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NZL Sailing Team: 49erFX crew hit the high notes at SOF Hyères - Day 3

by Michael Brown / Yachting NZ 27 Apr 19:31 PDT 28 April 2022
Alex Maloney and Olivia Hobbs (NZL) - 49erFX - NZL Sailing Team - Semaine Olympique Française de Hyères - April 2022 © Sailing Energy/FFVoile

Alex Maloney and Olivia Hobbs feel like they're finding their feet as a combination and it showed in the Day 3 results at Semaine Olympique Française de Hyères (French Olympic Week) regatta in Hyères, with the pair notching three good results to put them right in the hunt.

Maloney and Hobbs were first, fourth and third in their three races today to move up into seventh in the 49erFX, only four points off third.

The top half of the fleet will now move into two days of gold fleet racing, when points can accumulate more quickly, before the top10 medal race, and also moving through will be Jo Aleh and Molly Meech who are 15th in their first international event together.

Maloney and Hobbs teamed up earlier this year and emerged from qualifying in Hyeres with two race wins and four other results in the top five.

"We are feeling a lot more comfortable as a team and in the boat in general, which is nice," Hobbs said. "We were pretty happy with our speed today and want to keep up the consistent results."

Maloney added: "I think it's really encouraging. It's felt pretty natural with Liv from the start. When you're thrown into a racing environment, you learn pretty quickly and it's apparent we both haven't raced that much over the last couple of years."

Many of the New Zealand squad in Hyeres have, despite Covid-19 constraints, put together some impressive results early in the European season.

Micah Wilkinson and Erica Dawson are fifth in the Nacra 17, George Gautrey sixth in the ILCA 7 (Laser) and Isaac McHardie and William McKenzie and Logan Dunning Beck and Oscar Gunn 10th and 11th respectively in the 49er.

Veerle ten Have remains the best-placed of the Kiwis in fourth in the women's iQFoil but didn't race today due to a mix up from race officials and then a dying breeze.

The Nacra 17 fleet enjoyed beautiful foiling conditions of 10-12 knots earlier in the day and Wilkinson and Dawson put together scores of 3, 3, 10, 4. The Italian pair of Ruggero Tita and Caterina Banti have won five of the nine races so far to open up a handy lead but things can change quickly in gold fleet racing.

"It was a pretty awesome day, with champagne foiling conditions," Wilkinson said. "We managed to get three out of the four starts right and had some pretty mega drag races with the Italians, Finnish and British. Boat speeds were high and we had a lot of fun but they still had the legs on us.

"The results weren't too bad but we're still missing a click of speed, particularly on the Italians. We're pretty happy with our upwind foiling but we still need to find another gear."

It was a disastrous day for ILCA 7 world champion Tom Saunders, who was disqualified from both of his races today for being over the start line early. He still qualified for gold fleet, along with Gautrey who is well placed in sixth.

"It was a tough day out and sometimes you've just got to laugh," Saunders said. "I finished in the top three in both races but was over [early] for both. It happens. I'll regroup and look to finish the regatta well."

Results and standings after Day 3 of the French Olympic Week regatta in Hyeres:

49er (61 boats)

1st: Dominik Buksak / Szymon Wierzbicki (POL) 3 1 1 3 (4) 1 1 4 2 - 16points 2nd: Nevin Snow / Max Agnese (USA) 1 4 3 1 2 3 3 (11) 5 - 22 pts 3rd: Diego Botin / Florian Trittel (ESP) (13) 10 1 2 6 5 7 3 4 - 38 pts

10th: Isaac McHardie / William McKenzie (NZL) 2 11 4 8 11 3 2 (20) 15 - 56 pts 11th: Logan Dunning Beck / Oscar Gunn (NZL) 12 6 7 8 1 13 11 5 (14) - 63 pts 43rd: Sam Bacon / Henry Gautrey (NZL) 14 15 12 29 23 22 20 (32 BFD) 5 - 140 pts

49erFX (38 boats)

1st: Helene Ness / Marie van Ronningen (NOR) 5 (13) 1 1 1 1 4 4 4 7 - 27 pts 2nd: Lara Granier / Maelie Riou (FRA) 1 5 3 8 6 (20 DSQ) 2 1 2 - 28 pts 3rd: Vilma Bobeck / Rebecca Netzlar (SWE) 1 1 14 (20 DSQ) 2 9 3 2 1 - 33 pts

7th: Alex Maloney / Olivia Hobbs (NZL) 3 10 5 (11) 10 1 1 4 3 - 37 pts 15th: Jo Aleh / Molly Meech (NZL) 6 12 (16) 4 15 2 9 8 6 - 62 pts

Nacra 17 (32 boats)

1st: Ruggero Tita / Caterina Banti (ITA) 1 (5) 4 4 1 1 1 1 2 - 15 pts 2nd: John Gimson / Anna Burnet (GBR) 3 (16) 3 1 5 4 5 2 1 - 24 pts 3rd: Sinem Kurtbay / Akseli Keskinen (FIN) (14) 1 3 2 2 2 3 6 - 30 pts

5th Micah Wilkinson / Erica Dawson (NZL) 7 1 12 (16) 6 3 3 10 4 - 46 pts

Women's iQFoil (32 boards)

1st: Hélène Noesmoen (FRA) 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 (2) (6) 1 - 8 pts 2nd: Maja Dziarnowska (POL) (6) (6) 5 2 3 2 2 3 4 2 - 23 pts 3rd: Delphine Cousin (FRA) 2 3 (6) (6) 2 4 3 4 2 6 - 26 pts

4th Veerle ten Have (NZL) (9) 4 2 5 7 3 4 5 (8) 4 - 34 pts 29th: Brianna Orams (NZL) 27 28 26 28 (30) (30) 29 25 25 25 - 213 pts

Men's iQFoil (57 boards)

1st: Nicolas Goyard (FRA) (10) 2 2 (6) 2 1 1 1 1 1 - 11 pts 2nd: Sebastian Koerdel (GER) (11) 1 6 4 3 2 4 3 (18) 2 - 25 pts 3rd: Clément Bourgeois (FRA) 2 3 3 1 6 (58 DNF) 8 2 (14) - 28 pts

15th: Josh Armit (NZL) 15 13 13 (28) 7 10 (17) 9 11 6 - 84 pts 30th Eli Liefting (NZL) 27 36 (47) 20 20 31 24 32 31 (40) - 221 pts 56th: Thomas Crook (NZL) (DNC 58) (DNC 58) DNC 58 DNC 58 DNC 58 DNC 58 DNC 58 DNC 58 DNC 58 DNC 58 - 464 pts

ILCA 7 (129 boats)

1st: Philipp Buhl (GER) 1 (3) 1 1 2 1 - 6 pts 2nd: Matt Wearn (AUS) 2 1 1 1 1 (44 UFD) - 6 pts 3rd: Pavlos Kontides (CYP) 3 1 2 2 1 (10) - 9 pts

6th: George Gautrey (NZL) 9 2 2 2 5 (16) - 20 pts 31st: Tom Saunders (NZL) 2 3 1 4 (44 UFD) 44 UFD - 54 pts 88th: Luke Cashmore (NZL) 35 26 28 (41) 9 29 - 127 pts 89th: Luke Deegan (NZL) (35) 17 31 25 33 21 - 127 pts

ILCA 6 (65 boats)

1st: Agata Barwinska (POL) 8 2 1 17 4 (19) - 32 pts 2nd: Emma Plasschaert (BEL) 6 7 10 8 6 (37) - 37 pts 3rd: Marie Barrue (FRA) 16 12 6 16 (28) 1 - 51 pts

45th: Olivia Christie (NZL) 32 33 40 39 36 (44) - 180 pts

Full results sof.ffvoile.fr/results

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