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30 January 2008, 09:08 am
470 World Titles For Britain And USA
Erin MAXWELL and Isabelle KINSOLVING
World Champions Erin MAXWELL and Isabelle KINSOLVING

470 World Championships 2008

Britain's Nic ASHER and Elliot WILLIS and Americans Erin MAXWELL and Isabelle KINSOLVING are the 2008 470 World Champions after the Medal Races concluded in Melbourne today.
American's Erin MAXWELL and Isabelle KINSOLVING helped ease the bitter disappointment of missing Olympic selection with an emphatic ten-point 470 World Championship victory ahead of world #1 crew Giulia CONTI and Giovanna MICOL. Australian pocket-rockets Elise RECHICHI and Tessa PARKINSON secured the bronze after today's Medal Race at Mordialloc Sailing Club.

"If there was ever a way to make me feel better about not being selected for the Olympics … this is it," an ecstatic MAXWELL said.

"I don't know what the future holds but we're going to savour today, that's for sure.

"We're going to campaign for 2012 but jobs, graduate school and marriages come before that,"
MAXWELL added.

Sydney-based Perth girls RECHICHI 22, and PARKINSON 21, were delighted with their result and the kick start it has given them for the Olympic Sailing Competition in Qingdao, China this August.

Conditions for the top-ten double-points Medal Race were perfect today for the lightweight combination, who overnight trailed triple World Champions Marcelien DE KONING and Lobke BERKHOUT (NED) by just one point.

In 7-10 knot shifty winds, RECHICHI and PARKINSON sailed a tactically perfect race to set themselves up for a podium finish. Knowing they had to beat the Dutch girls to have any chance of a bronze medal, they kept them insight for the entire race.

"On the second up wind we got a little bit out of whack and we tacked back and saw that we were pointing behind the Dutch girls …we were patient and just had to wait for the right shift and then they all pushed each other too close to the left lay - that gave us the option to tack around the top of them on the lay line, they had no where to go and they lost about a 100m or so," a very happy RECHICHI explained.

RECHICHI and PARKINSON will now both take a well earned vacation before heading overseas in March to begin their build up for Beijing.

They won the Olympic Test Event in Qingdao last year and have now officially signalled their arrival on the international 470 sailing stage.

CONTI and MICOL managed to win the Medal Race to consolidate the silver medal position, with MAXWELL and KINSOLVING finishing fourth, RECHICHI and PARKINSON fifth and DE KONING and BERKHOUT second last in the ten-boat fleet.

Men's 470

Brits Nic ASHER and Elliot WILLIS overcame great odds this week to pull off a stunning victory in the men's fleet. The 2006 World Champions survived a nasty mid-race collision in race 8 before they rallied to win today's Medal Race and their second World title by just 0.9 of a point.

WILLIS was out of action for 24 hours with severely bruised ribs but following a successful application for redress points for races 8, 9 and 10, he and ASHER were elevated into the bronze medal position for the start of the today's action.

With just three points separating the top three crews, ASHER and WILLIS managed to leapfrog overnight leaders Alvaro MARINHO and Miguel NUNES (POR), who crossed the line in third place today.

MARINHO and NUNES secured the silver medal, ahead of Gideon KLIGER and Udi GAL (ISR), who struggled into today's light conditions to eighth place and a bronze medal on 70 points.

The Brits won with 56.10 points with the Portuguese on 57 points.

"The World Championship was good for us … we didn't have much training back in Portugal," NUNES said.

"It was winter and we were expecting strong winds here and in Portugal it was light winds, so it was difficult preparation but in the end it worked out well for us," he added.

For MARINHO and NUNES, it is their first time on the podium at a World Championship event, however for KLIGER and GAL it is their third consecutive bronze medal at the Worlds.

"It's okay, we were second in the morning … we'll be happy in a few hours," a disappointed KLIGER said.

"But it's still a good result … we should be happy," he added with a smile.

Australian's Nathan WILMOT and Malcolm PAGE, the 2004, 2005 and 2007 World Champions, finished fifth in today's Medal Race and eighth overall on 93 points.

Results - click here
470 World Championships - www.sailmelbourne.com.au/event/470worldchampionships2008

Jodi Kelly and Clare Murray (As Amended By ISAF)
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