Semaine Olympique Francaise - Back on form and enjoying the breeze
by Corinne Rolland-McKenzie on 24 Apr 2012
The second day of the 2012 Semaine Olympique Francaise was a long one on the water for the sailors. In order to catch up with the racing schedule, after yesterday's cancelled races, sailing started early and finished late in the afternoon.
Semaine Olympique Francaise 2012 © Jean-Marie Liot /DPPI/FFV
Double 470 World Champions Lisa Westerhof and Lobke Berkhout (NED) are back in top form and are enjoying the breeze in Hyères. The pair has built up a solid lead 13 points ahead of Japanese Ai Kondo and Wakako Tabata. Amanda Clark and Sarah Lihan (USA) are in third.
'This is an important event for us.' explain the Dutch pair, 'We need to show form to the Dutch Olympic committee. So we want to get that out of the way. That would be great. But it is also very nice to sail in the breeze again and see how we go with that. But our speed is good, we are very happy with that. And we are working on some processes and things are coming together now. That is always easier with wind than with light airs. Today we sailed a one and two and yesterday a two and one. So that is great. Today was not as easy as yesterday. More shifts less wind. But we discussed the opportunities on board and got the most out of them.'
The results are getting tighter in the 470 Men. The Greeks, Panagiotis Mantis and Pavlos Kagialis, are taking a narrow lead over Zandona/Zucchetti (ITA) and the Coster brothers (NED). In fourth position, Pierre Leboucher is sailing with his coach Nicolas Leberre, after Vincent Garos injured his foot last week. The new team is placing fourth! After breaking their mast yesterday, the World Number One Mat Belcher and Malcolm Page are back on track and claim both races to climb to tenth.
Australians and New Zealanders are still leading the standings in the Lasers. Only three points separate the top six with Andy Maloney and Tom Slingsby hanging on to top two places. Tom Burton (AUS), Philipp Buhl (GER), Andrew Murdoch (NZL) and Tonci Stipanovic (CRO) are getting close to the leaders after winning races today.
Alison Young (GBR) conserves her lead in the Laser Radial after scoring a first and second. Only a point behind, Krystal Weir (AUS), and World Number One Evi van Acker (BEL) place second and third with identical results.
Deniss Karpak (EST) increases his lead in the Finn class after adding another victory and a second place to his score. Rafa Trujillo (ESP) keeps second while a victory in the first race places Dan Slater (NZL) in third.
The Polish dominate the RS:X competition in the men and women division.
World Number One Piotr Myszka (POL) takes the lead from Julien Bontemps (FRA) after taking two bullets in the RS:X men races. Toni Wilhem (GER) protects his second place with Bontemps in third.
'I am really fast in these conditions.' explain Myszka, 'I know I needed a good start. I planned it well and got to third at the top mark. I caught up downwind and was in a good position to control the fleet. 'The Pole is keen to retain his SOF title won last year.
Maja Dziarnowska (POL) claims the day's two races and the lead in the women's. Moana Delle (GER) is second and Olga Maslivets (UKR) third.
It was a busy day on the 49er course with seven races sailed among the two groups to catch up on yesterday's lost races. After taking Silver last year, French Julien D'Ortoli and Noe Delpech (FRA) take the lead after four races in the 49ers. Stevie Morrison and Ben Rhodes (GBR) are second while World Champions are placing in third.
Damien Seguin (NED) has taken the lead after three more races sailed in the 2.4. Bjornar Erikstad (NOR) is second and Helena Lucas (GBR) third. She wins the first race with Dutch sailors Thierry Schmitter and Andre Rademaker taking the others.
It was a very long day on the water for the Star sailors. Three races were scheduled but the second took nearly three hours to complete. After many general recalls, race 2 was given but abandoned when the top mark started drifting. The Stars came back at 7pm. World Number Five, Richard Clarke and Tyler Bjorn(CAN) are in the lead with top three results. Olympic Champions Iain Percy and Andrew Simpson (GBR) are in second place with Xavier Rohart and Pierre-Alexis Ponsot (FRA) third.
After winning the first race, Robert Scheidt and Bruno Prada (BRA) have retired from the event due to personal reasons.
It was a long day also for the Sonar who came out twice today to complete three races. Bruno Jourdren, Nicolas Vimont-Vicary et Eric Flageul (FRA), take the lead with Udo Hessels, Marcel Van de Veen and Mischa Rossen (NED) second and in third position Aleksander Wang Hansen, Per Eugen Kristiansen and Marie Solberg (NOR).
Triple World champions, Alexandra Rickham and Niki Birrell (GBR) are sharing the lead in the Skud with Miami OCR winners Daniel Fitzgibbon and Liesl Tesch (AUS). They claim two races each and place second in the others.
The Women match racers had by far the longest day out. Starting at 9.30am, the teams finished at 7pm their second day of round robins which will continue for the next two days. Results are tight at the top for Tunnicliffe (USA), MacGregor (GBR), Leroy (FRA) and Barkow (USA).
With a pessimistic weather forecast for tomorrow, racing will start as early as 9 am to try to secure at least a race in each class.
Semaine Olympique Francaise website