The 2010 SOF Hyères - Toulon Provence Méditerranée, fourth event in the ISAF Sailing Wold Cup circuit, has reached its half way mark but the programme is well behind schedule with few races sailed in each class.
Racing started and stopped a few times, before the sailors were sent back to shore to wait for the thermal wind to settle. It was close to 1400 hrs before a 10 knot westerly breeze finally gave everyone hope for racing. Unfortunately it didn't stay long and was gone three hours later. There was just enough time to run at least one race for all classes.
The last group in the Women's Match Racing finally completed their round robin, selecting the last two teams for the Gold fleet: They are number three on the World rankings, Katie Spithill
from Australia and the German team of Silke Hahlbrock
, 2009 Eurosaf Match Racing champion. They join, World ranking leader Lucy Macgregor
(GBR), Anne-Claire Le Berre
(FRA) , Ekaterina Skudina
(RUS) and Anna Tunnicliffe
(USA). They will meet in the Gold round robin to decide on the seeding for the quarter finals and will be joined by the top two from the repechage round. It will be the last chance for Claire Leroy
(FRA), #2 in the world, to take a place among the top eight.
In the RS:X, the leaders comforted their position with one more race won by Piotr Myszka
(POL) in the Men's fleet and Bryony Shaw
(GBR) in the Women's fleet. With four races completed in both groups, the Men's RS:X will race their final series today in Gold and Silver fleets.
Only three races were counted in the Laser class divided into three groups. A fourth race has been sailed for two groups. Olympic Champion Paul Goodison
(Skandia team GBR) took the lead with one point over Athens Silver medallist, Andreas Geritzer
(AUT) on equal points with Javier Hernandez
(ESP), winner of the Trofeo Sofia Mapfre in Palma.
Susana Romero Steensma
(ESP) conserves her top position in the Laser Radial, while Spanish team mate Fatima Reyes
won the day's only race, to climb into 4th place overall.
The Finn fleet share the course with the Laser Radials. Ivan Kljakovic Gaspic
(CRO), last year's winner and European Champion, won the race, only the second in the series so far. Not a good race for nine sailor's, penalised with a black flag at the start. This penalty took the lead away from Zach Railey
(USA) now in 25th place. It was the second black flag for Austrian Florian Raudaschl
While three races have been sailed in the 49er for the sailors in the yellow group, the blue group stayed ashore. The results are only counting two races. The young Belgium team of Yannick Lefebvre
and Matthieu Janssens
lead the rankings with a six point score.
The top three have increased their lead in the men 470. French pair Nicolas Charbonnier
and Meyer-Dieu are on equal points with Panagiotis Mantis
and Paul Kagialis
(GRE). Anton Dahlberg
and Sebastian Östling
(SWE) are placed in third position after winning the day's only race.
In the womens division, with two races overall the lead goes to Japanese sailors Ai Kondo
and Wakako Tabata
after they won the day's only race.
and Pascal Rambeau
(FRA) won in the Star fleet and are placed first in only their second event together.
Damien Seguin (FRA) added one more win to his score in the 2.4mR whilst Helena Lucas (GBR) remains in second place overall. Marcel de Veen Van, Mischa Rossena and Udo Hessels lead the Sonar fleet.
Racing continues until Friday 30 April.
Follow the competition on the event website: www.sof.ffvoile.net
For the latest news, photos and videos, as well as Standings, event details and more, visit the ISAF Sailing World Cup website at www.sailing.org/worldcup.