NZL Sailing Team: Aleh and Powrie set for a medal, Men win through

Paul Snow-Hansen and Daniel Willcox (NZL)_ 2013 470 European Championships Day 05 Race 01
P.Jaffredou/G.Cazade

Jo Aleh and Polly Powrie will head into the final day of the 2013 470 European Championships in third place and looking good for a medal, but with a challenge on to make it silver or gold. New Zealand will also be represented in the Men’s medal race with Paul Snow-Hansen and Daniel Willcox sailing away with a win today and lying seventh overall. The regatta, which has attracted a full contingent of the world’s best Olympic campaigners in the double-handed 470 class, has just one day to run in Formia, Italy. Conditions were light at the venue today and after a postponement just one race was possible. Today’s race wasn’t as lucrative for Aleh and Powrie however, and while they’re in a solid position for a podium finish, their rivals have extended their points lead today; 'There was not much wind at all so we were delayed on shore for a few hours before finally heading out to race,' explains Aleh. 'We had a great start and had all the options available to us, but made the wrong call on the first upwind leg, and were way back in the pack again. Once again we did what we could to catch up, but there was not much left to do, and so we ended with a disappointing ninth placing in race nine.' But the golden girls know it’s not over until it’s over and anything can happen in the high pressure medal race; 'So we go into tomorrow's medal race in third overall, eleven points off first and nine points off second, then another nine points back to fourth.' 'So with only eight boats in the medal race that is rather a few points to make up. But it’s all good, nothing like a good challenge!' 'Looks like the breeze will be back in tomorrow, so looking forward to a good race tomorrow.' Paul Snow-Hansen and Daniel Willcox had a race win today and have secured themselves a spot in the Men’s fleet top eight to sail the medal race on the back of today’s result. Ahead of race 11 they were lying ninth but the win sees them climb to seventh overall. While the fleet leaders are out of reach, points are close in the positions just ahead of the kiwis and a good race tomorrow could see them further improve their place, and their final result, at this well attended regatta. This group will be next do battle at the 470 World Championships is on in La Rochelle, France commencing in late July and running into early August. Check out this calendar of Olympic class yachting to find out what’s coming up. 470 Open European Championship, Formia, Italy - New Zealand’s Standings Women (41 boats) 3rd Jo Aleh and Polly Powrie (35 points) Men (69 boats) 7th Paul Snow-Hansen and Daniel Willcox 37th James Turner and Carl Evans