NZL Sailing Team: Kiwis in second place in 470 Worlds after Day 3

Jo Aleh and Polly Powrie (NZL) Championnat du Monde 2013 de 470 à La Rochelle

Finals rounds got underway today at the 2013 470 World Championships with the La Rochelle venue testing sailors with more challenging conditions on day three of the six day long regatta.

Paul Snow-Hansen and Dan Willcox are now in second place in the Men’s fleet; Jo Aleh and Polly Powrie are lying sixth in Women’s. Racing was in 8-14 knots of unstable breeze with strong tidal currents and a choppy sea.

An incident soon after the start in today’s opening race had the potential to de-rail Paul Snow-Hansen and Dan Willcox but they fought back to produce an acceptable result, then went on to win race two and are now in second place overall.

Coach Hamish Willcox describes the day; 'It was a tough day in the office for all, but especially race one for Paul and Dan. They were looking great off the line and while tacking to the very favoured right side they infringed the Aussie team and did a two turn penalty.'

'Amazingly Paul and Dan managed to come from 30 meters back and dead last into 19th (from 38 boats) at top mark then grind their up to 14th at finish'.

'In race two the boys nailed to race committee boat and got to the right first, they choose a great lay line from well out and led around mark one.'

Paul Snow-Hansen and Daniel Willcox (NZL)_ 2013 470 European Championships Day 05 Race 01
P.Jaffredou/G.Cazade
Snow-Hansen (Wakatere Boating Club) and Willcox (Murrays Bay Sailing Club) went on to take out the second race of the day and are now on 18 points, with the French pair of Bouvet and Mion also on 18 points in third position. Australia’s Mat Belcher and will Ryan continue to hold the lead on 10 points after the first day of gold fleet racing.

In the Women’s fleet Jo Aleh and Polly Powrie are now lying sixth overall, their day also not going without incident. From today they count a sixth and an 18th; the Olympic champions describe what happened;

'We managed to get off the line in the first race in a decent place and lead the fleet around the course from start to finish. In the second race we had the start and first beat pretty sorted sitting near the front of the fleet but got a bit tangled up in boats on the second beat and fell back through the fleet.'

'Unfortunately for us we made the totally rookie error of not signing off in the time period at the end of the day so have had five points added to our score-line. We have no excuses for it, just simply forgot, a seriously frustrating mistake to make.'

After the tricky day challenged many of the top placed sailors some positions have changed and the points have closed up around the top of the women’s leader-board. France’s Lecointre and Geron retain the top spot however on 16 points, with China in second and Slovenia in third. Aleh and Powrie sitting in sixth have 28 points equal to the Brazilian crew in fifth.

Racing resumes tomorrow with an earlier start time scheduled and three races planned for both the Men’s and Women’s gold fleets. The medals are 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)
6th Jo Aleh and Polly Powrie (4, 6, 18)

Men’s 470 World Championship (114 boats)
2ndPaul Snow-Hansen and Dan Willcox (3, 15, 1)
51st Francisco Lardies and Luke Stevenson (18, 11, 16)
96th Richard Power and John Power (16, 19, 19)

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