Tom Burton hits the lead at ISAF World Cup Hyeres

Laser World #1 Tom Burton (NSW) moved up to the top of the leader board on day two of the ISAF Sailing World Cup Hyères in France (22-26 April) after a strong day, posting a third and second place in Thursday’s racing (23 April), which saw winds pick-up to 17knots.

Olympic gold medallists Nathan Outteridge and Iain Jensen did not have the best day and dropped back from first to third after three races in the 49er – Men’s Skiff. Also Nacra 17 day one leaders of Jason Waterhouse (NSW) and Lisa Darmanin (NSW) moved back into third after four races on the second day of the regatta.

World Champions in the Men’s 470 Mat Belcher (QLD) and Will Ryan (QLD) keep their seventh place after a total of four races across two days. As all Olympic boat classes, they have two more days of racing to move up the results ladder before the final top-ten medal race on Sunday.

In the Paralympic boat classes, Australian Sailing’s Sonar team defended their first spot on the leader board ahead of France and Germany and will continue wearing the yellow leader jerseys into the second half of the regatta. Paralympic class racing concludes on Saturday, 25 April.

The Australian Sailing Team is competing in full force at the ISAF Sailing World Cup Hyères with this Olympic and Paralympic class regatta being the first major event on the road to Rio 2016 selection. The top 40 boats of the world's best compete in each of the ten Olympic class events in Hyères after changes to the ISAF Sailing World Cup format and pre-qualification based on the ISAF World Sailing Rankings and a qualification regatta.

Men’s One Person Dingy – Laser

By his own standards, Laser World #1 Tom Burton was off the pace at the beginning of this year, when he did not make the medal race at the ISAF Sailing World Cup in Miami at the end of January and finished just outside the medal ranks at the recent Trofeo Sofia Regatta in Palma, Spain at the beginning of April.

But he his back in form and aiming to make it a hat-trick in Hyères this year. Thursday’s racing brought him one step closer when he took the lead after posting a third and second.

Tom Burton is chased by teammate Matt Wearn (WA), who won bronze in Miami, finished only one place behind Burton in sixth at Palma and on Thursday beat Tom Burton in the first race of the day.

“It was a good day for me and had a third and a second. The first was a close race with Matt. He beat me and came second and we had a bit of a gap to the guys behind us which was nice. And after getting a yellow flag yesterday it was nice to have a bit of a gap and not have to push too hard.

“I feel like I’m sailing well and only yesterday’s yellow flag really put a dampner on things, but I was going well in the race and I hope it continues.”

With five boats qualified, Australia has the largest contingent on the 40-boat Laser fleet, underlying the current strength of the Australian Laser program coached by Olympic bronze medallist Michael Blackburn and former Australian Sailing Team athlete Ashley Brunning.

Men’s Skiff – 49er

Nathan Outteridge and Iain Jensen went into the second race day in first, tied at the top on five points with the current World Champions Peter Burling and Blair Tuke (NZL).

But it was not their day. They capsized in the first race after an incident with another boat, which put them from seventh to 17th (16th after Croatia had to retire), which was followed by a twelfth and sixth place in race two and three.

“There was a fair bit more breeze, which made for some pretty intense racing on the 49er track and there were plenty of crashes and breakages,” Nathan Outteridge said after racing. “Unfortunately for us, we were stuck in the middle of that today. So that was pretty frustrating, but that’s what happens when you’ve got 40 boats, you can’t make errors.

“It’s good though, this is a great practice regatta as we prepare for Rio 2016 and we’re learning a lot and are looking forward to racing again tomorrow. I think it’s going to be a bit lighter for the rest of the week. It doesn’t change the intensity and we’ll see how we go.”

It was a good day for the young guns on the team with newcomer to the Australian Sailing Team Joel Turner (QLD) and his crew Lewis Brake (QLD) moving up eighteen places into 12th after posting a 13th, seventh and fourth place. David Gilmour (WA) and Rhys Mara (VIC) moved into 16th.

Mixed-multihull – Nacra 17

Cousins Jason Waterhouse and Lisa Darmanin are a team on the rise with World Championship bronze and World Cup gold under their belt from their last two regattas in the new Olympic boat class Nacra 17.

They had a great start in Hyères picking up a 6-1 scoreline on day one, but day two was a mixed-bag as helm Jason Waterhouse explains:

“We went into the day leading the event. We had one race with a second place and the rest was pretty average. We’re not too happy with the results we got, but we sailed pretty consistently and didn’t have any real, crucial errors, just little mistakes that cut off a few points.

“Overall it was still a pretty good day and we are still sitting in third place and we are going to move back up the leader board again. It was tricky but we had fun.”

Dual Olympic medallist Darren Bundock (NSW) and Olympic silver medallist crew Nina Curtis (NSW), have had two average days and just sits outside the top ten.

“It was another tricky day with mixed results for everyone across the four races,” Darren Bundock said about the day. “Everyone had some good and some bad races and I don’t really know anyone that dominated the day. We moved back up a bit in the rankings, but didn’t have the best results and are still hanging in there just outside of the top ten.”

Paralympic classes

In the Paralympic classes Australia’s Sonar crew of last year’s bronze medallists Colin Harrison (WA), Jonathan Harris (NSW) and Russell Boaden (WA) posted a second and first which lets them keep the yellow leaders jersey for day three of the regatta on Friday, 24 April.

“Today was very tough with very close racing. The fleet is very competitive with all the top teams racing here, so it’s always very close and challenging but we are happy with the results of a second and third place today,” Colin Harrison said.

Racing will continue on Friday, 24 April 2015 from 11 a.m. local time with two more race days scheduled before the top ten medal races on Sunday. Paralympic class racing concludes on Saturday, 25 April 2015.

The Olympic class Medal Races in Hyères will be broadcast live on the ISAF website on Sunday 26 April.

About the ISAF Sailing World Cup Hyères

The ISAF Sailing World Cup Hyeres (April 22-26) is the first major event on the road to Rio 2016 selection and the third of five 2015 ISAF Sailing World Cup series events that lead up to the ISAF Sailing World Cup Final in Abu Dhabi later this year. Top results at the key international regattas are required to be named in the Australian Sailing Team and to be nominated for the 2016 Olympic and Paralympic teams.

The Australian Sailing Team (AST) and Australian Sailing Squad (ASS) qualified a total of eighteen boats in nine classes of the ten Olympic class events, and are also entered with three boats in the two Paralympic class events contested in Hyères.

Thirteen AST and 20 ASS Olympic class athletes as well as four AST and one ASS Paralympic class athletes are competing amongst a total of 600 Olympic sailors in 400 boats and 39 Paralympic sailors in 25 boats in France.

The ISAF Sailing World Cup is a world-class annual series for Olympic sailing. It is open to the sailing events chosen for the 2016 Olympic Sailing Competition. The 2015 ISAF Sailing World Cup will consist of five regattas for all ten Olympic events. The ISAF Sailing World Cup Final in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, will bring together the top 20 boats in each Olympic event.

2015 Australian Sailing Team & Australian Sailing Squad
Results after Day 2, Thursday 23 April 2015

Men’s Two Person Dingy – 470M
– Mathew Belcher (QLD/QAS) & Will Ryan (QLD/QAS) – AST: 13, 8, (15), 4 – 7th
– Alexander Conway (NSW) & Patrick Conway (NSW) – ASS: 35, 19, 21, 24 – 36th

Mixed Multihull – Nacra17
– Jason Waterhouse (NSW) & Lisa Darmanin (NSW) – AST: 6, 1, (19), 2, 10, 17 – 3rd
– Darren Bundock (NSW) & Nina Curtis (NSW) – AST: 14, 5, 14, 14, 8, (16) – 13th
– Euan McNicol (NSW) & Lucinda Whitty (NSW) – ASS: 37, 31, 16, 23, 11, 19 – 24th

Men’s Skiff – 49er
– Nathan Outteridge (NSW) & Iain Jensen (NSW) – AST: (33), 4, 1, 16, 12, 6 – 3rd
– Joel Turner (AST – QLD/QAS) & Lewis Brake (ASS – QLD/QAS) – ASS: 8, (36), 36, 14, 7, 4 – 11th
– David Gilmour (WA/WAIS) & Rhys Mara (VIC/VIS) – AST: 12, 28, (35), 5, 19, 11 – 15th
– Will Phillips (VIC/VIS) & James Wierzbowski (VIC/VIS) – ASS: 28, 24, BFD (41), 31, DNF (41), 34 – 39th

Women's Skiff – 49erFX
– Olivia Price (NSW) & Eliza Solly (VIC/VIS) – ASS: 10, 14, 16, (20), 12, 12 – 14th
– Tess Lloyd (VIC/VIS) & Caitlin Elks (WA/WAIS) – ASS: 16, 10, (40 DSQ), 32, 16, 26 – 23rd

Men's One Person Dinghy – Laser
– Tom Burton (NSW) – AST: 2, (33), 3, 2 – 1st
– Matthew Wearn (WA/WAIS) – AST: 26, (35), 2, 10 – 14th
– Ryan Palk (QLD/QAS) – ASS: (37), 10, 17, 35 – 26th
– Mitchell Kennedy (QLD/QAS) – ASS: 17, 29, 24, 31 – 29th
– Luke Elliott (WA/WAIS) – ASS: (38), 27, 15, 35 – 33th

Women's One Person Dinghy – Laser Radial
– Ashley Stoddart (QLD/QAS) – ASS: 34, 35, 27, 6 – 30th

Men's One Person Dinghy (Heavyweight) – Finn
– Jake Lilley (QLD/QAS) – ASS: 6, 26, 17, 19 – 16th
– Oliver Tweddell (VIC/VIS) – ASS: 14, 21, 36, 37 – 34th

Women's Two Person Dinghy – 470W
– Sasha Ryan (QLD/QAS) & Amelia Catt (TAS/TIS) – ASS: 35, 18, 14, 32 – 28th

Women's Windsurfer – RS:X
– Joanna Sterling (QLD/QAS) – ASS: 40, 32, (41 UFD), 27, 25 – 36th

Paralympic Classes

One-Person Keelboat – 2.4mR
– Matt Bugg (TAS/TIS) – AST: 5, 7, (13), 8 – 8th
– Neil Patterson (TAS/TIS) – ASS: 13, 13, 11, 14 – 14th

Three-Person keelboat – Sonar
– Colin Harrison (WA/WAIS) & Jonathan Harris (NSW) & Russell Boaden (WA/WAIS): 2, 1, 2, (3) – 1st

For all results see here: www.sailing.org/worldcup/results/index.php

– Cora Zillich/AST

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