Jean-Marie Liot / DPPI / FFVoile

British sailors ruling the skiffs

As the Mistral kicks on day three of the ISAF Sailing World Cup Hyères

Wednesday April 24th 2013, Author: James Boyd, Location: France

After two light days, the Mistral kicked in for day three of the ISAF Sailing World Cup Hyères with a fresh 17-20 knot easterly breeze.

Britain's Charlotte Dobson and Mary Rook, racing together for the first time under the British Sailing Team’s squad rotation system in the 49erFX class admitted they were looking forward to the change of pace at the close of racing on Tuesday, and they got what they wished for, recording a fifth in their opening race of the day before bringing home two consecutive race wins to take a four point lead.

“We’re not really too focussed on the results, although you’re a competitive person so they are pretty much always on your mind – even though you say to your coach they’re not! “ joked 26-year-old Dobson, who’s made the step into the two-person 49erFX from the Laser Radial for the Rio cycle.

“It’s a lot of fun,” she said of the challenge in the new class. “The learning curve is literally vertical, every day is a learning day and that’s what’s making it really rewarding at the moment. You can really see the steps you’re making forward every single day.”

The Brits lead World #2 Alex Maloney and Molly Meech (NZL), who took the day's other race win, with World #1 Martine Grael and Kahena Kunze (BRA) in third. 

Meanwhile, Britains' Dylan Fletcher and Alain Sign reclaimed the top spot of the 49er standings despite being scored OCS in the second of their three races, Carrying a third place forward they recorded a sixth and a fourth but with their discard used up will have to tread carefully for the remainder of the final series.

Exmouth's Stevie Morrison and Ben Rhodes sailed a solid day to improve to third overall in the class, tied on points with France's Julien d'Ortoli and Noé Delpech, even if Morrison feels there’s still room for improvement. “Whether it’s a lack of practice or what but we’re really making a hash of the starts,” explained Britain's London 2012 49er helm. “We’ve been pretty much last off the startline in all three races today, so that’s been a bit disappointing, but it’s really encouraging clearly how fast we’re going. We’ve got a lot of boat speed and we’re sailing relatively well after the start.”

Making the biggest climb up the leader board is Spain’s Carlos and Anton Paz. The Spanish brothers flew out the traps taking a bullet and a second before a 13th in the last race of the day, moving them from 14th to fifth overall. “For us our first two races were really good with a first and a second,” said Carlos. “The last one was completely opposite after a change in the wind but overall we’re happy with our day. Our 13th isn’t a bad result for a discard so we will try to push and be in the final eight.”


Luke Patience and Joe Glanfield saw a tough start to their first day of the finals series, having to re-tie their jib when it fell down in the opening race of the day – they finished 24th, but atoned for their first race blip with a second in the second race and maintain the leader’s yellow bibs for a second day. Teammates Nick Rogers and Elliot Willis are in 12th. However the potent Aussies are on a charge, Mat Belcher and Will Ryan taking two bullets to jump to second overall and trailing the Brits by just two points in the bizarre new scoring system still being used.

In the 470 Women, Fernanda Oliveira and Ana Barbachan (BRA) remain firmly at the top of the leaderboard with an eight point lead over Anne Haeger and Briana Provancha (USA). Britain's Sophie Weguelin and Eilidh McIntyre revelled in the increased breeze, posting two third places to improve their standing to third, but are tied on points with France's Camille Lecointre and Mathilde Geron.

Making the most of the conditions in the Nacra 17 mixed catamaran was Sweden’s Tim Shuwalow and Hanna Klinga who moved into pole position. Carrying forward a non discardable fifth place from the qualification series the Swedes notched up a 3-2-8, discarding the latter, to open up a three point advantage over Switzerland’s Matias Buhler and Nathalie Brugger (SUI), who posted a 1-3-9, with third overall held by Billy Besson and Marie Riou (FRA).


Shuwalow and Klinga teamed up three months ago and at ISAF Sailing World Cup Palma they finished sixth and Shuwalow is under no illusions that they are the finished product at such an early stage: “We’re still developing and learning a lot each day and have a long way to go yet but it’s proving good so far. We try and keep it fun because obviously there are stressful moments and that’s the way it always will be but she’s new to the catamarans and enjoying it and I just really love the Nacra 17.”

Two days of final series racing and two Medal Races follow and the Swedes believe a podium could be in sight: “If we continue sailing consistently and up there then we’re in with a chance but there are many good teams and some of them are probably yet to find form this week and it will get tougher as we get towards the end no doubt.”

While the Swedish partnership proved consistent, stealing the day was France’s Audrey Ogereau and Matthieu Vandame as the pair picked up double race wins and an eighth. Carrying a 21st forward they have progressed nicely to eighth overall and just 11 points off the leaders.

“On the two races we won we had good starts and good speed upwind,” said Ogereau. “It was busy on the start line and good starts don’t always get you at the front but in these races we knew that the left was better so we got first. FOr our first win we were 20m ahead and a bigger distance of 150m in the second so we were happy with our speed in these races.”

Britains' Ben Saxton and Hannah Diamond are top-placed British Nacra 17 crew, currently in sixth with Lucy Macgregor and Tom Phipps in tenth.

Tonci Stipanovic (CRO) leads Brazil’s Bruno Fontes and Robert Scheidt in the Laser after a race win and a discarded BFD. Australia’s Matt Wearn took the days other bullet but carrying forward a 44th he only moves up to 25th overall. Britain's Nick Thompson had a better day posting a 9-3 but he is still reeling from an awful qualifying series and will be struggling to make the medal race at this stage.

Holding on to her Laser Radial lead is Tuula Tenkanen (FIN). A third and a sixth enabled her to maintain her two point advantage over the chasing pack. Taking the day’s race wins was Canada’s Isabella Bertold, now in fifth overall, and Britain’s Alison Young, holding fourth.

In the Finn class, Andrew Mills had the most consistent day of the British team sailors, with two thirds seeing him into sixth overall. Giles Scott is in second overall, poised one point behind Dutch leader Pieter Jan Postma, but tied with Vasilij Zbogar (SLO), while Ed Wright is in fifth overall with a race win rounding off his day.

In the RS:X Men, Spain's Ivan Pastor holds a slender lead with the creme of France and Poland gunning him with Louis Giard and veteran Julien Bontemps holding second and third, just a point away and Poles Piotr Myszka and Przmyslaw Miarcynski another point adrift.

In the Women’s RS:X Charline Picon (FRA) and Bryony Shaw (GBR) hold a joint lead following solid days on the water. Shaw took the first race win while ISAF Sailing World Cup Palma victor Flavia Tartaglini (ITA) took the second to move to third overall.

Shaw has an eye on continuing the run of podium form which saw her claim World Championship silver in March, and World Cup silver earlier this month in Palma. “I’m really hopeful to be on the podium again. It’s nice to have been leading a few races here and banking those wins,” she explained. “We’re trying to keep that momentum going, try and keep medalling and hopefully come out with a gold this time!”

In the 2.4mR Heiko Kroger (GER) opened up a seven point lead over Megan Pascoe (GBR) and in the Sonar Aleksander Wang-Hansen, Marie Solberg and Per Eugen Kristiansen (NOR) and Bruno Jourdren, Eric Flageul and Nicolas Vimont-Vicary (FRA) share the lead.

Racing resumes on Thursday 25 April at 11:00 local time.


RS:X Femmes : after 3 races
1 – Charline Picon (FRA): 2 pts
2 – Bryony Shaw (GBR): 2 pts
3 – Flavia Tartaglini (ITA): 5 pts

RS: X Hommes: after 3 races :
1 - Yvan Pastor (ESP): 3 pts
2 – Louis Giard (FRA) : 4 pts
3 – Julien Bontemps (FRA) : 5 pts

Finn: after 3 races

1 – Jan Pieter Postma (NED): 5 pts
2 – Gilles Scott (GBR): 6 pts
3 – Vasilij Zbogar (SLO): 6 pts .

Laser radial : after 3 races

1 – Tuula Tenkanen (FIN) :3 pts
2 – Marit Bouwmeester (NED): 5 pts
3 – Mathilde de Kerangat (FRA) : 7 pts

Laser standard : after 3 races :

1 – Stipanovic Tonci (CRO): 0 pt
2 – Bruno Fontes (BRA): 6 pts
3 – Robert Scheidt (BRA): 9 pts

470 Femmes, after 3 races :

1 – Fernanda Oliveira and Ana Barbachan (BRA) : 0 pt
2 – Anne Haeger and Briana Provancha (USA) : 8 pts
3 – Sophie Weguelin and Eilidh Mcintyre (GBR) : 12 pts

470 Hommes, after 3 races :

1 – Luke Patience and Joe Glanfield (GBR) : 2 pts
2- Mathew Belcher and Will Ryan (AUS) : 4 pts
3 – Pierre Leboucher and Nicolas Le Berre (FRA) : 7 pts

49er, after 4 races :

1 – Dylan Fletcher and Sign Alain (GBR) : 13 pts
2 – Erik Heil and Thomas Ploessel (GER) : 14 pts
3 – Julien D’Ortoli and Noé Delpech (FRA) : 15 pts

49er FX, after 4 races:

1 – Charlotte Dobson and Mary Rook (GBR) : 2 pts
2 – Alex Maloney and Molly Meech (NZL): 6 pts
3 - Martine Soffiatti and Kahena Kunze (BRA) : 13 pts

Nacra, after 4 races :

1 – Tim Shuwalow and Hanna Klinga (SWE) : 10 pts
2 – Mathias Buhler and Nathalie Brugger (SUI) : 13 pts
3 – Billy Besson and Marie Riou (FRA): 15 pts

2.4 MR, after 6 races :

1 – Heiko Kroeger (GER): 8 pts
2 – Megan Pascoe (GBR) : 15 pts
3 - Helena Lucas (GBR) :16 pts

Sonar, after 6 races :

1- Alexander Wang-haansen, Marie Solberg and Kristiansen Per Eugen (NOR) : 8 pts
2- Bruno Jourdren, Nicolas Vimont Vicary and Eric Flageul (FRA) : 8 pts
3- Udo Hessels, Mischa Rossen and Marcel Van de Veen (NED) : 12 pts

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