Just one race was completed in the Gold fleets, with scattered results for the regatta leaders. Three races are scheduled to complete the series, ahead of Saturday’s medal race, and in the words of Australian 470 supercoach Victor Kovalenko ‘Tomorrow is the Day!’
In the Men’s Gold fleet triple Olympian Dahlberg and his Rio crew Bergstrom (SWE) continue to lead the regatta despite a mid-fleet 18th drop today, as they could draw on their third placed drop of yesterday.
The lightweight pairing of Bargehr and Mahr (AUT) had a fourth and climbed into second place at the expense of Australia’s Mat Belcher and Will Ryan, the Rio 2016 Olympic Silver medallists who also sailed a drop, in their case a tenth.
Behind those three, Snow-Hansen and Willcox (NZL) are now in fourth place ahead of the Cinar brothers (TUR) but they are so far behind the top three, that they are probably out of podium contention unless they sail particularly well in the final three races.
Will Ryan told the story of the day. ‘Mat’s groundhog prediction was spot on, clear blue skies, blazing sun, high 30’s, late light sea breeze. We are locked in the 7-9 knot range at best.
‘We were held ashore for quite a long time, then the first race looked like it was going to be windy and then died out before the start. It actually picked up mid race, with a left shift. We had been mid-pack and we managed to catch up quite a lot.
‘The other teams in contention generally didn’t have a very good race either so that was a good thing for us. I think we are happy to have three races tomorrow and to be still close. It is a good situation to be in.
‘We had a second race but it got abandoned halfway through. We were going well. It was very light, five knots or so but getting lighter and the sun was disappearing behind thin cloud.’
Mat Belcher, ‘Actually we were pretty happy with our performance today. We certainly out sailed the Swedes in the first race and we were right next to them in the second abandoned race.
‘We still have three races and that is plenty of time to bridge the gap. While we lost a little ground today, that eight-point difference in drops could mean a lot come tomorrow. We know we are sailing well, even though these are not our favoured conditions. Let’s see what happens and see if we can get the results to come back from that position.’
While Belcher and Ryan are fighting at the front of the fleet for four of the six Australian crews racing today, it was a Black day at the office. They were all disqualified either for OCS’s under Flag U or the Black flag.
Belcher commented. ‘I am not sure what happened last night in the Australian camp but we got our fair share of Black. Both the women and the guys. I think we are coming to the end of the Championship and people are trying to push it. Taking it a little bit too far.’
And so it was, that in today’s only Men’s Gold medal race Chris Charlwood and Josh Dawson were over early and now in 16th, the same fate suffered by both in the Australian women’s crews sailing in the Gold fleet. As a result, Nia Jerwood and Monique De Vries have dropped to 16th place while Carrie Smith and Jamie Ryan are 29th.
In the Silver fleet Dana Tavener and Katherine Shannon scored a 18th and a 28th to put them 53rd overall while Shellee White and Amelia Catt were also over early in race eight and then scored a 25th in race nine to be 56th.
About OCS’s 470 Coach Victor Kovalenko smiling wryly and talking about the newer members of the Australian squad said, ‘They are all young, they have had several good starts and became a bit bold but the punishment is always there, just half metre in front of them.’
Friday is the final day of the Gold and Silver fleet racing for both Men and Womens fleets.
Three races are scheduled. Then on Saturday, the top ten crews from the Gold fleet will sail in the double points Medal race.
Australian Sailing Team (AST) & Squad (ASS) at 470 Worlds 2017 Thessaloniki
Men’s Two Person Dinghy - 470M
Mat Belcher (QAS) and Will Ryan (QAS) (AST): 3rd, 4,4,1,4,1,9,1,(10)
Chris Charlwood (WAIS) and Joshua Dawson (NSWIS): 16th, 11,10,10,14,23,4,6,(37/UFD)
Women’s Two Person Dinghy – 470W
Nia Jerwood (WAIS) and Monique De Vries (WAIS): 16th, 13,11,6,6,12,24,4,(31/BFD)
Carrie Smith (WAIS) and Jaime Ryan (NSWIS): 29th, 16,15,7,12,17,19,27,(31/BFD)
Dana Tavener (NSWIS) and Katherine Shannon (NSWIS): 53rd, 23,27,15,25,(28),23,16,18,28
Shellee White (QAS) and Amelia Catt (TIS): 56th, 28,20,24,28,27,20,14,(31/BFD),25
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RESULTS here: http://2017worlds.470.org/en/default/races/race