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11 August 2008, 11:39 pm
Dutch And Aussies Make The Early Running In Women's 470
Marcelien De Koning and Lobke Berkhout of the Netherlands
Marcelien De Koning and Lobke Berkhout hold the overall lead after day one in Qingdao

2008 Beijing Olympic Games
Qingdao, China

Triple World Champions Marcelien DE KONING and Lobke BERKHOUT lead the way after the opening two races of the Women's Two Person Dinghy - 470 event at the Olympic Sailing Competition.
The Dutch team, winners of the 2005, 2006 and 2007 World Championships, lead the way after two very closely contested races on day one of racing in the Women's 470 event. Marcelien DE KONING and Lobke BERKHOUT led the way in the opening race before getting past by the Aussies on the second upwind and then the French team on the final run to the finish. The Dutch came back in lighter winds in race 2, scoring a victory to hold the overall lead on four points.

"It has been a very good day for us," summarized DE KONING. "We had some good breezes in the first race, but gradually it slowed down. We were able to steer clear of the fleet and we were doing fantastic downwind. There are eight more races to go and my state of mind is relaxed."

The Australian team of Elise RECHICHI and Tessa PARKINSON (AUS) came within seconds of winning both of today's races, but had to settle for two second places, putting them in second overall, tying on points with the Dutch. RECHICHI was satisfied with the day's performance although she said there were areas where the team could improve. "We were fast on the upwind but not so good on the downwind. We made a few tacking mistakes as well as some gybing mistakes. We had first race jitters," she said.

The recently formed French duo of Ingrid PETITJEAN and Gwendolyn LEMAITRE had great final run to win the day's first race, but a bad start in the second cost them and they eventually finished 11th to lie fifth overall. Sandwiched between them and the Australians are teams helmed by two silver medallists from the Athens Games. Natalia VIA-DUFRESNE helmed the Spanish boat to silver in Athens and together with Laia TUTZO lies third overall after 4, 5 scores. Lenka SMIDOVA won silver in the single-handed Europe dinghy but switched to the 470 for her Beijing campaign. With crew Lenka MRZILKOVA 6, 4 finishes put her one place and one point behind the Spanish in fourth.

Overal Results - click here

Find out more on the 470 dinghy with an exclusive video clip on the International 470 Class Association's Olympic microsite www.sail470.org/og2008

ISAF (source: Olympic New Service)
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