Hyères, France is all set to host the Semaine Olympique Française, the fourth regatta on the ISAF Sailing World Cup series.
The ISAF Sailing World Cup has seen some excellent racing in the Olympic and Paralympic Sailing Events at Sail Melbourne
in December, US SAILING'S Rolex Miami OCR
in January and the Trofeo S.A.R. Princess Sofia MAPFRE
at the start of April.
The world's most experienced sailor's preparations for next year's Olympic Sailing Competition are well underway and competition in this year's ISAF Sailing World Cup has been tense. The 2011 Semaine Olympique Française
should be no exception.
Dorian Van Rijsselberge
(NED) will be making the trip to France to sail in his third ISAF Sailing World Cup regatta this season. With victories in the Men's RS:X in Miami and Palma the Dutchman leads the Standings
with 40 points.
His nearest rival, Nick Dempsey
(GBR) on 37 points, won't be making the trip to Hyères but with World #1 Nimrod Mashich
(ISR) and World #2 Piotr Myszka
(POL) set to compete, van Rijsselberge will have his work cut out to maintain his perfect record so far.
Just like van Rijsselberge, Spain's Marina Alabau
has a perfect record in the Women's RS:X. She won the Rolex Miami OCR and Princess Sofia to lead Charline Picon
(FRA) by four points.
Alabau's rivals in the Standings will have a chance to overtake her throughout the week as she won't be sailing in Hyères. Despite Alabau's absence, the field boasts ISAF Rolex World Sailor of the Year Blanca Manchon
(ESP), World #2 Bryony Shaw
(GBR) and current holder of third place in the Women's RS:X Standings Laura Linares
At the Trofeo S.A.R. Princess Sofia MAPFRE Paul Goodison
(GBR), Nick Thompson
(GBR) and Tom Slingsby
(AUS) all went into the Laser Medal Race with a chance of victory. Goodison came out on top of the three in Palma and all will be sailing against each other again in Hyères.
Thompson and Goodison lead the Laser Standings
on 38 points with Slingsby third on 37 points.
World #1 and current 49er ISAF Sailing World Cup Standings
leaders Nico Delle - Karth
and Nikolaus Resch
are one of the 65 crews set to compete in Hyéres. The Austrians won Sail Melbourne and came third in Palma.
Princess Sofia winners Manu Dyen
and Stéphane Christidis
(FRA) will also sail in their home regatta alongside Erik Storck
and Trevor Moore
(USA) and Paul Brotherton
and Mark Asquith
Forty crews will sail the Star in Hyéres. Amongst the fleet will be the experienced Brazilian duo of Robert Scheidt
and Bruno Prada
, last year's Star ISAF Sailing World Cup silver medallists Andy Horton
and James Lyne
(USA) and World #3 Johannes Polgar
and Markus Koy
The Women's Match Racing Competition has served up some excellent head to head sailing thus far with four points separating the top four in the Standings
(USA) leads with 38 points, Claire Leroy
(FRA) and Anna Tunnicliffe
(USA) are joint second on 37 points and Silja Lehtinen
(FIN) is fourth on 34 points.
Of the top four only Tunnicliffe won't be making the trip to Hyères, and with World #2 Nicky Souter
(AUS) and World #3 Lucy Macgregor
(GBR) also set to attend the competition is wide open.
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Click here to view highlights from the Rolex Miami OCR and Trofeo S.A.R. Princess Sofia MAPFRE.