|All World Cup Photos|
The first-ever 2.4mR Medal Race was won by Thierry SCHMITTER (NED) but it was two-time Paralympic medallist Damien SEGUIN (FRA), who finished in second, who took overall victory, defending the title he won at last year's Semaine Olympique Francaise and picking up his second ISAF Sailing World Cup gold medal. Beijing Paralympic Champion Paul TINGLEY (CAN) came a disappointing seventh in today's race to drop to fifth overall, with André RADEMAKER (NED) moving up to claim bronze behind SCHMITTER. Megan PASCOE (GBR) finished in sixth place overall to retain her lead in the ISAF Sailing World Cup Standings.
Pietro SIBELLO and Gianfranco SIBELLO (ITA) already had victory wrapped up and sailed to second place in the Medal Race to end the event with a huge 28-point winning margin. Nico DELLE - KARTH and Nikolaus RESCH (AUT) won the battle for silver as they got the better of Federico ALONSO and Arturo ALONSO (ESP), who take bronze. Second place overall equals 19 points scored and puts the Austrians on top of the World Cup Standings.
Xavier ROHART and Pierre-Alexis PONSOT (FRA) won their first ISAF Sailing World Cup gold medal in style by securing overall victory at Hyeres with a win in today's Medal Race. The British team of John GIMSON and Ed GREIG jumped up to take the silver as they finished behind the French team, pushing Emilios PAPATHANASIOU and Apostolos KARNOUTSOS (GRE) down to third and Andrew MACDONALD and Brian FATIH (USA) to fourth. These fourth teams also now occupy the top four spots in the World Cup Standings, with the Americans holding a narrow lead over the Greeks, followed the French and Brits.
The newly formed Swiss team of Matias BUHLER and Felix STEIGER have made the perfect start to the ISAF Sailing World Cup campaign by claiming victory in their first event together. The Swiss made the most of a major slip up by the Italians Gabrio ZANDONA and Edoardo MANCINELLI (ITA), who held the overall lead going into the Medal Race but blew their chance of gold by going over the starting line early.
The US paining of Stuart MCNAY and Graham BIEHL will be disappointed with their eighth place in today's Medal Race which saw them slip down the overall standings to ninth. They hold on to their leader in the ISAF Sailing World Cup Standings, although Spain's Onan BARREIROS and Aaron SARMIENTO have now closed the gap at the top.
Croatia's Ivan KLJAKOVIC GASPIC completed his dominance of the Finn fleet in Hyeres this week, securing ISAF Sailing World Cup gold with a sixth place finish in today's Medal Race. In a week of predominantly light and patchy breeze, nobody has been able to match the consistency of the Croatian skipper. Ed WRIGHT (GBR) has a history of top performances at Hyeres and today was no different as he won the Medal Race to jump up the leaderboard and take second overall. With one victory and two second places from his three ISAF Sailing World Cup events so far, WRIGHT stills on top of the World Cup Standings with a commanding 21-point advantage.
Things did not go to plan for Slovenia's Gasper VINCEC, who dropped to third overall after finishing last in today's Medal Race. Still, the podium finish earn him 18 World Cup points and propel him up from 17th to third in the World Cup Standings. The rapidly improving Giles SCOTT (GBR), fresh from winning his first major international Finn event at Palma earlier this month, took fourth overall in Hyeres and moves to second in the World Cup Standings.
ISAF Sailing World Cup leaders Henriette KOCH and Lene SOMMER (DEN) took overall victory with a confident display in today's Medal Race. The Danish pair just had to ensure they kept a close watch on the young Dutch team of Margriet FOKKEMA and Marieke JONGENS, and finished three places clear of their rivals to secure their second ISAF Sailing World Cup gold medal, following victory at Miami in January. At maximum 20 point score also sees the Danes extend their narrow advantage at the top of the World Cup Standings.
FOKKEMA and JONGENS enjoyed a fantastic series in Hyeres, and whilst they were unable to challenge the Danes for gold today, they finished well clear in the silver medal position - an impressive World Cup debut. A close race for third overall was won by Sylvia VOGL and Carolina FLATSCHER (AUT), who just pipped Tara PACHECO and Berta BETANZOS (ESP) to the line to win the bronze medal. Third place for the Austrians also helps them maintain the presure on KOCH and SOMMER at the top of the World Cup Standings, with just three points seperating the two teams.
Shahar ZUBARI (ISR) won the battle of the Beijing medallists, doing just enough in today's Medal Race to hold on to his overall lead and win his first ISAF Sailing World Cup gold medal. French star Julien BONTEMPS did all that he could by winning the Medal Race, but with ZUBARI crossing the line in seventh, he missed out on first overall by a single points. Another Olympic medallist, Nick DEMPSEY (GBR) took the bronze medal.
Portugal's João RODRIGUES sailed to a solid fifth place finish in today's race to end the event sixth overall, scoring 15 World Cup points and jumping from third to first on the World Cup Standings. After four of seven events, the Men's RS:X Standings remain incredibly close, with just 17 points covering the top 10 competitors.
Beijing gold medallist Anna TUNNICLIFFE (USA) has won her third ISAF Sailing World Cup event after completing her week-long comeback in today's Laser Radial Medal Race. After a slow start, TUNNICLIFFE has been making up ground on the leaders throughout the week at Hyeres and today she slowed why she's currently the world's top Laser Radial sailor with a decisive performance when it mattered most. TUNNICLIFFE had said she was looking forward to today's stronger conditions and she was able to build a big enough gap on her rival for gold, Veronika FENCLOVA (CZE), to leapfrog her at the top of the overall standings.
FENCLOVA will have been disappointed to have missed out on gold, but win her second consecutive World Cup medal following a bronze in Palma. Evi VAN ACKER (BEL) completed the podium by finishing second in today's race, just holding off the challenge from Marit BOUWMEESTER (NED).
TUNNICLIFFE's win keeps her top of the World Cup Staindings, now 12 points clear of Tina MIHELIC (CRO), who finished fifth overall in Hyeres. FENCLOVA and VAN ACKER both jump up the Standings to fifth and sixth place respectively.
China has secured their first ISAF Sailing World Cup gold medal, with 28 year old windsurfer Peina CHEN (CHN) taking the Women's RS:X title in Hyeres today. Like Beijing gold medallist Jian YIN, CHEN has proved herself a formidable competitor in the light winds that prevailed throughout the opening series in Hyeres this week. Although she only finished sixth in the Medal Race today held in breezier conditions, CHEN had done enough earlier in the week to build an event-winning margin at the top of the leaderboard.
Olympic bronze medal Bryony SHAW (GBR) finished second today to secure the silver medal, whilst ISAF Sailing World Cup leader Blanca MANCHON (ESP) won the Medal Race to claim bronze and extend her lead at the top of the World Cup Standings to 20 points.
Olympic Champion Paul GOODISON (GBR) completed a perfect comeback following his Beijing triumph, winning gold on his ISAF Sailing World Cup debut. After his closest rival Tonci STIPANOVIC (CRO) was called over the start early, the British skipper never looked in danger in today's Medal Race, sailing to third place across the line to secure an overall winning margin of 19 points.
With STIPANOVIC tumbling down the leaderboard after his OCR score, Russia's Maxim SEMERKHANOV jumped into second place overall after finishing fifth in today's race. After a couple of indifferent World Cup events, Chile's Matias DEL SOLAR marked a return to form with a second place today earning him the bronze medal.
GOODISON's teammate, Nick THOMPSON (GBR) came in fourth today to finish the event in sixth place overall and take over the lead in the ISAF Sailing World Cup Standings. Croatia's Daniel MIHELIC missed out on the Medal Race line up and drops back to second in the Standings, seven points behind THOMPSON. STIPANOVIC may have missed out on the medals in Hyeres, but he has moved into third slot on the Standings, just three points behind MIHELIC.
The next event of the ISAF Sailing World Cup is the Delta Lloyd Regatta in Medemblik, Netherlands from 27-31 May. Along with the fleet racing events, Women's Match Racing makes its return to the ISAF Sailing World Cup.
ISAF Sailing World Cup
The ISAF Sailing World Cup 2008-2009 consists of the following events:
16-21 Dec 2008 - Sail Melbourne The Asia Pacific Regatta, Melbourne, Australia
25-31 Jan 2009 - Rolex Miami OCR, Miami, USA
4-10 April 2009 - Trofeo SAR Princess Sofia MAPFRE, Palma, Spain
18-24 April 2009 - Semaine Olympique Francaise, Hyeres, France
27-31 May 2009 - Delta Lloyd Regatta, Medemblik, Netherlands
20-29 June 2009 - Kieler Woche, Kiel, Germany
14-19 Sept 2009 - Skandia Sail for Gold Regatta, Weymouth, Great Britain
Find out more about the ISAF Sailing World Cup, including more on the seven events, the latest World Cup Standings, the scoring system and the Notice of Series at www.sailing.org/isafsailingworldcup.