Team GBR 470 sailors dominate in windy conditions at Hyeres
Competitors at Hyeres Olympic Week were met with different weather conditions on day four and instead of waiting for the sea breeze to fill in, they were sent straight out in a steady 15kts of wind.
These conditions seemed to please Team GBR 470 sailors Nick Rogers and Joe Glanfield, who moved into first place after a further three races. They scored a seventh, first and a fourth and are currently leading by three points from Benjamin and Romain Bonnaud of France.
The day was not without catastrophe in the 470 class and confusion on the third race saw many of the top names sat on shore while the others went racing. Many sailors thought that there would only be two races and headed for shore in the windy conditions, that had now reached 20kts. In a bid to get racing ahead of schedule due to the next days forecast a third race was sailed and the British sailors just made it to the start on time while many of their counterparts were still on shore.
Rogers commented: “It was bit of a shame about what happened in the last race today, but sometimes that is the way it goes. We missed out on the time limit on a race by four seconds in Athens [at the Pre-Olympics] and others made it in, and this time we made it to the start and others didn’t, that’s just the way it is. On the whole we are pleased with how we sailed today. We have been putting in many hours on the water sailing in heavy weather and it appears to have paid off.”
Rogers and Glanfields’ team mates are not far behind with Nic Asher and Elliot Willis fifth and Graham Vials and Bevis Field tenth.
It was also a good day in the women’s 470 fleet with fellow British sailors Christina Bassadone and Katherine Hopson moving up into second place overall, just one point behind the 2000 Olympic gold medallists Jenny Armstrong and Belinda Stowell of Australia.
Bassadone summed up her thoughts on the regatta so far and the standard of the fleet: “We are really happy with our performance so far this year. We have felt in the past that the lighter winds have been our strong point, and after a winters training with the GBR men we feel that we have also nailed it in the windier conditions like we had today.
“It is becoming clearer in our fleet that the gaps are closing up and there is no longer one person dominating the field. Anybody now in the top ten is capable of winning an event and we just have to make sure we keep on top of our game.”
It was also a chance today for Olympic gold medallist Shirley Robertson and team mates Sarah Ayton and Sarah Webb to put their new boat to test in the windier conditions. The tests went well and after scoring a second and a third, they have pulled out a 21 point lead over nearest rivals Kristin Wagner, Anna Hoell and Veronika Lochbrunner of Germany.
Robertson commented: “We couldn’t have asked for better sailing conditions today. It has been a perfect week and we have had the opportunity to test the boat in a variety of conditions. We are still learning how to put the boat together and make it go fast but we are happy that we are going well in the lighter conditions. We have also been racing well this week and have been tactically very strong.
“However, we do still have a way to go as we were not the fastest out there today. We were one of the quickest but not the quickest and this is an area we need to work on.”
One race was sailed in the 2.4mR fleet, as the wind had increased too much for the fleet to race in. However, the fierce battle continued for first place and after six races both the Dutch sailor Thierry Schmitter and Frenchman Damien Seguin are tied on equal points at the top of the fleet.
The British sailors have a more private contest going on as they compete for the chance to represent Great Britain at the 2004 Paralympic Games. Allan Smith, who is in third place overall, is currently four points in front of Helena Lucas who is lying in fourth. Andrew Millband is also in strong contention in sixth place overall.
A slightly disappointing day for Paul Goodison saw him drop to fifth place overall in the Laser class, while team mate Andrew Simpson has moved up to sixth place overall in the Finn class and Laura Baldwin is lying 11th in the highly competitive Europe class.
Two more days remain of the regatta although the forecast is for more strong winds which could hamper racing. Twelve races are scheduled for all the fleets, except the 49er and Mistral classes who are scheduled to sail 16.
Results (after day 4)
1, Shirley Robertson/Sarah Ayton/Sarah Webb, GBR (1,3,4,8,(11),1,1,2,3) 23 pts
2, Kristin Wagner/Anna Hoell/Veronika Lochbrunner, GER ((19),1,12,3,8,4,2,3,11) 44 pts
3, Sally Barkow/Carrie Howe/Debbie Capozzi, USA (13,2,(21),5,1,2,6,6,16) 51 pts
24, Dominica Lindsey/Annie Lush/Penny Mountford (16,21,17,25,5,(27),20,24,21) 149 pts
1, Jenny Armstrong/Belinda Stowell, AUS ((23),3,19,11,9,1,1,1) 45 pts
2, Christina Bassadone/Katherine Hopson, GBR ((30),2,4,8,13,4,10,5) 46 pts
3, Ingrid Pettitjean/Nadege Douroux, FRA (4,8,9,2,(10),5,4,16) 48 pts
470 Men – Gold fleet
1, Nick Rogers/Joe Glanfield, GBR (4,2,10,6,9,(14),7,1,4) 43 pts
2, Benjamin Bonnaud/Romain Bonnaud, FRA (2,1,15,1,5,1,10,11,(DNS)) 46 pts
3, Marinho Alvaro/Miguel Nunes, POR (7,3,9,14,4,2,8,5,(DNS)) 52 pts
5, Nic Asher/Elliot Willis ((13),6,13,2,5,13,5,10,6) 60 pts
10, Graham Vials/Bevis Field (4,(BFD),18,8,7,9,22,4,5) 77 pts
Europe – Gold fleet
1, Siren Sundby, NOR (1,1,(21),1,1,3,2,8) 17 pts
2, Sari Multala, FIN (5,12,2,3,10,4,(BFD),11) 47 pts
3, Sarah Macky, NZL ((24),4,1,1,1,23,6,19) 55 pts
11, Laura Baldwin (10,16,11,5,7,20,(23),3) 72 pts
Laser – Gold fleet
1, Robert Scheidt, BRA (1,(4),3,2,1,1,3,2) 13 pts
2, Michael Blackburn, AUS (6,4,(18),3,5,2,1,1) 22 pts
3, Andreas Geritzer, AUT (3,1,3,2,5,3,6,(8)) 23 pts
5, Paul Goodison (1,7,2,1,2,16,(19),7) 36 pts
15, Mark Howard ((25),3,8,2,7,13,15,18) 66 pts
16, Dan Holman (3,11,18,11,4,(33),8,11) 66 pts
18, Ed Wright (9,12,19,2,16,5,(21),9) 72 pts
28, Andrew Commander (3,13,19,3,1,27,35,31) 97 pts
1, Emilios Papathanasiou, GRE (4,2,1,(13),2,4,6) 19 pts
2, Mateusz Kuszneirewicz, POL (2,15,(37),6,1,1,1) 26 pts
3, Marin Misura, CRO ((22),8,2,10,8,5,8) 41 pts
6, Andrew Simpson ((37),1,7,7,32,6,5) 58 pts
1, Thierry Schmitter, NED (1,(OCS),1,1,4,2) 9 pts
2, Damien Seguin, FRA (2,(3),3,2,1,1) 9 pts
3, Allan Smith, GBR (3,(7),2,6,3,3) 17 pts
4, Helena Lucas (4,2,4,7,(8),4) 21 pts
6, Andrew Millband (5,6,9,8,2,(12)) 30 pts
9, Megan Pascoe (8,8,8,9,7,(DNF)) 40 pts
10, Michael Cogswell (11,1,(12),11,12,8) 43 pts
14, Brian Harding (9,12,15,14,(16),13) 62 pts
15, Val Millward (15,(OCS),DNF,13,10,10) 68 pts
17, Simon Wright (12,13,17,18,(19),14) 73 pts
18, Andrew Previte ((20),16,18,15,17,16) 81 pts
1, Mitch Booth/Herbert Dercksen, NED (3,(6),1,4,3,2,1,1) 23 pts
2, John Lovell/Charlie Ogletree, USA (1,8,7,1,1,(11),3,8,3) 32 pts
3, Roman Hagara/Hans Peter Steinacher, AUT (4,(9),5,2,7,5,6,6,5) 40 pts
No GBR boats competing
1, Piero Sibello/Gianfranco Sibello, ITA (1,13,2,(18),1,12,1,7,2,4,5) 48 pts
2, Tim Wadlow/Pete Spaulding, USA (11,4,9,14,2,5,2,(16),1,2,1) 51 pts
3, Andre Fonseca/Rodrigo Duarte, BRA (7,7,3,(12),7,10,5,4,4,5,6) 58 pts
No GBR boats competing
1, Tom Ashlett, NZL (2,(5),3,3,1,2,2,2,1) 16 pts
2, Fabrice Hassen, FRA (1,3,5,1,(19),1,1,3,3) 18 pts
3, Joao Rodrigues, POR (3,4,1,2,6,3,(OCS),1,2) 22 pts
No GBR boats competing
1, Olga Maslivets, UKR ((6),1,5,2,2,2) 12 pts
2, Romy Kinzl, GER (5,(6),6,1,1,3) 16 pts
3, Pauline Perrin, FRA (1,(11),3,4,5,6) 19 pts
No GBR boats competing