Middleton are here as Chile’s sole representatives is the last thing on their mind. Horwitz is competing at the 420 Worlds fresh from a fourth place at the Four Star Pizza ISAF Youth Sailing World Championship. Due to the age limitations, Horwitz competed at the ISAF Youths with a different crew, but is back sailing with Middleton for the 420 Worlds. Crew swaps clearly don’t face Horwitz, who commented, “I have got used to changing.”
Nadja Horwitz/Sofia Middleton © Paul Szimak - derpaul.at
Another consistent day for Singapore keeps Rachel Lee/Cecilia Low in second overall after a 4th place in the blue fleet and Griselda Khng/Shu Xian Lee move up to third overall after a matching score in the yellow fleet.
Dropping out of the top three, to fourth, are the silver medallists at last year’s 420 Ladies European Championships Jennifer Poret/Louise Chevet (FRA).
For Jessica Lavery/Georgina Mothersele (GBR), today was the first day they came face to face with Chile’s Nadja Horwitz/Sofia Middleton. The British pair posted a solid eighth place, and end the day in fifth on the leaderboard. They are equal points with the French and Singapore teams, and have every chance of achieving their Championship goal of a podium place. A slow start to the day waiting for wind called for some calm and patience, as Lavery explained, “We all just sat in the shade, chatted, played cards, drank a lot to make sure we weren’t dehydrated before we started.” The girls are drinking at least three litres of water each a day, most of it when racing.
From being buried at the start and back in fifteenth at the first windward mark, the pair edged their way up through the fleet. “We had a difficult start so we were just clawing back, and it was hard because the wind was so light and everyone had the same boat speed, so we just tried to stay in clear air and chomp away at the fleet,” said Mothersele.
On being the top placed British boat so far, Lavery said, “I haven’t really thought about if I am honest. It is more of us sailing our own regatta and what we want to achieve out of it and just sail to our best,” with Mothersele adding, “We don’t compare with other Brits. It is more about medalling at international events rather than our friends.”
Last team through to the top 36 boat gold fleet cut are Spain’s Carmen Davila/Julia Davila who plummeted from 18th going into today to only just make it after a 28th place finish in race 6. The remaining 35 boats will contest the bronze fleet.
Up with a chance of claiming the William Sanchez Trophy for the top placed Ladies under 16 team are Eleutheria Georgakopoulou/Marietta Moraitou (GRE), who sealed a third place and move up to tenth overall.
420 Ladies © Paul Szimak - derpaul.at
Provisional Top 10 Overall – After 6 Races
1. CHI 54622 - HORWITZ Nadja/MIDDLETON Sofia - 8 pts
2. SIN 53659 - LEE Rachel/LOW Cecilia - 15 pts
3. SIN 54140 - Griselda Khng/Xian Lee Shu (SIN) – 17 pts
4. FRA 54609 - PORET Jennifer/CHEVET Louise – 22 pts
5. GBR 54194 - LAVERY Jessica/MOTHERSELE Georgina - 22 pts
6. SIN 53933 - LIM Kimberly/SIEW Savannah - 22 pts
7. ITA 54401 - OMARI Carlotta/CIRILLO Francesca Russo - 23 pts
8. ESP 54542 - MIQUEL Aura/CANO Marina - 26 pts
9. FRA 54250 – ROSSI Camille/VILETTE Aurelie – 35 pts
10. GRE 54360 – GEORGAKOPOULOU Eleutheria/MORAITOU Marietta – 37 pts
Twenty eight nations are competing at the 2012 420 World Championships, with the biggest teams coming from Great Britain, Germany, Italy and Spain, who have all sent full quotas. Nations are entitled to send seven teams in each of the 420 Ladies division and 420 Open division. As host nation Austria is entitled to 14 teams in each division, so fields the biggest team of twenty two boats. At the other end of the scale Australia, Chile, Ireland, Israel and the US Virgin Islands have sent just one team each.
Thursday 2 August is a reserve day. Racing on Friday 3 August will resume with the final series scheduled to get underway at 1100 hours.
Paddle board supporters © Paul Szimak - derpaul.at
Top Image: Kimberly/Savannah Siew (SIN) © Paul Szimak - derpaul.at