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Team McGovern - Birell report from the 470 worlds Team McGovern - Birell report from the 470 worlds

The 470 Worlds this year were held in a place called Scheveningen, Holland which many of the 470 fleet had trouble pronouncing (including myself). The venue promised to give challenging racing mainly due to the huge tide which can turn 15 knots wind against tide into a massive day on the water!! This year the Worlds attracted 119 men teams and 61 women teams. The qualification rounds over the first four days of the regatta provided the race organisers with some major headaches as a series of weather fronts passed over Holland creating wildly fluctuating conditions.

The opening day began in flat calm conditionsbut itended in a very different way, with the whole fleet being towed in for lackof wind, a 35 knot squall passed throughwhichflattenedseveral boatsand caused a few major breakages! Lucky we had just dropped our mainsail,but even with the jib up wehad to work very hard to keep the boat upright!!

So after a stuttering start to the regatta, qualifying got under way,the most impressivedisplay on day one wasfrom the eventual winners of the champs: Matt Belcher and Malcolm Page getting 3 bullets! With qualifying being made up of 5 races and 3 fleets making the cut for Gold fleet was going to require a good set of top 15 results which unfortunately was not the case for us this year! Its fair to say that qualifying did not go to plan for team McGovern/Birrell and we ended up missing the cut for Gold!

For two days of finals racing, competitors were faced with the liveliest conditions they had encountered all week with the winds generally in the 20-25 knot range with stronger gusts,makingthe downwind legs great for spectators. We managed to put a consistant performance together in the silver fleet which saw us move up the leader board to eventually finish in 5th place in Sliver (45th overall).

Our aims for this regatta where much higher than we achieved but after missing the cut we made the best ofthe situation we were in and had some great racing towards the end of the week!

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