Race Day 11 - 470 Women Report
470 Girls Going For Gold
Hannah Mills and Saskia Clark know they have won at least a London 2012 bronze medal - but the British 470 Women only have their eyes on gold as they head into their medal race showdown on Friday (10 August).
It was a topsy turvy afternoon for the Brits at Weymouth and Portland today (Wednesday 8 August), who started the day with an eighth from their first race of the day – their ninth race overall – before finishing second in their second.
But most tellingly in the overall standings, it was the 18th place collected by their New Zealand rivals in race two – their biggest of the regatta – that has left the Brits in a straight fight for gold with the Kiwis in two days’ time.
In Olympic sailing the boats can discard their worst score of their series. This means the Kiwis now count their previous worst score of 10th to put Britain and New Zealand tied neck and neck on 33 points going into the final double points’ medal race.
To guarantee themselves at least silver the Brits simply have to sail a clean race on Friday and not get disqualified.
With the 470 Men also engaged in a Southern Hemisphere battle for gold against Australia tomorrow, the girls can’t wait to follow suit.
Saskia said: “Head to head, we’re mad for it! We’ve got a day off tomorrow, we will watch the boys hopefully doing some Aussie bashing, see if we can learn anything from them and bring it on on Friday against the Kiwis.
“We haven’t meant to be tracking them [New Zealand] all week, we’re just trying to take care of our own regatta. Every day we’ve swapped the gold bib with the Kiwi girls, so from the beginning it was set to be a head-to-head.”
Mills who is making her Olympic debut at London 2012 said: “It was a really tricky day; really shifty and no-one really knew what was going on with the wind. We got a bit unlucky in the first race but we pulled it together and luckily it swung our way and we got our points back on the kiwis.
“Ever since we were selected it was going to be a tricky first Games and that’s why it was so lucky to be sailing with Sas and have Joe as our coach, who’s been to the Games many times before. The team environment we’ve got is just amazing and with the boys having guaranteed their silver medal as first time Olympians as well. We all get on well, we all want each other to do well and I think it’s really paid off.”
The Women’s 470 medal race is scheduled for Friday (10 August) at 1pm on the spectator Nothe course.
The Olympic Sailing Regatta runs from Sunday 29 July – Saturday 11 August.