|Despite a pessimistic forecast, the intense medal race programme was completed as scheduled. The wind, light and often shifty forced the committee to adjust constantly the course. Sailing proved difficult and tested the skills of the ten teams in each of the ten Olympic classes engaged in the event. The Sonar and 2.4 concluded the regatta with a final fleet race.
The 470 men were the first one to start the Medal race’s show in front the harbour in Hyères. The wind, light and shifty, forced the race committee to reduce the course to a single windward return. The French teams were leading the ten boats fleet and rounded the top mark in first and second, but the run proved costly.
Athens Silver medallist, Nick Rogers and Joe Glandfield and New Zealanders Evans/Burling passed the French on the run. The British take first place with the last two jibes to the finish claiming the Gold medal and their second title at the SOF. Early regatta leaders, Sven and Kalle Coster placed 5th for Silver. The New Zealanders are a close third on equal points with Charbonnier/Bausset (FRA) 4th.
The start of the Yngling, scheduled at the same time on the South area, was postponed with the wind shifting East. The Committees repositioned the racing areas to fit the new wind direction.
Match racing specialists, Barkow/Howe/Capozzi (USA) excelled in the Medal race with a good start and speed to win the race and climb on the second step of the podium. After only one year in the Yngling, Athens Gold medallist in the Europe class, Siren Sundby (NOR) has won her first Grade 1 event regatta in the Olympic keelboat with Lise Fredriksen and Alexandra Koefoed.
The podium is completed with another Gold medal team. Current European and World champions, Sarah Ayton, Pippa Wilson and Sarah Webb (GBR) second place in the Medal race gives them Bronze, on equal points with the Americans.
A victory in the 470 women Medal race gives the Germans Stefanie Rothweiler and Vivien Kussatz the Silver medal in the SOF. World 2, Japaneses Ai Kondo and Naoko Kamata, 6th across the line, conserve the lead and claim their first Grade 1 event title. The Japanese who have placed 2nd in the 2007 Olympic test event are among the top favourite in China. Giulia Conti and Giovanna Micol (ITA) will have to settle for Bronze after a eighth place in the Medal Race.
The Finn Medal race won by Pieter-Jan Postma (NED) was sailed in very light wind that didn’t exceed 5 knots. The lead changed many time with the shifty conditions. Yesterday leader, World 1 Jonas Hoegh-Christensen conserves the lead to win the event for the first time after placing 2nd last year and third in 2006.
'I had to cover Gasper Vincec (SLO) to protect the overall lead. At one stage he came close to win but dropped back enough for me to win.' 2006 SOF winner Ed Wright (GBR) takes the second place in front of Gasper Vincec (SLO).
In the Tornado, French Xavier Revil and Christophe Espagnon won the medal race with a safe lead over Dutch Booth/Nieuwenhuis and Belgium Brouwer/Godefroid. The Australians Darren Bundock and Glenn Ashby, 2008 World Champions, conserve the lead in the regatta and add a SOF title in their already impressive achievements. Francesco Marcolini and Eduardo Bianchi (ITA) takes Silver in front of the Dutch.
Paul Goodison’s (GBR) victory in the Medal race will not be enough to lift the British on the podium. Michael Leigh (CAN) and Andrew Murdoch (NZL) keep their earlier overall position on the podium, while Athens Silver medallist Andreas Geritzer (AUT) takes the Bronze after placing 4th in the medal race. The Canadian, winner of the 2007 Sydney International regatta, has made the podium twice before in Hyères with a 3rd place at the 2007 Laser European Championship and the Semaine Olympique Française in 2006.
No surprise in the Laser radial fleet where the top 4 remain unchanged after Chinese Lijia Xu’s victory in the Medal race. World 3, Sarah Blank (AUS) has kept the command of the Radial fleet all week and has proved her skills in the breeze as well as in lighter air.
2007 RS:X world champions in both the women and men division have taken the Gold in Hyères. Ricardo Santos (BRA) has mastered the light conditions that have prevailed in Hyères these last two days. The Brazilian wins the Medal race and the event, proving his skills in all type of weather. Julien Bontemps will be the only French medallist in Hyères this year. He takes second in the medal race and the regatta. Bronze is taken by Przemyslaw Miarczynski (POL). Casper Bouman narrowly missed third place and the top 3 quota requested by his Olympic committee. Another top 8 result is needed by the Dutch to get his ticket for China.
The top three remain unchanged in the Women division. Sofia Keplacka (POL) is continuing in her good form winning confortably the regatta after her third place in Palma. At ease in the breeze as well as light conditions she will be a main threat for her opponents at the European Championship next month in Brest and the Olympic Games. Olga Maslivets (UKR) and Jannicke Stalstrom (NOR) are conserving their second position. Charline Picon (FRA) wins the second race and is placed fourth a point away from the podium.
Recently crowned European champions, Iker Martinez and Xabier Fernandez continue on their good form. Third in the medal race, the Spanish stole the lead of the regatta from American Tim Wadlow and Chris Rast. Vice European champions, Federico and Arturo Alonso (ESP) take third place. Pietro and Gianfranco Sibello (ITA) won the Medal race are place 5th.
The Sonar and 2.4 raced an ultimate race to complete the series.
Tao Wang, Huiagao Zfou and Weija Xu (CHN) won the last race in the Sonar and place fourth at only one point from third. Robertson, Stodel, Thomas (GBR) have won the regatta after collecting none less than eight victories. Leading the ranking all week in the 2.4 class, Damien Seguin further increased his advance today. Heiko Kroeger (GER) and Thierry Schmitter (NED) are on equal pointsin second and third place.
Hyeres - Final leading positions
1: Jonas Hogh Christ (Denmark) 42 points (Détail courses : 6,1,3,12,9,4,2,1,8,)
2: Edward Wright (Great Britain) 45 points (Détail courses : 15,5,7,9,4,1,7,4,4,)
3: Gasper Vincec (Slovenia) 46 points (Détail courses : 7,2,9,2,5,5,5,6,7,)
4: Pieter Jan Postma (The Netherlands) 54 points (Détail courses : 1,7,11,4,8,13,8,13,1,)
5: Daniel Birgmark (Sweden) 63 points (Détail courses : 5,6,24,14,19,2,9,2,3,)
6: Ivan Kljakovic G (Croatia) 67 points (Détail courses : 12,13,2,6,16,15,12,3,2,)
7: Anthony Nossiter (Australia) 72 points (Détail courses : 11,10,21,5,1,6,6,11,OCS ,)
8: Christopher Cook (Canada) 78 points (Détail courses : 2,3,16,1,6,20,18,21,6,)
9: Zach Railey (United States O) 90 points (Détail courses : 9,OCS ,10,29,13,10,4,5,5,)
10: Guillaume Florent (Dunkerque Y C) 92 points (Détail courses : 17,OCS ,6,11,2,9,11,18,9,)
1: Nick Rogers / Joe Glanfield (Great Britain) 39 points (Détail courses : 1,2,1,5,6,10,20,12,1,)
2: Sven Coster / Kalle Coster (The Netherlands) 43 points (Détail courses : 1,3,6,8,1,2,12,30,5,)
3: Carl Evans / Peter Burling (New Zealand) 56 points (Détail courses : 7,1,10,7,21,9,13,5,2,)
4: Nicolas Charbonnier / Olivier Bausset (YC Antibes / SN Ste Maxime ) 56 points (Détail courses : 11,7,20,2,5,14,4,1,6,)
5: Benjamin Bonnaud / Romain Bonnaud (Sports Nautiques Sablais) 58 points (Détail courses : 8,2,3,16,2,7,21,14,3,)
6: Eyal Levine / Yam Amir (Israel) 58 points (Détail courses : 2,16,5,3,28,5,6,13,4,)
7: Gabrio Zandona / Andrea Trani (Italy) 64 points (Détail courses : 9,4,7,4,7,6,27,11,8,)
8: Matthias Schmid / Florian Reichstaedt (Austria) 82 points (Détail courses : 3,3,6,8,15,24,23,4,10,)
9: Pierre Leboucher / Vincent Garos (A S P T T Nantes / SNO Nantes) 83 points (Détail courses : 9,7,9,9,4,16,11,29,9,)
10: Alvaro M
by Corinne McKenzie
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2:00 PM Fri 25 Apr 2008 GMT
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