You could feel the increased anticipation in the boat park this morning as teams now focus on the sharp end of the Championship, setting the scene for a thrilling day of racing with just six races to decide the podium places. A lack of breeze kept the fleets postponed ashore this morning, with the postponement flag coming down at 1330. The Race Committee relocated the course areas to optimise the breeze, which then steadily started to fill in and was up to 20 knots by the second race starts of the day.
Not a good day for the series leaders Tiago Brito and Andrei Kneipp of Brazil who, in complete contrast to their scoreline so far, failed to place above tenth at the finish. But the points buffer they have accumulated keeps them safely at the top of the leaderboard.
"Now it is much more complicated because we are fighting against the best of each group, but that's good because it the level is high and we really like this," said Brito. "We could go a little better but for now is fine. We need to be constant over the coming days. At the ISAF Youths, it was not very complicated with the wind, but now we have to fight against the older and stronger teams."
With a 15, 5 scoreline the French pair of Sebastien Simon and Pierre Rhimbault retain their second place, with third and fourth on the leaderboard going to José Manuel Ruiz and Fernando Davila (ESP) and Xavier Antich and Pedro Terrones also from Spain.
One of the biggest movers of the day having delivered their most consistent race performance are Frantzeskos Mpakatsias/Evaggelos Christopoulos-Timogiann from Greece who have propelled themselves up from 22nd to 10th on the leaderboard after winning race 7 and following up with an 8th. The pair raced a strong series at the 2012 Worlds finishing in 7th and look set to repeat their form in Valencia.
The race 8 win was in the hands of the Spain's Xavier Antich and Pedro Terrones from Mallorca who have also shifted up a gear on the leaderboard rankings.
Reiner Eenkema van Dijk and Spencer McDonough of the USA head up the silver fleet, with the Bronze fleet led by Taylor Balogh and Samuel Lee of New Zealand.
420 Open -Leaderboard Top 10
1. Tiago Brito/Andrei Kneipp (BRA) - 24 pts
2. Sebastien Simon/Pierre Rhimbault (FRA) - 32 pts
3. José María Ruiz/Fernando Davila (ESP) - 38 pts
4. Xavier Hayweski/Alexis Thomas (ITA) - 40 pts
5. Diogo Pereira/Pedro Cruz (POR) - 46 pts
6. Wade Waddel/Henry Fernberger (USA) - 48 pts
7. Gianmaria Caiconti/Edoardo Portoraro (ITA) - 49 pts
8. Rodrigo Ducasse/Francisco Ducasse (CHI) - 52 pts
9. Swann Hayewski/Alexis Thomas (FRA) - 53 pts
10. Frantzeskos Mpakatsias/Evaggelos Christopoulos-Timogiann (GRE) - 53 pts
Consistency was the key to be amongst the leading pack in the overall standings, which is exactly what the British pair of Annabel Cattermole and Bryony Bennett-Lloyd delivered to take over the top of the leaderboard held since day 1 by Carlotta Omari and Francesca Russo Cirillo of Italy.
"We have had quite a consistent day, we sail fast and we have good results so we are really happy. We have just got to stay there now," said Bennett-Lloyd. The pair finished 12th at the ISAF Youth Worlds. Cattermole took over, adding, "Today we had good winds, It was really nice to get some breeze which we like. It is like sailing back in England, the waves are quite big so we enjoy that."
The British are the only team in the top ten counting only one double-digit score, so consolidation is needed from the other teams as unless the British put a foot wrong, the rest of the fleet will find it incredibly tough to challenge them.
The light weight crew combination of Carlotta Omari and Russo Cirillo just couldn't compete with the taller and heavier teams, knocking out a 15, 11 to drop them from first to fourth. Moving on up are team mates Sara Scotto Di Vettimo and Vittoria Barbiero whose 1, 2 puts them in second overall, just one point off the British. Dropping down to third are one of Saturday's star performers Paula Barceló and Margarita Alba of Spain who couldn't quite find their form in the stronger breeze to finish in 24, 14.
Firmly back in the fight after yesterday's drop down the leaderboard are Nadja Horwitz/Carmina Malsch who have corrected their scoreline with two fourth places and move back up to fifth.
New Zealand's Olivia Mackay and Abby Goodwin lead the silver fleet with two second places today. "Today it was really good, we had the wind with us," said Mackay. "The conditions were different from the other days and I enjoyed it. I am really happy with our results and our performance at the World Championship."
420 Ladies - Leaderboard Top 10
1. Annabel Cattermole/Brioin Bennett Yoid (GBR) - 28 pts
2. Sara Scotto Di Vettimo/Vittoria Barbiero (ITA) - 29 pts
3. Paula Barceló/Margarita Alba (ESP) - 36 pts
4. Carlotta Omari/Francesca Russo Cirillo (ITA) - 38 pts
5. Nadja Horwitz/Carmina Malsch (CHI) - 42 pts
6. Kimberly Lim/Savannah Siew (SIN) - 45 pts
7. Ilaria Paternnoster/Di Salle Benedetta (ITA) - 51 pts
8. Zeynep Yentur/Deniz Gokmeral (TUR) - 58 pts
9. Clara Addari/Arianna Perini (ITA) - 67 pts
10. Anna Bettoni/Sofia Carluccio (ITA) - 16 pts
Racing continues on Monday 29 July with two races scheduled for all fleets, with just four more races to go.