Australia’s 49er crews have set the pace for their national teammates on the opening day of the World Cup Series regatta at Hyeres, with David Gilmour and Joel Turner locked in equal first place and their female colleagues, Amelia Stabback and Ella Clark, and Natasha Bryant and Annie Wilmot, well positioned in the top 10 in their fleet overnight.
Stabback and Clark missed gold fleet racing at the recent Palma regatta but hit back with a first-up 2 and 8 to be third overall, and Bryant and Wilmot are eighth after a 7 and 18, in the 39-boat 49erFX fleet.
Australia’s top-ranked male duo Gilmour and Turner were disappointed with their 16th at Palma but, like Stabback and Clark, responded well in light to moderate winds to secure two second placings. However, in the third and final race of the day, they sailed to a discarded 27th, meaning they will have no room for error for the remainder of competition.
"We started off pretty well in all our races," Gilmour told World Sailing.
"But we found the wind to be quite tricky because weren't sure of the wind speeds and shifts.
"In our last race the wind speed just died and it was tough competing in that. It was quite packed and highly competitive but that's what makes World Sailing regattas different because you always get larger 49er fleets. Having a 40-boat fleet, it was tight racing and we couldn't afford to make any mistakes."
2016 Hyeres winner Jake Lilley’s 3 and 7 has the Rio Olympian and America’s Cup sailor in fourth place in the Finn class and only five net points off the lead, with fellow Aussies Jock Calvert a further seven places back, Oli Tweddell in 30th and Lewis Brake 32nd.
470 Olympic silver medallists and World No.1 Mat Belcher and Will Ryan had an 8 and 5 and are fifth after their day’s racing. Monique de Vries recovered from the illness which kept her out of the 470 Spring Cup regatta last week, however she and skipper Nia Jerwood’s 12 and 30 leaves them 23rd in the 36-boat 470W fleet.
Australia’s strong Laser Team struggled to gain the advantage. Reigning Olympic champion Tom Burton came third in race one but 26th in race two to end up ninth overall. Matt Wearn, who won at Palma, is 14th, Luke Elliott 29th, Finn Alexander 33rd, Mitch Kennedy 38th and Dan Self 56th.
Rio silver medallists Jason Waterhouse and Lisa Darmanin came 16th in the one Nacra 17 race for the day.
Racing is scheduled to start on Wednesday from 11am (7pm AEST).
HOW TO FOLLOW:
Local website - www.swc.ffvoile.fr
World Sailing - www.sailing.org/world-cup-series
ALL RESULTS HERE
AUSSIES IN ACTION:
Tom Burton - 3, 26 - 9th
Matt Wearn - 15, 25 - 14th
Luke Elliott - 33, 29 - 29th
Finn Alexander - 20, 45 - 33rd
Mitch Kennedy - DNF, 6 - 38th
Dan Self - 58, 44 - 56th
Paige Caldecoat - 33, 60 - 51st
David Gilmour/Joel Turner - 2, 2, (27) - 2nd
Lachy Gilmour/Ryan Donaldson - 13, 24, (26) - 26th
Kurt Hansen/Harry Morton - (36), 31, 23 - 36th
Amelia Stabback/Ella Clark - 2, 8 - 3rd
Natasha Bryant/Annie Wilmot - 7, 18 - 8th
Nia Jerwood/Monique de Vries - 12, 30 - 23rd
Mat Belcher/Will Ryan - 8, 5 - 5th
Chris Charlwood/Josh Dawson - 17, 23 - 19th
Jake Lilley - 3, 7 - 4th
Jock Calvert - 12, 17 - 11th
Oliver Tweddell - 35, 24 - 30th
Lewis Brake - 22, 38 - 32nd
Jason Waterhouse/Lisa Darmanin - 16 - 16th
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