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3 July 2007, 03:00 pm
Runners And Riders - 470 Fleets
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ISAF Sailing World Championships 2007
Cascais, Portugal

The two 470 fleets are the last of the Olympic Classes to get underway at the ISAF Sailing World Championships this Saturday. Nearly 200 470s line up in Cascais to decide the 2007 World Champions and Olympic qualification.
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The 470 was first on the Olympic Programme in 1976 and has remained there ever since. Initially an open event, the 470 gained two fleets and became the first women's only sailing event at the 1988 Olympics.

The 470 is both a technical and tactical boat and popular the world over, with almost 200 boats competing in Cascais. This strength in depth, together with the fact that neither of the gold medal winning crews from Athens remain in the class, make the two fleets some of the hardest to call of the Championships.

Racing for the 470 fleets begins on Saturday 7 July. Two races are schedule for each day on 7, 8, 9, 11 and 12 July, with the 470 Medal Races on 13 July.

Men's 470

The Basics

Event: Men's Two Person Dinghy
Equipment: 470
Fleet size: 115
Olympic qualification places: 21
Reigning World Champion: Nick ASHER and Elliott WILLIS (GBR)
Reigning Olympic Champion: Paul FOERSTER and Kevin BURNHAM (USA)

Leading Challengers

Ones to watch...

Nicolas CHARBONNIER and Olivier BAUSSET
© Thom Touw

Alvaro MARINHO and Miguel NUNES
© Foto TPYWANHΣ

Gabrio ZANDONA and Andrea TRANI
© Thom Touw

Nick ROGERS and Joe GLANFIELD
© Dan Nerney/Rolex

Gideon KLIGER and Udi GAL
© MENAHEM KAHANA/AFP/Getty Images

Nick ASHER and Elliott WILLIS (GBR)

Age: 22 and 24
ISAF World Sailing Ranking: 10
Career Highlights: 2006 World Champions

The title defenders who built on their first major event win at the Princess Sofia Trophy in 2005 by winning the World title in China last year. Missed the recent Europeans because of injury and have a big battle on their hands with Nick ROGERS and Joe GLANFIELD (GBR) for the British 470 slot.

Nathan WILMOT and Malcolm PAGE (AUS)

Age: 27 and 35
ISAF World Sailing Ranking: 2
Career Highlights: 2005, 2004 World Champions; 2006 ISAF World Sailing Games gold medallists

The 470 World Champions of 2005 and 2004 missed another World Championship victory during the last few meters in the final Medal Race in 2007, after missed a signal that pumping was not allowed and then getting penalized by the Judges. The Australians are particularly strong in tough conditions with wind and waves, making them one of the big favourites in Cascais.

Nicolas CHARBONNIER and Olivier BAUSSET (FRA)

Age: 25 and 25
ISAF World Sailing Ranking: 1
Career Highlights: 2007 European Championship silver medallists

The men from France were heroes at the European Championship last month in Greece by demonstrating some excellent sailing and strategy in their battle for the title with their Portuguese opponents. Nicolas CHARBONNIER has an amazing record of World Championship titles in the 420 Class, experience in an America's Cup campaign, and now leads the ISAF World Sailing Rankings with his crew Olivier BAUSSET.

Alvaro MARINHO and Migues NUNES (POR)

Age: 31 and 30
ISAF World Sailing Ranking: 9
Career Highlights: 2007 European Champions

The new European Champions are most familiar with the conditions in Cascais, with their yacht club located just a few miles from the World Championship venue. Both men are very experienced two person dinghy sailors, with some impressive results in the 420 class until 1996 where they made the step into the Olympic sailing scene. Have hit their top form this year with wins in Palma and the Europeans.

Gabrio ZANDONA and Andrea TRANI (ITA)

Age: 30 and 30
ISAF World Sailing Ranking: 3
Career Highlights: 2003 World Champions

Italy's current best two person dinghy sailors won the 470 World Championships four years ago at the ISAF World Championships 2003 in Cadiz. Their results this year have been impressive, picking up event wins and podiums in a range of conditions.

Nick ROGERS and Joe GLANFIELD (GBR)

Age: 30 and 26
ISAF World Sailing Ranking: 5
Career Highlights: 2004 Olympic silver medallists; 2005, 2001 World Championship silver medallists

Britain's 470 Olympic representatives in Sydney and Athens have come under big pressure from their team mates Nick ASHER and Elliott WILLIS (GBR). Started 2007 with a runaway win in Miami, but form has dipped in the major European regattas.

Gideon KLIGER and Udi GAL (ISR)

Age: 27 and 28
ISAF World Sailing Ranking: 4
Career Highlights: 2006 World Championship bronze medallists

The Israeli team have made a strong start to the season and are amongst the most consistent crews in the 470 fleet.

Outside Bets

Sven COSTER and Kalle COSTER (NED)

Age: 28 and 24
ISAF World Sailing Ranking: 8
Career Highlights: 2004 Olympic Games sixth place

The Dutch brothers are consistently amongst the top ten at the top events, although they have yet to really find their best form at the World Championships. A solid season so far.

Romain BONNAUD and Benjamin BONNAUD (FRA)

Age: 29 and 26
ISAF World Sailing Ranking: 7
Career Highlights: 2006 European Champions

The French brothers are regularly amongst the top performers in the class, although they have made an untypically inconsistent start to the season.

Mathew BELCHER and Nick BEHRENS (AUS)

Age: 24 and 34
ISAF World Sailing Ranking: 6
Career Highlights: 2005 World Championship fourth place

Have proved themselves amongst the fastest crews in the 470 fleet, but as yet they have not managed to outshine their team mates Nathan WILMOT and Malcolm PAGE at the top-level events.

Sime FANTELA and Igor MARENIC (CRO)

Age: 21 and 21
ISAF World Sailing Ranking: 12
Career Highlights: 2006 World Championships fifth place

The Croatians are former 470 Junior World Champions who have made impressive progress since they joined the senior fleet.

Carl EVANS and Peter BURLING (NZL)

Age: 16 and 16
ISAF World Sailing Ranking: 80
Career Highlights: 2007 European Championship sixth place

The young Kiwis are double 420 World Champions and have just made the switch into the larger Olympic double-hander. Massively impressive in their opening events in the class, although the big breeze in Cascais will not play in their favour.

Women's 470

The Basics

Event: Women's Two Person Dinghy
Equipment: 470
Fleet size: 74
Olympic qualification places: 13
Reigning World Champion: Marcelien DE KONING and Lobke BERKHOUT (NED)
Reigning Olympic Champion: Sofia BEKATOROU and Emilia TSOULFA (GRE)

Leading Challengers

Ones to watch...

Marcelien DE KONING and Lobke BERKHOUT
© Walter Cooper/Rolex

Giulia CONTI and Giovanna MICOL
© Thom Touw

Theresa TORGERSSON and Vendela ZACHRISSON
© MENAHEM KAHANA/AFP/Getty Images

Lenka SMIDOVA and Veronika FENCLOVA
© Thom Touw

Ingrid PETITJEAN and Nadège DOUROUX
© Dan Nerney/Rolex

Marcelien DE KONING and Lobke BERKHOUT (NED)

Age: 29 and 26
ISAF World Sailing Ranking: 1
Career Highlights: 2006, 2005 World Champions

The current World Champions and world #1 crew are known as heavy air specialists, although showed they are fast in all conditions with a win in the light conditions at the 2006 Worlds. National heroes in the Netherlands after their double World Championship win earned them the title of Dutch Sports Team of the Year.

Christina BASSADONE and Saskia CLARK (GBR)

Age: 25 and 27
ISAF World Sailing Ranking: 6
Career Highlights: 2005 World Championship silver medallists

The British women have gone from strength to strength since making the step up from the 420 class after winning the Worlds in 2000. Rose to the world #1 spot last year after a series of strong performances, although have since been overtaken by Marcelien DE KONING and Lobke BERKHOUT.

Theresa TORGERSSON and Vendela ZACHRISSON (SWE)

Age: 31 and 29
ISAF World Sailing Ranking: 10
Career Highlights: 2004 Olympic bronze medallists, 2004 World Champions

The 2004 World Champions and Athens Olympic bronze medallists were quick to pick up the pace in the class after TORGERSSON switched from the Europe in 2001. The team is a perfect example of two single-handed dinghy sailors teaming up to merge strengths and are at their best at the big events.

Giulia CONTI and Giovanna MICOL (ITA)

Age: 21 and 25
ISAF World Sailing Ranking: 4
Career Highlights: 2007 European Championship silver medallists

Looking at the performance of the Italians over the last few months, they merit high expectations. Giulia CONTI and Giovanna MICOL only started in the class in 2006 but were quick getting up to pace. Despite being just 21, CONTI is already an experienced sailor on the match racing circuit and competed at the Athens 2004 Olympics in the Yngling class. Yet to show their best at a windy venue.

Ingrid PETITJEAN and Nadège DOUROUX (FRA)

Age: 26 and 26
ISAF World Sailing Ranking: 2
Career Highlights: 2006 ISAF World Sailing Games gold medallists, 2005 World Championship bronze medallists, 2003 World Championship silver medallists

The French 470 crew have been amongst the top players in the class for over five years now and are an almost constant feature around the top of the leaderboard. Strong across a range of conditions and have put in some good performances so far this season.

Outside Bets

Ai KONDO and Kamata NAOKO (JPN)

Age: 26 and 24
ISAF World Sailing Ranking: 8
Career Highlights: 2006 World Championship silver medallists

The leading pretenders in what has been an impressive rise to prominence recently by the Japanese women in the 470 fleet. Big question is whether they can match their recent performances if the breeze gets up.

Sylvia VOGL and Carolina FLATSCHER (AUT)

Age: 32 and 25
ISAF World Sailing Ranking: 3
Career Highlights: 2006 European Championships silver medallists

The Austrian team have steadily improved in the class, climbing up the ISAF World Sailing Rankings to currently reside at #3. Come to Cascais after winning at Kiel.

Lenka SMIDOVA and Veronika FENCLOVA (CZE)

Age: 32 and 26
ISAF World Sailing Ranking: 5
Career Highlights: SMIDOVA - 2005 World Championship silver medallist, 2004 Europe Olympic silver medallist

Another of the crews formed from two single-handed sailors, the Czech 470 team have been in impressive form since Lenka SMIDOVA joined forces with Veronika FENCLOVA at the start of this year.

Elise RECHICHI and Tessa PARKINSON (AUS)

Age: 21 and 20
ISAF World Sailing Ranking: 9
Career Highlights: 2006 ISAF World Sailing Games silver medallists, 2007 European Championship bronze medallists

The Australians are one of the youngest and most talented teams participating in Cascais. They have an impressive record of national and international youth sailing titles, highlighted by a trio of victories in 2004 at the Volvo Youth Sailing ISAF World Championship (RECHICHI also won in 2003), the 420 Women's Worlds and the 470 Junior Worlds. Looking good so far this season.

About The 2007 ISAF Worlds

The 2007 ISAF Sailing World Championships will take place from 28 June-13 July in Cascais, Portugal. 'The Wind Is Calling' is the official motto for the 2007 Worlds. The Championships are the principal qualification regatta for the 2008 Olympic Sailing Competition, with 75% of all national places to be decided.

All Media wishing to attend the Championships will require accreditation. On-site accreditations only will be available after 31 May.

For all the news on the ISAF Sailing World Championships 2007 CLICK HERE.

ISAF. Image:© Guilain Grenier/FFV
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