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#LASER RADIAL WORLDS – Annalise Murphy's 64th and 33rd scored yesterday in the penultimate day of racing at the Laser Radial World Championships in Germany put her 16th overall with overall scores tighenting significantly at the top of the table.

This season's most consistent sailor, with three World Cup wins under her belt Lijia Xu (CHN) had her worst day of this Boltenhagen regatta with light winds saddling her with a 14th and 12th, these are now her two discards.

However Xu is still ahead of Gintare Scheidt (LTU) in the overall results due to her 12–point lead with which she went into today's races.

The final rounds will be sailed today and there is no medal race in this world championship format.

Yesterday's first start at the Audi Laser World Championship 2012 was postponed for three hours as there was barely any wind. Around 1pm a sea breeze came in and there were six to eight knots for the first race and ten to twelve knots for the second. A small current on the Wohlenberger Wiek kept the sailors in line and there was neither a general recall nor a single early starter during any of the starts.

Although for Lijia Xu (CHN) the racing did not go as smoothly as on previous days she is still ahead of Gintare Scheidt (LTU) in the overall results due to her 12 point lead with which she went into today's races. Scheidt convinced in the first race where she was second but had to discard the sixteenth place from the second race as her worst result in the final series so far. With the second discard after ten races Alison Young (GBR) only adds one point to her overall score and moves back up into third place.

Sari Multala (FIN) slips to fourth place but with only eleven points separating her and Lijia Xu in first place there is still the possibility for some major changes in the overall rankings. Defending World Champion Marit Bouwmeester (NED) is keeping steady in fifth place overall with two ninth places. 18-year-old newcomer Erika Reineke (USA) scored spectacular results in gold fleet today, achieving a third and a first place ahead of fellow countrywoman Paige Railey who finished 20th and ninth.

Reineke is still ahead in the U21 rankings as well, having established a 69 point lead on Brenda Bowskill (CAN) in second place. Michelle Broekhuizen (NED) is in third place.

Published in Olympics 2012
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#LASER RADIAL – Discarding her first race result of 65 keeps Ireland's Annalise Murphy in 15th overall at the Laser Radial worlds in Boltenhagen Germany tonight but a gap of 13 points exists to tenth overall so a place in Sunday's coveted medal race depends on achieving the same results as shed did on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Results available for download as a pdf below.

As the temperatures have been creeping up slowly the wind has calmed down slightly in Boltenhagen, where the first races of the women's Radial final series of the Audi Laser World Championship 2012 are taking place. The famously shifty winds between eight and sixteen knots made for tactically demanding conditions on the water today. "Speed is not the top priority in these conditions", says Principal Race Director Klaus Lahme, "tactically it is more important to catch the right wind shifts."

"I think being consistent is the most important thing for an all-round sailor", adds Lija Xu (CHN) after winning the first gold fleet race and coming in second later in the afternoon. She swops places at the top of the leader board with Sari Multala (FIN) who had an off day with a tenth and a 25th place, her worst results of the entire series so far. Gintare Scheidt from Lithuania pushes from fifth into third place.

Marit Bouwmeester (NED) also improves, she is up from seventh to fifth place in the overall ranking even though the day did not go particularly smoothly for her. She was fifth in the first race and because of her consistent results in the first seven races she was able to discard the 22nd place from today's second race. Sara Winther (NZL) seemed overly eager at the starting line and received two of the 21 black flag disqualifications awarded today. She drops from 13th to 32nd place overall. Paige Railey (USA) continues to deliver steady results and currently places ninth overall. In the gold fleet's second race Anna Weinzieher from Poland managed a fairly unexpected win ahead of Lija Xu and Sophie de Turckheim (FRA).

In the U21 results it is looking good for Erika Reineke from the USA who is able to maintain her lead. Michelle Broekhuizen (NED) claims the second place while Marie Bolou from France drops to third.

Published in Olympics 2012
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#LASER RADIAL WORLDS – Another stunning performance by Annalise Murphy at the 133-boat Women's Laser Radial fleet in Boltenhagen, Germany today moves the Dun Laoghaire sailor up to 15th overall and within striking distance of the top ten overall as the Radials finished the last races of their qualifying series today before being divided into the gold and silver fleets for the finals. The choppy waves out on the Wohlenberger Wiek proved challenging and again there were several capsizes.

In the strong winds London Olympic debutante Annalise is showing her strength and repeats her scores from yesterday with a first and second place. Improving twelve places she is now 15th overall due to a rather disastrous first day of racing where she was 65th and 33rd. Similarly the conditions seem to suit Paige Railey (USA) who is only two places and one point behind Murphy with much more stable Top 10 results over the last two days.

The two Finnish competitors seemed to feel right at home and both scored a first and second in today's races. This pushes Sari Multala from fourth to first place overall, three points ahead of Lija Xu (CHN) who is steady in second place. Alison Young from Great Britain drops to third place as the results of a ninth and fourth place in the yellow fleet.

With the exception of the very first race of the qualifying series Marit Bouwmeester (NED), currently seventh overall, is achieving consistent Top 10 results and will be trying to close the twelve point gap between her and Multala in first place during tomorrow's gold fleet races. Josefin Olsson (SWE) who had been working her way up in the results capsized on the last down wind of the second race, losing two points. Righting her boat fast enough meant she still finished eighth in the blue fleet.

In the U21 ranking another American is pushing ahead. Erika Reineke overtook Marie Bolou (FRA) who had been leading throughout the first two days. In third place is Michelle Broekhuizen (NED), who will be racing in gold fleet tomorrow along with the current Top 10 of the U21 competitors.

Results for download in pdf format below.

Published in Olympics 2012

#LASER RADIAL – After a disatrous opener yesterday London Olympic prospect Annalise Murphy bounced back to the front of the 133-boat Women's Laser Radial fleet in Boltenhagen, Germany today finishing  first and second in her two races moving her up 70 places from 103rd to lie  27th overall.

With 20 knots of wind from 270 degrees on the race course it was the perfect opportnuity for the 6'foot 1" Dun Laoghaire sailor to show her world class heavy air form.

Overall Britian's Alison Young leads the fleet. Results after four races are downloadable below in pdf format.

Racing continues until Saturday with the top 10 sailors progressing to the medal race on Sunday.

Tactically challenging conditions with mildly oscillating winds from 15 to 20 knots today's races lead to interesting changes in the results at the top of the leader board. In uncharacteristically rough waters for Boltenhagen there were several capsizes during the races and in the strong winds some starters were a little too eager, receiving a total of seven black flags.

Young (GBR) was able to discard her 39 points from the very fist race of the series and moves up from 31st to first place in the overall results with a second place and a win. Only four points behind is Lija Xu from China who was fifth in the first race and won the yellow fleet's second race. In third place with eight points like Lija Xu is Cecilia Carranza Saroli (ARG) who came second in the first race but had to discard her 14th place from the second race.

Defending World Champion Marit Bouwmeester (NED) is delivering a steady performance in fifth place, only one point behind the World Champion from 2009 and 2010, Sari Multala from Finland who achieved the same scores as yesterday with a first and eighth place. Even though American Olympic hope Paige Railey placed seventh and fifth today her results from the first day prevent her from moving up significantly in the overall results. She improves from 30th place to 23rd.

France's Marie Bolou is still leading in the U21 results, followed by Erika Reineke (USA) and Michelle Broekhuizen (NED).

Published in Olympics 2012

#OLYMPIC SAILING – London Olympic debutante Annalise Murphy (22) who the Irish Sailing Association (ISA) say can be an Olympic medal winner in Weymouth this summer has had a 'difficult start' to her Laser Radial World Championships in Germany today as extremely shifty winds that increased from eight to twenty knots during the afternoon made racing difficult. Writing on her facebook page last night the UCD Science student told friends: "Tough first day on the water today. #onlyupfromhere!"

In the first race of the Audi sponsored event there was little or no beating in the first leg as the massive 133-boat fleet negotiated big wind shifts. Annalise finished 65th and  more problems followed in race two when a collision forced the Dun Laoghaire sailor into a 720 degree penalty turn leaving her 33rd and 103rd overall.

Results sheet is downloadable below as a PDF.

Both starting line and race course had to be repositioned several times and mixed results for the entire fleet reflected the tricky conditions.

Cecilia Carranza Saroli from Argentina achieved the most consistent results with a fifth and a first place. In second place after two qualifying races is Tatiana Drozdovskaya from Belarus with a sixth and a second place. She is followed by Finland's Sari Multala who won the first race and placed eighth in the second.

Favourites Marit Bouwmeester (NED) and Gintare Scheidt (LTU) are in tenth and twelfth place respectively. Vice champion from last year Paige Railey (USA) ended the races on her birthday in 30th place overall. Alison Young (GBR) who won the blue fleet's second race but she finished 31st overall due to a heavy 39 points in the first race.

Leading the Under 21's is Marie Bolou from France with a two point lead over Svenja Weger (GER) and Oren Jacob (ISR), both with 26 points.

 

Published in Olympics 2012
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#470 – Ireland will be sending a five boat team (and that may yet rise to six) to the London Olympics following the qualification of Ger Owens for his third Olympic regatta in the 470 dinghy with new Howth crew Scott Flanigan.

As Afloat.ie previously reported this week the pair are currently sailing at the 470 World Championships in Barcelona where the final seven nation places are up for grabs in addition to the 20 that were allocated in 2011. The Dublin duo currently lie 24th overall on Day 3 following a 10th and a 13th in their two races today. The 95 boats have now split into gold, silver and bronze fleets. Owens and Flanigan are in the gold fleet and with the guarantee that they cannot fall lower than the 7th required nation thus securing their place in the Games.

Published in Olympics 2012
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#OLYMPIC 470 – Ger Owens and Scott Flanigan's good start to the 470 worlds in Barcelona at the weekend continued in to day two yesterday when the Dublin pair posted 11, 9 and 10 in the three races of the day.

The Royal St. George YC – Howth YC pair pulled themselves up from some poor first mark roundings making the best of the breezy conditions to overhaul rivals in the double-handed dinghy class.

Perfect sailing conditions ensured Barcelona lived up to its reputation as a great sailing venue. Racing got underway in 12 knots building to around 15-17 knots as the fleets completed race 4, with fairly wavy conditions.

The 94 boat championship fleet has two more races this morning before the fleet is split.

An additional seven Olympic places are up for grabs in Barcelona and the Irish pair are attempting to secure one of them. Today will prove to be a crucial day and will determine some of the next nations qualifying to the 2012 Olympic Games

Every race counts, but with three races yesetrday it was particularly crucial for teams to pump in some good scores and position themselves as solidly as possible before Tuesday's final two races of the qualification series at the 2012 470 World Championships.

It doesn't get better than three wins from three races, which is exactly what Lisa Westerhof/Lobke Berkhout (NED) delivered in the 470 Women blue fleet, matched by Mat Belcher/Malcolm Page (AUS) racing in the 470 Men yellow fleet.

Top ten, women, after 4 races

1. Lisa Westerhof/Lobke Berkhout, NED, 9 points

2. Gil Cohen/Vered Bouskila, ISR, 11

3. Ai Kondo/Wakako Tabata, JPN, 12

4. Jo Aleh/Polly Powrie, NZL, 12

5. Ingrid Petitjean/Nadege Douroux, FRA, 15

6. Camile Lecointre/Matilde Geron, FRA, 17

7. Kathrin Kadelbach/Friederike Burnet, GER, 19

8. Giulia Conti/Giovana Micol, ITA, 24

9. Sophie Weguelin/Sophie Ainsworth, GBR, 26

10. Fernanda Sesto/Consuelo Monsegur, ARG, 28

Top ten, men, after 4 races

1. Mathew Belcher/Malcolm Page, AUS, 4 points

2. Alvaro Marinho/Miguel Nunes, POR, 10

3. Sime Fantela/Igor Marenic, CRO, 11

4. Joonas Lindgren/Niklas Lindgren, FIN, 11

5. Panagiotis Mantis/Pavlos Kagialis, GRE, 14

6. Pierre Leboucher/Vicent Garos, FRA, 16

7. Onan Barreiros/Aaron Sarmiento, ESP, 18

8. Sam Kivell/Will Ryan, AUS, 20

9. Ryunosuke Harada/Yugo Yoshida, JPN, 21

10. Panagiotis Kampouridis/Esfstathios Papadopoulos, GRE, 23

All fleets have been re-seeded, so today the 149 teams competing at the 2012 470 World Championships will be up against a different set of opponents. Just two more races today to complete the qualification series and determine the split for the Gold and Silver fleets in the 470 Women and Gold, Silver and Bronze fleets in the 470 Men. The race throw out will come into play after five races, so expect some leaderboard shuffling.

Published in Olympics 2012
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#FINN GOLD CUP – In Cornwall, Irish Olympic campaigner Ross Hamilton has placed 45th and 58th in his two races at the Finn Gold Cup. He currently lies 53rd overall in a 95 boat fleet that is led by Britian's Ben Ainslie. The event marks the last chance for the Dun Laoghaire sailor to secure a nomination for the Irish Olympic team.

It was a great day for the British sailors on the second day for the J.P. Morgan Asset Management Finn Gold Cup in Falmouth. Ben Ainslie (GBR) won the opening race to take the overall lead while Ed Wright (GBR) dropped to second and Andrew Mills (GBR) had another good day to move up to third. The second race of the day was won by Chris Cook (CAN).

The big question for the sailors today was whether to favour the left or the right. With dark clouds, moderate to strong winds and intermittent rain all day, there were some big gains to be made by choosing the correct side. Race officer Peter Reggio was delighted that the 94 boat fleet got away cleanly on both starts at the first attempt, perhaps an indication that they didn't want to hang around any longer than necessary in the inclement conditions.

The left side was favoured on the first beat with overnight leader Ed Wright (GBR) leading round the top mark from Andrew Mills (GBR) and Anders Pedersen (NOR). Jonathan Lobert (FRA) then found more pressure on the right on the first downwind to take the lead at the gate from Ainslie and Wright.

On the second upwind, Ainslie and Ivan Kljakovic Gaspic (CRO) favoured the right side and rounded the top mark in the lead. Mills moved from third into second on the final downwind with Ainslie extending for a second race win to the the overall lead of the championship.

Race four started very quickly with the left side again proving popular. This time Mark Andrews (GBR) led Ainslie round the top mark, but they went the wrong way on the first downwind, while Pieter-Jan Postma (NED) found more pressure in the right to round the gate ahead of Lobert and Chris Cook (CAN).

The second upwind sealed the fate of many with a big right hand shift as the clouds cleared. Cook was just under the leading bunch and lifted up to the mark to lead down the final run. Lobert went high and Postma went low, but Ainslie found a way through in third. At the finish, they were separated by no more than 20 boat lengths, with Cook taking a well deserved win from Lobert and Ainslie.

Ainslie said, "It was really tough out there today, it was quite windy, a lot of rain and low visibility so it was a difficult day for everyone and physically a real challenge. In the first race a front came through with quite a big wind shift to the right hand side, and made it a little bit difficult, but that's part of the challenge of sailing in these conditions. In the second race I went the wrong way, there was a big clump down the right hand side and also the wind shifted a little bit to the right. It was a difficult run but I managed to contain the loss and then catch up with the rest of the race so I overall I'm happy with my day. It was great racing out there despite difficult conditions."

After a good day, Jonas Hogh-Christensen (DEN) moved up to fourth overall. "It was pretty shifty out there, but actually pretty good racing. In the last race we got a big shift in the end and that kind of ended the race for most but I think pretty much the both races were fair. I got a terrible start in the first race but I managed to claw my way back and finished in fourth. The second race was pretty much the same story, but I lost a couple because of that big shift and had a sixth so it was a pretty good day, could have been a little better, but I'm pretty satisfied."

Someone who also had a better day was Postma. "Today we had two good races; it was interesting. I haven't found my rhythm yet, but today was better. On the last run I let Ben through, sometimes you have to be gentleman! When the wind changed they put a change of mark but it was not clear where we should go so it was not really clear where the finishing line was, so I had a little bit of difficulty to find it."

Race four winner, Cook said, "On the first beat I thought that the right side was going to have something in it, I think it's the typical thing that's been happening in all the races is a little bit of left and a little bit of right, it's just how you play your side. So I got to the top in decent shape, and I got to the right side of the run as fast as I could and the pressure filled in from there and it sort of set up the opportunity to round with the top guys. Then the second beat again I was worried about the right side and I was forced to the left gate, I was up quite a bit on the right so I just had to wait. I got in front just in time for that big right shift and then it was a nice easy reach on the way in."

Lobert is up to fifth overall, "In the first race I was leading at the downwind mark and on the second beat I didn't manage very well. I lost a lot of places so I finished sixth. In the second race I was leading again, so I said this time I need to take care and not miss the shift, so I was playing more on the right hand side. I saw this rain coming on and then this light, stopping the rain so it means that usually it's going to the right hand side so I was playing more on the right. But I was a little bit too much on the right so two guys managed to pass me at the top mark, then on the last downwind it was freaky because we didn't see the finishing line so we were all looking around wondering where the finishing line was. I managed to end up second though so I am very happy with that."

So after day two in Falmouth, The British team fill the top three places, while behind them the form is beginning to establish itself. Several top sailors had better results today so there could be a significant change after Tuesday's two races, again scheduled for 11.00. The forecast is for some sunshine, and strong winds. At least some in the already tired fleet will be thankful for the sunshine,

Published in Olympics 2012
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#OLYMPIC 470 SAILING – Dun Laoghaire's Gerbil Owens and Scott Flanigan last chance for Olympic qualification at the 470 World Championships in Barcelona got off to a great start today with the double Olympian Owens finishing fifth in the opening race. It is an early boost for one of 7 remaining places left in the Summer Olympics.

Racing at the 2012 470 World Championships got underway today and runs until 19 May2012, with 153 teams from 43 nations fighting for World Championship success and an Olympic dream.

Racing was postponed for most of the day in Barcelona as winds were very light but late afternoon saw all fleets finishing one race each.

As well as Ireland the seven final Olympic Qualification places will be contested by teams from: Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Chile, China, Czech Republic, Denmark, Ecuador, Hungary, India, Korea, Kuwait, Malaysia, Poland, South Africa, Russia, Slovenia, Switzerland, Turkey, Ukraine and Venezuela.

As the second and final qualification event for the 2012 Olympic Sailing Competition, this year's World Championship marks the last opportunity to secure nation slots, and for teams to make their mark and be selected for their national Olympic squad.

The conclusion of the 2012 470 World Championship will mark the reward of Olympic participation for some and 2012 Olympic dreams crushed for others. With only 27 nation slots in the 470 Men and 20 in the 470 Women at the 2012 Olympic Sailing Competition, the arena is set for some intense and thrilling action as the last Olympic places are awarded. But, whilst some teams are totally focused on the Olympics, for others the 2012 470 World Championships is simply about competing at the pinnacle annual event of the class.

Nations already qualified to the 2012 Olympic Sailing Competition are:

470 Men - Argentina, Australia, Austria, China, Croatia, Finland, France, Germany, Great Britain, Greece, Israel, Italy, Japan, Netherlands, New Zealand, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, USA.

470 Women – Argentina, Australia, Brazil, France, Germany, Great Britain, Israel, Italy, Japan, Netherlands, New Zealand, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, USA.

The 470 Charter Boat Programme has provided brand new 470s to young, emerging talent from Malaysia, Spain, Turkey and the USA.

470 Men

The 470 Men favourites are unquestionably the reigning 470 World Champions and #1 world ranked pairing of Mat Belcher/Malcolm Page (AUS). The Aussie dream team are on fire to claim a third successive World Championship title, to add to their 2010 and 2011 victories.

For Malcolm Page, who is the most successful 470 sailor ever and likely the most successful Australian sailor, Barcelona could mark his sixth World Championship victory. In his previous partnership with Nathan Wilmot, Page also secured victory at the 2004, 2005 and 2007 World Championships.

Page is modest about his achievements to date, "I have been very fortunate and sailing has been very good to me. I come from a non-sailing family and it is a special sport."

Speaking on their Championship hopes, Belcher added, "This championship is quite important for us as it is a great opportunity to race in a high pressure event. Our preparation has been great coming into this event, with victories in Palma and Hyeres but anything can happen. We love sailing this class because so many teams have the possibility of winning. The talent and depth is quite remarkable, but for us to take the triple would be pretty cool."

Ninety-nine 470 Men teams from 40 nations will be competing in the scheduled 11 race series. In addition to the Aussies, teams to watch out for at the top of the leaderboard include:

Luke Patience/Stuart Bithell (GBR) - secured a silver medal at the 2011 and 2009 Worlds, bronze at the 2011 Open Europeans and hold a #9 world ranking.

Sime Fantela/Igor Marenic (CRO) – always consistent, the Croatian team took the bronze medal at the 2011 Worlds, silver at the 2011 Open Europeans, hold a #3 world ranking and have past Olympic experience with a 9th at the 2008 Olympics

Gideon Kliger/Eran Sela (ISR) – on form with a #4 world ranking, the team were in medal contention throughout the Perth 2011 ISAF Sailing World Championships, but a disappointing last place in the Medal Race pushed them into 4th overall, a position they aim to convert to a medal in Barcelona.

Panagiotis Mantis/Pavlos Kagialis (GRE) – regular top 10 performers at Championship and World Cup events, the team are in Barcelona fighting for Olympic selection over their team mates, Panagiotis Kampouridis/Efstathios Papadopoulos.

Sven Koster/Kalle Koster (NED) – a fallout in form saw them finish 19th at the 2011 Worlds. Past performance include top 10 finishes at both the 2009 and 2010 470 Worlds and a fourth place at the 2008 Olympic Games.

Stuart McNay/Graham Biehl (USA) – the world #4 ranked team always solidly at World Cup events, and will be looking for their first podium finish at a World Championship.

The seven final Olympic Qualification places will be contested by teams from the following nations: Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Chile, China, Czech Republic, Denmark, Ecuador, Hungary, India, Ireland, Korea, Kuwait, Malaysia, Poland, South Africa, Russia, Slovenia, Switzerland, Turkey, Ukraine and Venezuela.

470 Women

Those with their ticket already booked to the Olympics, can just focus on World Championship success, rather than the Olympic qualification pressure. As is the case for Spain's home team of Tara Pacheco/Berta Betanzos, who have already secured their place at the 2012 Olympic Sailing Competition after their win at the Perth 2011 ISAF Sailing World Championship. This pair's mission in Barcelona is to fly the flag of the host nation, continue their winning form and defend the World Championship title – not too much to ask.

In typical style, Pacheco takes a no-nonsense approach to the Championship, commenting, "This is another Championship for us. It is good to have the Worlds at home, but it is going to be a hard Worlds because there are many teams that are trying to qualify their country for the Olympics. It is going to be difficult to be in the top 10." And on her preferred weather for racing, Pacheco continued, "A sea breeze with medium conditions – it will be fun!"

2011 was a rewarding year for the Spanish pair, with World and European titles to their credit, but they continue to strive for excellence, as Pacheco explained, "We are learning all the time, on the water during training or during races, we have to continue learning from everybody and also from ourselves."

Whilst Pacheco acknowledges the field is open, teams likely to perform at the front of the leaderboard include:

Ai Kondo/Wakako Tabata (JPN) – world #1 ranked team and bronze medal at the 2011 Worlds says it all. A long term Olympic campaigner, Kondo represented Japan at the 2008 Olympics, and with Tabata will be facing off to secure Olympic team selection against the 2004 Olympic helm Yuka Yoshisako with crew Noriko Okuma.

Lisa Westerhof/Lobke Berkhout (NED) – the pair are on a roll and fresh from dominance at Semaine Olympique Francaise where they were in a class of their own. An off-par performance at the 2011 Worlds saw them finish in 10th overall, but cannot overshadow their gold medal victories at the 2010 and 2009 470 World Championships.

Gil Cohen/Vered Bouskila (ISR) – top ten places at all World Cup events contested over the past year, a bronze medal at the Perth 2011 ISAF Sailing World Championships and a world ranking of #15 place this team.

Giulia Conti/Giovanna Micol (ITA) - top five finishes at the past four 470 World Championships including a silver and bronze medal, consistently top 10 at ISAF World Cup events, a world ranking of #5 and a fifth place at the 2008 Olympics is more than enough to place this pair amongst the favourites.

Hannah Mills/Saskia Clark (GBR) – world ranked #6 pairing who appear on the podium more often than not, including a silver medal at the 2011 Worlds. They are consistent in delivery and relish whatever challenge is thrown at them.

Jo Aleh/Olivia Powrie (NZL) – a bronze medal at the 2011 470 Worlds, silver at the 2010 470 Worlds and a sixth place in 2009 demonstrates their ability to perform at the highest level.

Martine Grael/Isabel Swan (BRA) – were the top placed Brazilian team at the 2011 Worlds with an 8th place finish, but were beaten by team mates Fernanda Oliveira/Bianca Barbachan to represent Brazil at the 2012 Olympics. Impossible to predict which team will be on top here in Barcelona.

Amanda Clark/Sarah Lihan (USA) – regular top 5 results at ISAF World Cup events is yet to be replicated at 470 Championships, but recent results place them amongst the front runners.

28 nations competed in the 470 Women event at the Perth ISAF Sailing World Championships, the first Olympic Qualification event, with 14 of those nations securing a slot.

In Barcelona 54 teams from 30 nations are competing, with the following 15 nations in contention for the remaining five Olympic Qualification slots: Austria, Bulgaria, Canada, China, Croatia, Denmark, Estonia, Greece, Hungary, Malaysia, Poland, Russia, Singapore, Switzerland, Ukraine.

Amongst the teams gunning for those slots are the Danish pair of Henriette Koch/Lene Sommer, the 2011 470 European silver medallists, who suffered an unexpected tumble down the leaderboard in Perth and lost out on Olympic qualification.

China is one of the biggest nation teams in the 470 Women event with four pairs competing, one of whom is hoping to secure the nation slot for the Olympics. Having achieved that, the Chinese Yachting Association selection policy is simple, the team that slot will go to the Olympics.

Registration and Equipment Inspections takes place from 10-12 May, the Opening Ceremony will take place on Friday 11 May, and racing will start at 1200 hours on Sunday 13 May.

The 470 Men will be split into three fleets and the 470 Women into two fleets. A six race qualification series will be contested from 13-15 May, with teams re-assigned after each day's racing. After the three days of qualification, the 470 Men teams will be assigned to gold, silver and bronze fleets, and the 470 Women gold and silver fleets for the six race final series from 16-18 May. The top ten teams in each event will then qualify through to the Medal Race on Saturday 19 May 2012.

Published in Olympics 2012
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#STAR WORLDS – After a consistent showing on the south coast of France this week Peter O'Leary and David Burrows stay third overall with only one race left to sail at the Star world Championships.

The pair escaped trouble today but discarded the 18th scored, the worst result of the five races sailed.  It leaves them six points adrift of Brazil's Robert Sheidt and Bruno Prada in second and three points clear of Poland's Mateusz Kuniereweicz and Dominik Zyxcki.

Britain's Olympic Gold medallists Iain Percy and Andrew Simpson lead the 72-boat fleet by a margin of five points.

In reality the top six to eight overall are all in contention for a medal which means a good result in race six is crucial if the Cork-Dublin duo are to stand on the podium in Hyeres tomorrow night.

 

 

Published in Olympics 2012
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