Please select your home edition
Edition
T Clewring One Design

Semaine Olympique Francaise - Aussies on top after four days + Video

by Craig Heydon on 26 Apr 2012
Nathan Outteridge and Iain Jensen on day four in Hyeres © Jean-Marie Liot /DPPI/FFV
After four days of racing at the Semaine Olympique Francaise, Australian sailors sit at the top of the leader board in four classes. Laser sailor Tom Slingsby and 49er crew Nathan Outteridge and Iain Jensen took the lead in their respective classes on Wednesday while 470 sailors Mathew Belcher and Malcolm Page and Skud 18 pair Daniel Fitzgibbon and Liesl Tesch remain at the top of their fleets.

After three days of strong winds, sailors were greeted with lighter conditions on Wednesday morning, keeping the majority of fleets on shore until the breeze picked up in the middle of the day.

Tom Slingsby started the day third overall in the Laser class, with the four-time World Champion continuing his consistent start to the regatta, with a pair of second place finishes moving him into the lead.

Slingsby hasn’t finished outside the top three in any of the eight races so far in Hyeres and takes a two point lead into the penultimate day of racing, with fellow Australian Tom Burton just five points behind in fifth overall following a seventh and a fourth.

'It’s been so close all week so it was good to finally get some points separation today,' said Slingsby. 'I had two seconds today and it was a real drag race to the right in both races, I was lucky in race one as I had a bad start and had to tack out to the right anyway and then in race two I got to the right when I wanted.

'I probably led both races but wasn’t extending away when out it front so I need to work on that a bit but it was still a good day,' he said. 'Again the racing was really close, I had a solid day and didn’t sail a drop which was a good thing, one or two guys sailed a bad one and a good one and a couple of them had two good ones so it’s all very tight with just a couple of points in it.'

Outteridge and Jensen started the first day of 49er gold fleet racing fifth overall with the Australian winning races when it counted, picking up two wins, a seventh and a fourth to move into the lead, tied on points with the French pair of Manu Dyen and Stephane Christidis.

'We had a nice day with two bullets and two other results in the top seven,' said Outteridge. 'It was much lighter than we’ve had all week and we sailed pretty well. We got a bit lucky in the last one and pulled back from almost last with a nice left hand shift to get into fifth at the top mark which was good for us.'

This is the first time that the pair has competed in Hyeres together with the regatta an important tune up before the 2012 49er World Championships in Croatia next month.

Mathew Belcher and Malcolm Page continue to lead the way in the 470 men’s with a fourth and an 11th from Wednesday’s two races giving them a four point lead overall.

'In race one we did quite well and got a nice shift to the right, it was really fickle and nobody had any real idea where to go, you just had to use the opportunity in front of you and hope for the best a bit, things went our way and we finished fourth,' said Belcher. 'We found ourselves pretty deep in race two but fought our way back from about 25th or worse at one point to finish 11th which was fantastic.'

Page said that the pair is happy with where they are three months out from the London 2012 Olympic Games.

'The focus is not always on the results, we’re just looking at our performances and certain key points and really focusing on that,' said Page. 'Results wise that broken rig hurt us but that’s life, you’ve got to take it on the chin and battle on, taken in perspective it’s all about how we develop ourselves and work towards the big one in three months’ time.'

Daniel Fitzgibbon and Liesl Tesch finished with the perfect scorecard on Wednesday, with two wins from two starts in the Skud 18 class.

The pair, who was last week named to represent Australia at the London 2012 Paralympic Games, is two points ahead of the reigning World Champions from Great Britain.

The Skud fleet spent most of the day on the water, with one race after a two and a half hour delay and then a second later in the afternoon, with Fitzgibbon and Tesch coming from behind to beat the British by just a few boat lengths, taking the lead close to the finish line.

Krystal Weir had a tough day’s racing but remains in a strong position, fourth overall and just four points off the lead. Weir finished with a 21st and a 13th in the lighter conditions.

Australia’s Women’s Match Racing crew of Olivia Price, Nina Curtis and Lucinda Whitty had a mixed day, finishing the round robin with eight wins and eight losses.

The trio finished their day on a high, winning the final two races but with a number of other crews still to complete the round robin it is unlikely that the Australians will progress to the quarter-finals unless other results go their way.

In the Laser class West Australian Matthew Wearn is well and truly in the mix in 15th overall after a 25th and a ninth, ahead of Jared West in 20th, Ryan Palk in 47th, James Burman in 60th, Ki-Raphael Sulkowski in 64th, Klade Hauschildt in 93rd and Ashley Brunning in 97th.

Brendan Casey is currently 19th in the Finn class with the Queenslander currently in a protest hearing regarding incidents on the water during racing.

Caitlin Elks is 45th in the Laser Radial fleet, ahead of Alexandra South in 75th. In the RS:X men’s Luke Baillie is 23rd, Patrick Vos 33rd and Jimmy Levy 49th.

Paul McKenzie and Philip Toth are 15th in the Star class after a 16th, 14th and seventh.



Semaine Olympique Francaise website
Australian Sailing Team website
Southern Spars - 100Wildwind 2016 660x82T Clewring J-class

Related Articles

Rio 2016 - America's Cup champ says Paralympic racing is closest ever
Twice America’s Cup champion, Rick Dodson is extremely impressed with the standard of racing in the three man Sonar Twice America’s Cup champion, Rick Dodson is extremely impressed with the standard of racing in the three man Sonar keelboat class at the 2016 Paralympics in Rio de Janeiro. The regatta is being held in Guanabara Bay on three of the courses used for the Olympic Sailing Regatta in August.
Posted on 13 Sep
Debriefing the Rio 2016 Olympics with Team USA’s Helena Scutt
I talked with Team USA’s Helena Scutt to hear about her Olympic experience, and to learn more about her post-Rio plans. The 49erFX was introduced to Olympic circles when it replaced the Women’s Match Racing event following the 2012 Games. Not surprisingly, it drew high-performance sailors for the Rio 2016 Olympics, including Team USA’s Paris Henken and Helena Scutt. While Henken and Scutt were Olympic first-timers, they put on a strong show. I caught up with Scutt to hear more about her Olympic experience.
Posted on 8 Sep
A Q&A with Peter Bresnan ONE Palma’s founder and director
Sail-World interviewed ONE Palma’s founder Peter Bresnan to learn about the company’s partnership with McConaghy Boats For the past eight years, ONE Palma (formerly OneSails Spain) has been building a strong name, first as a sailmaker and later with refit work. Recently, ONE Palma and McConaghy Boats-legendary boatbuilders who have crafted some of the planet’s fastest sailboats-entered a business partnership. I caught up with Peter Bresnan, ONE Palma’s founder and director, to learn more about this new direction.
Posted on 2 Sep
America's Cup - Emirates Team NZ train late on the Waitemata Harbour
Emirates Team NZ were out for a training session that ran into the early Thursday evening. Emirates Team NZ were out for a training session that ran into the early Thursday evening. The team were sailing their recently launched AC45 Surrogate test boat which features an articulated rudder gantry - taking the AC45 close to the geometry of the AC50 to be used in the 2017 America's Cup.
Posted on 1 Sep
Dateline Rio - Sailing Olympics review - as good as it gets?
The Rio Sailing Olympics was widely judged to have been the best of recent times. The Rio Sailing Olympics was widely judged to have been the best of recent times. The weather was better than Weymouth and Qingdao, the courses more varied, but from a working media perspective, it was the people running the Rio regatta who really made the difference.
Posted on 26 Aug
Rio 2016 - Plain speaking by triple-medalist on Olympic sailing moves
Triple Olympic medalist, Santiago Lange has been on the sharp end of changes made to Olympic classes and formats Santiago Lange, a six-time Olympian and Bronze medallist in the 2004 and 2008 Olympics, won his third medal – Gold sailing in the Nacra 17 class. With that length of experience at an Olympic level, having sailed the Laser, Tornado and now Nacra 17 classes his comments on the future shape of the Olympic regatta was one of the highlights of the Medallists Media Conferences.
Posted on 25 Aug
An Q&A with Steve and Heidi Benjamin about the NYYC’s 2016 Queen’s Cup
Sail-World caught up with Steve and Heidi Benjamin to learn more about Heidi’s historic win in the NYYC’s Queen’s Cup. When it comes to U.S. Grand Prix sailing, it’s hard not to encounter the names of Steve and Heidi Benjamin. The two highly polished sailors have been successfully campaigning their series of yachts, named SPOOKIE, for years, starting first with a Carkeek 40 and progressing to their TP52. I caught up with Steve and Heidi to learn more about Heidi’s historic win in the NYYC’s Queen’s Cup
Posted on 19 Aug
Rio 2016 - Images of the penultimate race in the Finns - Scott wins
Sail-World's Richard Gladwell was on the water for the final race of the Qualifying Series of the Mens Finn Sail-World's Richard Gladwell was on the water for the final race of the Qualifying Series of the Mens Finn, in what potentially could have been Giles Scott's (GBR) Gold medal winning race. In the end, the current world champion won in style.
Posted on 15 Aug
Rio 2016 - Images from the Mens RS:X Medal Race
Sail-World's NZ Editor, Richard Gladwell, was on the water at the Medal Race for the RS:X class Sail-World's NZ Editor, Richard Gladwell, was on the water at the Medal Race for the RS:X class won before the race by Dorian van Rijsselberghe (NED) without needing points from the Medal Race. Nick Dempsey (GBR) was second on a similar basis.
Posted on 15 Aug
Rio 2016 - Sailors talk of Life at the Extreme on the Atlantic Ocean
Certainly the Volvo Ocean Race catchcry of Life at the Extreme is not a phrase associated with the Sailing Olympics. The 470 crews were suffering the mixed emotions of survival of an extreme test by nature, the cold, and for some elation at their placings, after Thursday's battle for survival. In conditions that looked more out of the Volvo Ocean Race, than an Olympic sailing regatta, crews battled 20kt plus winds and Atlantic Ocean rollers that towered up to four metres.
Posted on 13 Aug