Record participation for fourth Sailing World Cup Event in Hyères.
Friday 22nd April 2011
With the European circuit now in full swing and many teams competing for Olympic selections, all the sailors aspiring for a spot in London are converging to the south of France in Hyères, host of the famous “Semaine Olympique Française”.
Fourth event on the ISAF Sailing World Cup circuit, the SOF-TPM has registered this year a record number of entries with 1100 athletes from 60 nations. According to event director, Bernard Bonneau: “ The « SOF » has attracted lots of teams and this is a real satisfaction, however, I believe this strong participation is linked with the world economical situation. I have the feeling that many federations have concentrated their objectives on the European circuit in order to limit costs.”
Olympic selections which are another cause of the high entries have started for some nations two weeks ago in Palma at the Trofeo Princesa Sofia MAPFRE. Hyères will be used for other countries as qualification event. All the top favourites are in Hyères in most classes to gain further points on the Sailing World Cup circuit and measure up against their main rivals.
And for the first time, the Semaine Olympique Française will stage all the Olympic and Paralympic events in a week packed with action!
The French sailors will feel the pressure with their “home” regatta chosen as first “observation event” for London 2012! Nicolas Charbonnier sailing now with Jeremie Mion, and Emmanuelle Rol with Hélène Defrance in the 470, will also defend their title. Competition this year will be tough not only against other French team members but by the high level of competition. After winning Palma a few points ahead of Leboucher/Garos, Charbonnier and Mion will meet again with all the top 470 teams including World Champions and World # 1 Mat Belcher and Malcolm Page (AUS), the Italians Zandona/Zuchetti, second in Hyères last year or World # 2 Sime Fantela and Igor Marenic (CRO). Rolex Miami OCR Gold medallists Nic Asher and Elliot Willis (GBR) will also be among the favourites.
2010 European champions, Emmanuelle Rol and Hélène Defrance (FRA) will defend their title against two other strong French teams. World #1 Ingrid Petitjean and Nadège Douroux have started the year by winning the Rolex Miami OCR, and Camille Lecointre with Mathilde Géron have taken the second place in the Sailing World Cup standings after placing in the top ten in Miami and Palma. The French will have also to deal with Julia Conti and Giovanna Micol (ITA), 2010 World's Bronze medallists, the Japanese Ai Kondo and Wakako Tabata, second in Palma, or Penny Clarke and Katrina Hughes SWC leaders and second in the Rolex Miami OCR.
Record attendance as well in the Laser radial with 115 sailors registered to take part in the SOF-TPM. Most of the world top 20 will compete for SWC points and the title won last year by Ausra Mileviciute (LTU). Fresh from winning the Trofeo Princesa Sofia in Palma, Sarah Winther (NZL) will lead the attack. Favourites include 2010 World Champion Sari Multala (FIN), Paige Railey winner of the Rolex Miami OCR or last year SWC circuit champion and World's silver medallist, Marit Bouwmeester (NED).
In the Men's division, Paul Goodison (GBR) who snatched away the title on the last day in Palma from Tom Slingsby, is one of the hot favourite. The Beijing Gold medallist will aim to keep his title won last year in Hyères. Last year's runner up, Andreas Geritzer (AUT) and Javier Hernandez (ESP), World Champion Tom Slingsby (AUS) or SWC leader, Nick Thompson (GBR), will all be ready for a slice of victory.
World #1 Nico Delle-Karth and Nicolau Reisch (AUT), after taking Silver in Hyères three times (2007, 2009 and 2010) will be ready to climb one place higher on the 49er podium. They lead the Sailing World Cup standings after winning Sail Melbourne and placing 3rd in Palma. Defending champions Paul Brotherton and Mark Asquith (GBR) placed second in Miami early this year and will be among the class favourites with Palma champions Manu Dyen and Stéphane Christidis (FRA), Italian brothers Pietro and Gianfranco Sibello, second in Palma and third at the 2010 Worlds.
The start of the year have seen a British contest in the Finn class. The come back of Ben Ainslie to Olympic competition, and Olympic selection at a close distance, the pressure is on for the strong British squad. Since Ed Wright claimed last year his second Sailing World Cup title and the World Championship, events titles have been shared between Giles Scott and Ben Ainslie. Scott has claimed victory in the Sail for Gold event last summer and in the Miami OCR at the start of the year while the multiple Olympic champion Ben Ainslie has taken Gold at Sail Melbourne and Palma. However, with a record 80 boats fleet in the Finn, the Semaine Olympique Française will not just be a British affair. French sailors Thomas Lebreton, third in Palma, and Jonathan Lobert or Croatians' World #1 Ivan Kljakovic Gaspic and last year winner Marin Misura returning to the competition after a winter of intense training, will be part of the battle along with Silver medallists Zach Railey (USA) and Rafa Trujillo (ESP).
2011 is the year that marks the come back in full force of the Star fleet in Hyères. The presence of two good French teams playing in Hyères their first Olympic selection regatta, has attracted many of the top Star crews. Among them are multi Olympic medal winners Torben Grael with Marcelo Ferreira, Robert Scheidt with Bruno Prada (BRA), Iain Percy and Andrew Simpson (GBR)...
18 countries will be represented in the Women Match racing. Hallbrook's team (GER) will defend the SOF -TPM 2010 title. Barkow and Lehtinen, finalists in Palma, World leaders of Claire Leroy, Nicky Souter (AUS) and Lucy MacGregor will provided some close racing.
The RS:X fleets will not be complete in Hyères with some key players away. Palma winner, Dorian van Rijsselberge (NED), defending champion Byron Kokalanis, Olympic champion Tom Ashley, Nick Dempsey (GBR) or Ivan Pastor (ESP) are taking a break from the competition to prepare for the Sail for Gold regatta and test event in Weymouth. However, the RS:X level will remain high with Olympic Silver medallist Julien Bontemps (FRA), World #1 Nimrod Mashich (ISR), World Champion Piotr Myszka (POL) or Sail Melbourne winner King Yin Chan (HKG) all present in Hyères in a fleet of 90 board sailors.
After winning for the first time the Trofeo Princesa Sofia title in Palma, Marina Alabau will not compete in Hyères. Bryony Shaw will be back to defend her title and will face tough competition against ISAF Sailor of the Year Blanca Manchon, the Italians Sensini and Linares who will continue on their tight Olympic selection, and the french Charline Picon, second in Palma. A strong Chinese team is present in Hyères with 10 windsurfers including 2009 Hyères week winner Cheina Pen.
For the first time in the SOF-TPM history, the three Paralympic classes will race.
In the 2.4, last year top three have come back with Athens Gold medallist Damien Seguin, Palma winner Thierry Schmitter (NED) and Megan Pascoe facing Beijing medallists Canadian Paul Tingley and American, John Ruf. The fleet of 22 boats is representing 10 countries.
John Robertson team (GBR) in the Sonar will come to Hyères after a strong season debut with a win in Miami and a second place at the IFDS Worlds last year. The British team will try to repeat their 2008 victory in Hyères against Athens Silver medallists and world champions' Udo Hessels team from the Netherlands, or the Paralympic Silver medal French team of Bruno Jourdren.
The Skud will be present for the first time in Hyères. World#1, the team of Alexandra Rickham and Niki Birrel (GBR) will be the favourite in the 6 boats fleet after winning the 2010 Skud Worlds and Sail Melbourne and taking Silver in Sail for Gold and the Rolex Miami OCR.
After a practice race on Saturday, racing will start for all classes on Sunday. Classes divided in groups will sail their qualification stages until Tuesday 26h to be then divided in Gold, Silver and Bronze for the Lasers. The Medal races will be staged on Friday 29th in front of the Hyères harbour jetty.
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Favourites take the honours!
Sunday 24th April, 2011
Perfect conditions blessed the first day of competition in the Semaine Olympique Française, fourth event in the ISAF Sailing World Cup.
The easterly breeze ranging from 12 to 18 knots in the seven different racing areas, big waves and sun provided for excellent racing in Hyères and saw many favourites taking the honours.
ISAF Sailor of the Year, Tom Slingsby (AUS) took a rocket start with two bullets in the Laser. The Australian, renown for his breeze sailing skills has dominated the competition in one of the three Laser group. Simon Grotelueschen (GER) scores his best day ever in the Laser with two victories in his group. Good performance as well for Brazilian Bruno Fontes (BRA) who places third overall after two second.
World # 1 Marit Bouwmeester (NED) has also given the pace in the Laser radial with two victories. “That was great, stable winds, I love it. Perfect sailing conditions. Tomorrow we will need more patience as they expect a sea breeze."
Other race victories go to Alison Young (GBR) and Evi van Acker (BEL) who place respectively in second and fourth place overall. Sarah Steyaert (FRA) is taking third.
The British Armada continues to dominate the Finn fleet. Ben Ainslie is continuing on his good form after winning both races in the breeze despite his preference for the lighter conditions. Giles Scott, Miami OCR champion took a race in his group and a second to place second in front of PJ Postma (NED) while Andrew Mills and Ed Wright are one point behind in fourth and fifth overall.
British team coach Matt Howard, is taking this first day philosophically: “You can’t win the regatta on the first day, but you can lose it so in that respect it’s a good start. We were strong today but it’s all about the gold fleet racing towards the end of the week and there’s a lot of points to be won and lost between now and then.”
The favourites are in command in the RS:X with today's results copying the Olympic podium. Tom Ashley, Olympic Champion is in first position after top three placing, Julien Bontemps (FRA) in second after a sixth and two bullets and Shahar Zubari (ISR) third.
World Champion Blanca Manchon (ESP) wins two races and takes a second in the women division to lead eight points from Flavia Tartaglini (ITA) and Eugénie Ricard (FRA).
Tara Pacheco and Berta Betanzos (ESP) master the conditions in the 470 women. The Spanish duo places fourth in the first race and win the second to take the lead two points from Gil Cohen and Bouskila Vered (ISR) and 2009 Hyères winners Henriette Koch and Lene Sommer (DEN).
Results are tight among the 470 men, Panagiotis Mantis and Pavlos Kagialis (GRE) are leading on equal points with Palma winners Nicolas Charbonnier and Jérémie Mion (FRA) and a point from Pierre Leboucher and Vincent Garos (FRA) who won the last race.
Erik Storck and Trevor Moore (USA) have enjoyed the breeze with fantastic results in the 49er. A third and two bullets give them a good six points lead in the 49er.
Palma winners Manu Dyen and Stéphane Christidis (FRA) had a consistent day with top six finishes, placing them in second overall. Unfortunately, a cartwheel capsize on the way back to the harbour resulted in a dislocated shoulder for skipper Many Dyen. “ It is real bad news, we were in a good dynamic. Now Manu needs to be immobilised for at least three weeks. We hope to be ready for Sail For Gold and show we can bounce back.” commented sailing partner Stéphane Christidis.
Quadriple Olympic champion Robert Scheidt with Bruno Prada leads the score in the strong Star fleet. They are only one point from George Szabo and Mark Strubbe (USA).
French teams have taken all in the Sonar and 2.4. Last year winner, Damien Seguin his taking the bullets while main rival Thierry Scmitter was penalised with a start disqualification after placing second. British ladies Megan Pascoe and Helena Lucas are in second and third overall.
Bruno Jourdren, Eric Flageul and Nicolas Vimont Vicary are dominating the seven boats fleet in the Sonar.
Alexandra Rickham and Niki Birrell (GBR) are leading the Skud in front of team mates Alex Hovden and Kate Mannerings (GBR).
The Women’s Match Racing Race Committee started the first matches at 10h00 and finished the 40th match of the day eight hours later! A beautiful day of very closely fought matches amongst the 24 teams from 18 countries.
The 24 teams are divided into three groups for the Stage One round robins. Seven teams are undefeated in their groups: Claire Leroy (FRA), Sally Barkow (USA), Silvia Roca (ESP), Ekaterina Skudina (RUS), Tamara Echegoyen (ESP), Lucy Macgregor (GBR), and Renee Groeneveld (NED).
Stage One will continue tomorrow. The top two teams from each group will move into the Gold Group and the next two will move into the Repechage Group. The Repechage Group will sail a round robin to determine who will join the Gold Group in the knock-out quarter-finals.
Racing will start early on Monday for the second day of the competition. The race committee has decided to make the most of the remains of the easterly wind before the sea breeze, expected later in the day, come and upset the schedule.
Difficult conditions bring new opportunities
Monday 25th April 2011
The medium and shifty wind in the second day of racing in Hyères has brought new leaders in five classes.
The French teams of Pierre Leboucher and Vincent Garos added two victories to climb to the top of the scoreboard in the 470 men. They are closely followed by Nicolas Charbonnier and Jérémie Mion (FRA) in second while Mat Belcher and Malcolm Page (AUS) are getting into third place.
“We are confident with our racing, but we need to keep realistic as we are only half way through the regatta. This is our first selection regatta so, to be in competition is a real motivation.”
In the Laser radial, it is Princesa Sofia champion Sara Winther (NZL) who claims the day and the lead with top 3 racing. The French are also present in the top three with Sarah Steyaert (FRA) in second and Sophie de Turckheim in third.
British sailors are leading in the 49er and the Finn.
Dylan Fletcher and Alain Sign (GBR) have enjoyed the difficult conditions with two bullets and a second in the 49er fleet. They are six points ahead of Emil and Simon Nielsen (DEN) and Dave Evans and Ed Powys (GBR).
“It was a really good day at the office. It all just seemed to come together, we got good starts, had good boat speed. It was a great day. We tend to like a bit of breeze – we can just throw the boat around and actually have a laugh jumping downwind but today was a bit more tense and you have to try and concentrate on boat speed all the time.”explain the leaders.
Giles Scott, winner of the Rolex Miami OCR has taken a one point lead in the Finn fleet in front of Ben Ainslie now on equal points with Pieter-Jan Postma. Dan Slater (NZL) has won both races in his group in fourth position.
In the RS:X men, World Champion Piotr Myszka (POL) who shared the day's bullets with Shahar Zubari is in front of the men's windsurfers. He is only one point from the Beijing Bronze medallist who is playing his Olympic selection in Hyères.
In the other classes early leaders are comforting their top position.
World champion Blanca Manchon is showing her skills in the mixed conditions encountered since the start of the week. She wins today's both races in the medium breeze. Charline Picon remains in second place in front 2009 SOF winner, Cheina Pen (CHN).
Blanca Manchon explains her day: “I have been very fast and had a good day. I am racing at my best level. I don't want to push too much because the next event for me, Sail for Gold, is very important as it is part of our Olympic selection. I have well chosen the equipment for this event and everything is working fine. I will try and keep racing at this level tomorrow because it is the last day for qualifications and from Thursday all the best will race together. Feelings on the water can't be better and the wind so far has been with us.”
Tom Slingsby (AUS) remains in first place in the Laser, with Javier Hernandez (ESP) climbing to second. Andy Maloney takes third. Class favourites, Andreas Geritzer (AUT), Michael Bullot (NZL), Julio Alsogaray (ARG), or British Paul Goodison and Nick Thompson (GBR) have suffered from the day's conditions and are outside the top 20.
Tara Pacheco and Berta Betanzos (ESP) are continuing on their good form with consistent top four
results. They have gained a eight points lead over Penny Clark and Katrina Hughes (GBR).
The Star class had one of the longest day on the water with three long races. Three places in the top four have given early leaders Robert Scheidt and Bruno Prada (BRA) a ten points lead over George Szabo and Mark Strube (USA). Diego Negri and Enrico Voltolini (ITA) are third.
In the women Match-racing, the top six teams have qualified for the Gold group. Claire Leroy is the only team to go in the Gold undefeated wit seven victories.
“It was a very nice day. We were strong with tight matches especially against the Finnish who was very fast. We fought hard, and gave penalties to all our opponents. To be in the Gold group means less stress and more time to get prepared for the quarter-finals.” explains Leroy.
She is joined by Skudina (RUS), MacGregor (GBR), Barkow (USA), Groeneveld (NED) and Echegoyen (ESP) who qualifies for the first time in the Gold group. However, Palma Silver medallist Lehtinen (FIN) has narrowly missed the repechage and will continue in the Silver group.
In the three Paralympic classes, yesterday leaders have conserved their position.
Tomorrow will be the last chance for sailors racing in groups to qualify for the final stage and the Gold group.
Long day for end of qualifications
Tuesday 26th April 2011
The objective of the day to finish the programme before the final stage has been reached! Sailing started late due to a summery weather, more appropriate for lazing in the shade than sailing a regatta! The chances to conclude the qualifications looked grim but finally by 8PM the last boats came back to the dock after a long day of wait and sail.
Beijing Bronze medallist Shahar Zubari (ISR) added a third victory to his score and takes the lead in the Men's division over Silver medallist Julien Bontemps (FRA) after a series of top three results. “So far my best series in a regatta is top 5 at last year's Europeans. I am very happy with my results so far. I usually prefers light wind but this year I have worked a lot on the planning and now I see the results.” Zubari who won Hyères in 2009 is keen to gain the title one more time. “The level is very high and it will be harder with the Gold fleet tomorrow. We will see, there are still three days to go.”
Piotr Myszka (POL) loses two places to third with an eight place finish. He is on equal point with Olympic champion Tom Ashley (NZL).
“Today was a difficult race for me.” says Myszka, “I started very well. I knew I had to go to the right side of the course but I could not tack because I was blocked on the starboard tack. I went too far left and at the first mark I was only 16th. Then I had a good ride with the wind and was 9th on the leeward mark and finished 8th after passing Cariolou on the slalom. I was exhausted but happy. After a poor start I finished the race in a good position... Of course, I went down to third overall but now with the start of the finals I will be able to check with Shahar Zubari (ISR).”
ISAF Sailor of the Year Blanca Manchon (ESP) is going into the Gold group with a nine points lead over Charline Picon (FRA). Peina Chen in third and Laura Linares placed fifth, won today's races.
Same podium in the 470 men but change of leader with Palma winners Nicolas Charbonnier and Jeremie Mion taking first place without yet to win a race. They are one point in front of Pierre Leboucher / Vincent Garos on equal point with World champions Mat Belcher and Malcolm Page (AUS).
“Our objective on this regatta was to have regular results. Today we collect another third place and gained first overall so all is good. Tomorrow another regatta is starting with the Gold fleet, the level will change.”
Two french also in the Star class top three. Guillaume Florent and Pascal Rambeau win the unique race of the day to place second in front of Xavier Rohart and Pierre-Alexis Ponsot second in the race. Robert Scheidt and Bruno Prada keep their earlier lead.
Tara Pacheco and Berta Betanzos discard today an 18th place but are still able to maintain a 14 points lead over Italians Giulia Conti and Giovanna Micol and 23 points on Penny Clark and Katrina Hughes (GBR).
In the 49er, yesterday leaders Fletcher/Sign conserve their lead despite a place of 19th. The Nielsen and Sibello brothers are in second and third.
Laser World Champion Tom Slingsby (AUS) has secured a nine points lead. Nick Maloney (NZL) and Simon Grotelueschen (GER) are in second and third. The young German add a third victory to his score.
“I am really happy with my day, especially in these conditions. Normally I am better in the breeze.” With 1m94, Grotelueschen masters the stronger conditions and proved it with a first and a second in Palma with 25knots and on Sunday with two bullets taken in the breeze in the opening day of the regatta. “I realise that it is close racing and the next days will be hard but I feel confident and relax.”
In the Laser Radial, Sara Winther (NZL) is conserving top place in the overall rankings. Sarah Steyaert, who won the 2008 Worlds in New Zealand, wins the race and gets closer to first placing, one point only from Winther. Marit Bouwmeester (NED) is bouncing back from yesterday 27th place to take second and third overall.
In the Finn, Ben Ainslie is back at the front after a perfect day and two bullets.
“It was a really tricky day – the wind was all over the place and there were lots of place changes in all of the races, but I was happy to get through with two good races in the end considering everything that went on, so it was a good day.”
Pieter-Jan Postma (NED) is continuing with regular results to take second overall. Ed Wright climbs on the podium. Young Estonian Deniss Karpak wins both races in his group and get to seventh overall.
In the Women Match racing, today saw some tight matches and half way in the repechage, no team are clearly leading. Abrahamsen team, who has qualified in the repechage for the first time, have won their most difficult matches against last year winner Hallbrock (GER) and Spithill (AUS). The six teams selected in the Gold group have completed half of their matches for the seedings. Claire Leroy who had won all their matches have finished the day with 0-3.
In the three paralympic classes, yesterday winners are extending their lead.
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Seven Gold in penultimate day!
The last day of finals in the fourth ISAF Sailing World Cup event in Hyères has concluded on Thursday with seven early winners in the Olympic and Paralympic classes.
Tara Pacheco and Berta Betanzos (ESP) have been in control in the 470 women division since day one and have kept increasing their lead to an amazing 32 points lead in a talented field.
“It is the first time we win an event with such a big lead before the medal race. We have been able to sail well in the breeze, our favoured conditions but also in the lights where we are trying hard. Tomorrow we will sail our race as usual and will try not to disturb the others who are playing for the other medals”.
Pacheco and Betanzos have had a dream start in their Olympic selections which will continue in Weymouth for Sail for Gold and at the ISAF Worlds.
The next four teams will fight for Silver and Bronze during the medal race on Friday.
In the 470 men, the French teams have been playing catch up since Palma, sharing top placings. This time it is Pierre Leboucher and Vincent Garos who come on top. They have created the gap today with enough points to win the event from team mates and rivals Nicolas Charbonnier and Jeremie Mion (FRA). Silver and Bronze will be the objective of teams placed from second to 6th.
“We sail together for eleven years and it is the first time we win before the medal race. We came here to win and we are very happy especially when this event is our first Olympic selection event.” declared Pierre Leboucher.
With six victories taken in all kind of conditions, Ben Ainslie (GBR) has proven once again he is the master of the Finns! The medal race will be a round of honour for the multiple medallist who is adding a third Sailing World Cup title this year after claiming Sail Melbourne and the Trofeo Princesa Sofia in Palma last month. Pieter-Jan Postma (NED) and Beijing Silver medallist Zach Railey (USA) will start the Medal race in second and third position. Filippo Baldassari (ITA) will sail tomorrow his first medal race. The 20 years old has achieved in Hyères, second Olympic selection event, his best result ever in the Finn.
Ben Ainslie's competitor from his early days in the Laser, Robert Scheidt (BRA) is leaving his print in the Star class, after leading the SOF-TPM from day one with crew Bruno Prada. Like his old time Laser rival, Scheidt and Prada have already won the event in Hyères. Second place go to Xavier Rohart and Pierre-Alexis Ponsot and third to Diego Negri and Enrico Voltolini (ITA) before the medal race.
The Paralympic classes didn't bring much surprise over the week and early leaders have kept the control of the fleet. Damien Seguin wins the SOF for the fourth time while it is the first victory for Bruno Jourdren, Eric Flageul and Nicolas Vimont Vicary are winning the event for the first time:
« We had a good week. We came here to try new equipment because we had problems with our new boat. Of course it is easier to be smarter and relaxed with good speed. This is the first time we win the SOF or any regatta in the Sonar. We are ahead with our objective to be ready for the Worlds at the end of the year.”
In the Skud, Alexandra Rickham and Niki Birrell (GBR) have won eight out of nine races.
Pietro and Gianfranco Sibello (ITA) have sailed regularly this week in the 49er in all conditions with a 12 as worse result.
“We had the same type of racing in Palma, and didn't go higher than 12th as well in any race. We are happy with our results which prove that our training in Spain with the French teams has paid off. We have started conservatively in the qualification stages as we wanted to go in the final stage without a bad race. We have good starts and speed and are happy with how we are going. Tomorrow we will follow the French. In any case we will be happy because we know we have reached the level we want. ”
The Italians are going into the medal race with a big advance, one point short of a early win over training partners Julien D'Ortoli and Noe Delpech (FRA). The podium is opened to the top six before the medal race.
Ten countries will be represented in the Laser Medal Race tomorrow. 2010 Sailing World Cup winner Javier Hernandez (ESP) will lead into the medal race with Tom Slingsby (AUS) in second on equal points with Tonci Stipanovic (CRO) in third. “I have sailed a perfect day from start to finish without any doubt. We are tight in points now so tomorrow everything is possible.” admits Stipanovic.
The Australian who is renowned for his talent in the breeze has improved in the light with good results scored this week. “I have been working hard in the light and I have improved a lot. The important factor is consistency. The fleet is very good and today I have tried to close the gap between Javier and me.”
Palma winner, Sara Winther (NZL) is back in the lead after winning the last race of the event. She is now seven points from Sarah Steyaert (FRA). Dongshuang Zhang (CHN) has climbed to third overall after top seven places and two victories in the finals.
It will be a dual for Gold in the women RS:X between World champion Blanca Manchon (ESP) and Charline Picon (FRA), with Silver the consolation prize! The Bronze will be opened to the next four on the rankings with SOF 2009 winner Peina Chen (CHN) the best placed in third overall.
In the RS:X men division, Piotr Myszka (POL), second in Hyères last year has steadily climbed to first place since the start of the finals. The event title will be up for grab by the top five, including Beijing medallists, Shahar Zubari (ISR), Julien Bontemps (FRA) and Tom Ashley (NZL) as well as vice World champion Przemyslaw Miarczynski (POL) in fifth place.
Sally Barkow (USA) and Lucy MacGregor (GBR) have selected today for the Match-racing finals.
Team Barkow defeated team Groeneveld 3-0 and Mcgregor (GBR) defeated team Leroy in the 3-1
in the semi-finals.
“We train a lot together so we have the same style and we know eachothers well so it will be a tight match. We have met already this year in Palma and we won in five matches so it will be hard.” expalins Sally Barkow.