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Sailor Nic's Danish mission

PUBLISHED: 11:26 21 August 2009 | UPDATED: 11:37 06 July 2010

World champion Nic Asher says he can defend his title in Denmark this weekend.

Asher, from Carlton Colville, and team-mate Elliot Willis will take on a whole host of Olympic medallists when then racing gets underway 25km north of Copenhagen, in Rungstead Harbour on Sunday.

World champion Nic Asher says he can defend his title in Denmark this weekend.

Asher, from Carlton Colville, and team-mate Elliot Willis will take on a whole host of Olympic medallists when then racing gets underway 25km north of Copenhagen, in Rungstead Harbour on Sunday.

The duo will attempt to stay in the hunt to defend their 470 World Championship title for the medal races, next Saturday.

Having won the world championship for the first time in 2006, Asher and Willis claimed the crown in Melbourne, last year, by just 0.8 points from Portuguese duo Alvaro Marinho and Miguel Nunes.

The line-up for the men's competition includes 99 boats from 29 countries including Australia, New Zealand and Japan, with the largest entry from Italy.

The competition also features the crews who picked up medals at the Beijing Olympic last year, in the shape of Australian gold medallist Malcolm Page, who has a new helm in the form of Mathew Belcher, silver medallist Nick Rogers, of Britain and new crew Pom Green, and bronze winner Nicolas Charbonnier who sails with Baptiste Meyer.

But despite the competition, Asher believes he is in with a chance.

“We're in fairly good shape, we've had a pretty good year so far,” said Asher.

“We had a slightly late start, but after a bit of a rest we've been building up slowly towards it. We did Hyeres, SPA and Kiel and we've done a lot of training down in Weymouth.

“Only three other teams in the history of the 470 class have won the World Championships three times, so for us to win, for a third time, would be a big achievement,” he said.

“It does put slightly more pressure on us, which I can definitely feel as I'm more nervous about this event than any other.

“But I think it is good practise for the Olympics, where the pressure will be even more.”

Asher and Willis have already recently been to Rungsted for a week's training. For that the weather was light, but Asher reckons any conditions are possible.

“The sea state in Denmark is flat and the winds can be very light,” he said.

“This is a condition that the sails we have been using for the last four years struggle in.

“So in the winter we decided to change the sail design to something that is more suited to those conditions. We have also been making small changes to technique and tactics in the lighter, flatter conditions.”

In their build up to the world championships, Asher and Willis have also been looking ahead to the 2012 Olympic Games, with training sessions off the coast of Weymouth - the venue for the event in three years time.

“This turned out to be fantastic training as we had eight other GBR boats to train against,” Asher said.

“We never really get to sail in the UK much over the summer, so lots of useful things were learnt for 2012.”

w To keep up to date with the world championships, go to www.worlds470.kdy.dk/


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