Two pairs of world champions were crowned today with the conclusion of the 2021 470 World Championships. Additionally, this event doubled as the European qualifier for the 2020 Olympics. The highest ranked eligible boat in the men’s and women’s event qualified to the games. The 470 World Championships were held in Vilamoura, Portugal from March 5th to March 13th 2021.
The men’s 470 began with 2019 world silver medalists Jordi Xammar and Nicolas Rodriguez of Spain taking an early lead. Trouble first appeared during the fifth race where the pair finished 19th, making it the dropped score.
However, a 20th place finish on the seventh race held on the third day meant the duo had to take on the 19 points from the previous day. This forced them to drop to fourth at the time and allowed for 2019 world bronze medalists Anton Dahlberg and Fredrik Bergstrom of Sweden and Russians Pavel Sozykin and Denis Gribanov to take a joint lead.
Dahlberg and Bergstrom took sole possession of the lead by the end of the fourth day and was able to extend their lead to 11 points going into the medal race. The pair sailed a safe final race to win their first world title with a net score of 52 points. The silver medal was won by Portugal’s Diogo and Pedro Costa (73 points) whom also won the Olympic quota for their nation while the bronze medal was won by Xammar and Rodriguez (78 points).
The women’s 470 similarly saw 2019 world bronze medalists Camille Lecointre and Aloise Retornaz of France take a first day lead. A relatively poor third and fourth races allowed Spain’s Silvia Mas and Patricia Cantero, 2018 world silver medalists to take the lead by five points.
The Spanish pair remained consistent, but were challenged by Afrodite Zegers and two-time Olympic medalist Lobke Berkhout of the Netherlands. Despite being behind by 21 points after the sixth race, the pair made a comeback over the next five races to cut the lead down to three.
The medal race saw Mas and Cantero take the shadow strategy where they remained closely behind Zegers and Berkhout to prevent them from finishing two places ahead. This allowed Mas and Cantero to win the gold medal by a single point (75 points) ahead of Zegers and Berkhout. The bronze medal was won by Italy’s Elena Berta and Bianca Caruso (84 points). The Olympic quota was won by Turkey’s Beste Kaynacki and Okyanus Arikan.
This completes the 470 class line-up for the Olympics. All that remains is for all nations to accept their quotas. Should a nation decline a quota, the next eligible nation at the 2019 World Championships will then be offered a spot to compete.