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28 April 2005, 09:57 am
Capricious Wind In Hyères
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Semaine Olympique Française 2005
Hyères, France

After three days of strong conditions, the tables turned in the ISAF Grade 1 Semaine Olympique Française with light winds ruffling the feathers of the overnight leaders. It seemed to suit the French, as their sailors ended the day at the top of the leaderboard in four classes.
The light westerly wind did not get past ten knots all day. Different pressure zones, rotating winds from west to north, provided for difficult and tactical racing.

Yesterday leaders had to concede victories to their light weather counterpart even if in most classes this change did not affect the overall standing. The only class not to see any change in the results was the 2.4 Metre with Helena LUCAS (GBR) claiming her fifth victory in a row. The British are dominating the series with Allan SMITH second, Andrew MILLBRAND, third and Michael COGSWELL fourth. The first French sailor is Herve TOURNIEUX in fifth position.

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MASLIVETS remains at the head of the
Mistral fleet despite an indifferent day
© David Bell
No change either in the Mistral women leaderboard. However, the day was stolen by one of the youngest and lightest female sailors of the whole regatta. At the age of 15, Laura LINARES (ITA) mastered the fluky conditions to win today both races. An amazing result for her regatta debut in the International circuit, especially when her score to date was close to the bottom of the ladder. Olga MASLIVETS (UKR) has conserved her lead despite a twelfth and a thirteenth. Antonia FREY (GRE) and Amelie LUX (GER) remain in second and third place.

It was the same scenario for the 49ers. Regatta leaders Gianfranco SIBELLO and Pietro SIBELLO have not lost their pole position although their results did not match their performance on the previous days. With a 9 and 21, they are now only two points ahead of the German team of Marcus BAUR and Max GROY, who enjoyed the conditions scoring a second and a third place today. Their team mates, Jan-Peter PECKOLT and his brother Hannes, had an equally good day after placing third and winning the last race.

Emilios PAPATHANASIOU (GRE) is dominating the Finn fleet. A versatile sailor, he has demonstrated his skill, winning races in all range of wind. With a second and first today, he has increased his lead over the rest of the fleet. He is 18 points ahead of Michael MAIER (CZE) in second position and 24 from Gasper VINCEC (SLO) in third. Athens silver medallist, Rafael TRUJILLO (ESP) lost ten places in the general standings after collecting a 19 and a 27 today.

There has been a change of leader in the Yngling, Laser and the Mistral men fleets. In the Yngling, victory in the final race of the day by the Americans Sally BARKOW, Carrie HOWE and Debbie CAPOZZI means they have slipped ahead of early leaders, the British team of Sarah AYTON, with a small two points margin. Ukrainians Ruslana TARAN, Ganna KALININA and Svitlana MATEVUSHEVA and the Russian boat helmed by Vlada ILIENKO produced the best performances by winning a race each and placing in the top five in each race. They are now ranked fifth and sixth respectively.

Hong-Kong Mistral sailboarder, CHAN King Yin mastered the patchy wind by winning both races, climbing from 20th to fourth position. There were indifferent results for Fabrice HASSEN (FRA), who surrendered the regatta leadership to Polish sailor Piotr MYSZKA, after scoring a 25 and a DNF.

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Things are tight in the Laser fleet
© Emmanuel Marty/FFV
Milan VUJASINOVIC (CRO) is in control of the Laser fleet, three points ahead of Tom SLINGSBY (AUS). Mate ARAPOV (CRO) is holding on to his third place in front of Brendan CASEY (AUS) who has slipped down from first to fourth position.

French teams are dominating four classes on their home waters. While Sophie DE TURCKHEIM (FRA) showed her light breeze skills to win another race today (her fourth since the start of the Championship) in the Laser Radial, the 470 women team of Ingird PETITJEAN and Nadege DOUROUX found it harder. However, the conditions were perfect for the Spanish team of Natalia VIA-DUFRESNE, who, thanks to a first and seventh, climbed to fourth position overall. Benjamin BONNAUD and Romain BONNAUD (FRA) lead in the 470 Men and Xavier REVIL with Christople ESPAGNON (FRA) on the Tornado, after they climbed from third place to take the overall lead of their fleet. Both teams placed 17 in the last race of the day and maintain their lofty positions thanks to their discard. Race winners in the 470 Men were Enrico FONDA and Pietro ZUCCHETTI (ITA), and Greek pair Andreas KOSMATOPOULOS and Andreas PAPADOPOULOS.

The weather forecast for today does not look very promising with the wind expected to rotate all day from North East early morning to South West late afternoon. With a maximum of ten knots, it will be a tricky day for the race committees and sailors.

Corinne McKenzie (As Amended By ISAF). Image, The strong winds deserted Hyères yesterday:© Emmanuel Marty/FFV
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