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27 April 2011, 10:06 pm
Spanish Take Control On Fourth Day In Hyères
Tara Pacheco and Berta Betanzos (ESP)
Tara Pacheco and Berta Betanzos (ESP)

Semaine Olympique Francaise 2011
Hyères. France

The competition was tight at the Semaine Olympique Française today in Hyères, France with all the classes, except the Star and Women's 470 racing in Gold and Silver groups
The Spanish are in command in three classes. Tara Pacheco and Berta Betanzos (ESP) have a 26 point lead over Italians Giulia Conti and Giovanna Micol in the Women's 470.

Emmanuelle Rol and Hélène Defrance (FRA) mastered the day however with two victories in their favoured conditions. The 2010 Hyères winners have moved up to fifth place. They said, "We were comfortable in today's conditions. We took good starts. This gave us confidence especially after our difficult start in the event. We couldn't afford any more mistakes."
2.4 mR
Men's 470
Women's 470
Laser Radial
Men's RS:X
Women's RS:X
Women's Match Racing

Blanca Manchon (ESP) is also increasing her lead in the Women's RS:X after a perfect day. She has added two more victories to her score, and now has a 14 point advantage over Charline Picon (FRA).

Alessandra Sensini (ITA) has steadily made her way up the fleet to take third position overall. Talking about her racing so far she said, "I didn't make the most of the windy day. I am usually fast in the breeze but I made a mistake and fell in the water.

"Then I had to deal with the light conditions. I am happy with the way I am going. This is my sixth Olympic campaign! They are all different, the problems to overcome are not the same, you have to adapt. People think it is easier for me but actually it is harder because there are more expectations."

The third Spaniard in the lead is Javier Hernandez (ESP) who has leapfrogged Tom Slingsby (AUS) in the strong Laser fleet. Slingsby collected three of his worse scores in the regatta to fall to third. After a mixed day, Simon Grotelueschen (GER) has moved up to second place, "It was another hard day with not much wind. I am tall and had to try and make myself small in the boat. Everybody has bad races, I got mine as well but managed to gain one place so I am happy with the day."

Andreas Geritzer (AUT) who started the day in 19th place, has climbed to sixth overall after a fourth and a bullet. He said, "Today was perfect conditions for me. When it is light and tricky, the other guys always say "These are Andy's conditions!" That was true again today!" However, the Athens Silver medallist was not the day's biggest mover. Jesper Stålheim (SWE) moved from 35th to tenth and Olympic champion Paul Goodison (GBR) jumped from 24th to sixth.

Despite scoring their worse score so far in the regatta, Robert Scheidt and Bruno Prada (BRA) are conserving the lead in the Star fleet. "We have lead the regatta since day one. We started well and can finish well.

"We are really happy with our results because we had difficult conditions and we raced consistently. There are still four races to go, tomorrow will be a big day so we will see how we go."

Today's only race's win went to Croatian Marin Lovrovic and Sinisa Mikulicic (CRO).

With two race victories Piotr Myszka (POL) climbs to second overall at to close the gap on Shahar Zubari (ISR) who leads by two points. "Today we had the worst wind of the regatta. I had two good starts and led the race from the first mark." explains Myszka, " I had pure wind advantage and controlled all. I was very lucky in the second race and took the second bullet." Julien Bontemps (FRA) is third.

The tricky conditions distributed high scores to the 470 competitors. Nicolas Charbonnier and Jeremie Mion (FRA) discarded a 27th place finish but improved on their performance with a second place. There were mixed results as well for Pierre Leboucher and Vincent Garos (FRA) who scored a 44th and a fourth. They stay in second position five points ahead of Mathew Belcher and Malcolm Page (AUS).

Ben Ainslie (GBR) won his fifth race out of the seven sailed in the Finn. The Olympic champion has proved once again his versatility in all conditions. Pieter-Jan Postma (NED) conserves second position while Giles Scott (GBR) is back in third.

Sarah Steyaert (FRA) has taken the lead in the Laser radial fromSara Winther (NZL) despite a 25th place finish today. The Frenchwoman, who is racing in her first Olympic selection regatta in Hyères, knows where she stands, "I think I took it too cool this morning, I was too relaxed. All the best were present and the level much higher." She added, "I have never looked behind and will not start tomorrow. I will do my job and will have a good day. I want to win the regatta and will not stop here."

Pietro Sibello and Gianfranco Sibello (ITA) are in the lead in the 49er after three races sailed in the Gold group today with the top 25 racers. The day's best results were collected by Jonas Warrer and Soren Hansen (DEN) who progress to second place after two fourth places and a victory. The matches for the seeding in the Gold group after five races saw a three way tie for the top three and last three.

In Women's Match Racing the quarter final places have been decided. Lucy Macgregor (GBR), Sally Barkow (USA) and Renee Groeneveld (NED) scored 4-1 in the Gold Group. Claire Leroy (FRA), Ekaterina Skudina (RUS) and Tamara Echegoyen (ESP) placd fourth to sixth with a 1-4 scores. Anne-Claire Le berre (FRA) and Genevieve Tulloch (USA) make up the other quarter final places after winning the repechage on an equal score of 4-1.

Lucy MacGregor (GBR) explains her teams regatta debut, "We're really happy with how it's all been going this week. We've had some really good races - we just made a couple of silly errors in the two races that we've lost, but other than that we're pleased with our speed and our communication on the boat. It's clicking together pretty well so far."

The quarter finals will start on thursday with the following pairings. MacGregor will race Tulloch, Le Berre will take on Barkow, Groeneveld goes head-to-head against Echegoyen and Skudina faces Leroy.

The Paralympic classes are conserving the same leaders from day one. Damien Seguin (FRA) has increased his lead in the 2.4mR to 21 points over Megan Pascoe (GBR) on equal points with Heiko Kroeger (GER). Bruno Jourdren, Eric Flageul and Nicolas Vimont Vicary (FRA) are in top place in the Sonar. In the Skud, Alexandra Rickham and Niki Birrell (GBR) were beaten for the first time today by Alex Hovden and Kate Mannerings (GBR).

Click here to view highlights from the third day in Hyères.

Semaine Olympique Française Website

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Corinne McKenzie
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