Photos; Christophe Breschi

French domination

But Giles Scott and Nick Thompson leads their classes at the Semaine Olympique Francais

Thursday October 10th 2013, Author: James Boyd, Location: France

In the Nacra, the otherwise almost unbeatable Audrey Ogereau and Matthieu Vandame capsized in their third and final race of the day. The young French pair had dominated the first two races, winning both almost from the start and kept their overall lead.

“It was good today, but we were not good on the last downwind and we capsized 100 metres before the finish,” said Ogereau, who met Vandame a year and a half ago when he emailed her wondering if she would like to team up. “We were double trapezing on the downwind leg and on the gybe I fell between the two hulls, so we capsized. It was my mistake; I put my foot on the hull and a wave took me out. We had 15 knots but we had big half-metre really short frequency waves. With this boat, on downwind especially, it’s really difficult to go through the waves. We were around seventh, we finished (12th), but it’s our discard.

“In the first two races we were really fast and when you have good speed it makes you smart. We chose the left on the upwind in the first race, tacked and were away from the rest. In the second race, Iker Martinez was in front of us at the first mark, but we passed him on the downwind and after that we sailed away.”

Martinez, the Volvo Ocean Race skipper and 49er Gold medalist at the Athens 2004 Olympics, and Tara Pacheco, finished the day in third place, having been disqualified in the first race of the day for being OCS. Ahead of them the Austrian pair, Thomas Zajac and Tanja Frank, ranked number one in the world, continued to impress and won the last race of the day.

Meanwhile Britain's Giles Scott continued to underline why getting back in a heavyweight men's dinghy is like riding a bike to him. He won the last two of the three races today to take the spot on the Finn leaderboard. After an America’s Cup campaign with Luna Rossa he is back in the Finn full-time and says the common interpretation that Ben Ainslie has left the way clear for him does not hold any water.

“That’s definitely not how I look at it,” Scott said. “There’s still a lot of good Finn sailors without Ben around. Also, Ben says he’s retired, but I don’t think you’d ever bank on that. So, regardless if he has or hasn’t that doesn’t change anything in the way I approach things.

“I’ve done no training, six days since Hyères (in May) so it’s all new again and I’ve come hear to find out where I’m at and what needs to be focused on,” he said. “It’s been hardest my legs, I haven’t done any work on them for a year so they are pretty sore.”

Estonia’s Deniss Karpak, who led after the first day, won the first race of the day and then the last, to keep the pressure on Scott. Britain's Mark Andrews posted a 2-2-3 and is third place overall underlining the continued strength of Britain’s Finn squad.

After only winning just one bronze medal in Weymouth at the 2012 London Olympics, the French are unsurprisingly out in Force in La Rochelle and dominating.

In the Men’s 470, French crews hold all the podium places, but there was some shuffling at the top with Pierre Leboucher and Nicolas Le Berre winning all three races today after Sofian Bouvet and Jeremie Mion had two bullets on Wednesday.

Manu Dyen and Stephane Christidis, third at the 49er Worlds in September, took their winning streak to four by winning the first two races of the day. That held off the two Italian teams behind them on the leaderboard.

Sarah Steyaert and Julie Bossard, third in the women’s 49er FX Worlds in September, won the last race of the day to maintain their lead. That despite, missing the first two races because the four French teams played it safe in the strong, gusting winds. That left Austria’s Laura Schoefegger and Elsa Lovrek as the only boat racing the course.

Michelle Pernille still leads the Laser Radial, although she had a harder time in her two races on Thursday after winning all three on Wednesday. Norway have two sailors in second and third and Marthe Eide Enger won both races on Wednesday to move onto Pernille’s shoulder.

France are also trying some musical chairs off the water with their coaches swapping roles for a week. So, for example, the long-time Finn coach, François Le Castrec , will be in charge of the women's RS:X windsurfing team.

"It's done very seriously," Guillaume Chiellino, Director of the French team said. "After the last Games, we thought it must take advantage of each other's skills and develop our exchange of information."

Poland dominate the windsurfing

Poland have brought their powerful windsurfing squad and they enjoyed the extra breeze to dominate both the women’s and men’s leaderboard. In the men’s RS:X, Pawel Tarnowski, who won the second round of the EUROSAF Cup in Hyères, knocked the French off the top through sheer consistency, posting a 2-3-2-4 scoreline today. France’s Julien Bontemps won the second race and held onto his second place overall, but Poland’s former World and European champion, Piotr Myszka, won the first and last race of the day to move into third.

In the women’s RS:X, Zofia Klepacka, the London 2012 bronze medallist, kept her overall lead, winning the second the and fourth races of the day. Her compatriot Maja Dziarnowska moved into second by wining the first race and adding two more second place finishes.

Thompson shows British strength in dinghies

They might not have the strength in depth of the Finn squad, but Nick Thompson is carrying British hopes in the Laser. Despite being one of the smaller sailors in the fleet and not having a victory yet, he took the overall lead from Sweden’s Jesper Stalheim with a second, second and fourth place in the three races yesterday. Germany’s Philip Buhl won his second race of the competition in the first race of the day but slipped to eighth in the last race.

Exactly as they predicted in the stronger winds, Britain’s Amy Seabright and Anna Carpenter, lost their lead of women’s 470 to the bigger Austrian pair of Lara Vadlau and Jolanta Ogar, who were silver medalists at the world championships in La Rochelle in August.

Finn, after 5 races
1-Scott Giles ( GBR) : 7 pts
2-Deniss Karpak ( EST) : 8 pts
3-Andrews Mark ( GBR) : 11 pts

49er FX, after 6 races :
1-Sarah Steyaert / Julie Bossard (FRA): 10 pts
2-Laura Schoefegger / Elsa Lovrek (AUT) : 11pts
3-Marion Leprunier / Alizée Gadel ( FRA) : 18 pts

49er, after 6 races :
1-Manu Dyen /Stéphane Christidis (FRA) : 6 pts
2-Stefano Cherin / Andrea Tesei ( ITA) : 14 pts
3-Giuseppe Angilella/ Pietro Zucchetti ( ITA) : 16 pts

470 Men, after 5 races :
1- Pierre Leboucher / Nicolas Le Berre (FRA) : 7pts
2-Sofian Bouvet / Jérémie Mion (FRA) : 7 pts
3-Nicolas Charbonnier / Sébastien Durand (FRA) : 23 pts

470 Women, after 5 races
1-Lara Vadlau / Jolanta Ogar ( AUT) : 6 pts
2-Camille Lecointre / Hélène Defrance (FRA) : 10 pts
3-Anna Burnet / Flora Stewart (GBR) : 16 pts

RS:X Men, after 6 races
1-Pawel Tarnowski ( POL) : 12 pts
2- Julien Bontemps ( FRA) : 16 pts
3- Piotr Myszka (POL) : 17 pts

RS:X Women, after 6 races
1-Sofia Klepacka (POL): 7 pts
2- Maja Dziarnowska (POL): 15 pts
3- Natalia Konsinska (NZL): 21 pts

Nacra 17, after 5 races
1-Audrey Ogereau / Matthieu Vandame (FRA) : 10 pts
2-Thomas Zajac / Tanja Frank ( AUT) : 12 pts
3-Iker Martinez / Tara Pacheco ( ESP) : 17 pts

Laser, after 5 races :
1-Nick Thompson (GBR) : 10 pts
2- Wannes Van Laer ( BEL) : 11 pts
3- Philipp Buhl (GER) : 12 pts

Laser Radial, after 5 races :
1-Pernelle Michon (FRA) : 5 pts
2-Marthe Eide Enger (NOR) : 7 pts
3-Line Flem Hoest (NOR) : 12 pts



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