RYA Team GBR lead three classes at halfway mark in Hyeres

As Hyeres Olympic classes sailing regatta reaches the halfway mark, members of RYA Team GBR are leading the Yngling, Tornado and 2.4mR classes and are second overall in the Laser Radial class.

Olympic gold medallist Sarah Ayton, sailing with Annie Lush and Lisa McDonald (who has stepped in to replace Sarah Webb whilst she recovers from a knee operation), looks like she has settled into her new role as helm. In the two windy races today, which reached 28 knots at times, the British team posted a second place followed by their second race win of the regatta to maintain their overall lead. After five races they lead the American team of Sally Barkow, Carrie Howe and Debbie Capozzi by three points.

Although the Tornados were again racing on the limit, the relatively new British pairing of Rob Wilson and Mark Bulkeley excelled in the conditions. Two second places added to their fourth and fifth from yesterday’s racing moves them to the top of the leader board. They have established a five-point lead over Johannes Polgar and Florian Spalteholz of Germany.

British sailor Helena Lucas continued to dominate the 2.4mR Paralympic class. So far she has managed a clean sweep in the three races and has pulled out a seven point lead over team mate Allan Smith.

Lucas commented on the day: “We had up to 25 knots on the course and usually don’t race in these conditions, but we sailed in this much wind during the World Championship and we had lots of fun. I really enjoy these conditions and am glad that I am sailing well.”

Two British sailors line the top ten in the 61-boat Laser Radial fleet with Lizzie Vickers leading the British charge. Despite the conditions Vickers sailed well to score a third and a second, which added to her score so far, was enough to see her move up a step on the podium into second place overall. There was also change at the top and two first places saw Sophie De Turckheim of France taking the overall lead. Fellow British sailor Andrea Brewster is currently lying tenth overall after scoring a sixth and an eighth.

It was also a good day on the water for the British women’s 470 pairings. A 13th and a fifth place for Christina Bassadone and Saskia Clark places them fifth overall and fellow Brits Pippa Wilson and Sheena Craig scored a sixth and a ninth and have moved up to ninth place overall.

Tomorrow will see the larger classes split into gold and silver, with the gold fleets racing for the regatta medals. Racing continues through until Friday 29 April