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NZ 470 Crew Still in The Mix at World Championships

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NZ 470 Crew Still in The Mix at World Championships_2
Paul Snow-Hansen and Dan Willcox are still targeting a podium finish at the 470 world championships. Photo: Nikos Alevromytis / World Sailing.

Paul Snow-Hansen and Dan Willcox remained in sixth at the 470 world championships in Greece overnight (NZ time) but any progress up the leaderboard was hindered by a disqualification in their second race.

Last year's world championships runners-up were over the start line in the second race, picking up a U-flag disqualification. Not too much damage was done because it will be their discard - crews are allowed to drop their worst result of the regatta - but they can't afford any poor finishes over the rest of the regatta if they are to make their way into medal contention.

The top three crews have opened up a handy cushion on the rest of the fleet but, with four more races before Saturday night's double-points medal race, the leaderboard can still change.

"We were sailing the boat really fast and it felt like we had good speed upwind and downwind," Willcox said. "We were eighth in the first race and in the second we were over the line, unfortunately. We got trapped between two boats and we were all caught over. That's our discard now.

"Every race is going to be important, every race is going to count. Looking at third place overall, we are still pretty close on points so the next few days we are going to be doing our best to keep sailing clinically and consistently. If we do that, we will go into the medal race in contention for a podium finish so it's all go from here."

Sweden's Anton Dahlberg and Fredrik Bergstrom continue to impress. The pair haven't finished outside the top three in all seven races, picking up three wins in the process, and hold a six-point lead over Australia's Mathew Belcher and Will Ryan with the Austrian crew of David Bargehr and Lukas Mahr a further point behind. It's another 16 points back to fourth with Snow-Hansen and Willcox another four points behind.

Lighter winds off Thessaloniki overnight meant a lot of congestion, particularly around the marks, and similar conditions are forecast tonight when another two races are scheduled.

"It was pretty tough racing in the lighter breeze, and at the marks and gates the whole pack was there and you could easily win or lose 10 or 15 places," said Bargehr after dropping from 10th to 25th after a mark rounding. "It was a little bit like the wild west at the marks."

Poland's Agnieszka Skrzypulec and Irmina Mrozek have been the most consistent women's crew and jumped from third to overtake Great Britain's Hannah Mills and Eilidh McIntyre at the head of the fleet. New Zealand isn't represented in the women's competition with Jo Aleh taking a year out of the 470 and Polly Powrie having retired from Olympic sailing.

Results after the third day of the 470 world championships in Thessaloniki, Greece, overnight (NZT)

Men

1. Anton Dahlberg / Fredrik Bergstrom (SWE) 1 2 1 1 2 2 (3) - 9 points

2. Mathew Belcher / Will Ryan (AUS) 4 4 1 1 3 (9) 1 - 15 pts

3. David Bargehr / Lukas Mähr (AUT) 3 3 4 1 3 (25) 2 - 16 pts

6. Paul Snow-Hansen / Daniel Willcox (NZL) 3 7 6 9 3 8 (UFD) - 36 pts

Women

1. Agnieszka Skrzypulec / Irmina Mrozek Gliszczynska (POL) 3 3 3 2 2 2 (3) - 15 pts

2. Hannah Mills / Eilidh McIntyre (GBR) 1 1 1 5 3 (14) 9 - 20 pts

3. Tina Mrak / Veronika Macarol (SLO) 3 1 1 3 14 (16) 7 - 29 pts

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