Three British teams currently top the rankings at the Olympic classes regatta in Hyeres 24/4/07
British boats top the leaderboards in three classes at the French Olympic Sailing Week in Hyeres after a second day of light and tricky conditions on Monday (23 April).
European Champions Stevie Morrison and Ben Rhodes consolidated their early lead in the 49er fleet with another win from their only race of the day, while windsurfer Bryony Shaw and Sonar crew John Robertson, Hannah Stodel and Stephen Thomas improved their overnight positions from second to first after this second day of racing on the French Riviera.
In the 49er event, Morrison and Rhodes, who won gold at the Princess Sofia Trophy in Palma at the beginning of April, now have a 13 point lead after a total of three races, while two other Skandia Team GBR crews – John Pink-Simon Wheeler and World Champions Chris Draper-Simon Hiscocks – join them in the top ten in fourth and eighth places respectively.
“I’d say we were very lucky today, as we were pretty close to the line at the start!” said Morrison. It was a pretty long, hard day, trying to keep our concentration when there have been quite long delays in getting out on the water – but I think generally we do a pretty good job switching off when we need to and switching our focus back on ready for when the racing starts.”
Two-time IFDS World Champions Robertson, Stodel and Thomas assumed the lead in the Paralympic Sonar class, with the help of 3,2 from their two races, and aided by the two Israeli teams in the class not taking to the water today due to it being a national holiday.
After a day of shifty conditions on the RS:X course, the breeze settled in time for the start of the windsurfing women’s race, with Bryony Shaw following up her 2,1 from Sunday with another race win today.
European silver medallist Shaw, who missed out on the medal race in Palma earlier this month, is buoyed by her performance so far in Hyeres, commenting: “I was disappointed with Palma, not just with my result but also that fact that we only had six races – it was such a good fleet there so it would have been good to get more racing experience amongst such strong competition.”
In the Finn class, defending titleholder Ed Wright has moved up from fourth to second place with the help of a seventh from the fleet’s single race, while Helena Lucas is poised in fourth overall in the 2.4mR class, scoring 2,4 for her efforts.
Nick Thompson posted an impressive 1,3 from his two races in the Laser fleet today to boost him to 25th and top British to make up for a disappointing opening day with a 34th on Sunday. World number one Paul Goodison has also improved his lot to 67th with a 3,8 after his premature start on Sunday.
Athens silver medallists Nick Rogers and Joe Glanfield got over their frustrating start to the regatta with a second in the sole 470 men’s race, while the Rawlinson sisters and Sue Monson – overnight leaders in the Yngling class – have dropped to fifth place overall with a 19,16. Sarah Ayton, Sarah Webb and Pippa Wilson scored a 6,19 to push them up to 13th overall, while Shirley Robertson, Annie Lush and Lucy Macgregor also improved their standing to 15th, with a 12th and 8th from the fleet’s two races.
In the 470 women’s event, Christina Bassadone and Saskia Clark are in 18th place, development squad sailors Chris Rashley and Marcus Lynch are the top Skandia Team GBR sailors in the Tornado class in 19th place. Leo McCallin is the top British sailor in the men’s RS:X fleet in 36th, while in the Laser Radial fleet, Laura Baldwin and Lizzie Vickers are the top two British sailors in the hunt, in 11th and 14th overall after four races.
Racing at the 2007 French Olympic Sailing Week runs through until Friday 27 April.