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23 April 2012, 06:46 pm
Leading Pack Shuffle At Semaine Olympique Francaise
Charline Picon (FRA)
Charline Picon (FRA)

Semaine Olympique Francaise
Hyeres, France

The second day at the Semaine Olympique Francaise, the fourth of seven ISAF Sailing World Cup Regattas, saw some changes at the top of the leader board with the leading pack shuffling around.
Double Women's 470 World Champions Lisa Westerhof and Lobke Berkhout (NED) are back in top form and are enjoying the breeze in Hyères. The pair have built up a solid 13 point lead ahead of Japanese Ai Kondo and Wakako Tabata. Amanda Clark and Sarah Lihan are in third.

"This is an important event for us," explained the Dutch pair, "We need to show form to the Dutch Olympic committee. So we want to get that out of the way. That would be great. But it is also very nice to sail in the breeze again and see how we go with that.

"But our speed is good, we are very happy with that. And we are working on some processes and things are coming together now. That is always easier with wind than with light airs. Today we sailed a 1 and 2 and yesterday a 2 and 1. So that is great. Today was not so easy as yesterday. More shifts less wind. But we discussed the opportunities on board and got the most out of them."

The leader board is tighter in the Men's 470 with Greece's Panagiotis Mantis and Pavlos Kagialis holding the lead on 14 points, but Gabrio Zandona and Pietro Zucchetti (ITA) hot on their heels two points behind. Sven and Kalle coster are third on 17 points. After breaking their mast in the second race on the opening day Mathew Belcher and Malcolm Page are back on track and claimed two race wins to climb to tenth place.

Australians and New Zealanders are still leading the standings in the Laser. Only three points separate the top six with Andy Maloney (NZL) and Tom Slingsby (AUS) hanging on to the top two places. Tom Burton (AUS) Philipp Buhl (GER), Andrew Murdoch (NZL) and Tonci Stipanovic (CRO) closely follow the leaders after winning races today.

Alison Young (GBR) conserved her lead in the Laser Radial after scoring a first and second. Only a point behind, Krystal Weir (AUS), and World #1 Evi van Acker (BEL) place second and third with identical results.

Deniss Karpak (EST) increased his lead in the Finn class after adding another victory and a second place to his score. Rafa Trujillo (ESP) keeps second whilst a victory in Race 3 puts Dan Slater (NZL) third.

Anna Tunnicliffe (USA) and Lucy Macgregor (GBR) both hold perfect records in the Women's Match Racing competiton after a long day on the water for all competitors. With plenty more round robin sailing to go it'll be business as usual early tomorrow morning with the start scheduled for 08:30.

The Polish are dominating the RS:X with leaders in both the Men's and Women's fleet.

World #1 Piotr Myszka (POL) has taken the lead from Julien Bontemps (FRA) after taking two bullets in today's two Men's RS:X races. Toni Wilhem (GER) keeps second place with Bontemps in third.

"I am really fast in these conditions," explained Myszka, "I know I needed a good start. I planned it well and got to third at the top mark. I caught up downwind and was in a good position to control the fleet."

Maja Dziarnowska (POL) claimed the two Women's RS:X races today and the lead in the women's. Moana Delle (GER) is second and Olga Maslivets (UKR) third.

It was a busy day on the 49er course with seven races sailed among the two groups to catch up on yesterday's lost races. After taking silver last year, France's Julien D'Ortoli and Noe Delpech (FRA) take the lead after four races in the 49ers. Stevie Morrison and Ben Rhodes (GBR) are second whilst World Champions Nathan Outteridge and Iain Jensen (AUS) are in third.

The Star class were the last fleet off the water following three races. Robert Scheidt and Bruno Prada won the opening race before the pair had to withdraw due to personal reasons. Meanwhile Canada's Richard Clarke and Tyler Bjorn hold the lead followed by Iain Percy and Andrew Simpson (GBR) and Pierre Alexis-Ponsot and Xavier Rohart (FRA).

In the Paralympic classes, Alexandra Rickham and Niki Birrell (GBR) and Dan Fitzgibbon and Liesl Tesch (AUS) are tied at the top. With two wins and two second place finishes each the Brits and Australians are in a tight fight. Damien Seguin (FRA) leads the 2.4mR on 10 points followed by Erikstad Bjornar (NOR) on 16 points and Helena Lucas (GBR) on 17 points. And in the Sonar Bruno Jourdren (FRA) holds the lead.

With big winds predicted on the third day it'll be an early start for all the sailors. Women's Match Racing is scheduled to begin at 08:30 local time with the fleet racing commencing at 09:00.

Semaine Olympique Francaise Website

ISAF Sailing World Cup Website

Corinne McKenzie (As Amended by ISAF)
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