by Matt Carter
The fifth and final leg of the EUROSAF Champions Sailing Cup drew to a close on Sunday (13 October) with Giles Scott claiming gold on his return to the heavy weight Finn class in La Rochelle, France.
Giles Scott competing in the Finn class at the 2013 Semaine Olympique Francaise.
Only recently back from the America’s Cup with Italian team Luna Rossa, the 2011 Finn World and European champion looked to be straight back in the swing of things, with a first and fifth on the opening day of the regatta.
Scott continued to underline why getting back in a heavyweight dinghy is like riding a bike to him with a further two race wins and three seconds to cement his position at the top of the leaderboard on the penultimate day of competition.
With a seven-point lead at the top going into Sunday’s medal race, Scott needed to finish fourth or better and took third ahead of all his four rivals. 'It’s good to win, I suppose I could have fobbed it off on something if I hadn’t but it’s nice not to have to do that,' said Scott.
'It was very shifty, but I knew it would be from the forecast. I had half an eye on the other guys but so many of them and in those conditions you just have to sail your own race. I knew fourth or better would do it and I don’t think I was lower than third all the way round.'
The British Sailing Team’s Mark Andrews finished fifth overall while a second place finish in the medal race for 2013 Finn Junior European Champion, Peter McCoy, saw him finish his regatta in eighth.
In the Women’s 470 event, Amy Seabright and Anna Carpenter opened their regatta with a bang notching a first and second to sit them at the top of the leaderboard at the end of day one. The pair went onto post some disappointing results in the bigger breeze which saw them fall out of medal contention.
However, in the one and only race on Saturday, Seabright and Carpenter once again made the most of the very light airs like they did on day one by clinching a second place finish to put them back in the hunt for a podium finish.
A fourth place finish in medal race was enough to catapult the GBR duo into the bronze medal position, while Austria’s Lara Vadlau and Jolanta Ogar, silver medallists at the world championships in La Rochelle in August, took event honours.
In the new Olympic Nacra 17 class, Ben Saxton and Hannah Diamond entered Sunday’s medal race in pole position, tied on points with the French pair of Cammas and De Turckheim with Martinez and Tara Pacheco from Spain in third. World Champions, Billy Besson and Marie Riou were fourth with just four points separating the top four.
Saxton and Diamond, who won silver at the inaugural World Championships in July, could however only manage a seventh in final race seeing them drop out of the medals into fourth and handing event victory to the winner of the 2011-12 Volvo Ocean Race, Frenchman Franck Cammas and his crew Sophie De Turckheim.
Pippa Wilson and John Gimson took the medal race win and finished fifth overall while Lucy Macgregor and Andrew Walsh finished their first regatta together in seventh.
Nick Thompson, who led on day three of the regatta by an impressive 12 points, was unable to keep the momentum going and finished sixth overall while RS:X windsurfer Izzy Hamilton closed her championships in seventh.
For the full list of results and further information on the 2013 Semaine Olympique Francaise visit the event website.