The French dominated round three of the RYA Winter Challenge Match Racing Series last weekend, taking the top two spots as Victor Lanier edged out fellow countryman Christian Ponthieu for a place in the grand final at Queen Mary on 7 - 9 March.
With winds varying between 15 to 23 knots and damage being sustained to three boats the programme had to be curtailed and final results were based on the results after the completion of the round robin event.
World number 22 Lanier, the top ranked skipper coming into the event, sailed brilliantly losing only one match in the round robin and proved a worthy winner.
The fight for second and third continued until the last race of the weekend.
There was a tie for third overall with five boats on four wins and four losses. This was between World number 30 Jacopo Pasini (ITA), Antti Luhta (FIN) and Christian Hamilton, John Greenland and Andrew Cornah all of Great Britain.
Cornah, the highest ranked British sailor at this Grade 3 event, had a difficult and frustrating weekend but he eventually clinched third overall after the tie break was resolved to trail the two Frenchmen.
Lanier has now gained a place in the grand final at Queen Mary on 7-9 March.
As a bonus this weekend the first two overall also received an invitation in the World Match Racing tour Latium Match Cup in Rome in May. RYA Winter Challenge Match Racing Series 3 Results (Grade 3):
1) Victor Lanier (FRA), Nicolas Dore, Nicolas, Deberque, Eric le Joliff
2) Christian Ponthieu (FRA), Oliver Camebourg, Olivier Cardin, Gael Fichet
3) Andrew Cornah (GBR), Carl Gibbon, John Blackburn, Rob Gullan
4) Christian Hamilton (GBR), Charlie Osmond, Dave Cheshire, Lauren Martel, Kirsty Law
5) Antti Luhta (FIN), Pasi Palmu, Artur Hallberg, Kim Kuremaa
6) John Greenland (GBR), Craig Mitchell, Craig Bowie, James Ward
7) Jacopo Pasini (ITA), Carlo Mazzili, Alberti Ricci, Paulin Giammateo
8) Josie Gibson (GBR), Barbara Watson, Rachel Larman, Mary Rook, Dave Steed
9) Robbie Allam (GBR), Adam Richards, Aren Richards, Andy Mackay