Race day 5 was a defining day here at the 420 World Championships in Japan. As the sun came out for the first time since last Saturday, the energy in the boat park also hit a high as teams prepared for a breezy penultimate day of racing.
With an average 16.5 knots, gusts hitting 20-25 knots and the odd 30 knot puff channelling through the 420 Open and Ladies Gold races, the Race Committee was able to set a 1.2 mile upwind leg. Conditions eased by the time the Silver and U17 fleets took to the race track.
Leaderboard shuffles see Hong Kong take over the 420 Open leaderboard, whilst Spain and Italy consolidate at the front of the 420 Ladies and 420 U17 World Championship fleets. Everything is still at stake, with tomorrow’s closing two races likely to be a light wind teaser, giving lots of opportunities to switch the line-up.
Teams representing thirteen nations currently sit inside the leaderboard top ten across the three World Championship fleets - what better showcase of the depth of talent of the world’s most popular two-person youth dinghy.
Marta Garrido/Maria Jesus Davila (ESP) hold firm in first overall, but Japan’s Misaki Tanaka/Sena Takano are eating into the Spaniards’ points lead. Charlotte Yven/Marine Riou (FRA) remain in third.
The French partnership of Yven/ Riou have sailed together for 2 years, finishing 27th at last year’s 420 Worlds, and today sealed two top 10 positions. Pleased with their form, Yven said,”Today’s wind was from the other side to yesterday, so it was a bit more difficult, but we like these conditions because where we train it is the same, so we are familiar with them. Last year, the 420 Worlds and ISAF Youth Worlds gave us a lot of experience, so we try to take this and apply it here on the water.”
Two more races to go, and 23 points off the leaders, they will need to protect their bronze medal position and execute an attack on the Japanese and Spanish ahead of them. “We will try to sail the same as today,” explained Yven, “and try to get the best from ourselves. We need to defend our place and attack the first girls. But it is more important to defend our place.”
Leaders Garrido/Davila hold an extremely useful 12 point advantage over the Japanese, and are discarding a 10th place so know they have at least one race in hand to take a risk. Win here tomorrow, and crew Davila will match her brother’s achievement when he won gold in the Open fleet at last year’s 420 Worlds.
Three new teams move up into the top ten, led by Nia Jerwood/Lisa Smith of Australia who unleashed something special today to claim a 1,2 scoreline and advance to 7th overall. The partnership has all to play for here at their second 420 Worlds appearance.
“We like the wind,” commented Jerwood on their escalation in performance. “We train out of Fremantle Sailing Club, where we get really strong sea breezes. We are used to it and we love it.
“The first upwind was a bit tricky, and we gained on the reach. My legs are very sore, so no it wasn’t easy, but it was good fun.”
Jerwood has shown incredible resilience to even make it to Japan, after double-knee reconstruction surgery in January put her out of the boat for three months. She stepped back into her 420 in early May, but it was impossible for her to manoeuvre across the boat when tacking, so a friend would swap-in to tack, before Jerwood jumped back in. “It’s been pretty difficult, but it’s getting better,” she smiled.
Commenting on Nia’s tenacity, Smith said, “In everything she does, you can see her resilience. It is great being partners. She is so strong and after everything with her knees, it is great to be racing together again.”
Sitting just 16 points off the podium places, they will need to be radical to make up the points shortfall, but this Aussie team possess the guts to deliver.
Moving up to join them in the top 10 are Sofia Giondi/Giulia Gatta (ITA), Audrey Giblin/Ashton Borcherding (USA) and Theres Dahnke/Birte Winkel (GER). The Americans’ current placing marks the best result since the nation finished with a silver medal at the 2010 420 Ladies World Championships in Israel.
Saturday’s two races will come down to some smart decision making, with the significant points difference demanding some front of fleet finishes to overthrow the current podium placed teams.
In the silver fleet, Laura Selvaggio/Maria Pastorelli (ITA) lead, Sumiko Masumoto/Saya Himeno (JPN) in 2nd and Maike Roos/Maren Roos (GER) in 3rd with just 3 points separating them.
420 Ladies – Results after 10 Races
1. Marta Garrido/María Jesus Dávila (ESP) - 28 pts
2. Misaki Tanaka/Sena Takano (JPN) – 40.2 pts
3. Charlotte Yven/Marine Riou (FRA) - 51 pts
4. Marina Lefort/Lara Granier (FRA) – 63.6 pts
5. Sarah Norbury/Mari Davies (GBR) - 64 pts
6. Mano Udagawa/Yuri Saito (JPN) – 65 pts
7. Nia Jerwood/Lisa Smith (AUS) – 67 pts
8. Sofia Giondi/Giulia Gatta (ITA) - 74 pts
9. Audrey Giblin/Ashton Borcherding (USA) – 79 pts
10. Theres Dahnke/Birte Winkel (GER) – 79 pts
The Asian dominance today swapped hands from Japan to Hong Kong, as Calum Gregor/Hugo Christensson swept past three teams to take the lead by 2 points over Daichi Takayama/Syota Nakano. Greece’s Vasillios Gourgiotis/Epameinondas Orestis Batsis raced a solid 7,6, moving up from 10th to 3rd.
“Our boat speed is good and it feels really nice,” said Gregor, before reflecting on the secret to their success so far. “Because we live in Hong Kong, it is never that cold, so we can train all year round four times a week. Thanks to the sailing federation we are able to attend to lots of overseas events and practice big fleet starts and tactics that we don’t really get in Hong Kong. That is what has been really helpful.”
A defensive approach will be critical for Christensson’s game plan for tomorrow, as he said, “We will stay to our routine and focus on clear starts and good speed, but keep an eye on who we need to cover.”
Put a foot wrong though, and Takayama/Nakano are waiting to pounce. For their team mates, the increased breeze prompted the worst day of racing so far for overnight leaders Hiroaki Kato/Takuma Yoshinaga,whose 32,9 scorecard dropped them to 4th, but still well in touch with the podium places.
Whilst some struggled in the breeze, it favoured Argentina’s Felipe Diniz/Ivan Aranguren, reigning 420 South American Champions, who move up to 5th and are well on target to improve on their 17th place finish at last year’s 420 Worlds.
“We are aiming for top five or better,” said Diniz. “We want to do the best we can. We could do better. We are doing good races sometimes and starting well, but then finishing races in bad positions. Or we start bad and finish good. If we can try and work out to start well and finish well, would be good!”
Aranguren added, “I think the level is really high as all the boats are close together with only a few points between us. In the next two races all can change. We want to be fresh for tomorrow with a good start.”
America’s 420 teams are so far putting in one of their strongest series ever at a 420 World Championship, with the three teams qualified to gold fleet racing all inside the top 20, two in top 10. Top placed USA team, in sixth overall are Wiley Rogers/Jack Parkin who finished 2nd in the final race of today.
Rogers relishes the diversity of the 420, saying, “The 420 is a planing boat, so you go pretty quick in anything from 12 knots and above. The tactics and strategy are still there when you are going fast and planing, so you can’t just focus on speed, you’ve got to really connect the puffs and play the shifts and play the wind. You have to work on your speed through the whole process.
“Our goal was top ten, as an achievable goal, so there was not that much pressure to do really well. But we have the standard we wanted, so hopefully now we can make it top 5.”
Brazil’s Pedro Correa/Philipp Essle move into the top 10, as do France’s Arnaud Herail/Paco Lepoutre.
Just 28 points separate the current top 10 teams on the leaderboard, and everyone knows that anything and everything can unfold tomorrow.
In the silver fleet the battle for glory is every bit as fierce, with Marc Lladó/Javier González of Spain leading over Italy’s Andrea Totis/Marco Zanni and Japan’s Kent Sakakibara/Taisei Sakamoto in third.
420 Open – Results after 10 Races
1. Calum Gregor/Hugo Christensson (HKG) – 59 pts
2. Daichi Takayama/Syota Nakano (JPN) - 61 pts
3. Vasillios Gourgiotis/Epameinondas Orestis Batsis (GRE) - 69 pts
4. Hiroaki Kato/Takuma Yoshinaga (JPN) - 70 pts
5. Felipe Diniz/Ivan Aranguren (ARG) - 71 pts
8. Wiley Rogers/Jack Parkin (USA) - 75 pts
7. Pedro Correa/Philipp Essle (BRA) – 83 pts
8. Will Logue/Bram Brakman (USA) – 83 pts
9. Arnaud Herail/Paco Lepoutre (FRA) – 84 pts
10. Nikolaos Brilakis/Giorgos Karadimas (GRE) - 88 pts
In the under-17 420 World Championship fleet, Edoardo Ferraro/Francesco Orlando (ITA) retain their pole position. Just a swap in order of the two teams behind, as Greece's Aggelos Arvanitis/Theofanis Kanakaris (GRE) break the points tie they had at the start of the day with Spain's Enrique Lujan/Pablo Lujan (ESP) and move to second overall, with the Greeks in third.
So far, no-one has been able to displace the Italian leaders and with an 11 point advantage and counting an all top 5 scoreline, tomorrow’s outcome looks to be in their favour. The scoreboard is much closer behind, with the teams placed 2nd to 3rd sharing just a 12 point differential.
A new team to break into the top 10 today are Matthew Logue/Cameron Giblin (USA) from solid 4,5 results.
420 U17 – Results after 10 Races
1. Edoardo Ferraro/Francesco Orlando (ITA) - 26 pts
2. Aggelos Arvanitis/Theofanis Kanakaris (GRE) - 37 pts
3. Enrique Lujan/Pablo Lujan (ESP) - 44 pts
4. Carlos Balaguer/ Ignacio Balaguer (ESP) - 50 pts
5. Andre Fiuza/Stephan Kunath (BRA) - 64 pts
6. Albert Torres/Antoni Massanet (ESP) – 78 pts
8. Andrea Spagnolli/Kevin Rio (ITA) - 84 pts
7. Riji Wong/Xavier Ng (SIN) - 88 pts
9. Matthew Logue/Cameron Giblin (USA) – 93 pts
10. Andre Chew/Sebastian Siew (SIN) – 104 pts
Racing Schedule for Saturday 25 July 2015
The first warning signal for 420 Open Gold, 420 Ladies Gold and 420 U17 is scheduled at 1030 hours. The intended starting order will be Start 1: Open Gold – outer loop, Start 2: Ladies Gold – inner loop, Start 3: U17 – inner loop. The first warning signal for 420 Ladies Silver and 420 Open is scheduled at 1230 hours. The intended starting order will be Start 1: Open Silver – outer loop, Start 2: Ladies Silver – inner loop.
Participating nations in the 420 World, Ladies World and U17 World Championships are:
Argentina, Australia, Austria, Brazil, France, Germany, Great Britain, Greece, Hong Kong, India, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Korea, New Zealand, Portugal, Singapore, Spain, Turkey, United States of America.
Ustream Live Updates - you can follow the live streaming with cameras following the racing action off the start, mark 1 and at the finish. Click on the graphic to the left or go to: http://www.ustream.tv/search?q=karatsu
Media enquiries to: email@example.com
Jun Hiria of Bulkhead Magazine is the Official Championship Photographer. Daily photo galleries are available on the Championship website and Facebook. High Resolution images are available at: http://junhirai.photoshelter.com/
420 Junior Worlds Twitter @420worlds
420 Class Association Twitter @420class
420 class on Facebook facebook.com/international420classassociation
Championship website: http://2015worlds.420sailing.org
About the 2015 420 World, Ladies World and U17 World Championships
The 2015 420 World, Ladies World and U17 World Championships, 17-25 July 2015, is being held in Castle Bay Karatsu and is organized by the Japan Sailing Federation, in partnership with: the International 420 Class Association, Japan 420 Class Association and Saga Prefecture Yachting Federation. 330 sailors from 21 nations are competing, with 72 boats in the 420 Open and 60 in the 420 Ladies and 33 in the U17. The 420 Open and 420 Ladies teams contest a 12 race series, with 6 races in the qualification series and 6 in the final, with a single race discard coming into play after race five. The 420 Open and 420 Ladies are each split into fleets for the qualification series with reseeding after each day’s racing. For the 6 race final series, teams will advance to gold and silver fleets, based on their position on the leaderboard from the qualification series. Teams contesting the U17 World Champoinships race a single series of 12 races.