The Australians have had a solid start to the Sailing World Cup Hyères event, as racing began overnight in the heavy mistral conditions that this venue is renowned for.
The first of five days of racing in all ten Olympic and two Paralympic classes saw strong, blustery and at times furious conditions, with winds regularly in excess of 25 knots.
Australia’s Laser sailors led the charge for the Aussies, take the top three positions in the first race, and recording good results also in the second race to hold three positions in the overall top ten. Matt Wearn is second overall after two races (1,7); Tom Burton sixth overall (3,9) and Luke Elliott eighth (2,17).
“It was a good day for us in general, but it was one of those days, fresh and frightening and pretty cold,” said Burton at the conclusion of racing.
“The forecast a few days ago looked like the breeze would hold for the next few days. But looking at it this morning it looks like it might be lighter tomorrow and light for the following days. It’s been windy for days and I don’t know how much longer it can hold.”
“We’re only missing a few guys here in Hyeres. But most of the guys who are top in the world are here. So it’s most of the top guys we will also see at the Worlds in two weeks.”
Burton was fortunate to finish the second race in ninth place, after an incident with his rudder dropped him from fifth to ninth place on the final downwind of the race.
Australia’s 470 Men’s team of Mat Belcher and Will Ryan, also had a good day in the heavy conditions. The Australians finished second in the first race behind the Great British team of Luke Patience and Chris Grube, then won the second race, putting them first overall.
“We raced two races in over 25 knots,” said Belcher. “It was pretty hairy out there. It was really, really shifty; really variable conditions. We had a few moments were it was almost an 'auto-tack’.
“Almost all of the top guys are here. They’re really using this event as the last opportunity before they head to Rio. Everyone’s in pretty good shape, so we’re sailing well and we’ll see how the week goes, but it’s nice to start off well.”
In the Women’s 470 event, the Australian crews are using this event to impress Olympic selectors, as the one Olympic nomination spot in this class is still up for grabs. Carrie Smith and Jaime Ryan are currently seventh overall after two races (11 & 6); and Sasha Ryan and Ella Clark are 18th overall (14, 25). The New Zealand team of Jo Aleh and Polly Powrie are leading the event.
In the 49ers, Australia’s Sam and Will Phillips are currently second overall behind the Kiwis, after recording results of 6,4,1 into today’s three races.
“We started out with about 18 knots and it built gradually until the third race where it came up to around 30 knots in the gusts,” said Will Phillips. “It was good fun racing, we had flat water, and these boats are just an absolute delight in those conditions.”
Australia has also had a good day in the windy conditions in the Finn Class. Oliver Tweddell is currently lying third overall after two races (7, 3); and Jake Lilley is fifth overall (2,10) after recovering from capsizing in the second race. This is another class that still has an Olympic spot open, so the two Aussies will be looking to impress over the coming days.
In the Nacra 17 class, only one race was sailed today and despite the carnage, the Aussies, Jason Waterhouse and Lisa Darmanin, did well to finish and remain intact. The Aussies were scored a ninth place with only 14 boats finishing the race and 19 retiring.
“Day one was the perfect balance of being absolutely terrified and having the best time of your life,” said Darmanin after racing. “It got a bit out of control out there. We had a terrible first upwind, so we decided to send it pretty hard on the down winds. It worked out pretty well until we swam just before the finish. It was a bit unfortunate, as we lost about five boats in that swim. I think everyone had a swim or two or three out there, so it wasn’t too bad. Obviously we would have liked to have had a better result, but the fact that we made it around the race track all in one piece is a pretty good outcome.”
In the Laser Radial, Ashley Stoddart of Queensland is currently 12th overall after finishing 18th and 11th in today’s two races. While in the Women’s RS:X fellow Queenslander Joanna Sterling is 26th overall having completed three races today and scoring 11, 28 & 30.
No racing was held today in the 49er FX class.
Meanwhile in the Paralympic classes, only one race was completed in both the Sonar and International 2.4mR classes.
Australia’s Matt Bugg won today’s race in the 2.4mR, and was happy with the result.
“It didn’t really let up in our race today,” said Bugg. “It was a really good day one for me - I managed to win the race and more importantly keep the boat in one piece and not sink.
“The waves were quite tough for us today. It was quite a short, sharp chop and that’s really the worst for a 2.4mR and a few of my competitors didn’t manage the race without sinking. It’s always good when you finish a race like that and even better to come away with a win."
In the Sonar class, Australia’s Colin Harrison, Jonathan Harris and Russell Boaden finished today’s only race in eighth position.
To follow the event visit: http://swc.ffvoile.com
Results for the Australian Sailing Team and Squad at the conclusion of day one, Sailing World Cup Hyeres 2016:
Women's Two Person Dinghy – 470W
Carrie Smith (WAIS) and Jaime Ryan (QAS) – AST: 11, 6 – 7th
Sasha Ryan (QAS) and Ella Clark (WA) – ASS: 14, 25 – 18th
Men’s Two Person Dinghy – 470M
Mathew Belcher (QAS) & Will Ryan (QAS) – AST: 2, 1 – 1st
Tom Klemens (VIS) & Tim Hannah (VIS) – ASS: 21, 29 – 28th
Patrick and Alexander Conway (NSW) – ASS: 31, 27 – 32nd
Mens’ Skiff – 49er
Will Phillips (VIC) & Sam Phillips (VIC) – ASS: 6, 4, 1 – 2nd
David Gilmour (WAIS) & Lewis Brake (QAS) – ASS: 17, 33, 12 – 18th
Joel Turner (QAS) & Tom Siganto (QAS) – ASS: 36, 25, DNF (41) – 37th
Men's One Person Dinghy (Heavyweight) – Finn
Oliver Tweddell (VIS) – ASS: 7, 3 – 3rd
Jake Lilley (QAS) – ASS: 2, 10 – 5th
Men’s One Person Dinghy – Laser
Matt Wearn (WAIS) – AST: 1, 7 – 2nd
Tom Burton (NSW) – AST: 3, 9 – 6th
Luke Elliott (WAIS) – ASS: 2, 17 – 8th
Mitchell Kennedy (QAS) – ASS: 5, 19 – 12th
Jeremy O’Connell (VIS) – ASS: 15, 31 – 24th
Mixed Multihull – Nacra 17
Jason Waterhouse (NSW) & Lisa Darmanin (NSW) – AST: 10 – 9th
Women’s One Person Dinghy – Laser Radial
Ashley Stoddart (QAS) – ASS: 18, 11 – 12th
Women’s RS:X Windsurfer
Joanna Sterling (QAS) – ASS: 11, 28, 30 – 26th
Women's Skiff – 49erFX: NO RACING
Olivia Price (NSW) and Eliza Solly (VIS) – ASS
Tess Lloyd (VIS) and Caitlin Elks (WAIS) – ASS
Haylee Outteridge (NSW) & Nina Curtis (NSW) - ASS
Paralympic Three Person Keelboat - Sonar
Colin Harrison (WA), Jonathan Harris (NSW) & Russell Boaden (WA) – AST: 8 – 8th
Paralympic Single Person Keelboat – International 2.4mR
Matt Bugg (TIS) – AST: 1 - 1st
FOLLOW THE EVENT:
RESULTS: results are available throughout the regatta here http://www.sailing.org/worldcup/results/index.php
The racing is available to watch in 2D and 3D via the live tracking: http://www.sailing.org/worldcup/multimedia/tracking.php
Live Tracking via the Sailviewer-3D Tablet App is available for devices with 7" or greater screens. Click here to download the iOS Application - https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/sailviewer-3d/id912801278
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The Competition Status Screen feeds in straight from the Race Committee boats with the teams inputting data such as race times, course type, the status of each race and the plan moving forward. The competition status screen will be available when racing commences via http://www.sailing.org/worldcup/multimedia/tracking.php
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