"They are really good, especially when it is windy," said Charbonnier. "We have a lot of work to do if we want to compete with them." This view was shared by Fantela and Marenic. "They sail really consistently with good speed and good tactics and strategy. If they didn't start well or the first upwind isn't good, they can really pass many more boats than anyone else. And Viktor has many many medals," confided Fantela, referring to Viktor Kovalenko, the Australian team's Ukrainian coaching legend, who has been dubbed 'the medal maker' thanks to the part he has played in five Olympic gold 470 medals.
While Belcher and Page were secure in first place going into today's medal race, the case was the opposite in the Women's medal race where leaders New Zealand's Jo Aleh and Olivia Powrie were one slender point ahead of the powerful Dutch defending World Champions, Lisa Westerhof and Lobke Berkhout.
In the end, the Dutch got a good start off the pin end of the line while Aleh and Powrie were forced to tack away early and duck transoms. The Dutch pulled into the lead on the first run with the New Zealanders mid-fleet and while the two boats match raced up the second beat this was not enough to bring the New Zealanders back into contention. The run saw the Dutch overtaken by France's world no1 Ingrid Petitjean and Nadège Dourouxand third placed Italians Giulia Conti and Giovanna Micol but the Dutch still had four boats between them and the New Zealanders. Victory was theirs, their second 470 World Championship win as a team, and Lobke Berkhout's fifth, a record that now exceeds the four wins of Greece's Sofia Bekatorou and Emilia Tsoulfa
Even before they had reached the finish line the celebrations had begun on the Dutch boat, as it had in the spectator fleet, jubilant that their sailors had taken Gold. "Winning a title in our own country in home waters was definitely something extra," said Berkhout.
While disappointed not to have won, Jo Aleh and Olivia Powrie were more than satisfied with second, given that their objective had been a top five finish in this World Championship. Aleh reckoned the Dutch had got away from them on the first run. "We got in a lane but were then held up by a few other boats," she admitted.
Going into the medal race, Giulia Conti and Giovanna Micol were reasonably secure in their bronze position, a second place finish in the medal race making little impression on the outcome. So disappointed or happy? "Both of them," said Conti. "I am happy to get third, which is a great result; disappointed because of the disqualification yesterday which took us out [of contention for gold]. But still I am pretty satisfied and if I had to mark myself out of 10, I would give myself 9."
Winning the medal race caused France's Ingrid Petitjean and Nadège Douroux to knock Skandia Team GBR's Sarah Ayton and Saskia Clark out of fourth place. The French team, like the Italians, were hard hit with a black flag penalty for being over the start line early in race 10. "We didn't train too much in the wind this year - in fact we didn't train too much at all," admitted Petitjean. 'Usually we love strong winds, it is just we were not so comfortable."
For full results 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