by Dana Paxton
On day five of racing at the Semaine Olympique Francaise, it was another day of heavy wind and big waves preventing some of the classes from completing racing. For Friday’s medal races in the Olympic classes, US Sailing Team Sperry Top-Sider will be represented in the Women’s 470 by Amanda Clark and Sarah Lihan. The battle for silver is on after the series leaders from The Netherlands captured the overall title on points.
Clark and Lihan in action
Jen French and JP Creignou are in third overall in the SKUD-18. With the cancellation of racing, organizers will use Friday to complete up to three more races in the Paralympic classes.
'We’re getting back into the rhythm of things,' said French. 'This regatta is a good check in for us and a good gauge of where we are. We have a list of things we need to work on before Sail for Gold. In breeze it’s all about keeping the boat upright, keeping the water out of it and keeping our speed downwind. It’s a challenge in the breeze because in the SKUD you can’t hike out.'
Video interview with French and Creignou discussing the boat and plans for the next two months:
Although organizers attempted to get the women’s match racing fleet underway at an early hour, the conditions proved too rough for the Elliott 6m boats. Wind over 25 knots and large, rolling waves forced the cancellation of racing for the day. Anna Tunnicliffe’s 'Team Maclaren' of Molly Vandemoer and Debbie Capozzi won their two matches and continued to go undefeated.
'We’re taking it day by day,' said Capozzi when asked about the winning streak. 'The conditions are pretty challenging, so we learn a little bit each day and try to improve in each race. One thing our coach Dave Dell (Dellenbaugh) is good at is helping us with boat speed and making sure we’re fast and also faster than the other boat. We spend a lot of time on that and make sure we’re confident in our settings.'
Debbie Capozzi talks about their winning streak:
The preliminary plan for Friday is to finish the round robin before holding final and petite final rounds. If the round robin is not completed, then final positions will be calculated on percentage wins.
Semaine Olympique Francaise website
US Sailing Team website