USA, Greece and Italy Headline at 420 Open European Championships

Races 7 and 8 for all fleets today delivered a change of form for some as the weather switched pressure yet again on the Saronic Gulf.

As teams took to the water the 12 knot breeze decreased to nearer 8 knots for the first starts, staying reasonably constant. The second races of the day saw decreased pressure, with a big left shift delaying the start of the 420 Open silver fleet.

The first day of final series racing in the 420 Open fleet pitched all the top talent together, and upped the level of racing for all.

Races 9 and 10 get underway at 1400 hours on Saturday 29 July.

The run of success continues for the USA’s Emma Kaneti/Ciara Rodriguez-Horan, with two more frontline scores of 6,4 keeping them 18 points ahead of the French pair of Violette Dorange/Camille Orion. Dorange/Orion took out the win in the second race of today, with third placed Carmen COWLES/Emma COWLES winning the first, and both retain their second and third places on the leaderboard.

420 Ladies Provisional Results – Top 5 after 8 Races
1. Emma KANETI/Ciara RODRIGUEZ-HORAN (USA 54066) - 21 pts
2. Violette DORANGE/Camille ORION (FRA 56277) - 39 pts
3. Carmen COWLES/Emma COWLES (USA 56365) - 48 pts
4. Maria CABA/Pilar CABA (ESP 56245) - 51 pts
5. Marta GARRIDO/Clara LLABRÉS (ESP 56260) - 54 pts

The reigning U17 420 World Champions Telis Athanasopoulos Yogo/Dimitris Tassios raced a consistent 9,4 to headline at the front of the seventy-seven boat Open fleet, ousting overnight leaders Edoardo Ferraro/Francesco Orlando who had their worst day of the Championships, scoring 36,23 and drop to third.

Alex Smallwood/Ross Thompson have raced a steady series throughout the Championship, with their worst result of 12th discarded. Another solid day of 4,5, pushes them up to second and just 4 points off the leaders.

Making an appearance in the top 5 for the first time are Israel’s Tal Shariti Sade/Noam Homri from their scores of 1,2.

South Africa’s two teams in the Open fleet came here to build experience and share knowledge, as two experienced sailors partnered up with two of the youngest campaigners in the South African squad. Two-time Olympian in the 470 Class, Asenathi Jim has partnered up with Elsje Dijkstra, and arrived at the 420 Europeans fresh from racing at the 470 Worlds. Jim’s role is to transfer as much knowledge as possible to Dijkstra.

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“It’s really fun and very enjoyable. I think the whole experience is really interesting for both of us as a team and we are learning. For me, I haven’t sailed the 420 in about 7 years,” said Asenathi. “For me to share the experience I have with Elsje, the very youngest in the team, is incredible and rewarding. It is great to see her improve and develop and taking all the expertise about the boat is interesting. I am loving it.”

“It is just an amazing experience to be able to pick up and learn so much information in such a short amount of time,” added Dijkstra. “To be racing with somebody as experienced as Asenathi is really great, to able to learn as much as I can. He is amazing.”

Remarkably Dijkstra had only sailed a 420 for about 10 days before leaving South Africa, although Jim picked up numerous top finishes during his previous years in the 420, including 5th at the 2010 420 Worlds. The pair sit in 21st overall, a placing which has surprised Dijkstra.

“I am amazed at how well have been able to pick it up, and it is a really great experience to learn so much.”

OPEN Provisional Results – Top 5 after 8 Races
1. Telis ATHANASOPOULOS YOGO/Dimitris TASSIOS (GRE 56371) - 33 pts
2. Alex SMALLWOOD/Ross THOMPSON (GBR 55015) - 37 pts
3. Edoardo FERRARO/Francesco ORLANDO (ITA 56278) - 46 pts
4. Lucas PARES/Teo PARES (ESP 55233) - 51 pts
5. Tal SHARITI SADE/Noam HOMRI (ISR 54121) - 52 pts

Italy’s Demetrio SPOSATO/Gabriele CENTRONE could not be unseated, until today that was, as a few mistakes cost them with a 21st place finish. Plenty of racing still to go, but the pair still sit fairly safely at the front of the U17 fleet with a 19 point advantage.

The young American duo of Max Anker/Leyton Borcherding hold onto second with Great Britain’s Rhys LEWIS/Drew WRIGHT securing their second appearance in the top three.

Greece’s young team of Ariadni-Papaskevi Spanaki/Myrto Papadopoulou move up to fifth overall as the top placed girls’ team.

Amongst the youngest in the 45 team line-up are Jack Lewis/Charlie Bacon of Great Britain, aged 14 and 13 respectively, who are racing at their first international 420 event. For these teams, exposure to the high level of competition at the 420 Open Europeans is all about building up valuable race experience and hours on the water.

“It is going really well so far, and I am really enjoying it,” said Lewis. “We are having a fun time. It’s really hot here and we have to keep our fluids up and the wind is really good. I am very happy with our results, very happy,” he added referring to their 17thoverall.

The youngest sailor across all three fleets is thirteen year old Marina Kalakona from Greece, who is racing with Marina Myrodia Triviza, with the pair 43rd overall in the U17 fleet. We all have to start somewhere, as Kalakona explained, “It’s not very easy, but it is my first time at a 420 Championship so that is to be expected. It is fun.”

420 U17 Provisional Results – Top 5 after 8 Races
1. Demetrio SPOSATO/Gabriele CENTRONE (ITA 56124) - 26 pts
2. Max ANKER/Leyton BORCHERDING (USA 56128) - 45 pts
3. Rhys LEWIS/Drew WRIGHT (GBR 56342) - 58 pts
4. Martín WIZNER/Pedro AMENEIRO (ESP 56016) - 61 pts
5. Ariadni-Papaskevi SPANAKI/Myrto PAPADOPOULOU (GRE 54484) - 65 pts



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