ISAF Sailing World Cup Series - Semaine Olympique Française.
A field packed full of Olympians and World Champions will attend the Semaine Olympique Française in Hyères, France, the fourth regatta of seven on the ISAF Sailing World Cup series, from 22-29 April 2011.
The ISAF Sailing World Cup standings have taken some shape after the Trofeo S.A.R. Princess Sofia Mapfre in Palma, Spain. And with World Cup regattas in Holland, Great Britain and Germany to follow Hyères the competition is tight.
In accordance with the ISAF Sailing World Cup Series Scoring System sailors who have competed in all three regattas will take their two best results to Hyères.
The 115-boat Laser Radial fleet in Hyères will feature nine of the top ten sailors in the ISAF Sailing World Cup Standings. Evi Van Acker (BEL), ranked number two in the world, and Paige Railey (USA) currently top the Laser Radial ISAF Sailing World Cup Standings with 37 points followed by Sara Winther (NZL), Trofeo S.A.R. Princess Sofia MAPFRE winner on 36 points in third.
World number one Marit Bouwmeester (NED) is in fourth on 34 points after a consistent run of performances at the three ISAF Sailing World Cup regattas so far. She takes her third place finish at Sail Melbourne and her fifth place finish at the Rolex Miami OCR through to Hyeres losing her sixth place finish in Palma.
Ireland’s Annalise Murphy, who had a bright start at the Trofeo S.A.R. Princess Sofia Mapfre with a 2-1 on the opening day but finished 11th, is the only sailor in the top ten who won’t feature in Hyères.
Nonetheless it will be a Laser Radial fleet full of talent featuring World number three Tatiana Drozdovskaya (BLR) and last year’s Laser Radial ISAF Sailing World Cup runner up Veronika Fenclova (CZE).
In the Finn, Ben Ainslie (GBR) and Giles Scott (GBR) have sailed in all three of the ISAF Sailing World Cup regattas so far. The British duo have been head and shoulders above the rest of the fleet sharing the spoils each time.
Ainslie won Sail Melbourne and the Trofeo S.A.R. Princess Sofia Mapfre and Scott won the Rolex Miami OCR. Ainslie currently leads the Finn ISAF Sailing World Cup Standings on 40 points with Scott in second on 39 points. Both sailors will be in Hyères along with Edward Wright (GBR), Thomas Le Breton (FRA), Andrew Mills (GBR) and Zach Railey (USA) who feature in the top six.
Mathew Belcher and Malcolm Page (AUS) have put in some strong performances in the three ISAF Sailing World Cup regattas so far. Their seventh place finish in Palma has been their most disappointing result but having won Sail Melbourne and finished second at the Rolex Miami OCR they have a possible 39 out of 40 points to their name and lead the Men’s 470 Standings by three points.
The Australian duo, who came top of the Standings last year, will be making the trip to Hyères for their second consecutive year and will be hoping for an improvement on their discarded sixth place finish in 2010.
The Men’s 470 field also boasts World number two Sime Fantela and Igor Marenic (CRO), Princess Sofia winners Pierre Leboucher and Vincent Garos (FRA) and Rolex Miami OCR gold medallists Nic Asher and Elliot Willis (GBR).
Sixty crews will compete in the Women’s 470 and the fleet will include World #1 Ingrid Petitjean and Nadege Douroux (FRA) who will be sailing in their second ISAF Sailing World Cup regatta this season. Women’s 470 Standings leaders Penny Clark and Katrina Hughes (GBR) will also take to the water alongside Giulia Conti and Giovanna Micol (ITA) and Camille Lecointre and Mathilde Geron (FRA).
In the Paralympic classes 23 sailors will sail in the 2.4mR including Thierry Schmitter (NED) who has finished second and first in the two ISAF Sailing World Cup regattas he has sailed in so far. Schmitter tops the Standings. Megan Pascoe (GBR) and Barend Kol (NED) who are second and third will also sail in Hyères.
Eight crews will sail in the Sonar including John Robertson (GBR), Bruno Jourdren (FRA) and Udo Hessels (NED) who make up the top three places in the Sonar ISAF Sailing World Cup Standings.
Alexandra Rickham and Niki Birrell (GBR) will be competing in the six-boat Skud in Hyères. The British duo won Sail Melbourne and finished second at the Rolex Miami OCR. They are the only crew to sail in both regattas and have a 19 point lead over Scott Whitman and Julia Dorsett (USA) who will not be competing in Hyères.
With the ISAF Sailing World Cup now in full flow it will be yet another gripping week of action. ISAF Sailing World Cup