Brits win 470 European title, but Belcher and Ryan are a class above

The British pair of Luke Patience/Elliot Willis saved their best to last, knocking out back-to-back second place finishes in races 9 and 10 to become the 2014 470 Men European Champions.

In the 470 Women, the battle for the European Championship title has another day to go and will be between two boats, Austria’s Lara Vadlau/Jola Ogar and Great Britain’s Hannah Mills/Saskia Clark. The British will start the double-points medal race on the back foot, sitting on an 11 point deficit behind the Austrians, but with the Medal Race counting for double points there is still plenty to play for.

Racing for the 470 Women got underway first, with the fleet heading off the startline at 1223 hours, followed by the 470 Men Gold and 470 Men Silver fleets. Fantastic racing conditions on the waters immediately off Greece’s capital city Athens, with a breeze of around 10-12 knots and another blue sky day with the iconic Acropolis in the background.

The tension here at the 2014 470 Open European Championships now escalates to Tuesday’s double point Medal Races. The windward/leeward medal race course will be set just off the Yacht Club of Greece, from where spectators will be able to enjoy  an elevated shoreside viewpoint.

470 MEN
More top finishes for the teams at the front of the leaderboard as racing heated up, with Mathew Belcher/Will Ryan (AUS) and Luke Patience/Elliot Willis (GBR) increasing their points margin away from the fleet. Patience/Willis will be hoping to add the 2014 470 Open European Championship title to their 2014 470 European Championship title already secured.

The showdown for gold will unfold just between the Australians and British tomorrow. The two teams are untouchable by any others, so gold is guaranteed to one of them.

The battle around the track was equally frantic further back in the top third of the 470 Men Gold fleet, as teams at the tail end of the top 10 were being attacked by those with a chance to consolidate and climb up into the Medal Race teams.

The line-up is now set with the following teams up racing tomorrow.

470 Men – Top 10 after 10 Races

1. Mathew Belcher/Will Ryan (AUS) – 26    pts
2. Luke Patience/Elliot Willis (GBR) – 35 pts   
3. Joonas Lindgren/Niklas Lindgren (FIN) – 63 pts
4. Sime Fantela/Igor Marenic (CRO) – 67 pts
5. Matthias Schmid/Florian Reichstaedter (AUT) – 69 pts
6. Lucas Calabrese/Juan de la Fuente (ARG) – 81 pts   
7. Panagiotis Mantis/Pavlos Kagialis (GRE) –86 pts
8. Stuart McNay/David Hughes (USA) – 87 pts
9. Panagiotis Kampouridis/Efstathios Papadopoulos (GRE) – 89 pts
10. Onan Barreiros/Juan Curbelo (ESP) – 92 pts

470 WOMEN
With most of the fleet already carrying at least one double-pointer on their scoreline, today should have been all about consolidation and avoiding adding any more double digit results to the scorelines, but not all the leading group managed it.  But the same teams on the leaderboard top 10 at the start of the day are still in it, just a few ups and downs in order.

Overnight series leaders Hannah Mills/Saskia Clark (GBR) did not even feature in the top 10 of the pack in race 9, finishing 18th and losing their #1 position on the leaderboard to Austria’s Lara Vadlau/Jola Ogar who finished in 5th place.

All change for the British in race 10, with Vadlau/Ogar setting the pace and Mills/Clark right behind at the first windward mark with Slovenia’s Tina Mrak/Veronika Macarol in third. Fortunately for them, Mills/Clark managed to increase pace and pass the Austrians to claim the win and keep themselves in contention for the European Championship title. Tuesday’s double-points Medal Race will see the British and Austrians facing off for gold.

Back in 10th place at the first mark, the Olympic Gold medallists Jo Aleh/Polly Powrie (NZL) made things difficult for themselves – but punched their way through to finish in 5th and retain a shot at the 470 Open European Championship title. A three-way battle will see the Austrians, Kiwis and British in the mix for the podium places.

The line-up is now set with the following teams up racing tomorrow.

470 Women – Top 10 after 10 Races
1. Lara Vadlau/Jolanta Ogar (AUT) – 35 pts
2. Jo Aleh/Polly Powrie (NZL) – 42 pts
3. Hannah Mills/Saskia Clark (GBR) – 46pts   
4. Anne Haeger/Briana Provancha (USA) – 68 pts
5. Tina Mrak/Veronika Macarol (SLO) – 69 pts
6. Fernanda Oliveira/Ana Barbachan (BRA) – 74 pts
7. Sophie Weguelin/Eilidh Mcintyre (GBR) – 84 pts
8. Camille Lecointre/Helene Defrance (FRA) – 84 pts
9. Afrodite Kyranakou/Anneloes Van Veen (NED) – 91 pts
10. Alisa Kirilyuk/Liudmila Dmitrieva (RUS) – 119 pts

Racing Schedule for Tuesday 15 July 2014
One double-points Medal Race for each of the 470 Men and 470 Women will finalize the podiums for the 470 European Championship and 470 Open European Championship titles. The 470 Women Medal Race gets underway first at 1400 hours, followed by the 470 Men at 1500 hours.

The intended course location for the Medal Race on Tuesday 15 July 2014 will be in the approximate vicinity of Mikrolimano Marina. Spectators may observe the race from the Yacht Club of Greece or Piraeus Sailing Club.

About the 2014 470 Open European Championships
Nautical Club of Tzitzifies Kallithea (NOTK) in the iconic Olympic sailing city of Athens, Greece is hosting the six days of racing at the 2014 470 European Championships which kicked off on Thursday 10 July 2014. The racing format is an 11 race series scheduled for the 470 Men and 470 Women fleets, after which the top 10 advance to the final Medal Race on Tuesday 15 July 2014.

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