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13 August 2008, 10:23 am
Steady Aussies Maintain Men's 470 Lead
Gabrio Zandona and Andrea Trani of Italy (C) and Ger Owens and Philip Lawton of Ireland (R)
Gabrio Zandona and Andrea Trani of Italy (C) and Ger Owens and Philip Lawton of Ireland (R) battle for the lead in race 5 today

2008 Beijing Olympic Games
Qingdao, China

World #1 Australians Nathan WILMOT and Malcolm PAGE maintained the overall lead astheir consistency stood out against the erratic scores of their rivals on day three of racing in the Men's Two Person Dinghy - 470 event.
Along with Nathan WILMOT and Malcolm PAGE, only Great Britain's Nick ROGERS and Joe GLANFIELD and the Greek team of five-time Olympian Andreas KOSMATOPOULOS and crew Andreas PAPADOPOULOS were able to post two top 10 finishes on another tricky day of light winds in Qingdao. Races 5 and 6 of the Men's 470 Opening Series were held in full view of spectators on the breakwater in hazy conditions with low visibility.

WILMOT and PAGE proved you don't have to win races to win the regatta as they added a third and a fourth to their scorecard. After discarding their seventh place finish in the second race of the series, their average is less than four points. Thing got even better for the Aussies when their closest rivals, Frenchmen Nicolas CHARBONNIER and Olivier BAUSSET posted an 18th in race 6.

Conditions were trying and the fleet close, as WILMOT testified: "We had the French and Italians dumping on us whenever we got near them. We avoided them when we could and, whenever we did that, we gained a few places in the process."

CHARBONNIER and BAUSSET sailed to sixth in race 5 before a poor start cost them dearly in race 6. However the French team still remain second overall, but are now just one point ahead of Athens silver medallists ROGERS and GLANFIELD. The British team pulled up to third in the overall standings by posting a ninth and a sixth, enabling them to discard the 19th they acquired in the first race of the Opening Series on Monday.

Said ROGERS, "We had a penalty in the first race today. We were frustrated. However, I'm happy that we picked everything up and kept our confidence in the second race."

Ger OWENS and Philip LAWTON (IRL) won their second race of the Men's 470 Opening Series. They took the lead in Race 5 by leebowing the Brazilian pair Fabio SILVA and Samuel ALBRECHT about 100 meters short of the starboard tack layline to the first weather mark. They extended their lead as they sailed a long slow race around the outer trapezoidal course.

In contrast to the Australians, who do not count any result better than a third but none worse than a seventh, the Irish team have been extremely hit or miss. A 25th in race 6, puts OWENS and LAWTON just outside the Medal Race positions in 11th overall.

Stuart MCNAY and Graham BIEHL (USA) took the win in the final race of the day to help them move up to 17th overall.

The 470s have a reserve day on Thursday, and resume their Opening Series with races 7 and 8 scheduled for Friday 15 August.

Overal Results - click here

Olympic New Service (As Amended By)
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