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22 January 2010, 04:46 pm
Britain and France Take Gold At 470 North Americans
Luke Patience and Stuart Bithell
Luke Patience and Stuart Bithell of Great Britain scored an impressive win in Miami

470 North American Championships 2010
Miami, Florida, USA

Great Britain and France took the top honours at the 470 North American Championships in Miami, taking place ahead of next week's ISAF Sailing World Cup event.
Forty-five 470 teams from 15 countries convened in Miami, USA from 16-18 January to sail the 2010 470 North American Championships. The event, hosted by Miami Yacht Club, saw the full spectrum of conditions, with the Race Committee reporting winds gusting over 30 knots on Saturday the first day of racing, a sharp frontal passage on Sunday, and light unsettled breeze on Monday, and seven races (with one discard) completed.

British sailors Luke Patience and Stuart Bithell took first in the men's/mixed division. This relatively new pairing had an amazing end to their 2009 season, taking the silver at the 2009 470 World Championships and a silver at the Skandia Sail For Gold Regatta, which on present form looks set to continue for 2010. The double gold medallists in the 2009 470 Junior World Championships and 2009 470 Junior European Championships, Sofian Bouvet and Jeremie Mion (FRA) also demonstrated their continued performance to come second, with 2008 Olympic bronze medallist Nick Rogers and new crew Pom Green (GBR) third. It was a close shave for Rogers and Green, who were tied with the fourth placed Matthias Schmid and Florian Reichstaedter and took third on countback.

In the Women's championship Emmanuelle Rol and Hélène Defrance (FRA) took the Championships, with Amanda Clark and Sarah Chin (USA) second, and Camille Lecointre and Mathilde Geron (FRA) in third.

2008 Olympic bronze medallist Isabel Swan (BRA) was competing with her new helm Martine Grael - daughter of the renowned Torben Grael. For sure there will be many eyes watching this new pairing who placed fourth in the women's fleet. At last year's Volvo Youth Sailing ISAF World Championship held in Brazil, Grael dominated the women's 420 fleet to take gold as helm - an impressive pedigree and a pair to watch.

As the highest placed North American teams, Adam Roberts and Nick Martin (USA) are the 2010 Men's and Mixed North American Champions, and Amanda Clark and Sarah Chin (USA) are the 2010 Women's North American Champions.

Next event for many of these teams is US SAILING's Rolex Miami OCR, event two of the 2009-2010 ISAF Sailing World Cup.

Luissa Smith
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