Hyeres – Light air spawns more wins for Australia

More wins and other top placings for Australian athletes competing on Day 3 of the 2023 Hyeres Regatta in France, this time in light and shifty airs that did not faze the athletes in the Australian Sailing Team (AST), Australian Sailing Squad (ASS) and Australian Sailing Futures (ASF) in the Nacra 17, 49erFX, 49er and ILCA 6 classes.

It was a long but rewarding day on the water for most of the Australian squad. With only one race on the board coming into the day, organisers sent the Nacra 17s out for four races.

Jason Waterhouse and Lisa Darmanin followed up on their win yesterday with another bullet in Race 2, and 4-12-6 results followed. The Rio silver medallists retained their overall lead, but the two teams behind them are on the same points as the Aussies.

“Palma (earlier this month) was our first European event for the year and we were rusty. We learnt what not to do,” Waterhouse said with a laugh. “We learned lessons there and now we’re putting what we learnt into practice. We’re also starting well.

Ruben and Rita Booth also made their mark in the light air. Their 2-3-3-8 scores elevated the siblings to sixth overall and they are just four points adrift of the leaders in what is shaping up as a tight series.

The 49erFX skiffs sailed three races. Olivia Price, the London Olympic silver medallist in match racing, pulled out all stops with Evie Haseldine to win Race 3, lifting them up to third overall and just five points off the lead.

Laura Harding and Annie Wilmot added another win to their tally in Race 5 and are sixth overall. They remain in touch with the top five.

Price conceded, “It was a long day of racing and waiting for competing breezes to fill in. It was a light drainage breeze after two days of Mistral wind. The breeze went right, more in a sea breeze direction. We finally had our first race at 11.45am, then waited for a more stable breeze. We saw between 3-7 knots. Finding the best pressure was important today.

“There were lots of opportunities on the race course. Getting off the start well was important so that you could have a lane to go where you wanted to go. We ended up with a solid day. It’s all to play for now.”

Pleased with their performance thus far, Price, from NSW, commented, “It’s been really rewarding to see our work from summer pay off in Europe. The squad worked hard to improve each other and improve our nation. Our coach, Victor (Paya Canal), has been instrumental in this. It’s rewarding to see we can mix it with the world’s best.”

In the 49er, Jim Colley and Shaun Connor found their rhythm, winning Race 4 and placing second in Race 5 to rocket up from 16th to seventh overall. They are the lead Australians after a further two races were sailed.

Casey Imeneo continues to make strides in the ILCA 6. Her best results from three races today were a bullet in Race 4 and third in Race 5. She is fourth overall and well in touch with the top three. Tokyo Olympian, Mara Stransky, is next best in seventh place.

Imeneo said, “I’ve had a pretty good Qualifying series, except the last race today. It was tricky. Unfortunately, I got caught out in a big persistent left shift that was not forecast, but I’ll keep pushing forward tomorrow.

“This season I’ve been working hard on my processes and having goals each day. We had light to moderate winds today, so a big shake up for everyone compared to the last two days of big winds. It’s good, because at the end of this event, to have consistency across all ranges is important.”

On her fellow squad members in the class, Imeneo said, “As a team we push each other really hard, so we get a lot of value from that and to be the best we can.”

Matt Wearn had the best day of the squad in the ILCA 7. Following two further races, the Tokyo gold medallist moved up to fifth overall and is two points away from the leader. Finn Alexander is next best in ninth place.

All other classes raced today, except the Formula Kite Women, due to the fickle conditions.

The Hyeres Regatta continues tomorrow local time. The Medal stage closes the event on Saturday, 29 April.

Australian Sailing Team (AST), Australian Sailing Squad (ASS), Australian Sailing Futures (ASF) and Australian sailors results in Hyeres:

Nacra 17 – 46 entries – 5 races (one drop)

1st Jason Waterhouse and Lisa Darmanin (AST) 1, 1, 4, (12), 6 = 12 points

4th Ruben and Rita Booth (11), 2, 3, 3, 8 = 16

13th Jake Liddell and Lucy Copeland (ASS) (UFD), 9, 8, 2, 6 = 25

14th Brin Liddell and Rhiannan Brown (ASF) (DSQ), 8, 11, 9, 3 = 31

32nd Archie Gargett and Sarah Hoffman (ASF) 13, 13, 13, (15), 10 = 49

ILCA 6 – 94 entries – 6 races (one drop)

4th Casey Imeneo (ASS) 8, 5, 6, 1, 3, (37), = 23 points

7th Mara Stranksy (ASS) 11, 2, 10, 5, 6, (29) = 34

26th Elyse Ainsworth (ASS) 14, (20), 16, 15, 14, 10 = 69

57th Sylvie Stannage (ASF) 24, 24, 15, 32, (36), 29 = 124

77th Paige Caldecoat (ASF) 20, 17, (UFD), 35, 41, 39 = 152

94th Zoe Thomson (AST) (DNC), DNC, DNC, DNC, DNC, DNC = 240

ILCA 7 – 155 entries – 6 races (one drop)

5th Matt Wearn (AST) 4, 4, 1, 2, (10), 4 = 15 points

9th Finn Alexander (ASS) 7, 2, 2, 1, (13), 13 = 25

35th Zac Littlewood (ASS) 6, 15, 10, 12, (28), 17 = 60

36th Luke Elliott (ASS) 5, 6 (BFD), 3, 24, 26 = 64

40th Ethan McAullay (ASS) 1, 5 (BFD), 1, 10, 50 = 7

48th Stefan Elliott Shircore (ASF) 21, 10 , 17 (33), 8, 33 = 89

74th Lawson McAullay (ASF) 20, 17, 22, 14, (47), 41 = 114

99th Michael Compton (ASF) 44, (BFD), 27, 27, 27, 18 = 143

103rd Will Sargent (ASF) 40, 36 (BFD), 26, 21, 23 = 146

128th Jack Eickmeyer 32, 36, 33, (48), 39, 38 = 178

49erFX – 50 entries – 5 races (one drop)

3rd Olivia Price and Evie Haseldine (ASS) 3, 4, 1, 5, (9) = 13 points
6th Laura Harding and Annie Wilmot (ASS) 1, 4, (22), 12, 1 = 17

28th Tess Lloyd and Dervla Duggan (ASS) 16, 15, (21), 11, 8 = 50

49er – 67 entries – 5 races (one drop)

7th Jim Colley and Shaun Connor (AST) 5, (7), 6, 1, 2, = 11 points
17th Tom Burton and Max Paul (ASS) 6, (12), 6 = 12
26th Thomas Needham and Joel Turner (ASS) 6, (12), 8 = 14
44th Tom Cunich and Miles Davey (ASF) (RDG), RDG, 14 = 28

470 – 63 entries – 5 races (one drop)

21st Conor Nicholas and Nia Jerwood (ASS) 9, RDG, 4, (18), 16 = 40.75 points

42nd Angus Higgins and Sophie Jackson (ASF) 19, 5, (UFD), 23, 25 = 72

57th James Jackson and Lily Richardson 28, 26, (29), 18, 29 = 101

iQFOiL Women – 22 entries – 9 races (two drops)

11th Samantha Costin (ASS) – 2, 4, 4, (20), 13, 13, 15, 15, (16) = 66 points

iQFOiL Men – 21 entries – 9 races (two drops)

20th Jake Lilley (ASF) (DNC) , DNC, 19, 18, 19, DNC, 16, 18, 20 = 132 points

Formula Kite Men – 92 entries – 5 races (one drop)

35th Hector Paturau (ASS) 9, 12, 8, 13, (DNC) = 42 points

45th Oscar Timm (ASF) 15, 17, 12, (21), 10 = 54

Formula Kite Women – 50 entries – 4 races (one drop)

8th Breiana Whitehead (AST) 7, 3, 2 (14) = 12 points

For full results, please go to: https://sof.ffvoile.fr/official-notice-board/

By Di Pearson/AST media

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