The Official
Website of the
Sailing Federation
9 June 2009, 09:28 am
Croatia And Italy Set The Opening Pace At 470 Europeans
Giulia CONTI and Giovanna MICOL competing in Austria
Giulia CONTI and Giovanna MICOL are the early leaders in Austria

470 European Championships 2009
Lake Traunsee, Austria

Croatia's Sime FANTELA and Igor MARENIC and Giulia CONTI and Giovanna MICOL of Italy ended the opening day of the 470 Europeans at Lake Traunsee, Austria in pole position.
The first three races of the 470 European Championships for Men and Women were completed today on Lake Traunsee in Austria. The events are the first International 470 Class Championships in the Olympic Quadrennium on the way to the Olympic Sailing Competition of London 2012. After day one, Sime FANTELA and Igor MARENIC from Croatia take the lead in de Men's 470 event. Giulia CONTI and Giovanna MICOL from Italy take first place in the women's event, sharing eight points with Ai KONDO and Wakako TABATA from Japan.

Because the weather predictions for the coming days were not promising, the Race Committee decided to have three races today to secure the schedule of qualifying series which demands six races. After a few hours of postponement, racing got underway in a steady 9-14 knots afternoon breeze.

The Men's 470 fleet of 82 crews from five continents started in two groups. The women's fleet, with 39 crews, also represent from five continents, are sailing in one fleet. During seven days of racing, a total of 121 crews from 30 nations will battle for victory in the men's and women's events. Crews representing nations from Europe and the Mediterranean basin will compete for the European Championship titles.

Croatia Lead Men's 470

Sime FANTELA and Igor MARENIC (CRO) managed to be the most consistent team with a second place in race one, a bullet in race two, and a seventh place in Monday's last race.

Eyes are focused on the development of Mathew BELCHER and Malcolm PAGE from Australia. PAGE won the gold medal at the 2008 Olympic Sailing Competition with Nathan WILMOT. BELCHER and PAGE have been rivals for years in separate teams fighting for a spot on the starting line at the Athens 2004 and Qingdao 2008 Olympic Games. At the end of last year, they announced to team up and make a run for another gold medal for Australia. BELCHER and PAGE ended day one in fourth position.

Nicolas CHARBONNIER (FRA), a legend in the 420 class and bronze medallist at the Beijing 2008, teamed up with Baptiste MEYER and end the day in fifth position, closely followed by the world #1 ranked Dutch COSTER brothers, Sven COSTER and Kalle COSTER, in seventh position only three points further back.

Gideon KLIGER and Udi GAL from Israel, #2 on the ISAF World Sailing Rankings and consistently amongst the top teams in the 470 fleet over the last eight years, made an early start (OCS) in race three, and got disqualified. The same fate befell Nick ROGERS (GBR), who is on his way in a fourth Olympic campaign this time with a new crew as, after three campaigns with Joe GLANFIELD, he is now lining up at the starting line with crew Pom GREEN. They ended the day in a disappointing 28th and 46th position respectively.

Italy On Top In Women's 470

Sylvia VOGL and Carolina FLATSCHER (AUT), currently ranked #5 on the ISAF World Sailing Rankings and second in the ISAF Sailing World Cup Standings, won the European title on Lake Garda last year, and now defend their title on home waters.

However the Austrians played second fiddle to two teams who went to Beijing 2008 heavily tipped as medal favourites but came back empty handed. Both Giulia CONTI and Giovanna MICOL from Italy (#3 in the World Rankings) and Ai KONDO and Wakako TABATA from Japan (#2 World Ranking) ended the opening day on eight points. Both teams are preparing their London 2012 campaign and have already made a strong impact on this year's ISAF Sailing World Cup. As well as facing the top teams from the past four years, they will have to deal with new challengers from the 470 juniors, where a lot of young and talented sailors have announced their presence.

Examples are Tara PACHECO and Berta BETANZOS from Spain who have been making excellent progress by not missing one Medal Race in a major event this year and currently sit at third in the World Cup Standings. PACHECHO won the 420 class women's World title in 2006. With her current crew, they debuted in an International 470 Class championship at the 470 Worlds of 2008. After the opening day they lie in fifth place overall.

Germany seems to be eager to dominate the Women's 470. Two German crews currently occupy top ten spots. Germany has been strong the last few years in the Women's 470 Europeans. Stefanie ROTHWEILER and Vivien KUSSATZ ruled the Women's 470 Europeans in 2006 and 2007 before they lost their title to Austria in 2008.

Racing in the qualifying series continues tomorrow, with the action in Austria continuing through until the Medal Races on 14 June. Full results are available at the event web site:
Rick van Wijngaarden (As Amended by ISAF)
Share this page
World Sailing TV
Latest News
News Archive
© 2015 Copyright ISAF/ISAF UK Ltd. All Rights Reserved Privacy & Cookies delivered by Sotic powered by OpenText WSM