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15 July 2010, 10:15 am
Wind Up on Day Three of 470 World Championship
Defending Champions Nic Asher and Eliot Willis (GBR)
Defending Champions Nic Asher and Eliot Willis (GBR) tie for second after five races at the 2010 470 Worlds

2010 Delta Lloyd 470 World Championships
The Hague, Netherlands

Fantastic conditions greeted the sailors on day three at the 2010 470 Worlds. Matthew Belcher and Malcolm Page (AUS) lead the men's fleet while Jo Aleh and Olivia Powrie (NZL) top the women's leaderboard.
For the first day so far at the 2010 Delta Lloyd 470 World Championships, the wind conditions at sea in front of The Hague allowed racing to get away on time for the three groups in the Men's division and the two in the Women's. Welcome respite from Wednesday's light winds and powerful tides, the wind was typically above 10 knots, gusting up to 18 on the men's course, the tide still pushing some teams over the start line early.

Showing that this World Championship is set to be a high scoring affair, in the Men's Division France's Pierre Leboucher and Vincent Garos are the only team not to have posted a result outside of the top ten. After their perfect scoreline in three races on Wednesday, Australians Mathew Belcher and Malcolm Page still hold the top spot, discarding a 15th place in the race five. After posting a 7-2 past double World Champions, Skandia Team GBR's Nic Asher and Elliot Willis hold second on equal points with Anton Dahlberg and Sebastian Östling (SWE).

'It was not a bad day," commented Asher. 'We could have gone better in the first race, but it was a tricky day - very shifty and gusty off the shore. Massively different from yesterday and downwind it was hard staying in the gusts. It was all quite close which made it quite interesting."

Racing closer to the shore and at a different part of the day, in more wind, the tide was very much less of an issue. Asher and Willis' scoreline was doubly impressive since prior to the start of the first race they had broken their kicker.

Second overall yesterday, but down to fourth today, France's Beijing bronze medallist Nicolas Charbonnier felt the conditions were more difficult than the previous day. 'I think tomorrow is windy again. So we will try and do our best, but the championship is just at the beginning, we have many, many races to complete, so we will see what will happen over the next days."

It was the shifts that caught out several of the top sailors and promoted others. Thus ISAF world ranked 23 Australians, Sam Kivell and William Ryan, and 27th ranked Germans, Jan-Jasper Wagner and Lennart Scheulfer, were among the winners in the first race of the day, while other winners included 2007 European Champions, Portugese duo alvaro Marinho and Miguel Nunes, who claimed first place in the second race.

Women's 470 World Championship

In the Women's class, there is still some consistency among the top three, where New Zealanders Jo Aleh and Olivia Powrie have pulled into the lead, four points ahead of the hotly tipped Italians Giulia Conti and Giovanna Micol, who are another four in front of overnight leaders, Americans Erin Maxwell and Isabelle Kinsolving Farrar.

'It was pretty good today - it took a while to remember how to sail in over 7 knots!" commented Aleh, trying not to look too surprised at their position in the regatta. 'It was nice to have some breeze. On the reach there was bit more puff - it was much better than yesterday. In the second race we did a few silly things, but we got away with it."

ISAF World Cup Standings leaders Ingrid Petitjean and crew Nadège Douroux have had a tougher time and lie currently in an uncharacteristic 20th overall, although this will improve when a discard comes into play after five races. 'We had a very bad race and some average scores. We are not doing very well overall. We'll catch up later. It has been very small decisions either too late or not good ones and it makes a big difference in a short time."

At around 1400 local time after the second race, the boats were sent ashore. 'There was a warning for a big storm with a lot of wind and thunder. The warning was given that it would be at 1500," explained Event Director Edwin Lodder. After several boats were caught out and some damage caused when a similar prolonged squall came through on Monday afternoon bringing with it 30 knot winds, Lodder opted for prudence.

Sitting ashore mid-afternoon in blazing sunshine several sailors queried this decision as in the event the qualification series could have been completed before the torrential rain did indeed begin at around 1700 local, but without Monday's giant gusts. 'We have two kinds of weather radar - Dutch and European," explained Lodder. 'One says it will pass in an hour, the other says it will be slower." Sadly the latter proved true.

'They are being a bit cautious now: Fair enough with 180 boats, it could go pretty bad," commented Jo Aleh.

On Thursday the Men's groups will have to sail one more qualification race and the women two before they are sent back in to be divided into Gold, Silver and Bronze (for the men) fleets and sail the Finals series before the top ten compete in the Medal Race on Sunday.

Tracking - for both classes and all races - can be followed through the Delta Lloyd 470 World Championship website http://470worlds2010.com

For more information, visit the event web site: www.470worlds2010.com

Track and Trace - http://www.mylaps.com/index.php/emea_eng/Websites/B2C/sail/events/470_world_championships
Video Channel - http://www.470worlds2010.com/video/video.asp?sfid=100&fid=flv&eid=15
Results - http://www.470worlds2010.com/results.asp

James Boyd (as amended by ISAF)
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