Vilamoura, Portugal (March 11, 2021) – With nine races down and two remaining before the top 10 compete in the final medal race on Saturday, the 2021 470 World Championships is a hot event on the sailing stage. Conditions have been steady 10-15 knots on good days, and light and shifty winds coming over the land on more technically challenging days. The weather is different from what competitors experienced during the Grand Prix pre-event that took place in Vilamoura just prior to Worlds, so every team is staying on their toes on the racecourse.
“The conditions are challenging,” said Robby Bisi, coach of Nikki Barnes (St. Thomas, USVI) and Lara Dallman-Weiss (Hugo, Minn.), “But I think they are doing a good job at keeping their heads out of the boat and seeing what’s coming.”
“The conditions have been very unstable, so it has been a challenge to know when you can be aggressive in taking leverage and knowing when to be conservative,” said Thomas Barrows, coach of Stu McNay and Dave Hughes. “In all the races, Stu and Dave have given themselves a chance to get a top ten, which has been encouraging.”
Men’s 470: 29 Entries
- Stu McNay / Dave Hughes, 6th
- Shawn Harvey / Augie Dale, 27th
Women’s 470: 27 Entries
- Nikki Barnes / Lara Dallman-Weiss, 8th
- Carmen Cowles / Emma Cowles, 14th
- Atlantic Brugman / Nora Brugman, 22nd
Mixed 470: 20 Entries
- Louisa Nordstrom / Trevor Bornarth, 12th
The opportunities to cinch the final spot as a representative for the Tokyo 2020 Games are narrowing, and Barnes and Dallman-Weiss are currently sitting in the top spot after Day 4. Six places currently separate Carmen and Emma Cowles (Larchmont, NY) from Barnes and Dallman-Weiss in the lead, and Atlantic and Nora Brugman (Winthrop, Mass.) are trailing by 14 places.
With live streaming, courtesy of Vilamoura Sailing, keeping friends, family, and supporters in the loop back at home, we checked in with some of the coaches to get insight on what they’re seeing on the water.
“Stu and Dave have been quite pleased with their performance here, but also know that with a few less mistakes they’d be closer to a medal,” said Barrows. “After a year away from the fleet, it was unclear how their progress would compare to other teams that had been training and competing with each other. Given that they’ve been right there with the best teams, I think it has given them confidence in their processes, which will be powerful heading into the Games.”
Joining the US Sailing Team at Worlds this year are two teams from the Oyster Bay 470 program. New to the 470 scene, Shawn Harvey (Miami, Fla.) and Augie Dale (Pewaukee, Wis.) are racing the Men’s 470 and Louisa Nordstrom (Sarasota, Fla.) and Trevor Bornarth (Martin County, Fla.) in the new Mixed 470 discipline. Coach Yevgeniy Burmatnov described his expectations for the group going into Worlds and how their performance is playing out.
“We thought there would be a bunch of new teams in the mixed fleet. However, the women’s and men’s teams [from other countries] split up– [for example] Israel’s second-ranked men’s and women’s teams split up to create two mixed teams, and both of them have two Olympic cycles under their belts.”
Especially considering the level of experience from other 470 sailors on the mixed course, Yevgeniy is pleased with their sailing.
“I’m very happy with their performance,” said Burmatnov. “I’m extremely thrilled that we’re all here. We’re appreciative of US Sailing, who helped us with travel and logistics [to get to Vilamoura]. We knew it would be a tough fleet because it’s an Olympic year and it’s the best of the best at the event; there’s almost no second team here. All four [sailors] are doing a tremendous job performing.”
Racing has been tight and supporters stateside are on the edge of their seats watching the racing play out.
“For the rest of the event we’ll continue to make slight refinements in boat performance and work on making better tactical decisions,” said Barrows. “The forecast for the next few days looks light and shifty. Those conditions typically lead to higher scores [for Stu and Dave], so hopefully there will be opportunities to make gains on the leaders. Regardless of how the other teams sail, we’ll continue to focus on properly identifying the strategic priorities each day and focusing on what we can control.”
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View the event website: https://2021worlds.470.org/en/default/races/race
March 5 – 6: Registration & Measurement
March 7: Registration & Measurement, Practice Race, Welcome Meeting
March 8: First race day (Warning Signal @ 1200)
March 9 – 12: Races
March 13: Races, Medal Race, Awards
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Results will be available on the event website.
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