After the opening races the top of the leaderboard features a mixture of well-known and less familiar names from an impressive range of nations. The top 20 in the men's fleet features competitors from 15 nations, whilst 13 different nations feature in the women's top 20.
Nicolas CHARBONNIER and Olivier BAUSSET (FRA), who took over the #1 spot in the recently released ISAF World Sailing Rankings, had an up and down day with 2,8,12 scores.
'The race course and the conditions were fine,' explained CHARBONNIER. 'The wind was steady, without mentionable shifts. We crossed the finish line in second place in race one, but we were not able to find the right position at the line in the last two races which caused us a bad start.'
Portugal Lead The Men
Not all sailors were that unfortunate. Alvaro MARINHO and Miguel NUNES (POR) set the opening lead in the Men's 470 by winning the first race of the championship, and picking up second place in the next two. They hold a seven-point lead over Gabrio ZANDONA and Andrea TRANI (ITA), the 2003 World Champions and runaway winners in Medemblik.
Kan YAMADA and Kenichi NAKAMURA (JPN) started the day with a disappointing 11th but scored bullets in the next two races, putting them into a strong third ranked position.
Reigning World Champions Nic ASHER and Elliot WILLIS (GBR) decided not to participate because of an injury. Their main rivals Nathan WILMOT and Malcolm PAGE (AUS), the 2004 and 2005 World Champions, struggled to get going and ended up 18th overall position after day one, sharing 29 points with title defenders Benjamin BONNAUD and Romain BONNAUD (FRA).
Those who are capable of winning a 420 World Championship have great potential for sailing at Olympic level. Carl EVANS and Peter BURLING (NZL) proved this mantra by ending the first day racing in a fifth overall position. The talented youngsters from New Zealand, who claimed 420 Worlds in 2006 and 2005, have just made the step up to the larger 470 and are already demonstrating their huge potential.
Defending Champs Start Well
ROTHWEILER and KUSSATZ showed its not going to be easy to wrestle the Women's 470 European Championship title away from them with a 1,1,2 start putting them into a six-point overall lead.
After day one, many names show up on the leaderboard that have not been seen very often before. Nevertheless, it seems there are very strong sailors among them. Giulia CONTI and Giovanna MICOL (ITA), with only two years experience in the 470 Class, take a second overall position with 2,1,7 scores.
Wakako TABATA and Naomi KURITA (JPN) have hovered between #3040 on the World Rankings over the last two years, but demonstrated their win in Medemblik last week was no fluke with a strong start. After 9,4,3 scores they lie in fifth place overall.
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