World contenders

Dying wind plays havoc but Belcher and Ryan push forward at the World Championships.


Photography by Beau Outteridge

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A busy schedule was interrupted by the lack of wind on the waters off Aarhus, but it was enough for 470 duo Mat Belcher and Will Ryan to make a move up the leaderboard at the World Championshps in Denmark.

After a slow start to the regatta by their high standards, the defending Champions put together a win in the first gold fleet race to jump from 4th to 2nd, just a single net point behind leaders and 2018 European Champions Anton Dahlberg and Fredrik Bergstrom of Sweden.

There was some controversy in the Nacra 17s after Jason Waterhouse and Lisa Darmanin received a blag flag in their opening race before the dying wind spelt an end to competition for the day.

Despite some murmurings, the outcome for the Rio silver medallists was that the disqualification would count and they would have to sit out the first race of the following day. The pair remain in 6th place.

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It was something of a similar story in the 49er, where David Gilmour and Joel Turner crossed the line first in their fleet before racing was cancelled. Gilmour and Turner remain in 15th overall, with Will Phillips and Iain Jensen in 7th. The group will now be split into gold, silver and bronze fleets on the basis of their first six races – the minimum required for qualification – and race again on Wednesday.

In the 49erFX, only one race was held. The second fleet will race tomorrow to complete the qualifying round.

Natasha Bryant and Annie Wilmot are the best placed Australians in 10th.

It was a frustrating day all round, but especially for the 470W and Finns, who had their races abandoned. The Laser Radial and Laser Standard competitors had the day off.

The breeze is forecast to remain light for the next couple of days before lifting again later in the week.

sailing.org.au

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