Philippe Presti has won the Trophée Veolia, the inaugural international sailing event using mini monohulls on an Olympic-sized swimming pool

Philippe Presti has won the Trophée Veolia, the inaugural international sailing event using mini monohulls on an Olympic-sized swimming pool in Lyon. The French champion managed to beat Sweden’s Johan Molund in a tight final yesterday while Urkaine’s Evgeniy Braslavets finished in third place beating Australia’s Mitch Booth in another tight match race.

In group E, Sweden’s Johan Molund and Australia’s Mitch Booth dominated the two French contenders, Christine Briand and Xavier Rohart in the quarter-finals. The 470 champion and the Tornado gold silver medallist won two races each and therefore qualified for the semi-finals.

In group G, Ukraine’s Evgeniy Braslavets (470 gold medallist) was most impressive winning three races out of four. Britain’s Paul Brotherton and France’s Philippe Presti fought for the qualifying second place. It was however, the Frenchman who finished in second place as Brotherton, who impressed everyone the previous day, struggled a bit. “That’s life, said Brotherton who enjoyed the racing nevertheless. It was great fun, great boats and a great opportunity to sail against those we normally don’t have a chance to sail against. I hope to come back next year.” France’s Michel Desjoyeaux also struggled and never managed to really be in the match.

The four semi-finalists faced each other in a last fleet racing round. Sweden’s Johan Molund sailed well in that round winning three of the four races. France’s Philippe Presti also did a good job and managed to finish in second place and therefore qualified for the final. Surprisingly, the two favourites, Australia’s Mitch Booth and Ukraine’s Evgeniy Braslavets were the ones who struggled the most. They came third and fourth respectively.

Booth and Braslavets had to fight for third spot overall in a best of three match-race. The Australian managed to snatch victory in the first race but then lost the second race. In the third race, the Ukrainian sailor had a good start while Mitch Booth hit the mark and had to do a penalty turn. The race was over and it was Evgeniy Braslavets who finished in third place overall. “Unfortunately I did not sail very well in the semi-finals and lost my chance to win but I’m glad to finish in third place. It was a very nice and competitive event,” said the 470 gold medallist.

The best of five match-race final between Johan Molund and Philippe Presti was very tight. The Swedish 470 champion started well as he won the first two races. But he was penalised at the start in the third race, which gave the opportunity to Philippe Presti to score his first point. The Frenchman then snatched victory in the next two races to become the winner of the first Trophée Veolia Environnement. Commenting after the racing Presti said:”It helps to have experience in match racing. It’s been a nice event with a very good atmosphere between the competitors. Besides, it’s a great idea to bring a sailing event to the city. I’ve signed more autographs today than during my whole Olympic campaign.”