Sailing at the 470 World Championships

Posted: July 18, 2010 in sailing

470-sailboat

Sailing the 470 by Victor Kovalenko.

Sailing at the 470 World Championships

Mat Belcher and Malcolm Page (AUS) have mathematically clinched the Gold Medal at the Delta Lloyd 470 World Championship by extending their lead during the last day of fleet racing to 20 points in the Gold Fleet.  As long as they sail a clean race in tomorrow’s Medal Race they will be crowned 2010 World Champions in the Men’s 470 Class, which is the Men’s Olympic sailing centerboard discipline.  The next six teams in the standings are within 18 points of one another, making tomorrow’s Medal Race an out and out scramble for the Silver and Bronze medals.

A victory tomorrow will mean Page will have one ISAF 470 ISAF World Championship and four 470 World Championship titles to his name, having won the 2004, 2005, 2007 and 2010 470 World Championships and the 2006 ISAF World Championship title.  Belcher will claim his first 470 World Championship title and Coach Victor Kovalenko will have 13 World Championship titles to his credit.  Australia’s Golden Boys will return to their homeland as World Champions and World Cup Champions.  They plan to compete in the Sail for Gold Regatta at the 2012 Olympic sailing venue in Weymouth, England in August.

Today’s victory will make tomorrow’s medal race similar to the 2008 Olympics in which Nathan Wilmot and Malcolm Page sewed up the Olympic gold medal before going into the Medal Race.  The Olympians not only sailed the final race of the 2008 Olympics, they won it.  Belcher and Page have been sailing as a team for the past year, and both are intent on achieving Page’s goal of becoming the first Australian sailor to earn two Olympic gold medals.

Said Page about his fifth World Championship title, “We’re really stoked.  Mat is super talented and has been working very hard.  He has grown into the part this past year. We knew that we would have to sail the first two races as regular races and would have to play all of the variables in the last race.  It’s a shame that Luke Patience and Stuart Bithell (GBR) broke down in today’s second race and were not able to sail the final race.  I think it would have been close.”

Belcher was stunned and on cloud nine.  “It’s great.  It’s a great feeling and a reward for working so hard.  It was a test.  After today’s first race, we could have lost the momentum that we had for the last week, but we came back and finished with two nice races.  We were lucky in certain areas and performed well when we had to.”

This title is Coach Victor Kovalenko’s 13th in the 470 Class.  He claimed, “It was the hardest championship yet because Mat and Mal got the yellow dot on the first day and kept it throughout every day of the regatta.  They had four bullets, a second in the series and sailed hard until the end.” Unfortunately, Kovalenko was repairing his coach boat during the final race and did not get to witness Belcher and Page practice the discipline of champions.  They had the opportunity to catch Alvaro Marinho and Miguel Nunes (POR) on the final run to win the last race of the series, instead they were conservative and did not set their spinnaker in the 15-20 knot breeze until they knew where Nic Asher and Elliot Willis (GBR) and Panagiotis Mantis and Pavlos Kagialis (GRE) were and they could square the pole. Their second place finish and the Greeks’ and the Brits’ respective 11th and 12th was enough to put them 20 points ahead of the Greeks at the end of the Gold Fleet Final Series.  With only 10 boats qualifying for the Medal Race, no team can mathematically catch Australia’s Golden Boys provided the start the race and avoid penalties. Watch live coverage of the Medal Race from Scheveningen, Holland at 14:00 at 470Worlds2010.com.

The Belcher & Page London Challenge is grateful to its sponsors the Audi, Australian Sailing Team, Estate Master Sailing, Acuity, Sands Resorts, Royal Queensland Yacht Squadron, friends, family and wives.  In raising the awareness of melanoma, the team promotes Melanoma Patients Australia.

Preliminary Scores – 2010 470 World Championship

Completion of Men’s Gold Fleet Competition
1. Belcher/Page (AUS) – 1,1,1,5,(15),7,7,1,14,1,2 – 40
2. Mantis/Kagialis (GRE) – 7,9,4,1,(12),4,3,3,(18),6,11 -60
3. Fantela/Marenic (CRO) – (14),5,5,11,2,10,2,11,8,5 -61
4. Charbonnier/Meyer Dieu (FRA) – 2,3,2, 7,10,18,6,(bfd),5,7,3 – 63
5. Coster/Coster (NED) – 4,5,8,2,9,2,1,5,(27),11,10- 67
6. Asher/Willis (GBR) – 1,1,11,7,2,6,(18),9,1,18,12- 68
7. Marinho/Nunes (POR) – 3,5,16,6,1,17,16,(bdf),4,12,1-78
8. Patience/Bithell  (GBR) – 4,5,8,2,(9), 1,5,4,2,(dnf),(dns) – 81
9. Zandona/Zucchetti (ITA) – 6,10,(18),13,15,3,4,6,8,4,13- 82
10. Kliger/Sela(ISR)-2,1,20,4,18,15,13,12,(26),9,4-98

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