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Kiwi pair in the hunt at 470 European championships

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Kiwi pair in the hunt at 470 European championships_2
Paul Snow-Hansen and Dan Willcox at the World Cup Series event in Genoa. Photo: Sailing Energy / World Sailing

Paul Snow-Hansen and Dan Willcox are in the mix after a solid first day of racing at the 470 European championships in San Remo.

The pair are looking for another good result after a breakthrough win at last month's World Cup Series regatta in Genoa - their first World Cup win and first win in Europe. They're among a strong lineup in San Remo, with the world's top 15 men's combinations all competing.

Four-time world champions Mathew Belcher and Will Ryan of Australia enjoyed a perfect opening day, banking three wins, but only 15 points separate the top 25 boats. It's important in the early rounds not to post too many high scores because the real jostling for positions happens when gold fleet racing starts.

Snow-Hansen and Willcox did that, with a sixth and two eighths in their three races, to sit in 18th position overall.

"It was a big first day here in San Remo, with three nice races in great conditions - beautiful 13-15 knots with swell," Snow-Hansen said. "We had three solid races in the top 10 which keeps us in the mix. There's plenty to work on.

"Our biggest strength in Genoa was improving each day. Tomorrow we will be trying to do the same."

There are 70 boats in the men's fleet, meaning they have been split into two for qualifying, and 40 in the women's fleet.

Susannah Pyatt and Brianna Reynolds-Smith are 29th in the women's fleet after posting scores of 19th, 31st and 30th. They are a relatively new pair, having jumped in the boat together about six months ago when Pyatt switched from the Laser Radial to 470.

Olympic champions Hannah Mills and Eilidh McIntyre of Great Britain enjoy a narrow lead in the women's 470 over Israel's Gil Cohen and Noa Lasry with Camille Lecointre and Aloise Retornaz of France in third.

The 470 regatta represents the start of a busy period of European championships for the Olympic classes, with the Finn, 49er, 49erFX, Nacra 17, Laser and Laser Radial all staging their European championships this month.

Results and standings after day 1 of the 470 European championships in San Remo:

Men's 470 (70 boats)

1st: Mathew Belcher / Will Ryan (AUS) 1 1 (1) - 2 points

2nd: David Bargehr / Lukas Mahr (AUT) 1 (3) 2 - 3 pts

3rd: Jordi Xammar / Nicolas Rodriguez (ESP) (8) 1 3 - 4 pts

18th: Paul Snow-Hansen / Dan Willcox (NZL) 6 8 (8) - 14 pts

Women's 470 (40 boats)

1st: Hannah Mills / Eilidh McIntyre (GBR) 1 (8) 1 - 2 pts

2nd: Gil Cohen / Noa Lasry (ISR) 3 1 (6) - 4 pts

3rd: Camille Lecointre / Aloise Retornaz (FRA) (5) 2 4 - 6 pts

29th: Susannah Pyatt / Brianna Reynolds-Smith (NZL) 19 (31) 30 - 49 pts

Full results here

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