26-7-2010 | Delta Lloyd 470 World Championships The Hague 2010
30 knot winds to near calms, brilliant sunshine to driving rain, combined with a fierce spring tide, made for one of the most challenging 470 World Championships on record for competitors when racing took place off the Hague, the Netherlands, over 12-18 July.
18-7-2010 | Delta Lloyd 470 Worlds Berkhout enters the record books with fifth World Championship win
Mother nature played ball for the last day of the Delta Lloyd 470 World Championship taking place in The Hague, with brilliant sunshine and a 12 knot southwesterly breeze for the Men's and Women's medal races, held directly off the beach at the Hague.
17-7-2010 | Press Release | 17 July Belcher and Page the 2010 World Champions
A return to World Cup fever overcame the British camp today at the Delta Lloyd 470 World Championship, when after the opening race in the Men's fleet 23 year old Skandia Team GBR crew Luke Patience and Stuart Bithell moved into the lead position with double world champions Nic Asher and Elliot Willis second.
16-7-2010 | Press Release | 16 July Local talent comes good
Finally after an unorthodox few days off the Hague, with the wind and wave states severely disrupting the race schedule, so for the first time at the Delta Lloyd 470 World Championships the organisers were able to hold three races back to back, on time, allowing crews to return to shore by mid-afternoon.
18-7-2010 | Junior World Champions Sofian Bouvet and Jeremie Mion Taking on the old guys
A considerable number of Junior sailors (ie 21 or under) have been competing at this year’s Delta Lloyd 470 World Championship. Youngest in the Men’s class is Croatian 16 year old Dylan Tidd, while set to continue the Australian Women’s 470 legacy is Carrie Smith, who is just 15.
17-7-2010 | Edge of seat competition expected for tomorrow's medal races Top 10
Medal races for the Delta Lloyd 470 World Championship are to take place tomorrow (Sunday) directly off the beach at the Hague. The warning signal for the Men’s medal races will be at 1355 local time followed an hour later by the Women.
At the Delta Lloyd 470 Worlds Championship it is easy to see who is doing better than expected as each boat has been given a bow number according to the latest ISAF ranking, issued last week. Among the Women’s Gold fleet sailors China’s Xiaoli Wang and Xufend Huang are doing especially well – ranked 91st in the world, but lying 8th overall at the end of play yesterday.
15-7-2010 | Day 4 morning report Extreme sailing in Scheveningen
“I really enjoyed myself out there”, jubilated Jorick Weijers (NED). Sand was blowing off the dunes, water off the rough seas and the race committee reported 30 knots gusting up to 40 knots. That resulted in spectacular images, unfortunate damages and no racing. At around 11 am, the race committee postponed further racing.
14-7-2010 | Press Release 14 July Wind up, but early home
For the first day so far at the 2010 Delta Lloyd 470 World Championships, the wind conditions at sea in front of The Hague allowed racing to get away on time for the three groups in the Men's division and the two in the Women's.
14-7-2010 | Why more nations will compete at future World Championships Globalising the 470
In the recent ISAF Olympic Commission report the number of nations taking part was identified as being one of the shortcomings of sailing as an Olympic sport. For example at this week’s 470 World Championships there are 39 nations represented. This is a very high number when compared to other events in sailing, but up against other Olympic sports it is small when for example you consider that 205 nations competed at the 2008 Olympic Games
13-7-2010 | Upgrading the 470 President Stanislav Kassarov describes the latest developments
With classes attempting more than ever to maintain their spot in the Olympic Games, the International 470 Class Association has introduced some new measures for the present Delta Lloyd World Championship in the Hague.
12-7-2010 | Delta Lloyd 470 Worlds Home team advantage?
Traditionally at regattas, local teams can hold the advantage with the best local knowledge, more familiarity with the race course, the typical currents and wind conditions, as well as the psychological upper hand - playing to the ‘home crowd’, in a familiar environment when it comes to food, language, culture, etc.
Hundreds of 470 sailors and coaches from all over the world enjoyed a spectacular opening ceremony of the 2010 Delta Lloyd 470 Worlds The Hague. After the official speeches, the Dutch national anthem was played in a crowded Scheveningen harbour. The Wilhelmus sounds went over in a beat on which the dancers of Dance Academy Lucia Marthas did their act. The youngsters brought the flags in and put up a fantastic show on stage, enforced by older dancers in the crowd.
24-3-2010 | Igor Marenic (CRO) It has been a long, hard road to the top......
Igor Marenic, with helmsman Sime Fantela, goes to The Hague as reigning World Champion. The Croatians sailed a superb regatta in Denmark last year, crowning an incredible 2009 season that saw them win the European Championships also.
31-5-2010 | Isabel Swan (BRA) Hunting for Olympic Gold with Torben Grael's diamond
Martine Grael has been in the limelight quite a bit during herself. The daughter of Torben Grael, the 2009 World Sailor of the Year and the winning skipper of the 2008-09 Volvo Ocean Race and five-time Olympic medalist, Martine made the news quite a bit last year
Australians Mat Belcher and Malcolm Page paired up in the 470 in 2009, but have been training together since 2001. Whether they are racing in light air or heavy air, they are either the leading the fleet or they are threatening the leaders. What makes the top ranked skippers on the 2010 ISAF World Cup tour so consistent?
25-6-2010 | Holland Moves The Netherlands as Sports Nation
The Kingdom of the Netherlands is internationally also known as Holland. In the past ‘Holland' referred to part of our country, but today both names are in full swing. Holland is a compact country with great diversity
4-5-2010 | Sven Coster (NED) we are aiming for gold, not for bronze
The Coster brothers have been dominating the Dutch 470 men's fleet for years. They teamed up in 1999 and finished sixth at their Olympic debut in Athens. In 2007, Sven and Kalle Coster won silver at the 470 Worlds and the year after they dramatically missed out on a medal in Qingdao.
19-5-2010 | Delta Lloyd 470 Worlds The Hague gets ready
From 9-18 July, the Delta Lloyd 470 World Championships for men and women will take place on the waters in front of The Hague. Sime Fantela and Igor Marenic (CRO) will defend their men's 470 World title, whilst The Hague citizen Lisa Westerhof and Beijing 2008 Two Person Dinghy silver medalist Lobke Berkhout will defend their women's.
24-3-2010 | Gideon Kliger (ISR) Every team must find a way to split the decisions during a race
Although he’s been racing 470s for 13 years, 2010 feels like a fresh start for the experienced helmsman from Israel. He has teamed up with a new crew, Eran Sela, bringing to an end a long and successful partnership with Udi Gal.
25-3-2010 | Lobke Berkhout (NED) Succes is not usual
They are not new to the Olympic 470 class as individuals, but as a duo they are. Lisa Westerhof and Lobke Berkhout from the Netherlands made an impressive debut in 2009, by winning 2 World Cups and the World title in a row.
22-5-2010 | Henriette Koch (DEN) there's no reason why we can't do well in Holland
The approach certainly doesn't seem to be hurting Koch and Sommer, who had a great World Cup season in 2009, including victories at Miami and Hyeres. However the Worlds on home waters in Denmark proved a disappointment.
24-3-2010 | Stuart Bithell (GBR) Boats taking off upwind, maybe? I'd love it
More than anything, Bithell is loving being part of a full-time Olympic campaign. Having spent many years on the edge of the British squad, he was on the verge of looking for a ‘proper job’ before the opportunity to sail with Patience came along. Last year’s silver medal suggests that this is the start of great things for this new team.
The main focus of 2010 is yet to come, the 470 World Championships in The Hague
At 24, I've been sailing for 13 years. Actually, I first stepped in a tiny Optimist when I was 11, and then I sailed and raced in Europe, Match Race, Yngling and finally 470.
In the Athens Olympics I was only 18, the youngest Yngling skipper, and I was determined to get a good result there. Instead, I finished last but two. I was bewitched and bewildered by the event, I was taken by other sports rather than the sailing itself, but I woke up only at the end. A better result was within my capacity, but certainly not with that kind of attitude.
I left Athens rather disappointed, but shortly after I understood that the Games had still been a great experience, to the point that in the 2005 I was ready for another campaign in the 470 class. I was lucky to find an expert and kind mate like Giovanna and we started both full of enthusiasm: she, calm and rational - me, instinctive and demanding, formed the ideal team. I will never be grateful enough to her for her patience in bearing my temper when things go wrong.
In 2006, just one year after we started sailing, we took 6th place at the Worlds and caught the attention of the Italian Sailing Federation who appointed as our personal coach Guglielmo Vatteroni, the best trainer we could have wished for. From that moment, as a fruit of a good training aimed at qualification, the results came out: a first at Hyères, a second at the Europeans and especially a sixth at the Cascais Worlds which qualified us for the Olympics. My thoughts were for Beijing, but I couldn't forget Athens.
In January 2008 at the Melbourne Worlds we got a second, which I considered a good performance, but not for Guglielmo who analysed all the details of the race in order to cover all areas needing improvement. "Please Guglielmo, let me enjoy my result!" I said to myself. "We are always among the first teams in all wind conditions, why do you only think of the mistakes?" Actually, listening to his analysis, I realised that my actions, right or wrong, were not really conscious. During the races my only concern was to be as fast as I can on the better side, forgetting to be rational. But he, from his long and high-level experience insisted in demonstrating that all "big winners" have reached their results through sacrifice, hard training, regularity, humility, methodology, etc. He "invited" me, using his ironic and typical Tuscan idiom, to a deeper commitment.
Initially, I instinctively refused a cold analysis after a performance. If it was a good tactic, it meant that there was nothing to say, and if it was a bad one, better forget it as soon as possible. Now I understand how important the analysis is, thanks to my coach and despite my poor cooperation. I recognise that sometimes I have been insolent to him and I remember how many times he got angry for that, but now I understand how he is right, even though I never confessed it openly.
I love sailing and racing in any conditions, I love the competition, but, above all, I love winning. When I lose, I get angry, and often Giovanna is the guiltless victim of my temper. When I think of certain behaviours of mine towards her after the finish line, I feel ashamed, even though I always apologise... especially when she is not involved in any mistake or fault.
After the silver in Melbourne, a fourth in Palma, a bronze in Hyères and a gold in Medemblik, the last race before the Games, we joined Qingdao full of hopes and reasonably considered eligible for a medal. But a couple of unsatisfactory initial races put me in a position not to take risks in the next races, thus becoming nervous and no more in full control of sailing my usual way. The final verdict is a 5th, better than my debut in Athens but far from my expectations.
Back home, Giovanna decided to complete her studies to become architect, and since I couldn't give up sailing, I tried other solutions, like finding another team mate unsuccessfully, or match racing successfully. No way! The boat I like was still there, the 470. So I waited for Giovanna to finish her studies and in May 2009, just after her graduation, we took the first opportunity to show ourselves what we were still able to do: a gold at the Europeans in Austria, followed by another gold at the Mediterranean Games! Not bad. We felt charged again, and I had the clear sensation to be stronger than before. Decision: to go on towards the next target, London 2012!
The initial meetings with Guglielmo made clear all the steps that we must respect in order to make the project feasible. Giovanna and I felt more conscious both of our level and of our improvement margins, but also of the necessary commitment. So, after a hard training winter in Sardinia, we started the 2010 season with a gold in Palma and a fourth in Hyères (and not far from a silver).
The main focus of 2010 is yet to come, the 470 World Championships in The Hague. Last year we ended up 4th, the same points as 3rd, and we are trying to do better than last year and better than 2008. It would be nice to do even better, to win it!
We have won some regattas, we know how to do it, and we know it's also hard to win. I think psychology is really important in sailing, you have to be in the right mood to win. Me and Giovanna, we know how to do it, we know the way to get ourselves to 100%. We know when to risk and not to risk, thanks to our coach. Today we are satisfied; everything is going the right way, from the mentality approaching the race to the crew coordination and human relationship. And, above all, more and more, day by day, I appreciate and share what Guglielmo transmits to me.
I love sailing, the sport itself but also the regatta atmosphere: we lead an anomalous life, made of alternate sufferings and satisfactions but full of emotions, which in a way makes you a stronger person. The goal is precise and clear: an Olympic podium, no other priorities. I want to go to London prepared with Giovanna at the highest level, ready to give our very best performance. If three other boats finish in front of us, it will mean that they are better prepared than me. This way I won't blame myself, bacuse I know I will have given everything I could give.