South Africa Scores First Ever 470 World Championship Race Win

Roger Hudson on Trapeze and Asenathi Jim at the helm during training off Cape Town.
Roger Hudson on Trapeze and Asenathi Jim at the helm during training off Cape Town.

By Richard Crockett

They’ve done it!

Brilliant news is that our RSA pairing of Asenathi Jim and Roger Hudson have won the 5th race of the 470 World Champs.

PLUS they now lead the 40-strong fleet at the top of the leader board after 5 races.

A win at a World Championship is a pretty special achievement, and even more so for the recently crowned 470 African Champions, Asenathi Jim and Roger Hudson, as it marks their first ever World’s race win. The pair boost their profile to first overall, from sixth going into the day.

“It is a great feeling to actually have a race win at a World Championships, really amazing,” said Jim.

“We seem to have a bit of pace, but you know it was really tough to make any good moves in the fleet, because the wind was all over the show. It was interesting, as we bailed out of situations when we were deep.”

The current made the racing extremely difficult, as Hudson explained, “It is really complicated conditions, really tricky and it is very chaotic as well, so you have to keep looking for the next opportunity and stay alive. As Asenathi said, a couple of times we were in trouble and we managed to find our way back into the race in both cases. We are very happy and quite frankly we would have been happy with second in that race, because we are just trying to get good scores on the board. In this place, a good score is most probably anything inside the top 15. We managed to get a gybe-set on Ferdi [GER10] which is a very special feeling to win a race at a World Championship. We are delighted.”

Hudson and Jim have come a long way in pursuit of flying the flag for sailing in South Africa.

Looking ahead to the top ten medal race, Hudson continued, “We have quite a bit to go before the weekend. We are just trying to keep going one race at a time and hope to be here on Saturday to contest the Medal Race. That would be a dream.”

The original schedule of three races was scuppered by the earlier postponement ashore with 2 races completed for the 470 Men.

Watching the race unfold is intriguing, as the sailors analyse each section of the race track, try to anticipate how a threat can be dealt with, how they can catch the boat in front and work through the fleet.

Perfecting that today with a superb tactical move were South Africa’s Asenathi Jim/Roger Hudson. They executed a text book gybe set to pass Germany’s Ferdinand Gerz/Oliver Szymanksi and win race 5, building on their 11th place in the day’s first race. With it, they jump to first overall on tiebreak with Spain’s Onan Barreiros/Juan Curbelo. Anton Dahlberg/Fredrik Bergstrom (SWE) in third.

This victory has been a long time in coming, yet it has been built on the old adage of ‘time on the water’ and practice, practice, practice.

Hudson and Jim have spent an inordinate amount of time on the water, not just sailing around idly, but with a plan and intensity – so their win in this 5th race of the World Champs is just reward for the enormous effort they have put in.

Not one to take anything for granted, Hudson analyses every training session in fine detail, and he and Jim have forged an incredibly strong bond, and trust, that ultimately converts to consistency in terms of results, and victories against the best sailors in the world.

Be proud of these guys as they have sacrificed so much to get this far, and their prodigious talent is only now beginning to bear fruit.

With 5 more races to go until the medal race, I know that Hudson will stay focussed and calm, and have just one single goal – that being to continue with their winning ways.

Go boys, GO!

Provisional Results after 5 Races
1. Asenathi Jim/Roger Hudson (RSA 1) – 21 pts
2. Onán Barreiros Rodríguez/Juan Curbelo Cabrera (ESP 9) – 21 pts
3. Anton Dahlberg/Fredrik Bergström (SWE 349) – 27 pts
4. Mathew Belcher/William Ryan (AUS 11) – 31 pts
5. Sime Fantela/Igor Marenic (CRO 83) – 31 pts
6. Panagiotis Mantis/Pavlos Kagialis (GRE 1) – 32 pts
7. Paul Snow-Hansen/Daniel Willcox (NZL 2) – 33 pts
8. Gabrio Zandona/Andrea Trani (ITA 2) – 35 pts
9. Sofian Bouvet/Jérémie Mion (FRA 27) – 39 pts
10. Ferdinand Gerz/Oliver Szymaski (GER 10) – 43 pts

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