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Sailing - 15. May 2012.

470 World Championships - Race Day 2 Report

Barcelona International Sailing Centre, Barcelona, 10-19 May 2012

Every race counts, but with three races today 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.

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

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.

470 Women
Racing at the front of the 470 Women fleet is tough, with no margin for
error and no comeback. Whilst, it is impossible to identify an outright
favourite to win the 2012 470 World Championships, the two-time World
Champions in 2009 and 2010, Lisa Westerhof/Lobke Berkhout (NED) had no
errors on their scorecard and very simply were in control of each of
today's three races in the 470 women blue fleet. They went to the right
of the course in every race and won convincingly.

"It was a lot of fun, nice waves, nice breeze and the wind was picking
up a little bit. Race 4 we were leading from the outset, but the other
two races were a battle," said Westerhof.

Packing in an almost equivalent performance in the 470 women yellow
fleet, were Gil Cohen/Vered Bouskila (ISR) who posted a 2, 1, 1 to end
race day 2 in second overall, just 2 points behind the Dutch.

Rounding out the top three are the world #1 ranked pair of Ai
Kondo/Wakako Tabata (JPN) with a 1,5,2 scoreline.

An error fraught race 4 for defending World Champions, Tara
Pacheco/Berta Betanzos (ESP), after a port/starboard infringement. With
a 4,2 in the bag already, they set off on starboard to the leeward of
the fleet in race 4, then tacked onto port go to the right hand side of
the course. But a collision with the Malaysian team resulted in a near
capsize and two penalty turns for the Spanish, who end the day in
eleventh place.

China's Xu Xiaomei/Yu Chunyai are intent on qualifying their nation to
the Olympics and had a solid 10,10, 3 and are currently positioned as
the top placed unqualified nation in 13th overall - an unlucky number
for some, but not for the Chinese so far. Keep racing like this, and
they will be on their way to the Olympics as whoever qualifies China
will be the team selected. Other unqualified nations currently
tantalisingly close to nation qualification include Russia, Denmark,
Poland, Croatia, Austria and Estonia.


One of the youngest helms competing is Lara Vadlau of Austria, who has
only recently made the transition from the 420 to the 470, and owns a
gold medal from the 2011 ISAF Youth Sailing World Championship. Racing
with crew Eva-Maria Schimak, Vadlau is hoping to qualify Austria to the
Olympics and is poised in 25th overall with a 15, 16, 14, 6 race series.
"The plan is to sail like normal, have fun and qualify," explained
Vadlau. Dressed in colourful sailing attire, Vadlau is counting on her
shorts. "They are supposed to be my lucky shorts, because they look nice
and I like them. It is a thing in my mind that maybe when I wear my
lucky shorts it is helping us," she said with a big smile.

A comeback is on the cards for Hannah Mills/Saskia Clark, who have a
reputation for making things hard for themselves, or as they would put
it, "we relish a challenge". A penalty for being over the line in race 1
yesterday, was exchanged for a solid, 2,7,7 scoreline today. Clark
seemed happy, explaining, "We had an alright day - three top tens.
Trying to keep it a bit tidy after the disaster yesterday." Before Mills
chipped in, "we are good at having disasters on the first day!"

With Olympic qualification on the minds of many, for Rike Belcher, who
will be representing Germany at the Olympics with helm Kathrin
Kadelbach, the 2012 470 Worlds and 2012 Olympics are bitter sweet. "For
me it is a bit sad as in 90 days my Olympic career will be over,"
explained Belcher, referring to her plans to focus on her post-Olympic
career and a family. Solid racing so far positions the pair in 7th
overall.

470 Women - Overall after 4 Races
Pos Sailno Crew R1 R2 R3 R4 Pts

1 NED 11 LISA WESTERHOF/LOBKE BERKHOUT 6 1 1
1 9
2 ISR 311 GIL COHEN/VERED BOUSKILA 7 2
1 1 11
3 JPN 1 AI KONDO/WAKAKO TABATA 4 1 5 2
12
4 NZL 75 JO ALEH/POLLY POWRIE 3 3 4 2
12
5 FRA 4 INGRID PETITJEAN/NADEGE DOUROUX 1 5
4 5 15
6 FRA 9 CAMILE LECOINTRE/MATILDE GERON 1 8 3
5 17
7 GER 21 KATHRIN KADELBACH/FRIEDERIKE BURNET 2 7
6 4 19
8 ITA 23 GIULIA CONTI/GIOVANA MICOL 15 3 2
4 24
9 GBR 862 SOPHIE WEGUELIN/SOPHIE AINSWORTH 2
4 11 9 26
10 ARG 8 FERNANDA SESTO/CONSUELO MONSEGUR 5 7
9 7 28
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