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Asher in the hunt

PUBLISHED: 11:02 28 August 2009 | UPDATED: 11:44 06 July 2010

NIC Asher's bid to complete a hat-trick of world titles is still alive… but only just.

The Carlton Colville sailor and team-mate Elliot Willis are defending their world crown in Denmark for the 470 World Championships.

NIC Asher's bid to complete a hat-trick of world titles is still alive… but only just.

The Carlton Colville sailor and team-mate Elliot Willis are defending their world crown in Denmark for the 470 World Championships.

And with the medals race this weekend, Asher and Willis are still in with a shout of retaining their title and making it three overall having also picked up the championship in 2006.

But it all looked very different earlier this week when the duo had a disaster on day three of the competition following a disqualification in one of the races left them marooned in 22nd position, after tumbling from 6th.

Asher and Willis were ruled OCS (over the start line and disqualified) after what was described as a silly mistake, leaving them a mountain to climb in the final few days of competition.

However, on Wednesday the duo displayed the ability that has already earned them two world titles when they began their comeback - and now they are targeting gold again.

They finished the first race of the day in 16th place, before claiming a superb third place finish in the second race.

Now Asher believes they have a chance of defending their title.

“Almost everyone has had two bad results now, so it's a level playing field again, and every point counts,” Asher said.

“We are up to 16th, from 22nd overall.

“We are roughly 17-20 points off 4th, with 4 races to go before the medal race (top 10 race off). Four more top 8s and we should be back in with a chance for a medal.”

Asher said Wednesday had seen an interesting change off the Danish coast which had helped him climb up the overall rankings and back within striking distance.

“It was an interesting day at the 470 Worlds. It was the first day of the Gold Fleet, and with the wind from the west (offshore) there large pressure differences and 45 degree shifts,” he said.

“For the first race of gold fleet, we had three attempts to get away.

“For the last two the black flag was out, and around 10 boats were deemed OCS. This left 22 boats to fight out the race. We had a great start, but didn't tack and cross the fleet when we had the chance and paid for it. We ended up 16th, which was OK.

“The second race got underway first time. We sailed a good first beat and rounded the first mark seventh. We held this until the last downwind, where some big shifts and gusts came through and we managed to pull up to third.”


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