NZL Sailing Team: Roller-coaster Day 4 at 470 Worlds for Kiwis

Start Womens 470 Day 4, Championnat du Monde 2013 de 470 à La Rochelle

The tables have turned after Day 4 at the 2013 470 World Championships on now in La Rochelle, France with NZL Sailing Team’s Jo Aleh and Polly Powrie regaining the lead in the Women’s fleet, while Paul Snow-Hansen and Dan Willcox didn’t fare so well and have dropped to 11th in the Men’s Championship.

All fleets sailed three races in 10-15 knot winds in La Rochelle today.

After starting the day lying sixth the reigning Olympic Champs came out fighting on day four managing to deliver the best performance of any female crew for the day with a win and two second places which sees them pop to the top of the leader-board.

With mixed results coming from the other top placed crews Aleh and Powrie have not only regained the lead, they now have an eight point buffer on rivals Camille Lecointre and Mathilde Geron (FRA) who have held the top spot since Tuesday. The kiwi crew are pleased;

'We started out well with a decent start in the first race, rounding the top mark in the first pack, then chipped away at the leaders to take the lead just before the last mark to the finish and win the race,' says Jo Aleh.'The next one was a little trickier, we didn't have the greatest start, but we got a bit of space and got the boat going nice and quick.'

'The last race of the day was definitely the most difficult; we had a great start, but got a bit out of phase on the first leg of the race, to round the top mark in the middle of the fleet... We then worked our asses off to move up into the top five by the last top mark and one more good downwind leg and a great final reach put us into second place at the finish once again.'

'So overall a 1,2,2 and no extra silly points for doing something stupid, so a bit of an improvement on yesterday!'

Tina Mrak and Veronika Macarol, of Slovenia round out the top three of the Women’s fleet, six points adrift of the French pair.

Tomorrow is the penultimate day of the regatta and the last day of the finals rounds ahead of Saturday’s medal race. By the end of the tomorrow only the top eight placed boats are still in the hunt getting the opportunity to sail the double-points grand finale.

Start Mens 470 Day 4, Championnat du Monde 2013 de 470 à La Rochelle

The fortunes of Paul Snow-Hansen and Dan Willcox fell the other way and after today’s three races they find themselves in 11th overall with a battle on their hands to climb back into the top eight for a medal race start.

After a 17th, a 26th and an OCS on the course today the young kiwi combination have slipped from second overall with two races left to close up the points gap.

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

Women’s 470 World Championship (52 boats)
1stJo Aleh and Polly Powrie (4, 6, 18, 1, 2, 2)

Men’s 470 World Championship (114 boats)
11thPaul Snow-Hansen and Dan Willcox (3, 15, 1, 17, 26, OCS)
53rd Francisco Lardies and Luke Stevenson (18, 11, 16, 20, 16, 15)
98th Richard Power and John Power (16, 19, 18, 19, 27, 25)

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