ISAF World Cup- New Zealand lead Mens 470 after Day 1 in Hyeres

Paul Snow-Hansen and Daniel Willcox training in the 470, ahead of leaving on their 2013 European campaign - Takapuna.

Racing at ISAF Sailing World Cup Hyeres is underway with Day 1 of the six day regatta now drawing to a close in Hyeres, France. A solid team of kiwi campaigners are competing including 14 entries across six events including the Laser, Finn, 49er, 49erFX, Men’s 470 and Nacra17.

Paul Snow-Hansen and Daniel Willcox have opened with an almost faultless performance in the Men’s 470 class to top the 63 strong fleet after day one of qualifying, sailed in light winds off Hyeres.

They sailed three races; Paul Snow-Hansen reports; 'Great day for us… fifth, first, first. Conditions were a patchy 4-6 knots, with some nice sun.'

'Tomorrow will be more of the same, with two final races in the qualification series. Our ranking will count as an un-droppable race in the Gold series.'

The second kiwi entry in the Men’s 470, Francsico Lardies and Luke Stevenson, took a bullet today in their third race and they lie 11th overall.

The Finn fleet, featuring 68 of the world’s best, sailed two races on day one of qualifying with Josh Junior the best of the two kiwi boats at this early stage. Junior, who represents Wellington’s Worser Bay Boating Club, was second in race one, followed that with a seventh in race two and he lies fourth overall on equal points to third place.

Andrew Murdoch, sailing in his second ever international regatta after switching to the Finn class, is in 20th overall after day one on the water where he returned an 11th and a 17th.

Silver medallists from ISAF Sailing World Cup Palma earlier this month Alex Maloney and Molly Meech have also made a solid start on day one in Hyeres. The young kiwis finished 10th and ninth in the first two, and won the third race of the day in the 49erFX women’s skiff class. They’re in fifth position heading into day two of qualifiers.

In the Laser class three races were sailed, the light conditions producing mixed results for the kiwis. Thomas Saunders, Sam Meech, Andy Maloney and Andrew McKenzie all returned at least one great race, but consistency was a challenge.

Saunders is the best placed of the New Zealand team after day one lying seventh with a fourth, sixth and 13th. Meech opened with a second place, and went on to a 12th and a 29th. While Maloney’s opener wasn’t memorable, but things improved for him after that; he was 43rd, fourth then 13th in his three races.

'Very tough first day of racing here in Hyeres! We completed three qualifying races, in 3-6 knots of breeze,' says Maloney.

'I had a difficult start to the day but salvaged a couple decent enough results after that. A lot of top guys had mixed days today, it was not the easiest of conditions that is for sure! Tomorrow looks light again, two more qualifying races scheduled... Bring it on.'

Day two will see all fleets back in action for the second and final day of qualifying rounds, before three days of finals, culminating in medal races in Hyeres on Saturday.

ISAF Sailing World Cup Hyeres, 2013
New Zealand’s standings after day one

4th Josh Junior (9, 2)
20th Andrew Murdoch (NZL Sailing Team) (11, 17)

30th Marcus Hansen and Josh Porebski - 49er (NZL Sailing Team) (8, 15, 22)

5th Alexandra Maloney and Molly Meech - 49er FX (10, 9, 1)

7th Thomas Saunders (4, 6, 13)
12th Sam Meech (NZL Sailing Team) (2, 12, 29)
15th Andy Maloney (NZL Sailing Team) (43, 4, 13)
54th Andrew McKenzie (2013 NZL Yachting Trust Youth Team) (3, 39, BFD)
100th Jack Collinson (48, 38, 41)
104th Michael Cate (51, 40, BFD)

MEN’S 470
1st Paul Snow-Hansen and Dan Willcox (NZL Sailing Team) (5, 1, 1)
11th Francisco Lardies and Luke Stevenson (20, 11, 1)

15th Tomer Simhony and Nicole van der Velden (24, 13)
24th Gemma Jones and Jason Saunders (19, 29)