470 European: Junior World champion in the lead


Racing on Saturday’s opening day was abandoned due to light winds, but all change on Sunday as the breeze kicked in around 8-10 knots. The race track was very hard to read, so strategy came to the fore as most teams scored up and down results.

Israel’s Gil Cohen/Noa Lasry started conservatively in the women’s fleet, building on a 10th in race 1, to score 2,1 and lead on tiebreak over Silvia Mas/Patricia Cantero (ESP). Third to Spain’s Barbara Cornudella/Sara Lopez.

Leading the race track and overhauling the maestros of the 470 Class were the reigning 470 Junior World Champions, Hippolyte Machetti/Sidoines Dantes (FRA). After a 19th in the opening race, the pair found their groove to finish 2, 4 and take the lead. Just 1 point behind are Spain’s Jordi Xammar/Nicolas Rodriguez, who are on equal points with the reigning 470 Junior European Champions, Giacomo Ferrari/Giulio Calabro (ITA), in third.

For many, the three races saw rise and fall results, with front of fleet scorecards being countered by mid-fleet results. Israel’s Gil Cohen/Noa Lasry delivered the best day, with a 10th place in the opening race their worst score. Two-time Olympian Cohen has a reputation for starting strong. At the 2015 470 Europeans, she won the opening four races, before floundering as expectation and pressure rose. Cohen will be conscious of past performances and aiming for a steady approach.

Reigning 470 Junior World Champion Silvia Mas (ESP) is partnered with Patricia Cantero for her Tokyo 2020 campaign, and counts the same scores as the Israelis, just the other way around, with a 1,2.

Cousins Barbara Cornudella/Sara Lopez made their mark on the 470 stage here in Bourgas by winning the 2014 470 Junior European Championship. They went on to secure selection to represent Spain at Rio 2016, and now have their sights fixed on Tokyo 2020. For sure there will be a full-on battle with Mas/Cantero as they spar it out to be their nation’s best.

Defending European Champions and world #1 pairing, Afrodite Zegers/Anneloes van Veen (NED) end their race track opener in 9th overall, from scores of 3,12 and a black flag penalty in race 3. The pair is hugely experienced, and with 8 races ahead to decide the top ten medal race line-up, it is really early days. Even for the world’s best, every day is a journey of learning, and the Dutch have recently partnered up with new coach Maurice Paardenkooper.

“For sure it is a nice thing to have someone from your own country,” was Zegers first comment on the Dutch coach.

“He has a very big overview, but also he lets us make our own mistakes and take our own responsibilities,” she continued. “He really teaches us how to make the next step to be independent sailors and athletes. Of course, when things go wrong he will take the lead. I have been learning every day something new. This campaign has new energy because of everything we are learning right now.”

In response to how nervous her rivals should feel, Zegers added, “In the long term for sure. We are learning a lot and it is difficult when you are in the learning process to put everything together at once, but for sure we are better sailors than we were one year ago.”

Slovenia’s Tina Mrak/Veronika Macarol made the early running with a win in the opening race, following up with a 15,14 to end their day in 8th overall .

1. Gil COHEN/Noa LASRY (ISR 311) – 3 pts
2. Silvia MAS DEPARES/Patricia CANTERO REINA (ESP 18) – 3 pts
4. Linda FAHRNI/Maja SIEGENTHALER (SUI 5) – 9 pts
5. Amy SEABRIGHT/Anna CARPENTER (GBR 7) – 9 pts
6. Elena BERTA/Bianca CARUSO (ITA 6) – 11 pts
7. Frederike LOEWE/Anna MARKFORT (GER 26) – 13 pts
8. Tina MRAK/Veronika MACAROL (SLO 64) – 15 pts
9. Afrodite ZEGERS/Anneloes VAN VEEN (NED 1) – 15 pts
10. Fabienne OSTER/Anastasiya WINKEL (GER 95) – 15 pts

470 MEN
Reading the race track the best were reigning 470 Junior World Champions, Hippolyte Machetti/Sidoines Dantes (FRA). Both only 21 years old, just four years ago Machetti/Dantes won the 2014 Junior World Championship crown, before shifting their talent to the 470 Class.

One point behind are Spain’s Jordi Xammar/Nicolas Rodriguez, who sit on equal points with the reigning 470 Junior European Champions, Giacomo Ferrari/Giulio Calabro (ITA), in third.

The Italian partnership opened their Championship with a win, but all change as they backed that up with a costly 29th place finish in race 2, and ended the day with a 6th place. With the 29th discarded, the Italians have no room for a second foot fault, and will need to remain consistent and cautious on the race track to hold their ground.

“It’s fantastic to see the level of the new blood in the fleet,” commented Rio 2016 Olympian Dave Hughes (USA), who is racing with Stu McNay.

Hughes/McNay, who won the 2015 470 Open European Championships in Denmark, acknowledge they have their work cut out for the race days ahead.

“They are certainly keeping us ‘old guys’ honest! Today, the whole fleet was having fun on and off the water and it showed. The conditions were tricky from start to finish and I’m so excited to see the young teams take charge. Our fleet is deep with talent! Good things are to come here in Bourgas,” predicted Hughes.

Defending 470 European Champions, Carl-Fredrik Fock/Marcus Dackhammar also struggled on the race track, scoring 5,9,25 to end the day in 10th, just 1 point behind McNay/Hughes.

Behind the young teams dominating the leader board top five, leading the charge of the seniors are Russia’s Pavel Sozykin/Denis Gribanov in 6th, with Sweden’s Anton Dahlberg/Fredrik Bergstrom in 7th.

“It beautiful racing in 8-10 knots, but it was very difficult out there, and we found it hard to read the wind,” said Dahlberg, who is the 2017 470 Worlds silver medallist. “Strategy calls were key. We didn’t manage to execute that the best, but we are really looking forward for tomorrow and another three races.”

1. Hippolyte MACHETTI/Sidoines DANTES (FRA 79) – 6 pts
2. Jordi XAMMAR/Nicolas RODRIGUEZ (ESP 44) – 7 pts
3. Giacomo FERRARI/Giulio CALABRO’ (ITA 757) – 7 pts
4. Thomas PONTHIEU/Eliott MICHAL (FRA 95) – 9 pts
5. Nitai HASSON/Tal HARARI (ISR 15) – 9 pts
6. Pavel SOZYKIN/Denis GRIBANOV (RUS 5) – 12 pts
7. Anton DAHLBERG/Fredrik BERGSTRÖM (SWE 349) – 12 pts
8. David BIEDERMANN/Jann SCHUEPBACH (SUI 10) – 12 pts
9. Stuart MCNAY/David HUGHES (USA 1) – 13 pts
10. Carl-Fredrik FOCK/Marcus DACKHAMMAR (SWE 350) – 14 pts

Racing continues on Monday 21 September with 3 races scheduled for each fleet starting at 1300 hours.

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