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Club Nàutic S’Arenal
Kimberly Lim/Savannah Siew (SIN)

Top performance of the day goes to Singapore’s Kimberly Lim/Savannah Siew who knocked out back to back race wins from the two races, in a fleet containing some of their closest rivals and leap to the front of the 420 Ladies leaderboard. No wonder the pair were honoured as Singapore’s National Sports Team of the Year just a few months back.

Racing got underway in a stable breeze of around 9 knots and a short, steep chop on both the 420 Open and 420 Ladies course areas for the 195 teams from 27 nations on day 2 at the 2014 420 World and Ladies World Championships in Travemuende, Germany.

A pretty balanced race course with no side favoured over the other, put the focus on boat speed, tactics and securing your lane, with the chop adding to the skills needed to keep going fast in the marginal wiring conditions.

In the 420 Open fleet, overnight leaders Adrian Dominguez/Calixto Abalo (ESP) retain control by the narrowest of tiebreak advantages, sitting on equal points with team mates Jose Manuel Ruiz/Fernando Davila.

420 OPEN
Some new faces at the front of the fleet in today’s two races in the 111 boat 420 Open fleet. The strength of talent is enormous and so far only one team has managed to finish in the top three for more than one race –series leaders Adrian Dominguez/Calixto Abalo (ESP). It is an understatement to say that the world’s best 420 sailors are competing – it is a fact.

“We didn’t expect to do so well,“ explained Abalo. “We are going quite fast and we think we can do it, but the Championship is long so we will see.” The team who have been together three years, rank their top performance as winning the under 19 category at the Spanish Nationals last year.

The blue fleet started first at 1305 hours, with the Greek pair of Aggelos Arvanitis/Theofanis Kanakaris making it look easy as they controlled the fleet from start to finish. All change in race 4 though, as they finished outside the top ten and then added a discretionary penalty to their scoreline, but they still hold firm inside the top ten at eighth overall. New Zealand’s Sam Barnett/Zak Merton took over the front of the fleet in race 4, chased hard by Diogo Periera/Manuel Macedo (POR) and Augustin Romero/Fermin Jacobs (ARG). Their winning result helped propel the Kiwis from 61st going into the day to 34th by the end, nicely inside the gold fleet 56 boat cut.

The yellow fleet started after the blue fleet, with Wiley Rogers/Ian Robinson (USA) taking the early lead up the windward leg in race 3, pushed by Malaysia’s Muhamad Faizal Norizan/Ahmad Syukri Abdul Aziz, silver medallists at the ISAF Youth Worlds, and Israel’s Ido Bilik/Ofek Shalgi. Down to the gate of the inner loop course, and it was all change with Robin Follin/Tao Manni (FRA) finding the puffs and the pace to move to the front of the pack, chased by Bilik/Shaigi with the two holding firm in the same order to the finish.

Wise insight after racing today from the USA’s Jack Parkin/Florian Eenkema Van Dijk who are a perfect example of the depth of quality in the fleet, as they bounce around on a scoreline of 27, a perfect win, and a 26, 19 in races 3 and 4, to end day two in 27th.

“Because it is so close and competitive there is simply no room for error,” commented Eenkema Van Dijk, as he compared their win in race 2 with today’s scores. “Today we were a little off the pace and it is really hard to come back. It is tricky, everyone is really smart and really quick. The margin for error is just really, really minimal. Yesterday was perfect and we came out on top, but today we fell back a bit and once you fall back, it is hard to come back.”

The USA team are competing off the back of a 13th place finish at the ISAF Youth Worlds in Portugal, with the close timeframe of the two world-class events adding to the pressure of competition. “It is easy to get stressed, but at this level you have to perform under pressure,” said Eenkema Van Dijk. “Everyone is at the same level and you have to trust in your preparation,”

Reflecting on racing so far, Eenkema Van Dijk put his finger on the pulse of what competing is all about, “We are 390 sailors, we are all the same age, we all want to have a good time and even if you don’t sail as well as you want, it is all about having fun, enjoying the sport, getting better each day and meeting new people. I don’t think any other sport gives the opportunity for us to meet each other like sailing.”

Defending World Champions Xavier Antich/Pedro Terrones are still struggling with their pace in the lighter winds, as their weight optimized to their 470 campaign puts them at a disadvantage in the predominantly junior fleet and they sit in 21st overall.

With a slightly different order, the same teams hold firm in the top 10 after today’s races, with the exception of Israel’s Nitai Hasson/Yoav Shpilman who move up to tenth from their 8,12 scoreline today.

420 Open –Top 10 Overall after 4 Races
1. Adrian Dominguez/Calixto Abalo (ESP) – 19 pts
2. Jose Manuel Ruiz/Fernando Davila (ESP) – 19 pts
3. Edoardo Ferraro/Francesco Orlando (ITA) – 22 pts
4. Jia Yi Loh/Jonathan Yeo (SIN) – 24 pts
5. Hippolyte Machetti/Sidoine Dantes (FRA) – 26 pts
6. Muhamad Faizal Norizan/Ahmad Syuki Abdul Aziz (MAS) – 30 pts
7. Maxime Pedron/Eliott Michal (FRA) – 31 pts
8. Aggelos Arvanitis/Theofanis Kanakaris (GRE) – 33pts
9. Swann Hayewski/Alexis Thomas (FRA) – 37 pts
10. Nitai Hasson/Yoav Shpilman (ISR) – 38 pts

Participating nations in the 420 Open World Championship are:
Angola, Argentina, Australia, Austria, Brazil, Canada, Chile, France, Great Britain, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong, India, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, New Zealand, Poland, Portugal, Singapore, Spain, Switzerland, Turkey, USA.

ISAF Youth World Gold Medallists Silvia Mas/Marta Davis from Spain asserted their authority on race day 1, but today it was all change as rivals Kimberly Lim/Savannah Siew (SIN) took over the race track and won races 3 and 4 in defining style to move to the front of the 84 boat 420 Ladies leaderboard.

The 420 Ladies yellow fleet fielded some of the closest matched teams, as the top three in the yellow fleet now find themselves dominating the overall leaderboard.

Singapore’s Lim is thrilled to be racing against rival Mas so early in the qualifying series, particularly as their friendship goes back long before the 420 to Optimist days. “We have been really close to the Spanish girls over the past couple of years,” said Lim, who won the 2011 Optimist World Championships.

“We have been at so many World Championships together and I have known Silvia since Optimists. It has been a long time. We have trained together and if tuning is not going right we ask each other. Having friends from overseas is really, really helpful. We have a close friendship, but compete really hard on the water, that’s for sure.“

Their pre-race game plan was the key to success, as Siew explained. “We had our race planned before our starts. Both races were quite similar, so after our first race success we just followed the same plan and it worked out for us. Boat speed was quite important today as it was really choppy.”

“We did really well in the sense that we communicated during the race and after and we fed back to each other,” continued Siew. “These are not conditions we are used to, so we have to talk a lot.”

A procession behind the Singapore team, as Italy’s Carlotta Omari/Francesca Russo Cirillo finished in 2nd place in each race and Spain’s Silvia Mas/Marta Davis claimed two third places.

In the 420 Ladies blue fleet, wins to Elena Picotti/Maria Coluzzi (ITA) and Carmen Davila/Julia Davila (ESP), who both move up within in the leaderboard top ten.

Asian prowess continues in the leadearboard top 10, with Malaysia’s Nuraisyah Jamil/Umi Nurwahida Sallehuddin moving up to 6th overall from their 7,2 results.

Early days, but don’t miss the four Spanish teams in the top ten which is testament to the nation’s pedigree in the 420 and, combined with Spain’s resuts in the 420 Open, currently puts them well on target to retain the Francis Mouvet Trophy as top overall nation, which they won in 2013 and 2012.

420 Ladies – Top 10 Overall after 4 Races
1. Kimberly Lim/Savannah Siew (SIN) – 9 pts
2. Silvia Mas/Marta Davila (ESP) – 11 pts
3. Carlotta Omari/Francesca Russo Cirillo (ITA) – 12 pts
4. Carmen Davila/Julia Davila (ESP) – 20 pts
5. Paula Barcelo/Margarita Alba (ESP) – 26 pts
6. Nuraisyah Jamil/Umi Nurwahida Sallehuddin (MAS) – 27 pts
7. Elena Picotti/Maria Coluzzi (ITA) – 28 pts
8. Sarah Norbury/Mari Davis (GBR) – 30 pts
9. Souzana Bakatsia/Nikoletta Papageorgiou (GRE) – 35 pts
10. Maria Caba/Carla Diaz (ESP) – 35 pts

Participating nations in the 420 Ladies World Championship are:
Australia, Austria, Brazil, France, Great Britain, Germany, Greece, India, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, New Zealand, Portugal, Singapore, Spain, Switzerland, Turkey, USA.

Just two more races tomorrow to complete the qualifying series and for teams to make the cut to the gold and silver fleets for the final 6 races series. After race 5, the single discard comes in, so expect massive shuffling on the leaderboard as teams discount their worst result. A reserve day is scheduled on Thursday, ahead of the final series getting underway on Friday 1 August 2014.

Restricted entry quotas heighten the national rivalry to even qualify to the 420 Worlds, as each nation is only permitted seven entries in the each of the 420 Open and 420 Ladies events. The only exceptions are for host nation, Germany, with fourteen entries and a spot is reserved for the defending World Champions, which in the 420 Open are Xavier Antich/Pedro Terrones from Spain.

Racing Schedule for Wednesday 30 July
Racing for the 420 Open and 420 Ladies is scheduled to start at 1300 hours with 2 races for each fleet.

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