ISAF Sailing World Cup series - Semaine Olympique Française.
Hyères, France is all set to host the Semaine Olympique Française, the fourth regatta on the ISAF Sailing World Cup series.
The ISAF Sailing World Cup has seen some excellent racing in the Olympic and Paralympic Sailing Events at Sail Melbourne in December, US Sailing’s Rolex Miami OCR in January and the Trofeo S.A.R. Princess Sofia MAPFRE at the start of April.
The world’s most experienced sailor’s preparations for next year’s Olympic Sailing Competition are well underway and competition in this year’s ISAF Sailing World Cup has been tense. The Semaine Olympique Française 2011 should be no exception.
Dorian van Rijsselberge (NED) will be making the trip to France to sail in his third ISAF Sailing World Cup regatta this season. With victories in the Men’s RS:X in Miami and Palma the Dutchman leads the Standings with 40 points.
His nearest rival, Nick Dempsey (GBR) on 37 points, won’t be making the trip to Hyères but with World #1 Nimrod Mashich (ISR) and World #2 Piotr Myszka (POL) set to compete, van Rijsselberge will have his work cut out to maintain his perfect record so far.
Just like van Rijsselberge, Spain’s Marina Alabau has a perfect record in the Women’s RS:X. She won the Rolex Miami OCR and Princess Sofia to lead Charline Picon (FRA) by four points.
Alabau’s rivals in the Standings will have a chance to overtake her throughout the week as she won’t be sailing in Hyères. Despite Alabau’s absence, the field boasts ISAF Rolex World Sailor of the Year Blanca Manchon (ESP), World #2 Bryony Shaw (GBR) and current holder of third place in the Women’s RS:X Standings Laura Linares (ITA).
At the Trofeo S.A.R. Princess Sofia Mapfre Paul Goodison (GBR), Nick Thompson (GBR) and Tom Slingsby (AUS) all went into the Laser Medal Race with a chance of victory. Goodison came out on top of the three in Palma and all will be sailing against each other again in Hyères.
Thompson and Goodison lead the Laser Standings on 38 points with Slingsby third on 37 points.
World #1 and current 49er ISAF Sailing World Cup Standings leaders Nico Delle-Karth and Nikolaus Resch are one of the 65 crews set to compete in Hyéres. The Austrians won Sail Melbourne and came third in Palma.
Princess Sofia winners Manu Dyen and Stephane Christidis (FRA) will also sail in their home regatta alongside Erik Storck and Trevor Moore (USA) and Paul Brotherton and Mark Asquith (GBR).
Forty crews will sail the Star in Hyéres. Amongst the fleet will be the experienced Brazilian duo of Robert Scheidt and Bruno Prada, last year’s Star ISAF Sailing World Cup silver medallists Andy Horton and James Lyne (USA) and World #3 Johannes Polgar and Markus Koy (GER).
The Women’s Match Racing Competition has served up some excellent head to head sailing thus far with four points separating the top four in the Standings.
Sally Barkow (USA) leads with 38 points, Claire Leroy (FRA) and Anna Tunnicliffe (USA) are joint second on 37 points and Silja Lehtinen (FIN) is fourth on 34 points.
Of the top four only Tunnicliffe won’t be making the trip to Hyères, and with World #2 Nicky Souter (AUS) and World #3 Lucy Macgregor (GBR) also set to attend the competition is wide open. Sailing World Cup