A number of classes were held ashore waiting for the breeze to build on day one of the final leg of the ISAF Sailing World Cup in Weymouth. But gradually the wind did build and combined with mainly overcast and cool summer conditions the fleet of nearly 900 boats set out to begin racing on seven different courses.
Most fleets endured a number of recalls with sailors being caught out by the tide, a lesson they will be getting used to by the latter part of the week, no doubt.
Overall the French sailors enjoyed a successful start to the Skandia Sail for Gold regatta whilst Great Britain's home stars experienced a mixed day.
The Women's Match Racing course is tucked in close to the shore at the mouth of the Weymouth harbour entrance. Eight teams are split into three groups and most of the favourites started strongly in the opening round robins. In Group A, Lucy Macgregor
(GBR), Anna Tunnicliffe
(USA) and Anne-Claire Le Berre
all kept a 100% record in their three flights sailed. Group B sailed four flights and in this group, Claire Leroy
(FRA), Nicky Souter
(AUS), Anna Kjellberg
(SWE) and Silja Lehtinen
(FIN) all kept clean sheets whilst in Group C only Renee Groeneveld
(NED) managed to win all five of her flights.
The Women's 470 saw a strong start for the French crews with Camille Lecointre
and Mathilde Geron
leading the Japanese pairing of Ai Kondo
and Wakako Tabata
. Emmanuelle Rol
and Hélène Defrance
(FRA) who are one point behind the leaders in the Sailing World Cup standings in the class have started well in third. The current world champions, Lisa Westerhof
and Lobke Berkhout
(NED) had a mixed day scoring an 18th and a bullet in the second race of the day. British locals Sarah Ayton
and Saskia Clark
also had an indifferent day with a second followed by a black flag and languish in 25th place overall.
The Men's 470 fleet are split into two qualifying groups and it's the French pair Pierre Leboucher
and Vincent Garos
and Brits Nic Asher
and Elliot Willis
lead after day one. The young British upcoming youth team of Luke Patience
and Stuart Bithell
The 49ers are split into blue and yellow qualifying groups, both completing three quick races but a large number of black flags were dished out especially in the opening race of the series. One team to fall foul of this is SWC standings leaders, Nico Delle - Karth
and Nikolaus Resch
of Austria who recovered somewhat to finish second and fourth in the following races but this means they have used one discard already.
Leaders after day one are the French team of Emmanuel Dyen
and Stéphane Christidis
scoring seconds in each race. Nathan Outteridge
and Iain Jensen
(AUS), Chris Draper
and Peter Greenhalgh
(GBR) and Peter Burling
and Blair Tuke
(NZL) all share 10 points just behind.
With 180 entries and easily the largest fleet, the Lasers provided the race committee with the biggest headache on course E in front of Weymouth beach. After a number of recalls, two races were completed for each division and Andrew Murdoch
(NZL) is the early leader with a bullet and a second. Marc De Haas
(NED) is in second with Olympic Gold medallist Paul Goodison
(GBR) in third.
The Laser Radials have two fleets with 91 entries and have two clear leaders in Marit Bouwmeester
(NED), current Sailing World Cup standings leader, and Veronika Fenclová
(CZE) currently third in the SWC standings. Both scored two bullets in their two races today.
The Men's RS:X fleet are split into yellow and blue groups but only the yellow group completed two qualifying races so full results will be updated tomorrow. The Women's RS:X fleet of 50 entries completed two rounds with Blanca Manchon
(ESP) taking an early lead from Charline Picon
The 36 boat Star fleet rich in past Olympic medallists, Volvo Ocean Race sailors and world champions, completed two races in the farthest course from the WNPSA. Current Olympic champions Iain Percy
and Andrew Simpson
suffered a broken forestay before the start of race one and started their home regatta badly but having won both races, Hamish Pepper
and Craig Monk
of New Zealand are the clear leaders in one of the best overall performances of the day.
A first and a second for Jonathan Lobert
(FRA) in the Finn fleet on day one gives him a clear lead over team mate Thomas Le Breton
(FRA) in second and European Champion Ivan Kljakovic Gaspic
(CRO) in third, after most of the fleet had a very mixed day.
After winning races in Miami, Palma and Hyeres, Jonathan Lobert (FRA) continued his good form by taking the opening race in Weymouth, moving into the lead on the first downwind. Lobert continues to improve almost visibly regatta by regatta and it can't be long before he takes a major regatta or title. Dan Slater
(NZL) who has been having a part-time season in the Finn took second place while another part-timer Pieter-Jan Postma
(NED) placed third.
The home sailors had it more their own way in race two, held in slightly more wind, with Andrew Mills
(GBR) taking the race win from Lobert. Ed Wright
(GBR) crossed in third with Ben Ainslie
(GBR) in fourth.
Lobert said, "Today it was a great day of sailing for me I really enjoyed the downwind. On the first race I had a good start on the pin and I was mostly sailing on the left side of the course. At the end of the first beat I let few boats go more left and they were in front of me at the top mark. I had a wonderful run so I took the lead and managed to keep it until the end of the race."
"The second race was almost the same but this time I finished second. I am very happy - it's the first time for me that I am leading the fleet overall."
Many eyes were of course on double Finn Olympic gold medallist Ben Ainslie (GBR). He has been saying he would be happy with top 10 here and after a 13th in race one came back to place fourth in race two to end the day in fourth overall. Anything other than a win here would be his first defeat in the Finn since the European championship in 2004.
He said, "It was hard work, but I was pleased. They were tough conditions for me - a little bit too much wind because of my lack of weight and lack of time in the boat, but I'm happy with how it went, all things considered. I really enjoyed the racing and got better through the day. It was really shifty and difficult and very hard to read so I was down in the fleet a little bit at both the windward marks but I managed to pull through a bit in both races which was good. It's heading in the right direction."
The 10 boat Sonar fleet is led by Udo Hessels
and Mischa Rossen
(NED) who open their campaign with two bullets in as many races. With only five entries the Skud class has joint leaders in Alexandra Rickham
and Niki Birrell
(GBR) and Dan Fitzgibbon
and Rachael Cox
of Australia who shared a win and a second each.
A similar situation exists in the 22 boat 2.4mR class with Damien Seguin
of France and Thierry Schmitter
(NED) both duelling all day to finish with 3 points in two races.
Results - Top Five
470 Woman Results
1st Lecointre and Geron FRA 8 points
2nd Kondo and Tabata JPN 11 points
3rd Rol and Defrance FRA 15 points
4th Westerhof and Berkhout NED 19 points
5th Maxwell and Kinsolving USA 23 points
470 Men Results
1st Leboucher and Garos FRA 4 points
2nd Asher and Willis GBR 4 points
3rd Patience and Bithell GBR 8 points
4th Kambouridis and Polychronidid GRE 9 points
5th Biehl and McNay USA 11 points
1st Dyen and Christidis FRA 6 points
2nd Outteridge and Jenson AUS 10 points
3rd Draper and Greenhalgh GBR 10 points
4th Burling and Tuke NZL 10 points
5th Phillips and Phillips AUS 15 points
1st Lobert FRA 3 points
2nd Le Breton FRA 11 points
3rd Gaspic CRO 15 points
4th Ainslie GBR 17 points
5th Karpak EST 17 points
1st Murdoch NZL 3 points
2nd De Haas NED 6 points
3rd Goodison GBR 6 points
4th Van Vianen NED 12 points
5th Brunning AUS 12 points
Laser Radial Results
1st Bouwmeester NED 2 points
2nd Fenclova CZE 2 points
3rd De Truckheim FRA 5 points
4th Clapcich ITA 6 points
5th Steyaert FRA 8 points
RS:X Men Results
1st Rodrigues POR 5 points
2nd Bontemps FRA 6 points
3rd Dempsey GBR 6 points
4th Heidegger ITA 6 points
5th Santos BRA 6 points
RS:X Women Results
1st Manchon ESP 4 points
2nd Charline FRA 6 points
3rd Tartaglini ITA 7 points
4th Shaw GBR 10 points
5th Hamilton GBR 11 points
Star results (after one race)
1st Pepper and Monk NZL 2 points
2nd Florent and Rambeau FRA 5 points
3rd Polgar and Koy GER 8 points
4th Mendelblatt and Von Schwarz USA 12 points
5th Grael and Ferreira BRA 16 points
Women's Match Racing - unbeaten to date
Macgregor, Lush and Macgregor GBR 3-0
Tunicliffe, Vandemer and Capozzi USA 3-0
Leroy, Riou and Bertrand FRA 4-0
Le Berre, Ponsor and Ponge FRA 3-0
Souter, Curtis and Price AUS 4-0
Kjellberg, Kallstrom and Harryson SWE 4-0
Lehtinen, Klemetz and Kanerva FIN 4-0
Spithill, Eastwell and Farrell AUS 4-0
1st Damien FRA 3 points
2nd Schmitter NED 3 points
3rd Kol NED 6 points
4th Bugg AUS 11 points
5th Tingley CAN 13 points
1st Rickham and Birrell GBR 3 points
2nd Fitzgibbon and Cox AUS 3 points
3rd McRoberts and Hopkin CAN 6 points
4th Hovden and Millward GBR 8 points
5th Hall and Faulks GBR 10 points
1st Hessels and Rossen NED 2 points
2nd Kroker and Prem GER 5 points
3rd Robertson and Stodel GBR 7 points
4th Wang-hansen and Kristiansen NOR 9 points
5th Cohen and Vexler ISR 10 points
For full race results click here
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