The 470 Worlds have started in Haifa Bay, Israel, where the South African pairing of Asenathi Jim and Roger Hudson are competing in a ‘must qualify’ event.
There are just 6 Olympic Qualification places available, all of which will be decided in this event, and 16 nations in contention.
So it’s a do-or-die regatta for this dynamic duo who have persevered against the odds to be serious contenders in this fleet, but who quite simply lack the resources of many of their competitors, being ‘privateers’. Despite this they have never let it phase them as they have worked harder and harder to make their mark.
After 3 races on day 1 in a fleet of 59 boats they finished with 3 results in the top 20 – being 15; 12 & 18 – making them 32nd overall.
The nations they have to beat to qualify for Rio are:
Argentina, Belgium, Canada, Chile, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Hong Kong, India, Israel, Italy, Korea, Mexico, Portugal, and Turkey.
So far they are in 8th place in terms of qualification, and with loads more to play for.
So come on all South African yachties, root for these guys, send them messages of encouragement and everything else that will get them through as qualifiers for Rio.
Go guys, your nation is behind you and believe in you to make the cut.