The Medal races, at the image of the whole week were sailed in light and shifty winds. The 42nd Semaine Olympique Française, 4th event on the ISAF Sailing World Cup tested the nerves of sailors and race committee. Concentration was one of the main key to success.
With racing postponed for an hour, the 470 men and the Star started behind schedule, as a consequence, there was no time to race the RS:X. The 470 men and the Star were the first to hit the water for the medal race in their respective racing area set in front of the jetty. The team of Nicolas Charbonnier and Baptiste Meyer Dieu was the first to win one of many medals collected by the french team this week. With nine medals including three Gold, France is in front of the medal tally this week.
“This is an important victory for us because we didn’t meet our expectation in the first regattas of the year. Here, we wanted to perform well. This is our first victory since one year. We always have to increase our communication onboard to be at the top. Baptiste is more and more comfortable. We are sometime in contradiction so we have to compromise.” Gabrio Zandona and Pietro Zucchetti (ITA) take the second place in the medal race and pass narrowly the Swedish Dahlberg/Ostling to win Silver.
French 470 women sailors gave two more medals to France with Emmanuelle Rol and Hélène Defrance winning the medal race and the event. “This is our first victory together. Furthermore, the management asked us to perform on this regatta. We are may be most friends as other teams, this is our strength. Yesterday, we were 4th and very close to the girl before us. Once again, we made a good medal race, we are comfortable on this part of the regatta.” Early leaders Camille Lecointre and Mathilde Geron lost their top place after an eight place in the medal race. They take Silver, three points from Israeli sailors Gil Cohen and Dana Mamriav.
Norwegian Star, Eivind Melleby and Petter Morland Ped have increased their lead in the ISAF Sailing World Cup standings with another regatta win. The Norwegian have set their goal this year on winning the Sailing World Cup and are planning to compete in the next three SWC regattas. “We are concentrating on the Sailing World Cup this year, we think that this will help our campaign and help us find sponsors.” French teams of Florent/Rambeau and Rohart/Ponsot, take second and third place.
Hyères is the first Grade one event victory for Croat Marin Misura. The Finn medal race saw a big shift on the second beat, upsetting the positions. “I had a good start and was duelling with Misura at the front, then a big shift lifted the sailors further back who rounded the mark in front of us.” explained Ivan Kljakovic Gaspic upset with the race. Despite a third flag collected on the last leg, Gaspic joined Misura on the third step of the podium. Thomas Lebreton takes silver and climb for the first time on a “Finn” podium since he has moved out of his Laser. Jonathan Lobert celebrates his 25th birthday today by winning the medal race!
For the 49er, Paul Brotherton and Mark Asquith (GBR) claim the title in their first regatta this year. Mark Asquith explains their medal race: “With the points margin, all we had to do was stay close to the competition and it panned out pretty well. We kept everything pretty chilled, the guys put us in positions where it was easy for us just to follow them round the track, so we were trying to keep our heads out and not let them get too far away from us.” Paul Brotherton is one of the most experienced sailor in Hyères : “I suppose 21 years ago I had no idea I’d be back here now – I can’t say that I’m upset that I am! I do enjoy coming here and I really enjoyed when I was coaching here as well actually as it always throws up some interesting scenarios. There are a lot of things you can learn from a regatta like this.” A third penalty collected in the medal race took away Gold medal hopes for early leader Javier Hernandez (ESP) who managed to stay on the podium thanks to a good series and a comfortable lead before the Medal race. In Laser, Olympic Gold medallist Paul Goodison (GBR) wins the medal race and keeps his title. Andreas Geritzer (AUT), 2004 Silver medallist takes the second place.
The favourites in the Laser Radial didn’t perform well in Hyères. A new generation of young sailors has enjoyed the lighter conditions to show their potential. Ausra Mileviciute from Lithuania has dominated the fleet to win her first grade one event. “The winds were very light. The waiting was the hardest part but I like these conditions. I like to come to sail in Hyères every year.” Charlotte Dobson (GBR) wins the medal race and climb to second, her best results in the event. Tatiana Drozdovskay (BLR) winner of the Delta Lloyd regatta last year takes third place.
Silke Hahlbrock and team won the Women Match racing final 3-0 against Anna Tunnicliffe (USA). Claire Leroy (FRA) won the Petite Finale against Kathy Spithill (AUS).
The paralympic classes raced two fleet races. Damien Seguin won the event after winning four races. Thierry Schmitter (NED) places second in front of Megan Pascoe (GBR). In the Sonar, Dror Cohen (ISR), wins the event with a narrow lead on Dutch team of Marcel de Veen Van and Norway Aleksander Wang-Hansen.
Results and informations : Semaine Olympique Française’s website
Photo Credit : FFV / Effets Mer – G. Durand