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august 03, 2018 - World Sailing

Hempel Sailing World Championships Aarhus 2018: Champions prove Aarhus is no lottery

Out of a mixture of modesty and misinterpretation sportsman often talk up luck. Sailors are no different, but on and opening day to Hempel Sailing World Championships Aarhus 2018, when the words “shifty”, “tricky” and “lucky” were thrown about the boat park faster than in a Vegas casino, the cream rose to the top.

Only one race was possible for each of the two men’s 470 fleets (the 130 sailors in 65 boats were split into two fleets), but the first was won comfortably in the end by the Swedish 2018 European Champions, Anton Dahlberg and Frederik Bergström and the second by the Greek bronze medallists in the 2016 Rio Olympics, Panagiotis Mantis and Pavlos Kagialis.

Behind the Swedes, the Australia’s perennial favourites, Mat Belcher and William Ryan, came back from 14th to finish strongly in third. The silver medallists in Rio, gold medallist in London 2012, and winners of the last two World Championships, kept patient and chipped away on each beat and run.

The women’s 470 (94 contenders in 47 boats and one fleet) started to follow the same pattern as racing continued late with Switzerland’s Linda Fahrni and Maja Siegenthaler, winners of the Test #Event in Aarhus this time last year, dominated from start to finish. But it was the French who had the best day. Camille Lecointre - the Rio bronze medallist - and her new crew, Aloise Retornaz, were a clear second in the first race and managed sixth in second race, where the Swiss finished thirteenth.