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29 April 2005, 11:12 am
Fog Slows Precedings
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Semaine Olympique Française 2005
Hyères, France

A heavy fog enveloped Hyères yesterday morning masking the islands, the jetty and the harbour entrance. There was little expectation for the day's racing with the postponement flags all hanging helplessly along their poles. Race they did though, with major leaderboard changes, as some of the most consistent sailors of the week struggled to find their form.
Racing started in the ISAF Grade 1 Semaine Olympique Française 2005 with a light south easterly at 1300 hours local time for most classes. Unfortunately, four hours later, the wind finished rotating to the west, dying to two knots and leaving Hyères to the mercy of the fog again.

With the exception of the Tornado and the Yngling, racing took place in every other class.

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The Laser Radial is being
dominated by De TURCKHEIM
© Gilles Martin-Raget/FFV
Showing their expertise in every range of weather, four teams have preserved their lead since the start of the regatta. With eleven points collected in eight Laser Radial races, Sophie DE TURCKHEIM (FRA) has shown she will be a force to be reckoned with in this new Olympic equipment. Her only finish outside the top three is a 19 collected after an individual recall when she had to restart behind the whole fleet. After scoring a second place today she has a 20 point lead over Mateja PETRONIJEVIC (CRO). Today's race winner was Virginia KRAVARIOTI (GRE). There were no surprises in the 2.4 Metre with another victory for Britain's dominant, Helena LUCAS.

It was the same scenario in the Finn where Greek sailor Emilios PAPATHANASIOU, secured another second place to increase his lead over Michael MAIER (CZE) to 13 points. With a third yesterday, MAIER has continued his very consistent regatta. 'I am fast in extreme conditions,' he commented, 'so the weather this week really suited me. I like to come to Hyères.' The + 39 Challenge (ITA) America's Cup sailor, asked for a break in his training to come and race in Hyères, one of his favourite venues. Yesterday's race went to Waclaw SZUKIEL from Poland.

The French pair of Ingrid PETITJEAN and Nadege DOUROUX continued their consistent scoring after finishing fourth and second today. They are still in control of the fleet, nine points ahead of Vered BUSKILA and Nike KORNECKI (ISR) who won the first race today. The Spanish team of Natalia VIA-DUFRESNE and Laia TUTZO got some of the best results in the 470 Women (a second and a first) to move up to third place overall.

In the Laser fleet, Milan VUJASINOVIC has conserved his lead despite a 17th in the day's only race. His team mate Luka RADELIC (CRO) grabbed the race from Tobias SCHADEWALDT (GER) with a third for Paul GOODISON (GBR) lifting him from sixth to second on the leaderboard.

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The Mistral Men fleet could not
be closer
© Guilain Grenier/FFV
There has been a change of leader in the Mistral Men fleet where Ivan PASTOR (ESP) took the day's only race to jump to the top of the ranking, a single point ahead of Poland's Piotr MYSZKA.

The top three have changed places in the Mistral Women. Antonia FREY (GER) has taken first, two points ahead of Amelie LUX, (GER) winner of the eighth race. Olga MASLIVETS (UKR) is on equal points in third place after a string of three bad finishes after five bullets in a row. Yesterday she scored her worst race result so far with a 14.

With Benjamin BONNAUD and brother, Romain disqualified for a premature start, the Israeli team of Gideon KLIGER and Ehud GAL have assumed the lead of the 470 Men after finishing third in race eight yesterday, won by French pair Nicolas CHARBONNIER and Olivier BAUSSET.

Germany's Jan-Peter PECKOLT and Hannes PECKOLT had an excellent day with a second sandwiched between two bullets. With no one else able to match that kind of consistency, the Germans moved to the top of the leaderboard. Fellow Germans, Marcus BAUR and Max GROY are in second place in front of Alberto PADRON and Javier DE LA PLAZA. The Spanish team had a mixed day with a fourth, a victory and an OCS. Early leaders, the Gianfranco SIBELLO and his brother Pietro (ITA), had a terrible day with a 19, 14 and 6 dropping them from the top to eighth place on the leaderboard.

Only one race is scheduled tomorrow in all classes. If the wind is stable, the Grand Finals will be raced in the afternoon between the top three sailors except in the Tornados, Mistral and 2.4 Metres. Grand finals will be a real experiment for the sailors, race committee and ISAF, that will be tried with different formats in other Grade 1 events this year.

The regatta website is conducting a survey to test the sailors and sailing public opinion on this subject. The website is also features sailing videos from every class.

Corinne McKenzie (As Amended By ISAF). Image, The 470 Men fleet is just one that has seen a change at the top of the leaderboard:© Gilles Martin-Raget/FFV
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