Up and down goes the World Cup – supposedly good training for Rio

Sailing World Cup Hyères has served sailors a completely different set of conditions on day two, with racing postponed early in the day due to a lack of wind.

A light 5-10 knot breeze filled in during the early afternoon, meaning that a full day of racing was had by all classes with both the Nacra 17s and the 49er FX classes both completing four races.  The breeze built to 10-12 knots later in the day.  The day provided a stark contrast to the wild 25 to 30 knots of yesterday.

In the Finn class, Australia’s two leading Finn sailors are in top positions.  Queensland’s Jake Lilley is currently sitting first overall after winning both of today’s races, while Oliver Tweddell of Victoria is lying third overall having scored 2 & 18 in today’s two races.

Jake Lilley commented “I had a really good battle with Oli in the first race on the final downwind.  I managed to get inside him and take the win.  In the second race I rounded in about third, gained the lead, extended on the first downwind and controlled the rest of the race for another bullet.”

After challenging in the first race, the second race was more difficult for Tweddell, who commented, “In the second race I got caught out on the sails I was using and I was struggling a little bit for speed.

“Obviously this event is quite important with regards to selection…so now is the right to time to bring your ‘A-game’ and it looks like both Jake and I are doing that.  We are focusing on our own races, but currently this sees Jake in first and me in third.  I’m really looking forward to what will happen over the next couple of races.”

Meanwhile good Aussie performances in the Laser class have continued on the second day, with Olympic team member, Tom Burton currently lying second overall after winning the first race and finishing 12th in the second race.  Matt Wearn is fourth overall (12,13) and Mitchell Kennedy is the third Aussie in the top ten, currently lying seventh overall (3,14).

Australia’s 470 Men, Matt Belcher and Will Ryan continue to lead their fleet, after finishing 17th in the first race of the day, and coming back to win the second race of the day.  They are currently three points clear of the Croatian pair. “It was quite a tricky day and we had a long postponement on shore waiting for wind,” said Ryan.  “When we got out there the conditions were actually quite nice, fairly light, but during race one the wind built up quite a lot for us.  Most of the fleet found themselves a little bit out of tune with the conditions.  We didn’t react to it quite as well as some of the others, so it was bit of a tough race, but in race two thankfully we managed to rectify it a little bit and went on to have a good one.  Overall, this keeps us in a good position.  Little bit more hard work going forward but we are happy.”

In the 49ers, Australia’s team of Will and Sam Phillips have held onto second overall, only three points behind the Kiwi team. “It was pretty good today,” commented Will Phillips after racing.  “We had a second in race one, and two fifths.  For us it’s just about getting clear from the forty-boat pack.  We managed to do that in every race, so we we’re pretty pleased.

“Today was perfect racing conditions, with 10-12 knots, maybe a little bit lighter at times.  There were subtle angle changes and subtle pressure variations.  It was really good fun, particularly when you’re in the race on the second lap and you can manipulate what you are doing with regard to the other boats.”

With four races completed today in the 49er FX, Australia’s three female crews sit outside the top ten overall.  Tess Lloyd and Caitlin Elks are the leading Aussies in the class, currently lying 11th overall; with Haylee Outteridge and Nina Curtis in 19th; and Olivia Price and Eliza Solly in 20th overall. “Obviously, the fleet is quite good at the moment,” commented Tess Lloyd.  “Almost everyone has been selected for the Olympics, so with a few exceptions, it’s one boat per country at the moment….”

“Tomorrow we just need to focus on starts.  We had a couple of average starts today, so we need to focus on that and a little bit of speed stuff.  Otherwise, I think a lot of our tactical decisions were pretty good today.”

In the Nacra 17, Jason Waterhouse and Lisa Darmanin sailed four races today.  After finishing 15th in the first race, they came back to score 6 & 2 in the final races of the day, leaving them in seventh place overall. “It was really shifty out there with huge oscillations and about anywhere from four to ten knots,” said Waterhouse.   “The breeze kicked in at the end and it was a lot better racing, but before that it was like ‘snakes and ladders’.

“Being our first European event of the year, we struggled a bit to get off the start line in the first races but in the last two races we locked in a bit better and got back in the groove, so it was really good to finish with a good result.

“The forecast (tomorrow) looks very similar, so hopefully we can take a lot out of today and put it into tomorrow to get some good results.”

In the 470 women, Carrie Smith and Jaime Ryan are currently lying 12th overall; and Sasha Ryan and Ella Clark are in 23rd overall.

In the Laser Radial, Ashley Stoddart of Queensland is currently 14th overall after finishing with a 27th and a fifth in the final race of the day.  In the Women’s RS:X fellow Queenslander Joanna Sterling is 20th overall having completed three races today and scoring 26,14,& 5.

Meanwhile in the Paralympic classes, Australia’s Matt Bugg is currently leading the 2.4mR class, having scored a third and a second today. “We didn’t have nearly as much wind as yesterday,” said Bugg from the dock this afternoon.  “Tomorrow will be our second last day.  I’m sitting in first overall and I got a buffer of few more points today.  And I think, tomorrow’s forecast looks quite similar to today.”

In the Sonar class, Australia’s Colin Harrison, Jonathan Harris and Russell Boaden are lying third overall, having scored a 5 & 1 today.

World Cup

Results for the Australian Sailing Team and Squad at the conclusion of day one, Sailing World Cup Hyeres 2016:

 Women's Two Person Dinghy – 470W

Carrie Smith (WAIS) and Jaime Ryan (QAS) – AST: 11, 6, 16, 21 – 12th  

 Sasha Ryan (QAS) and Ella Clark (WA) – ASS: 14, 25, 24, 18 – 23rd

 Men’s Two Person Dinghy – 470M

Mathew Belcher (QAS) & Will Ryan (QAS) – AST: 2, 1, (17), 1 – 1st

 Patrick and Alexander Conway (NSW) – ASS: 31, 27, (32), 10 – 28th

 Tom Klemens (VIS) & Tim Hannah (VIS) – ASS: 21, 29, 36, 29 – 31st

 Mens’ Skiff – 49er

Will Phillips (VIC) & Sam Phillips (VIC) – ASS: (6), 4, 1, 2, 5, 5 – 2nd

 David Gilmour (WAIS) & Lewis Brake (QAS) – ASS: 17, 33, 12, 16, 31, (40) – 24th

 Joel Turner (QAS) & Tom Siganto (QAS) – ASS: 36, 25, DNF (41), 37, 40, 8 – 37th

 Men's One Person Dinghy (Heavyweight) – Finn

Jake Lilley (QAS) – ASS: 2, (10), 1, 1 – 1st

 Oliver Tweddell (VIS) – ASS: 7, 3, 2, (18) – 3rd

 Men’s One Person Dinghy – Laser

Tom Burton (NSW) – AST: 3, 9, 1, (12) – 2nd

 Matt Wearn (WAIS) – AST: 1, 7, 12, (13) – 4th

 Mitchell Kennedy (QAS) – ASS: 5, (19), 3, 14 – 8th

 Luke Elliott (WAIS) – ASS: 2, 17, (26), 24 – 17th  

 Jeremy O’Connell (VIS) – ASS: 15, 31, (32), 18 – 27th

 Mixed Multihull – Nacra 17

Jason Waterhouse (NSW) & Lisa Darmanin (NSW) – AST: 10, 13, (15), 6, 2, – 7th

 Women’s One Person Dinghy – Laser Radial

Ashley Stoddart (QAS) – ASS: 18, 11, (27), 5 – 14th

Women’s RS:X Windsurfer

Joanna Sterling (QAS) – ASS: 11, 28, (30), 26, 14, 5  – 20th  

Women's Skiff – 49erFX

Tess Lloyd (VIS) and Caitlin Elks (WAIS) – ASS: 14, (17), 5, 10 – 11th

Haylee Outteridge (NSW) & Nina Curtis (NSW) – ASS: 19, (23), 18, 12 – 19th

Olivia Price (NSW) and Eliza Solly (VIS) – ASS: (20), 19, 15, 15 – 20th

Paralympic Three Person Keelboat – Sonar

Colin Harrison (WA), Jonathan Harris (NSW) & Russell Boaden (WA) – AST: (8), 5, 1 – 3rd

Paralympic Single Person Keelboat – International 2.4mR

Matt Bugg (TIS) – AST: 1, (3), 2 – 1st

“Sailing in Hyères today was like sailing in Rio,” commented Swedish 49erFX leader Lisa Ericson, sailing with Hanna Klinga, “It's shifty, it's puffy and about having your head out of the boat.”

49er and 49erFX

The 49erFX were completely blown out on Wednesday as the wind strength was well beyond the limit for the racers.  Thursday's lighter breeze was welcomed by the sailors and they completed four good races.

Sweden's Lisa Ericson and Hanna Klinga revelled in the conditions, picking up two bullets, a second and a tenth. They have an early advantage over Annemiek Bekkering and Annette Duetz (NED).

Twenty-four boats are racing in Hyères, four more than the size of the Rio 2016 fleet, and a number of sailors who will be on the Olympic start line are racing. The calibre of the competition resembles the Olympic Games and Ericson is just loving the competition, “This is very good preparation for Rio, we are sailing against the best people and that's all we could ask for.

“The pressure is off for us, we have already qualified and we will represent Sweden in Rio. It's nice to have the pressure off and to train on things we want to focus on rather than looking at another boat.”

Ericson compared the conditions in Hyères on Thursday to those that will be present in Rio in 99 days' time. The Rio breeze is well-known for being hard to read with shifts aplenty on the water. Sailing World Cup Hyères is the penultimate Sailing World Cup event on the Road to Rio and if the Swedes replicate their performance in a breeze that's similar then the future is bright.

The day's other race wins went to Erica Dawson and Ellie Copeland (NZL) and Nina Keijzer and Claire Blom (NED) who are seventh and eighth respectively.

Peter Burling and Blair Tuke (NZL) picked up where they left off from the day prior, sailing consistently at the top of the 49er fleet.

A first, sixth and third helps them to retain their lead over Will and Sam Phillips (AUS) by three points. Jonas Warrer and Christian Peter Lubeck (DEN) are tied for third with John Pink and Stuart Bithell (GBR) on 38 points.

Nacra 17

What a difference a day makes. Just 14 of 33 boats finished the single Nacra 17 race on the opening day whilst four races on day two saw four different race winners and everyone safely across the finish line, unless they were disqualified or on the course side.

“It was more about survival than sailing,” commented Spain's Beijing 2008 Tornado gold medallist Fernanda Echavarri, sailing with Tara Pacheco, on the day prior.

The Spanish team finished second behind Moana Vaireaux and Manon Audinet (FRA) in the single race. Echavarri continued, “When we arrived to the course it was blowing more than the limit the class can sail in. But we were there and the Race Committee said we're going for it. The first round was really tough and then the second round we were just surviving. I think 99% of the fleet capsized and there were many damaged boats.

“We were lucky. We didn't take any risks because even in normal conditions you could capsize but we could finish the race without capsizing. If you don't capsize in those conditions, it usually means you've had a good race. We were lucky to be one of those guys.”

Things were completely different on the second day as a lighter breeze came through but the Spaniards continued their form with four top eight finishes, leaving them eight points clear of Billy Besson and Marie Riou (FRA).

Race wins went the way of Besson and Riou, Francesco Porro and Laura Marimon Giovannetti (ITA), the Spaniards and Ben Saxton and Nicola Groves (GBR).

Laser and Laser Radial

Anne Marie Rindom (DEN) was head and shoulders above the Laser Radial fleet, posting a pair of race victories to propel her up to third overall.

The Dane struggled in the larger breeze on day one, recording an 11th and 22nd, but the lighter conditions suited her tremendously. She won the first race of the day by ten seconds over Josefin Olsson (SWE) and then killed the competition in the second, finishing more than 40 seconds ahead of overall leader Evi Van Acker (BEL).

Van Acker held onto her overnight lead with a 3-2 and Veronika Fenclova (CZE) is second overall.

Germany's Philipp Buhl remains in first place in the Laser but he is discarding a hefty 20 points. Fortunately for Buhl, those around him also discard sizeable scores but the points remain close.

Buhl leads on 11 points, two ahead of Tom Burton (AUS) and four ahead of Nick Thompson (GBR).

Men's and Women's 470

Mat Belcher and Will Ryan (AUS) retain their lead in the Men's 470 but they didn't have things go entirely their own way. From thriving in the Mistral the day prior, they opened up their with a 17th. They hit back, though, winning the second and ending the day on four points.

Croatia's Sime Fantela and Igor Marenic (CRO) were the kings of consistency, notching up a pair of seconds and as a result sit second.

Hannah Mills and Saskia Clark (GBR) moved into pole position in the Women's 470, taking a sixth and a bullet. They are tied on nine points with their great rivals Jo Aleh and Polly Powrie (NZL), but lead on countback.

France's Camille Lecointre and Helene Defrance occupy third overall, two points off the leaders.

Men's and Women's RS:X

Much like the day prior, Pawel Tarnowski (POL) had two ups and a down in the Men's RS:X. He won the opening race, followed up with a second before a 22nd, which he discards. Nonetheless he is leading on 22 points. Nick Dempsey (GBR) and Pierre Le Coq (FRA) follow in second and third.

London 2012 bronze medallist Zofia Noceti-Klepacka (POL) grabbed the lead in the Women's RS:X but Bryony Shaw (GBR) is hot on her heels two points behind.


Australia's Jake Lilley did his Olympic selection chances the world of good with double bullets in the Finn. The result of his race victories is the lead in the Finn and he sits six points clear of Giles Scott's conqueror Josh Junior (NZL).

Oliver Tweddell (AUS) remains in contention of his compatriot in third.

Paralympic Events

In the lighter Hyères breeze, both the 2.4 Norlin OD and the Sonar completed two races as part of the morning schedule which brought in the much needed discard for some of the unfortunate few who didn't fare well in the opening day breeze.

In the 2.4 Norlin OD, Australia's Matthew Bugg added a second and third to his race one bullet to sit on top of the leader board ahead of Norway's Bjonar Erikstad and Great Britain's Helena Lucas.

Both Erikstad and Lucas got a bullet a piece from the two on offer and are just ahead of a strong chasing pack consisting of Antonio Squizzato (ITA) in fourth, Heiko Kroeger (GER) in fifth and World Champion, Damien Seguin (FRA) in sixth. Kroeger will be pleased with a 3,4 for the day following a now discarded DNF.

Great Britain's Hannah Stodel, John Robertson and Steve Thomas lead the Sonar fleet with a bullet and a discarded sixth from their races. They sit on two points.

Two is the magic number for USA's Alphonsus Doerr, Bradley Kendell and Hugh Freund as they score a 2,2 for the day which moves them up to, you guessed it, second overall. The solid performance comes a day after their Paralympic selection was announced by US Sailing.

Racing resumes at 11:00 local time on Friday 29 April.

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