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ISAF Sailing World Cup Hyeres - Excellent racing on opening day

by Daniel Smith, ISAF on 22 Apr 2014
Nacra 17, Billy Besson and Marie Riou - 2014 ISAF Sailing World Cup Hyeres, Day 1 Yvan Zedda ©
On the opening day of the ISAF Sailing World up Hyeres, glorious sunshine and a consistent cool spring breeze ensured the 1,111 sailors from 59 nations were spoilt. Racing in the ten Olympic and two Paralympic events could not have been any better as the consistency of a 10-15 easterly breeze ensured excellent racing throughout the day.

The world's finest sailing talent came to the forefront of their respective fleets with Hyères showcasing what it is all about.

Billy Besson and Marie Riou (FRA) won gold at ISAF Sailing World Cup Mallorca with a day to spare and they brought that same form into the first race day in Hyères.

Opening their account with a second they ramped it up for the day's two other races by taking convincing victories in both races, 'The day was really great, especially for a first day,' commented Besson after racing. 'The wind conditions were cool and we got a second and two wins. It was very perfect conditions.'

With the discard coming into play after three races the French have a small single point lead over Pippa Wilson and John Gimson (GBR) but lose a second compared to the Britons seventh. Despite looking good at the early stage Besson doesn't think an early victory will be on the cards, 'Oh no,' exclaimed Besson. 'With Marie we take it race by race and tomorrow is another race and same again the day after. We'll keep our head clear and that's all.'

After three races the points are extremely close with the top six all counting single number scores.

ISAF Sailing World Cup Melbourne winners and Mallorca bronze medallists Darren Bundock and Nina Curtis (AUS) are one of those teams and whilst they were strong posting a 1-4-4 score line, Curtis found the day a bit of a learning curve, 'We had this really steep uneven chop and I've never sailed in the cats in those conditions before and it