49er Class: Australians Jensen and Outteridge in the lead - Semaine Olympique Francaise 2012
New Zealand sailors all went backwards on the points table after Day 4 of the fourth round of the ISAF World Cup was completed in Hyeres, France. Light and shifty winds prevailed for the first time in the four days of racing so far.
In the Mens Singlehander (Laser) Andrew Murdoch dropped back from second to fourth overall, sailing in the Gold fleet, now that the Qualification Round has completed, and all the top competitors are grouped in the one fleet, rather then being scattered amongst three fleets as happened in the opening three days of the Semaine Olympique Francaise.
Andy Maloney (NZL) has leapfrogged the 2012 Olympic Representative and now lies in third place overall, just one point ahead of Murdoch, after scoring third and fifth placings in the two races sailed. Murdoch finished with a pair of sixth placings. Both sailors dropped one race from today, as their discard performance.
Sam Meech is the next best performed NZ competitor and lies in 13th place in the Gold fleet after placing 24th and 22nd respectively today. He drops a disqualification from race 5 as his worst performance.
The game of leapfrog continues at the top of the points table with former series leader, Phillipp Buhl (GER) dropping back to second, after scoring a discardable 15th place in Race 7, and Tom Slingsby (AUS) taking the lead with second placings from both races sailed.
In the Mens Heavyweight Singlehander (Finn) Dan Slater (NZL) has slipped to fourth after an incident in Race 5 in which he and and three others were granted redress by the International Jury giving him points equating to about sixth place. He placed 13th in the next race, which became his series discard as the worst performance to date. Big improver was matt Coutts finishing in 9th and seventh places to move up to eighth overall on the points table after being able to drop his Did Not Finish maximum points score from Race 1.
The Mens HP Skiff (49er) had three races, with the New Zealand crew of Peter Burling and Blair Tuke being disqualified from Race 7. The came back to score 21st and 10th places in the next two races, but the discardable DSQ has dropped them to 13th on the points table. A second NZ crew of Marcus Hansen and Josh Porebski have made their mark on the Silver Fleet, winning the ninth and last race after a third and sixth place finish in previous races. They are now fourth overall in the Silver Fleet.
The Womens Windsurfer (RS:X) Natalia Kosinska (NZL) finished in sixth and 14th and remains in 10th overall, right on the cut for the Medal Race.
In the Womens Match Racing (Elliott 7) the NZL crew helmed by Stephanie Hazard had a very long day on the water with hopes of finishing the round robin, but time and wind conditions worked against race officials. The NZ crew were able to win four races today, a big improvement from earlier in the regatta, and will now await the final results of the round robin to detemine their placing to the repechage round.
The Semaine Olympique Francaise, or simply Hyères as it is commonly known, is one of the major regattas in the International Olympic Sailing Circuit and is the fourth of seven regattas in the 2011-12 ISAF Sailing World Cup series.
Racing started in France on Sunday April 22nd, and runs for six days with medal races and prize-giving planned for Friday April 27th.
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