NZL Sailing Team: Both 470 crews well placed after Day 2 of Worlds

New Zealand crew - Jo Aleh and Polly Powrie - sailing in the Delta Lloyd Regatta in May

Day 2 of the 2013 470 World Championships has drawn to a close with the qualifying rounds complete and both NZL Sailing Team crews are well placed as they carry forward their ranking to the finals rounds which begin in La Rochelle, France tomorrow.

Ending Day 2 in fourth place Jo Aleh and Polly Powrie will start the finals series with four points while Paul Snow-Hansen and Dan Willcox racing in the Men’s division have retained third place overall giving them a carry forward of three points.

Coach Hamish Willcox explains the scoring; 'The overall place they finish after the qualification phase becomes a non discard race to be counted for one of eight races in the gold fleet finals over the coming three days. Effectively these two days of 5 races count for just one race in the end… good practice but with little bearing to the final result.'

Light winds kept all sailors ashore initially on day two at the World Championships regatta, increasing later in the day just enough for racing to take place although there were plenty of general recalls across the fleets.

The Women managed two races in which Jo Aleh and Polly Powrie finished 18th and eighth seeing them relinquish their early lead. Their French rivals Camille Lecointre and Mathilde Geron were the best performers of the day and they progress to the finals in the top spot with China’s Xiaomei Xu and Chunyan Yu in second and Hannah Mills and Saskia Clark of Great Britain in third.

'Bit of a tougher day today,' report Aleh and Powrie.

They describe today’s conditions; 'We were delayed for a few hours onshore due to lack of wind, and we finally got out around 3pm. The wind was quite light, there was a bit of current running and the chop really got up by the end.'

'We had a rather dreadful first race, we didn't quite get off the start line and after that there just very few passing lanes and any little mistake got compounded. The next race was a little better, we only really got the speed going halfway up the first leg - which was a little late, but at least we were still in the mix. So not the best day at all, but some lessons learnt and we take a fourth place forward as our 'carry forward' first race. So the real regatta starts tomorrow.'

Paul Snow-Hansen and Dan Willcox returned another two excellent race results on day two despite the tricky, choppy conditions to retain third overall at the end of the qualifying phase.

Coach Hamish Willcox reports from La Rochelle; 'The boys got a third and a second which was the second best performance of the day behind Argentina’s Lucas Calabrese. The Aussie boys (Belcher and Ryan) did not have to sail the last race to go through with first place into final. France (Leboucher and Leberre) will go through in second and Paul and Dan will carry a third into final.'

'There are some good teams with high qualifying points and these points cannot be dropped. It all starts tomorrow with the Gold fleets announced and both Men gold and women gold now sailing on the same course out to sea on Alpha.'

Two more kiwi teams are racing in the Men’s Championship; Francisco Lardies and Luke Stevenson are lying 57th at the start of finals racing, Richard Power and John Power are placed 94th.

Racing resumes tomorrow with the medals set to be decided on Saturday in La Rochelle, France.

2013 Men’s and Women’s World Championships
New Zealand’s current standings…

Women’s 470 World Championship (52 boats)
4thJo Aleh and Polly Powrie (2, 1, 1, 18, 8)

Men’s 470 World Championship (114 boats)
3rdPaul Snow-Hansen and Dan Willcox (5, 4, 1, 3, 2)
57th Francisco Lardies and Luke Stevenson (11, 15, 13, 30, 27)
94th Richard Power and John Power (35, 34, 34, 33, 18)

Coaches: Nathan Handley and Hamish Willcox

The schedule
5, 6, August: Qualifying Series
7, 8, 9 August: Final Series
10 August: Medal Race and Prize-giving