Mat Belcher and Malcolm Page (AUS) demonstrated why they are two-time World Champions today, storming to victory in all three races, and sent out a clear message they are the team to beat here at the 2021 470 World Championships.
Belcher commented, "To get those kind of results at a World Championship, you couldn't ask for anything more. We are happy we had a bit of wind today and the way we were sailing felt quite stable and we were into a groove. We worked out that at the last two Worlds we have done the triple as well. It is something you don't expect as you sail race by race and we were lucky today to get the three wins."
In the red fleet, Alvaro Marinho and Miguel Nunes (POR) had the most consistent form, with a 2,2,1 and are now positioned six points behind the Aussies in second overall.
Croatia's Sime Fantela and Igor Marenic, the defending bronze medallists, dominated in the blue fleet and are in third overall just one point behind the Portuguese.
Behind these leading boats, the battle is on for Olympic qualification. Currently the highest placed unqualified nation is Russia, with the Sheremetyev brothers Mikhail and Maxim in 13th overall. Two more good results in the bag tomorrow and they should have done enough to qualify their nation.
Not far behind are the teams from Canada, Ireland, Korea, South Africa, Turkey and Slovenia who are currently leading the charge of the nations gunning for Olympic selection, but there are still two more races to the final series, which itself consists of a further six races.
An impressive race day for Canada's Luke Ramsay/Mike Leigh with a 2,1,4 scorecard. "They were challenging conditions and we were pretty fast uphill and really working on our speed. Once we got out in front, it was much easier to control the fleet downwind. It was really good and we are really happy," explained Ramsay.
South Africa's Team Race Ahead also had great form with a 13,4,7 and led the red fleet to the windward mark in race 3, before dropping back to finish fourth overall. Asenathi Jim/Roger Hudson were particularly delighted with race 3, as Jim explained, "We had a great start, we thought we were over, but other boats went back and the flag went down, so we knew we were clear. We then just put our heads down and hammered the boat and made some good calls upwind. At a 470 World Championships to round the top mark first was a good moment for us and a first."
If the South African team keep the same pace on tomorrow, they should find themselves safely through to the gold fleet.
All fleets have been re-seeded, so tomorrow the 149 teams competing at the 2012 470 World Championships will be up against a different set of opponents. Just two more races tomorrow 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.
Tuesday will prove to be a crucial day and will determine some of the next nations qualifying to the 2012 Olympic Games - so a day of ecstasy for some and heartache for others is to be expected.