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470 World Championships at Thessaloniki, Greece - Day 5

by Icarus Sailing Media on 15 Jul 7-15 July 2017

Leaderboard shuffles in a packed 3-race day for the gold fleet saw teams make the top–ten cut to the Medal Race, only to lose it in the next race, as the men's and women's fleets featured significant changes in finishing order.

Most probably the best breeze of the Championship arrived on the race track today, with around 12-14 knots.

Silver fleet racing wrapped up with wins to Fabienne Oster/Anastacia Krasko (GER) in women and Jose Manuel Ruiz Sanchez/Fernando Davila (ESP) in men.

The 2017 World Champions crowned on Saturday will be incredibly deserving teams who have had to dig deep to deliver in tough conditions amongst a world class fleet. A 1330 hours warning signal is scheduled for the 470 Women Medal Race, with the Men following at 1415 hours.

470 MEN

Ten teams from ten different nations advance to the medal race, reflecting the depth of talent around the world. Series leaders going into the day, Anton Dahlberg/Fredrik Bergstrom raced a consistent 4th place in race 9 to hold onto the lead, but their 18th place in race 10, compared with Mat Belcher/Will Ryan's win, saw the overall lead go to the Aussies, with a 2 point advantage.

All change by race 11, as the Swede's took another race win, and the Australians finished 4th, pitching Dahlberg/Bergstrom back into the lead on a 1 point advantage. Third to David Bargehr/Lukas Mahr (AUT).

The gold medal is a straight race off between the Swedish and Australians and whoever finishes ahead gets gold. Head to head, the Swedes best finish at a 470 Worlds is 6th, compared to Belcher's tally of six back to back victories with Malcolm Page and Will Ryan, from 2010 through to 2015, until Rio 2016 Olympic Gold Medallists Sime Fantela/Igor Marenic stepped in his path to seize the 2016 470 Worlds title.

"It feels really good. I don't have any medals from a "real" World Championship," said Bergstrom, alluding to his gold medal from the 2011 470 Junior World Championship.

"It feels great and I was not expecting this," Dahlberg added. "We need to win the medal race that's for sure. We are going to give them a battle as they are going to give us a battle. It's going to be a nice race for gold. This is a great opportunity for us. We are going for gold."

Austria's Bargehr/Mahr and Turkey's Deniz Cinar/Ates Cinar are hunting down bronze. Before that challenge though, bodies will need to recover from the physical demands of today's back to back races.

"The conditions were really good and this is the first time we have been in the top 5 and fighting for a medal place," said Deniz. Their bronze medal race strategy is simple, "We will win the medal race," smiled Ates.

Extra birthday celebrations for Pavlos Kagialis, racing with helm Panagiotis Mantis, as the world #1 partnership and Rio 2016 Olympic Bronze medallists knocked out their first win of the Championship in race nine. A challenging race 10 saw the pair finish 16th and go on to face the closing race of the final series 3 points off a place in the top-ten line-up. Pressure was on – so relief to finish 7th in the deciding race and qualify through to the medal race.

470 Men - Provisional Results after 11 Races

1. Anton DAHLBERG/Fredrik BERGSTROM (SWE 349) - 35 pts
3. Mathew BELCHER/Will RYAN (AUS 11) - 36 pts
2. David BARGEHR/Lukas MÄHR (AUT 1) - 60 pts
5. Deniz CINAR/Ates CINAR (TUR 890) - 68 pts
6. Giacomo FERRARI/Giulio CALABRO (ITA 757) - 80 pts
7. Stuart MCNAY/David HUGHES (USA 1) - 80 pts
9. Hippolyte Machetti/Sidoine Dantes (FRA79) - 81 pts
8. Zangjun XU/Chao WANG (CHN 067) - 89 pts
4. Paul SNOW-HANSEN/Daniel WILLCOX (NZL 2) - 93 pts
10. Panagiotis MANTIS/Pavlos KAGIALIS (GRE 1) - 96 pts

470 WOMEN

Ten teams from eight nations will meet in Saturday's 470 Women medal race, whittled down from an entry line-up of sixty teams, with four pairings in with a shot at the medals.

A career best performance for Poland's Agnieszka Skrzypulec/Irmina Mrózek Gliszczynska, who have guaranteed themselves either gold or silver medal and sit on a 16 point advantage Hannah Mills/Eilidh McIntyre (GBR).

"We have come back stronger," smiled Mrózek Gliszczynska in reference to the injury that kept her out of the boat. "After seven months without sailing I have been so focused to be back and now we are leading the World Championship."

"I can't believe we are in front of the Olympic Gold Medallist," chipped in Skrzypulec. "I admire Hannah so much. For me she's a great sailor and all the time I had the chance, I was watching her and trying to learn from her and now we are in front, this is an incredible feeling.

"We are in a comfortable position, and today was the day when I knew we could make things simple or we could complicate tomorrow. So I am very happy that it looks really nice. I have watched a lot of medal races and know that anything can happen."

Skrzypulec concluded, "The gold is there and we have to go and grab it!"

Mills/McIntyre could end their Championship with a medal or a fourth place, so will be looking to attack the Polish whilst holding off the chasing Slovenian pair of Tina Mrak/Veronika Macarol and the world #1 pair of Afrodite Zegers/Anneloes van Veen. Both the Slovenians and Dutch can take out silver or bronze, or end the Championship in fourth. Mills has the 2012 470 World Championship gold to her credit, whilst the rest of the teams

"I think it has been a really stressful week, a really difficult regatta waiting all day," reflected Macarol on the preceding race days. "Today finally we had good wind and we did two good races, and tomorrow will be a good medal race."

Mrak added, "We trained hard for these conditions, so we are quite comfortable with our speed and boat handling, so we knew we could do our best. For now it looks good, but tomorrow will be another hard medal race so we need to relax and to get energy for tomorrow. We are now going to eat some sushi!"

Zegers/van Veen won the 470 European Championship in May, and have been on a winning streak since finishing 4th at the Rio Olympics. The pair sits 5 points off third place.

"We have had some difficult races," said van Veen on the early part of the Championship. "We tried to get our heads back in it and we did pretty well. Today we did really well and are back in the game.

"Tomorrow the only thing we have to do is sail our best, win the medal race and then go home," resolved Zegers.

The closest any of these four medal contention teams have got to the podium before is a fifth place, so whatever unfolds in the Medal Race it will be a landmark day for all.

470 Women - Provisional Results after 11 Races

1. Agnieszka SKRZYPULEC/Irmina MRÓZEK GLISZCZYNSKA (POL 11) - 28 pts
2. Hannah MILLS/Eilidh MCINTYRE (GBR 321) - 44 pts
3. Tina MRAK/Veronika MACAROL (SLO 64) - 50 pts
4. Afrodite ZEGERS/Anneloes VAN VEEN (NED 1) - 55 pts
5. Barbara CORNUDELLA/Sara LOPEZ (ESP 14) - 70 pts
6. Silvia MAS DEPARES/Patricia CANTERO REINA (ESP 18) - 78 pts
7. Linda FAHRNI/Maja SIEGENTHALER (SUI 5) - 85 pts
8. Amy SEABRIGHT/Anna CARPENTER (GBR 7) - 85 pts
9. Shasha CHEN/Xufeng HUANG (CHN 0619) - 86 pts
10. Maria BOZI/Rafailina KLONARIDOU (GRE 216) - 89 pts

Championship Website - 2017worlds.470.org
Entry Lists - 2017worlds.470.org/en/default/races/race-inscriptions
Official Noticeboard - 2017worlds.470.org/en/default/toa/race
Results - 2017worlds.470.org/en/default/races/race-resultsall
Facebook - facebook.com/470-Olympic-Sailing
Twitter - twitter.com/470Sailing
YouTube - youtube.com/470OlympicSailing

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