Light Conditions Continue At Hyeres
Racing started at 1400 hrs for most classes except for the Women's Match Racing division who were able to start earlier in order to try and complete their first round robin.
The light conditions favoured some of the younger and lighter sailors. In the Laser, 20 year old, Philipp Buhl (GER) scored a fourth and a bullet in the second race of the day. Vice European Youth Laser champion in 2008, Buhl holds on to second place overall, one point behind Evangelos Chimonas (GRE). The Greek who raced consistently with two seconds claims first place in the fleet of 150 Lasers.
In the Women’s division, 22 year old Ausra Mileviciute (LTU) leads the fleet with teammate and Beijing silver medallist Gintare Scheidt (LTU) in fourth overall. Spanish sailors placed second and third. Susana Romero Steensma (20 years old) with a seventh and a first, is on equal points with Optimist European champion and Laser 4.7 sailor, Patricia Coro who at the age of 18, won the first race of the day.
In the Finn Class the young and lighter sailors came through with the light conditions. 2009 Junior European champion Ioannis Mitakis (GRE) placed second behind Beijing Silver medallist Zach Railey. Seventeen year old Dimitar Vangelo (BUL) takes sixth place in his first regatta in Hyères. Zach Railey (USA) commented on the day’s tough conditions:
“Conditions were challenging today, along with the postponement and late start. The wind was very up and down and very shifty so just had to really play what you had around your part of the race course.”
Light wind means hard work in the RS:X Class, experienced sailors are in the lead with Piotr Myska (POL) taking both races in the men’s division while Beijing Bronze medallist Bryony Shaw (GBR) is first overall with a three points score in the Womens fleet. She is closely followed by French windsurfers Charline Picon and Pauline Perrin. Marina Alabau (ESP) collected a Black Flag for a premature start after winning the first race of the day.
Three classes are lead by French teams racing on familiar ground. Double Paralympic medallist, Damien Seguin leads the 2.4mR on equal points with Helena Lucas (GBR). Beijing Bronze Medallist, Nicolas Charbonnier with crew Baptiste Meyer Dieu had a near perfect day in the 470 with a second and a win.
The only race sailed in the Women’s 470 division, was won by Gil Cohen and Dana Mamriav (ISR). Jo Aleh and Olivia Powrie of New Zealand hold second spot.
One more race was completed by the Stars, won by British crew John Grimson and Ed Greig. Mate Arapov and Ante Sitic (CRO) on five points take the lead of the small Star fleet.
The Norwegian team of Aleksander and Wang-Hansen, SWC winners, have taken the early lead in the nine boat Sonar.
The 49ers sailing in groups didn’t complete the same number of races and overall results are not available.
The dying wind didn’t allow the third group to complete racing in the Women’s Match Racing round robin. Renee Groeneveld (NED) was happy with the race committee decision to postpone racing:
"We waited all day to sail, but once we got out there on the water we were only allowed to sail the boat back to dock. All the wind had disappeared. Thankfully we did not have to race in these conditions.”
Anna Tunnicliffe's team has won selection into the Gold fleet with a perfect 6-0 score. She explains:
“I think we just kept things simple, stayed cool under pressure and had very good team work communication.
It was a very long day of waiting, so we tried staying focused throughout the day until we got into the boats to sail.
Tomorrow, we will start the Gold round robin, so we will have a chance to race the top seeds. Were are looking forward to it.”
Racing continues until Friday 30 April.