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24 April 2012, 05:06 pm
Early Start For All In Hyeres
Alison Young (GBR) continues to lead the Radial
Alison Young (GBR) continues to lead the Radial

Semaine Olympique Francaise
Hyeres, France

With strong winds predicted for the third day of the Semaine Olympique Francaise the day started early with sailors ready to launch at 08:00 to make the most of the early, lighter conditions.
With the end of the qualification sailing, priority was given to the classes sailing in groups with the Stars, Sonars and 49ers only completing one race, whilst the Finns, 2.4mR and SKUDs stayed ashore. All other classes were able to complete their two scheduled races.

With similar conditions the usual suspects maintained their bid wind form retaining the lead in tough conditions.

Alison Young (GBR) had another great day placing 1 and 2 in the breeze to maintain her lead, "It was pretty breezy for the two races this afternoon, piping up as well all the way through," said Young. "It was pretty shifty on that course area so some good racing. It definitely gets harder from here going into the gold fleet. There are four races and the medal race to go, so still a lot of racing. I just need to be consistent for the remaining races."

Dutch sailors Marit Bouwmesteer (NED) and Claire Bom (NED) scored equal results to get to third and six positions. Krystal Weir (AUS) maintain her earlier second position.

The Netherland's Lisa Westerhof and Lobke Berkhout are making the most of the big breeze and added another race win to their score card. Japanese pair Ai Kondo and Wakako Tabata (JAP) stay in second with Americans Amanda Clark and Sarah Lihan third.

The Polish are still in command in the Men's and Women's RS:X with Piotr Myszka and Maja Dziarnowska winning more races to comfort their lead. Dziarnowska said, "I am very tired but satisfied with my results. I have great speed in the breeze. I came to give my best but didn't expect to be leading the event." Maja is Zofia Keplacka's training partner for the Olympic Games and added, "I am very fast in the breeze and I can help her be faster in these conditions."

Olga Maslivets (UKR) and Charline Picon (FRA) are second and third overall. And in the Men's fleet Myszka leads World Champion Julien Bontemps by one point.

The top three remain unchanged in the Star after only one race on day three which was won by Olympic champions Iain Percy and Andrew Simpson (GBR). They keep their second position with Canadians Richard Clarke and Tyler Bjorn in the lead and French Xavier Rohart and Pierre Alexis-Ponsot third.

After one race early this morning in the Sonar, Bruno Jourdren, Nicolas Vimont-Vicary and Eric Flageul (FRA) conserve their lead over, Aleksander Wang Hansen, Per Eugen Kristiansen and Marie Solberg (NOR). Today's race went to John Robertson, Hannah Stodel ans Steve Thomas (GBR) who climb to third overall.

It is very tight at the top of the Lasers classification. With the worse race excluded from the results, Philipp Buhl (GER) takes a narrow one point lead over the next four boats. After winning two races Andrew Murdoch (NZL) places second on equal points with Tom Slingsby (AUS), Tonci Stipanovic (CRO) and Tom Burton (AUS).

The 49er managed to sail one race despite the strong breeze. After placing second, Stevie Morrison and Ben Rhodes (GBR) take the lead from France's Julien D'Ortoli and Noe Delpech who suffered in the breeze. After many capsizes, the early leaders didn't finish the race and are placed third overall. Many Dyen and Stéphane Christidis (FRA) take second overall.

World # 1 Men's 470 pair Mat Belcher and Malcolm Page have climbed from tenth to first. After discarding a 24th place from the race where they broke their mast, the Australians are only counting their top results. Croatians Sime Fantela and Igor Marenic are second with the Coster brothers (NED) third.

"It was pretty windy today, you know when they start you at 9am that you're expecting a pretty scary forecast," said Belcher. "The race committee did a great job and we got two races in. We had a bit on but just tried to get around the course and keep it upright.

"We're sailing really well and are happy with our form from Palma and to continue that here is great,"
he added. "We had a bit of a hiccup with the broken rig on day one but are sailing really well and are in a nice spot at this stage, we just have to work hard and keep it going."

At the end of the day, all classes sailing in groups were able to complete their qualification stages. Tomorrow will be the first day of finals. The Women Match racing will conclude their round robins.

Sailing will start at 08:30 local time for the Women's Match Racing and 11:00 for the other classes.

Semaine Olympique Francaise Website

ISAF Sailing World Cup Website

Corinne McKenzie (As Amended by ISAF)
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