The third day of the French Melges 24 Nationals in Larmor Beach, Lorient yesterday produced four more races bringing the total sailed to 10 with 9 to count, setting up a spectacle of a showdown for the final day.
The day was dubious until 1330 with the first race run in winds of just force 2, but then three beautiful races followed and the wind established itself at force 4 from 270 degrees. A victory for Englishman Tim COLLING/Easy Tiger, another for Stuart RIX/Gill, the third for Hyerios Christophe BARRUE/Euro Voiles and the fourth for Rochelaise Jean Francois CRUETTE/Scutum.
Overall Gill and D'Aucy confirmed their claim on the podium and reduced their points difference to just one very small point. Tomorrow promises a fabulous match race for the title.
The atypical local weather conditions of race one made it rich in surprises, with in particular a last place of overall leader Gill. After a good start the Easy Tiger carried the first race in front of the brothers Calves of Perros-Guirec on Boch' Anig, followed by Overone, Diazo Copy and Liros Nantes Saint-Nazaire. With the stronger wind in for the remainder of the day race two brought revenge for Gill who headed the fleet in front of Scutum followed by Euro Voiles, Boch' Anig and D'Aucy. The third race saw Chris Sayer/Mad Cow sent home by the black flag and it is Euro Voiles who win to consolidate their overall third place. Second was Easy Tiger followed by Guy Hoquet Immobilier, D'Aucy and English team The Dogs. The fourth race brought victory for Scutum, Gill second, D'Aucy third then Giy Hoquet and Euro Voiles.
Two races remain to run tomorrow and all the attention will be on Gill and D'Aucy, but also on Euro Voiles which will defend the third place against Scutum.
Nigel YOUNG/Gill: "The day was a little difficult for us, since we finished last in the first sleeve after choosing the wrong side and by compounding the errors. Then we restored our confidence by winning the second race. In the third, we started too early and had to go back, we were almost last and pulled back up to eleventh place, not badly altogether. The fourth race was better. We are glad here and enjoying great racing, but... the weather is not a little cold? ? ?"
Two final races are scheduled for the final day today. Full results available from the event website at the address below.