by Craig Heydon
The Australian Sailing Team’s Laser and 470 men’s crews have consolidated their positions at the front of their fleets on day three of the ISAF Sailing World Cup in Hyeres, France.
A lack of breeze kept the crews on shore until early afternoon with the majority of fleets only able to complete one race on Wednesday to finish off the qualification series.
Tom Slingsby continued his strong form in the Laser class with a second position in the day’s only race to extend his lead to nine points.
The three-time World Champion and ISAF Rolex World Sailor of the Year has sailed consistently well this week, having finished in the top two in four of the six races held so far.
In the 470 men’s fleet 2010 World Champions Mathew Belcher and Malcolm Page finished the qualifying series in style, winning the only race of the day to keep them in third position overall.
The pair has closed the gap to the two leading French crews and is tied on points with second and just a point off the lead.
Mathew Belcher and Malcolm Page racing on day three in Hyeres - Photo Victor Kovalenko - Semaine Olympique Francais - © Victor Kovalenko
The Australian Women’s Match Racing Team crew of Katie Spithill, Jessica Eastwell and Lucinda Whitty completed three of their five repechage round robin races with one win and two losses.
The Australian trio will be pushing hard on day four of racing with the top two crews to progress to the quarter finals of the Women’s Match Racing competition.
Fellow Australians Nicky Souter, Nina Curtis and Olivia Price did not race on day three with their silver round robin races due to start on Wednesday.
The Finn fleet completed two races with Australian Sailing Team member Brendan Casey currently 32nd, after crossing the start line early in race one and then finishing 22nd in race two.
Australian Sailing Squad member Krystal Weir continues to hold down fourth position in the Laser Radial fleet while fellow Squad members Sam Kivell and Will Ryan are 30th in the 470 men’s fleet.
Ryan Palk has moved up the ladder to be eighth in the Laser class with a second place finish in the day’s only race and finds himself just eight points off the podium as the competition reaches the finals stage.
Australian Sailing Team member Tom Burton ended the qualifying stage in 21st position while Squad member Ashley Brunning is 61st.
In the 470 women’s fleet Tessa Parkinson and Marieke Jongens had their best race result of the regatta with a fourth leaving them 31st overall.
Racing continues in Hyeres on Wednesday with the final medal races to be held on Friday.
Australian Sailing Team website here
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12:27 AM Wed 27 Apr 2011 GMT
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