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#Rowing: Ireland’s Mark O’Donovan and Shane O’Driscoll had an encouraging start in their heat of the lightweight pair at the World Cup regatta in Lucerne this morning. The two Corkmen finished second to the fast France crew, which dominated the race and took the one A Final qualification place on offer. Ireland go to a repechage.

In the women’s pair, Monika Dukarska and Leonora Kennedy are also bound for a repechage. The two direct qualification places for the semi-final were taken by Denmark, who were impressive winners, and South Africa. Kennedy and Dukarska held fourth and fifth through much of the race and finished sixth.

World Cup Regatta, Lucerne – Day One (Irish interest; selected results)


Lightweight Pair – Heat One (First Directly to A Final; rest to repechages): 1 France 6:45.55; 2 Ireland (M O’Donovan, S O’Driscoll) 6:56.04


Pair – Heat Three (First Two Directly to A/B Semi-Finals; rest to repechages): 1 Denmark 7:09.27, 2 South Africa 7:16.71; 6 Ireland (L Kennedy, M Dukarska) 7:44.68

Published in Rowing

#ROWING: It is a big weekend in Irish rowing, both at home and abroad. The Ireland team travel to Switzerland today  to compete in the third and final World Cup Regatta of 2015. The races will be held on Lucerne's Rotsee regatta course from 10th-12th July, the same three days that the annual Irish Rowing Championships take place at home at the National Rowing Centre, Cork.
Sanita Puspure could win a medal at Lucerne, racing in the women’s single sculls, and the rising lightweight men’s double of Paul and Gary O’Donovan are contenders for at least an A Final place. Former world champion Sinéad Jennings teams up with Claire Lambe in the lightweight women’s double. All are Olympic-class crews.

This year’s Irish Rowing Championships features the largest entry ever recorded, with 893 crews entered for the Regatta. Races will run from 9am-5pm on Friday, 8:30am-6:30pm on Saturday and 8:30am-5pm on Sunday. The Championships is the premier domestic event of the rowing season and is expected to attract over 10,000 spectators across the three day duration of the competition. Over 3,000 competitors are making the journey to the NRC with the hopes of returning home with a title.

The senior eights event is one of the most anticipated of the weekend, as Trinity, who reached the second round at Henley Royal Regatta, face defending champions NUIG/Gráinne Mhaol and a UCD/Old Collegians composite. John Keohane is current holder of the men’s single sculls title, and a win this year will be three in a row for the Lee Valley rower.

Published in Rowing

#isaf – Fifth overall for Annalise Murphy including medal race participation in the Laser Radial class of the ISAF World Cup in Weymouth today will be of some satisfaction for the Dun Laoghaire sailor given the very light winds encountered this morning. The odds were heavily stacked in Marit Bouwmeester's (NED) favour after a commanding week of racing. She held a 15 point advantage over Evi Van Acker (BEL) and only a near disaster could have seen her knocked off her perch. She sailed well, finishing fourth which was more than enough for gold.

"It has been a really good week for me," commented Bouwmeester. "I had some steady results and I was happy to take it in today during the Medal Race.

"I had five first places and two seconds and that was my best scorecard ever, so I am very pleased with that, that's results wise but todays sailing was a little less brilliant and still a lot to work on."

Van Acker took the Medal Race victory to confirm silver.

The race for bronze was little bit more tense with plenty of equations possible including Annalise. Alison Young (GBR) held the spot overnight however a great performance from Anne-Marie Rindom catapulted her into bronze. Rindom's second enabled her to remove Young who managed a seventh. Annalise never threatened in the medal race and appeared sluggish especially downwind in conditions as low as four knots at times. She ended the race ninth of ten starters. 

Published in Olympic

#CANOEING: Jenny Egan finished seventh in the K1 5,000 metres at the Canoe Sprint World Cup in Duisburg in Germany today. The race was won by Lani Belcher of Britain, and Britain also took bronze through Louisa Sawers, with Serbian Kristina Bedec second. Egan took a bronze medal at the European Championships in this event, but she was over half a minute behind Sawers today

Canoe Sprint World Cup, Duisburg, Germany (Irish interest)


Paracanoeing: KL3 200 – Final: 1 Germany (T Kierey) 41.305, 2 Russia (A Voronkov) 42.247, 3 Britain (T Lodge) 42.891; 4 Ireland (T O’Leary) 43.486.


K1 5,000m: 7 J Egan 22 min 24.634.

Published in Canoeing

#CANOEING: Ireland’s Pat O’Leary had to settle for fourth at the Canoe Sprint World Cup in Duisburg, Germany today. The paracanoeist qualified for the final of the KL3 on Thursday. Germany’s Tom Kierey won, from Artem Voronkov of Russia and Britain’s Timothy Lodge – who was just .595 of a second ahead of O’Leary, who had also finished fourth at the European Championships earlier this month. 

Canoe Sprint World Cup, Duisburg, Germany (Irish interest)


Paracanoeing: KL3 200 – Final: 1 Germany (T Kierey) 41.305, 2 Russia (A Voronkov) 42.247, 3 Britain (T Lodge) 42.891; 4 Ireland (T O’Leary) 43.486.

Published in Canoeing

#CANOEING: Ireland’s Tom Brennan and Jenny Egan failed to make it through their semi-finals at the Canoe Sprint World Cup in Duisburg, Germany today. Egan finished eighth and Brennan ninth in their K1 200 races. Egan goes in the K1 5,000 metres on Sunday. and paracanoeist Pat O’Leary competes in the A Final of the KL3 200 metres.

Canoe Sprint World Cup, Duisburg, Germany (Irish interest)


K1 200m – Semi-Final Four: 9 T Brennan 38.361


K1 200 – Semi-Final Two: 8 J Egan 44.124.

Published in Canoeing

#CANOEING: Jenny Egan qualified for the semi-final of the K1 200 metres by finishing fourth in her heat this evening at the Canoe Sprint World Cup in Duisburg. Egan also qualified for semi-finals of the K1 500m, but finished seventh and takes a place in the the C Final (places 19 to 27). Barry Watkins and Michael Fitzsimons, in the K2 1,000, also qualified for the semi-finals, but their ninth-place finish meant they missed out on the C Final. Tom Brennan qualified for the semi-final of the K1 200m. Ireland will have at least one finalist, as paracanoeist Pat O’Leary took second in his heat of the KL3 200 metres.

Canoe Sprint World Cup, Duisburg, Germany (Irish interest)

Men, KL3 200m – Heat Two (First Three Directly to Final; rest to Semi-Final): 1 Germany (T Keirey) 41.870 seconds, 2 Ireland (P O’Leary) 44.245, 3 Russia (V Potanin) 44.658.

K2 1000m – Heat Four: 6 B Watkins, M Fitzsimons 3:21.908. Semi-Final Three: 9 Watkins, Fitzsimons 3:21.699.

K2 200 – Heat One: 9 P Egan, S Dobrovolskis 34.976.

K1 200m – Heat Three: 5 T Brennan 37.462


K1 200 – Heat One: 4 J Egan 44.171 seconds (to Semi-Final).

500m – Heat One: 7 J Egan 1:57.293. Semi-Final Three: 7 Egan 1:55.688.

Published in Canoeing

#rowingworldchampionships – Enjoy the sensations of a rower at the start, just before the rowing battle begins! In this video rowers talk about being at the startline, describing their emotions, the stage-fright, the goosebumps and about their mental preparation before the rowing battle begins.
Listen to the world class rowers Fabiana Beltrame (BRA), Barnabe Delarze (SUI), Pedro Fraga (POR), Kristine Putnina (LAT), Iva Obradovic (SER) and Llilijana Josic (SER).

The 2015 rowing season has started with World Rowing Cup in Bled, Slovenia. Tight racing resulted in the World Cup regatta points trophy being shared equally between China and Germany. Germany won four gold medals. These came in the blue riband men's eight race as well as the men's double sculls and men's and women's quadruple sculls. The men's double sculls saw former single sculling champion Marcel Hacker team up successfully with Stephan Krueger to create a potentially winning new 2015 combination.
Scoring the most number of medals overall was China. The Chinese came to Bled with a large team and they won gold in both the lightweight women's double sculls and the lightweight men's pair. China won silver and bronze in the women's pair after getting five of their six entered crews through to the final. But it was the Dutch pair of Olivia van Rooijen and Elisabeth Hogerwerf who earned the gold. China also took silver and bronze in the lightweight men's four.
Belarus won two gold medals, one by 42-year-old Ekaterina Karsten in the women's single sculls. The six-time Olympian Karsten was a last minute entry in the single after her doubles partner had to withdraw due to injury. Belarus was also successful with gold in the men's four.

As well as the women's pair, the Netherlands won a second gold medal in the lightweight men's double sculls. Brothers Tycho and Vincent Muda kept the lead in a close race to the line which saw the silver and bronze medals decided by less than a second.
Poland picked up six medals overall to finish third on the points table. Poland's medals included gold in the women's double sculls following an impressive performance by Magdalena Fularczyk and Natalia Madaj.
Overall 20 nations earned World Cup points.

The World Rowing Cup series now moves to Varese, Italy from 18-21 June 2015 for World Rowing Cup II. Before that, European nations will be competing in the European Rowing Championships in Poznan, Poland from 29-31 May 2015. Ireland will compete in Poznan.

The World Rowing Cup series was launched in 1997 and consists of a series of three events. The overall World Rowing Cup winners are determined after the third event. This year, the three stages of the series are Bled, Slovenia (9-10 May), Varese, Italy (18-21 June) and Lucerne, Switzerland (10-12 July), where Ireland will also enter a team.

Published in Rowing
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#isafsailingworldcup – After four days of red hot ISAF World Cup competition – in conditions similar to those expected next year for the Olympic regatta itself – three Irish campaigns are regrouping after less than stellar results on the French riviera. The sailors will review performances ahead of the Delta Lloyd Regatta which takes place in Medemblik, Netherlands next month. In a tough outcome, (given the achievement of two Irish medal race finishes in Palma earlier this month) there was no Irish participation in any of the ISAF Sailing World Cup Hyères medal races yesterday, ironically in the first real breeze of the week. It would have suited Dun Laoghaire's Annalise Murphy who finished up 30th out of 40. The Belfast 49er campaign of Ryan Seaton and Matt McGovern, silver medal winners in Hyeres last year, were 24th from 40. The 49erfx of Andrea Brewster and Saskia Tidey was 26th.

Next month's Delta Lloyd Regatta acts as the qualification regatta for ISAF Sailing World Cup Weymouth and Portland which takes place at the London 2012 Olympic Sailing Competition venue from 8-14 June. Delta Lloyd regatta also acts as an Irish trial for the men's Laser. Belfast's James Espey and Dun Laoghaire debutante Finn Lynch are to face each other in the trial for a place at the Rio test event known as 'Aqueece Rio'  in August. 

The fan was turned up for the final day at ISAF Sailing World Cup Hyères as an exciting finale played out across two racing areas.

18-20 knots of breeze ensured the regatta concluded with thrills and spills aplenty. Seven races unravelled on the live broadcast area – click above vid for a full replay – whilst a further three concluded nearby.

Across the ten Olympic disciplines, ISAF Sailing World Cup Hyères medals were awarded, a share of the €72,000 was distributed and ISAF Sailing World Cup Final spots were picked up.


Last on the race track on the final day, the 49erFX provided a blockbuster conclusion.

Big breeze and big waves tested the 49erFX sailors and there were some thrills, spills and close shaves in a testing race.

One point split overnight leaders Martine Grael and Kahena Kunze (BRA) and Denmark's Ida Marie Baad Nielsen and Marie Thusgaard Olsen coming into the day.

Following a clear start and intriguing upwind leg, the first mark saw the Danes hold the advantage, getting clear air in their sails. However a close rounding saw the Brazilians touch the mark resulting in a penalty turn and from there they were always playing catch up.

The Danes were able to edge away ensuring an uphill battle for the Brazilians. Pushing their 49erFX to its limits Grael and Kunze lost a bit of control on the second downwind but expertly held it together, with Grael hanging out of the boat yet keeping it upright.

Meanwhile the Danes were never under great pressure, working through the motions and despite being pipped to the Medal Race win by compatriots Jena Hansen and Katja Salskov-Iversen (DEN) they claimed gold by seven points over silver recipients Grael and Kunze.

"We had a really good race," commented the pair almost in tandem. "We kept calm throughout the course and that was important in these conditions.

"We kept it simple, without pressure and sailed fast."

Giulia Conti and Francesca Clapcich (ITA) held on to bronze after a fifth. After racing Conti said, "We made a few mistakes so we're a little disappointed but we're happy because we had good boat speed and handling. We are happy with bronze. It means a lot to us. After silver in Miami it's important for us."

Top Three
1 - Ida Marie Baad Nielsen and Marie Thusgaard Olsen (DEN) - 87
2 – Martine Grael and Kahena Kunze (BRA) – 94
3 – Giulia Conti and Francesca Clapcich (ITA) – 99

Women's 470

It was a winner takes all scenario in the Women's 470 with any of the top four capable of taking gold.

Fernanda Oliveira and Ana Luiza Barbachan (BRA), Hannah Mills and Saskia Clark (GBR), Jo Aleh and Polly Powrie (NZL) and Camille Lecointre and Helene Defrance (FRA) were all in the running with the capabilities to command and conquer.

In a close, exciting race Medal Race Brazil's Oliveira and Barbachan came out of the blocks with intent and led at the first mark. They made some gains on the downwind but had Japan's Ai Kondo Yoshida and Miho Yoshioka for company on the second lap. The Japanese pair passed the Brazilians to take the bullet but it was irrelevant as the Brazilians were well clear of their rivals and finished in second to take gold.

"The points were so close," explained Oliveira. "We thought that we must do our job and sail our own race. We thought about the points and the other boats but we just focused on us. It was perfect. We finished second in the race and we're so happy.

"It was our goal to win here and we worked very hard for this and we got it. It's amazing, we're so happy."

Aleh and Powrie came through in third in the Medal Race to move up into silver medal position. "It's a great way to finish," commented Aleh. "It's been a tough week. The Brazilians have been great all week and it was an exciting Medal Race with us all fighting it out."

Camille Lecointre and Helene Defrance (FRA) followed behind the Kiwis and clinched bronze. Hannah Mills and Saskia Clark (GBR) missed out on the podium by a single point.

Top Three Women's 470
Fernanda Oliveira & Ana Luiza Barbachan (BRA) – 45
Jo Aleh & Polly Powrie (NZL) – 53
Camille Lecointre & Helene Defrance (FRA) – 54

Men's 470

It was clear for all to see that Sime Fantela and Igor Marenic's (CRO) winter training paid off. The pair ended came into the Medal Race 25 points clear of Luke Patience and Elliot Willis (GBR) to claim the gold medal a day early.

Fantela and Igor got off to a great start in the windiest and roughest sea state that the competition had seen all week to finish seventh in the fleet, ending the ISAF Sailing World Cup Hyères on an impressive 40 points.

The fight for second and third place however was much less certain.

Mat Belcher and Will Ryan (AUS) rounded the first mark in pole position. They held their lead throughout the race and went on the claim the Medal Race victory which handed them silver. Luke Patience and Elliot Willis (GBR) finished just four points behind the Australians in third place.

Top Three
1 – Sime Fantela & Igor Marenic (CRO) – 40
2 – Mat Belcher & Will Ryan (AUS) – 55
3 – Luke Patience & Elliot Willis (GBR) – 59

Women's RS:X

Lilian De Geus (NED) booked her ticket to the Rio 2016 Olympic Games and the Abu Dhabi World Cup Final by taking gold in the Women's RS:X.

The Dutch sailor had a solid advantage heading into the Medal Race and knew a good performance would seal the deal. She put on an outstanding show in the Medal Race and established a commanding lead on the final downwind.

She pulled away to take her first race win of the week, ending 11 points clear of Charline Picon (FRA).

It was a high scoring affair in the Women's RS:X with ups and downs aplenty.

Picon came through in second in the Medal Race to take silver, a result she was pleasantly surprised with, "If you had said to me three days ago 'you'll win silver this week' I would have said that it was impossible but I'd never give up.

"I never gave up, I tried to fight and I'm happy because I have silver but I'm not happy about my week as I had a lot of bad races."

Patricia Freitas (BRA) pushed Picon hard in the Medal Race in an attempt to overthrow her but at the penultimate rounding she misjudged the layline which allowed the French sailor to pass. Nonetheless Freitas came through in third, taking bronze.

Top Three
1 - Lilian de Geus (NED) – 90
2 - Charline Picon (FRA) – 101
3 - Patricia Freitas (BRA) – 104

Men's RS:X

A competition made up of the world's most skilled male windsurfers was always going to be a tough challenge for all competitors. Throughout the week there have been many ups and downs with multiple race winners.

France's Pierre Le Coq started the day knowing that he would take home a medal. The Frenchman entered the Medal Race at the top of the leaderboard with a 15 point lead. An eighth or better would seal the deal and Le Coq finished in seventh to wrap up gold.

Piotr Myszka (POL) was on top form in the big breeze, coming second to take silver whilst a fourth for Byron Kokkalanis (GRE) saw him drop into bronze medal position.

Louis Giard (FRA) revelled in the big breeze and took the Medal Race win. With three race victories, Giard recorded the most out of any racer but was not consistent and ended up eighth overall.

Top Three
1 – Pierre le Coq (FRA) – 74
2 – Piotr Myszka (POL – 81 –
3 – Byron Kokkalanis (GRE) – 83


Great Britain's Giles Scott had gold all but wrapped up in the Finn and a Medal Race bullet confirmed his place at the top of the pack.

Scott has controlled the week with a discarded 24th his only result outside of the top ten and he was pleased with his performance, "Taking the event and the Medal Race win is a great way to round up the regatta, especially when it is my first win in Hyères.

"This was not an easy regatta. The conditions were super difficult with light and shifty winds for most of the week so the result is very rewarding."

Vasilij Zbogar (SLO) gave himself a huge chance of taking a medal following double bullets on the penultimate day. He followed this up with a third in the Medal Race to hold on to silver.

Great Britain's Ed Wright finished the Medal Race in eighth which was enough to hang on to bronze on 75 points. A fifth from Zsombor Berecz (HUN) left him three points off bronze medal position.

Top Three
1 - Giles Scott (GBR) – 38
2 - Vasilij Zbogar (SLO) – 62
3 - Ed Wright (GBR) – 75


An overnight protest significantly altered the Laser leaderboard.

The results before the protest saw Tonci Stipanovic (CRO) but a solid lead over Tom Burton. However, during the final fleet race Stipanovic pushed Burton off of the proper course and gained a significant advantage as a result. Following the protest, Stipanovic was scored a non discardable 41st having infringed Tom Burton (AUS). The Australian received 21 points following a redress.

Burton came into the day leading on 45 points, followed by Nick Thompson (GBR) on 47 points. Rutger van Schaardenburg (NED) and Nicholas Heiner (NED) followed on 57 points with Robert Scheidt (BRA) on 58. Stipanovic, meanwhile, was down the pack on 75 points.

The race commenced in a good breeze and Heiner was over the line early and disqualified ensuring he dropped out of the running.

Charlie Buckingham (USA) came out strongly and grabbed the lead. He was closely followed by Burton and the pair jostled at the front of the pack.

Buckingham had the best of the back and forth exchange, taking the bullet. Burton followed 11 seconds behind to claim gold much to his delight as he hit is Laser with a mixture of relief and frustration after a tough week.

With Heiner out of the running it was between Thompson, van Schaardenburg and Scheidt for the remaining medals.

Thompson remained in control and picked up a fifth to take silver. Scheidt kept van Schaardenburg at bay to finish fourth, claiming bronze.

Top Three
1 – Tom Burton (AUS) – 49
2 – Nick Thompson (GBR) – 57
3 – Robert Scheidt (BRA) - 66

Laser Radial

Evi Van Acker (BEL) made it look easy in the Laser Radial taking out the Medal Race bullet to win by 21 points.

It was all on for the remaining podium spots between Gintare Scheidt (LTU), Josefin Olsson (SWE) and Anne-Marie Rindom (DEN).

Scheidt ventured into the Medal Race on 38 points with Rindom on 44 and Olsson on 46.

Whilst Van Acker ran away with the victory Olsson gritted her teeth and got down to business. Pushing hard throughout the race she finished second, doing all she could have possibly done, having started the day in fourth overall.

Olsson had an anxious wait to see where she would finish overall and she witnessed Rindom coming through in fourth followed by Scheidt in fifth. As a result Olsson leapfrogged Rindom but it was not enough to overhaul Scheidt who claimed silver.

Top Three
1 – Evi Van Acker (BEL) – 25
2 – Gintare Scheidt (LTU) – 48
3 – Josefin Olsson (SWE) – 50


Peter Burling and Blair Tuke (NZL) and Nathan Outteridge and Iain Jensen (AUS) had gold and silver wrapped up in advance of the Medal Race but there was a fight on for bronze.

The advantage ahead of the day was with David Gilmour and Rhys Mara (AUS). They had an eight point advantage over Germany's Erik Heil and Thomas Ploessel and were in control for the first 50% of the race. However, on the second downwind disaster struck for Gilmour and Mara as they capsized and lost their third position.

The Australians dropped down the pack and came through in ninth. The Germans capitalised on the Australians misfortune, coming through in fourth to steal bronze.

Top Three
Peter Burling & Blair Tuke (NZL) – 49
Nathan Outteridge & Iain Jensen (AUS) – 98
Erik Heil & Thomas Ploessel (GER) – 144

Nacra 17

Billy Besson and Marie Riou (FRA) stylishly sealed gold and an Abu Dhabi Final spot in the Nacra 17 by winning the Medal Race in convincing fashion.

The French team have been dominant in the Nacra 17 and had gold wrapped up in advance of the Medal Race. Besson and Riou got off to a blistering start and were able to grab an early advantage over the pack and never looked back, taking the bullet by 14 seconds over Mandy Mulder and Coen de Koning (NED).

"We're feeling good," smiled Besson, "It's a great day and it's great to win the Medal Race and finish the week off like that.

"It was really important for France to win here and everybody, including me, is really proud."

A real battle was on behind the French team between the two boats from the Netherlands with Rio 2016 Olympic selection on the line.

Mandy Mulder and Coen de Koning (NED) brought in an advantage from Trofeo Princesca Sofia and confirmed their spot by finishing second in the Medal Race and second overall. "We've qualified for the Olympics for sure," smiled de Koning.

Mulder added, "This whole week has been a good learning curve for us. We had some difficult conditions with moderate to light winds. The first day was really hard. We had some results in 20s and we learnt a lot and how to come back. We performed well in the next days and we'll take that with us."

Renee Groeneveld and Steven Krol (NED) pushed their compatriots throughout the week but couldn't quite overhaul them picking up bronze.

Top Three
1 - Billy Besson & Marie Riou (FRA) – 57
2 - Mandy Mulder & Coen de Koning (NED) – 84
3 - Renee Groeneveld & Steven Krol (NED) – 98

Sailors will now regroup and review ahead of the Delta Lloyd Regatta which takes in Medemblik, the Netherlands from 26-30 May 2015. The Delta Lloyd Regatta acts as the qualification regatta for ISAF Sailing World Cup Weymouth and Portland which takes place at the London 2012 Olympic Sailing Competition venue from 8-14 June.

The world's best 40 Olympic and Paralympic sailors will put their skills to the test once again in Weymouth and Portland, Great Britain with World Cup honours and Abu Dhabi Final places on the line.

Published in Olympic

#isafworldcup – Two days into the ISAF Sailing World Cup Hyeres, France and it has not been plain sailing for three Irish Olympic sailing campaigners. Sixteen knot winds brought improvements for Annalise Murphy yesterday when she made a dramatic improvement on her opening results with a fifth in race four. She now lies 34th from 40. Ryan Seaton and Matt McGovern also improved from day one with their first top ten result, a ninth in race five, after six races sailed to be 26th overall in a 40–boat fleet. The Irish 49erfx, sailed by Andrea Brewster and Saskia Tidey is 24th from 40.

More on this from David O'Brien in the Irish Times Sailing Column this morning HERE. Racing continues on the French riviera this morning.

The biggest smile of the day at ISAF Sailing World Cup Hyeres belonged to Poland's Maja Dziarnowska after she picked up three straight race wins in the Women's RS:X windsurfer.

When asked about how she dominated the day, Dziarnowska commented, "there is no mercy". With the new ISAF Sailing World Cup format exciting the sailors competing in the French Riviera, no mercy can be shown if they want to end up on top and the Polish racer demonstrated that perfectly well.

A strong breeze, which built to around 16 knots, filled all five courses consistently throughout the day allowing sailors to truly put all their skills to the test.

The leader boards are starting to take shape across the ten Olympic and two Paralympic disciplines in Hyeres ahead of the Medal Races on Sunday 26 April where a share of the €72,000 prize fund, ISAF Sailing World Cup Final spots and World Cup glory are on offer.

Men's and Women's RS:X

Maja Dziarnowska (POL) was beaming with smiles after Women's RS:X racing having dominated the day taking a trio of victories.

After racing the Polish racer said, "Compared to yesterday when I finished 29th overall, today was good. I had a lot of fun, good speed, I didn't make many mistakes and that explains my success.

"There is no mercy," she smiled.

Dziarnowska's performance has pushed her up from the middle of the pack to third overall. Lilian De Geus (NED) holds the lead on 13 points after a 2-4-4 day followed by Isobel Hamilton (GBR) on 22 points and Dziarnowska on 31.

Despite De Geus holding a steady lead the day belonged to Dziarnowska who revels in Hyères when the breeze is in, "I really enjoy staying in Hyères because we spend a lot of time training here every year. We spend all of April here so I know this place quite well. The wind shifts, the waves and so on. It's helping.

"This place this year only has 40 women starting and they're the top 40 in the world so it makes the competition really hard. The smallest mistake costs you hugely and you can lose a lot of places."

The world's best Women's windsurfers are racing in Hyères and anticipation was high in the build-up as Dziarnowska concluded, "The format is super exciting. I was waiting for the start of this event for a long time, I couldn't wait. Just to see the progression of myself and the other girls, it's been really exciting.

"I'm enjoying what I do, I enjoy the training, I enjoy staying with my team. We're called Energa Sailing Team. We're cool people and then being with all the women here, I love this lifestyle."

There were ups and downs across the Men's RS:X fleet as the competition ramped up a notch.

Byron Kokkalanis (GRE) started the day exceedingly well by taking the opening race victory as he explained, "I made some good choices sailing upwind and jumped up three places. I was ahead rounding the top mark on the second lap and then I just had to chase the Israeli guy [Nimrod Mashiah] and I slid past him at the start of the slalom."

Kokkalanis struggled in the remaining races posting a 12th and a 23rd, he continued, "I got hit bad at the start in the middle race and I was nearly last so I had to come back but in the last race, something felt really bad. I just couldn't keep up.

"The conditions changed and the wind picked up more so maybe it was my technique or something with my equipment that I didn't tune properly so all these things need to be fixed."

The Greek racer ends the day eighth overall.

Israel's Nimrod Mashiah was the star of the day. Double seconds and a race win catapult the Israeli up into second, one point off leader Piotr Myszka (POL).

Just eight points separate first to seventh place in the Men's RS:X after six races. Six more fleet races follow with the potential for further ups and downs ahead of Sunday's Medal Races.

Nacra 17

It was a busy day for the Nacra 17 fleet. Four races in a good breeze ensured some tired faces back ashore after racing.

Tired, yet full of enthusiasm after racing was Billy Besson and Marie Riou (FRA). The dynamic French duo started the day with back to back victories. A 12th and a third followed which hands them a handy 14 point lead.

"We're happy because that is a good day for us," commented a Riou after racing.

The Nacra 17 fleet is of the highest calibre. Olympic medallists and World Champions make up the highly competitive fleet. Maintaining a clear head is key as Riou explained, "You have to always keep the focus on your job. You can lose distance and places quickly in this fleet.

"It's really tough to sail at this event but really good to sail in a fleet of 40 good teams. The format is good for sailing because for spectators they can follow and understand our sport, it's better than ever before."

Lin Ea Cenholt Christiansen and Christian Peter Lübeck (DEN) occupy second overall on 30 points with overnight leaders Jason Waterhouse and Lisa Darmanin (AUS) third on 36 points.


It was a day for the Great Britain's Giles Scott and Ed Wright. The pair sailed consistently well throughout the two races to land them in first and second place respectively at the end of day two.

Scott is well on track to add another podium finish to his already impressive succession of first places he has collected over the last 12 months.

The stronger winds provided the ideal conditions on the water for all of the fleet making the competition for first place even harder. A race win was also claimed by Tapio Nirkko (FIN) who is tenth overall.

49er and 49erFX

Ida Marie Nielsen and Marie Olsen (DEN) solidified their spot at the top of the 49erFX leaderboard. The Danes 6-1-6 scorelines sees them atop of the pack on 17 points.

Tamara Echegoyen and Berta Betanzos (ESP) follow on 32 points with Jena Hansen and Katja Salskov-Iversen (DEN) third on 35 points.

Nielsen and Olsen have proven themselves in the light flukey Hyères breeze that was present on the opening day as well as the consistent breeze on day two. Time will tell if they can continue their good form to take home gold, a share of the €72,000 prize pot and a spot on the startline at the ISAF Sailing World Cup Final in Abu Dhabi.

Peter Burling and Blair Tuke (NZL) asserted their dominance once again in Hyères with a 1-1-2 giving the duo a clear lead ahead of Jonas Warrer and Anders Thomsen (DEN) in second place.

This is the first ISAF Sailing World Cup regatta for Burling and Tuke in 2015 and half way through the regatta they are well on the way to continuing their unbroken record of regatta victories.

Nathan Outteridge and Iain Jensen (AUS) also enjoyed a strong day on the water, recording three top fifteen results. They sit in third and still have the opportunity to build on their current success over the next three days.

There was some top quality racing throughout the entire fleet and Erik Heil and Thomas Ploessel (GER) claimed a first in the last race of the day.

Laser and Laser Radial

It is tight at the top in the Laser Radial with Anne-Marie Rindom (DEN) and Evi Van Acker (BEL) locked on ten points apiece.

Both competitors put their hard opening day behind them to bounce back nicely. Rindom discarded her 24th from day one and added a sixth and a bullet to count ten points. Van Acker scored a 4-2 on the second day, losing her 17th, to share the lead with Rindom.

The day's opening race win went the way of 2013 Laser Radial World Champion Tina Mihelic (CRO). The Croatian is 27th at the moment but has the skills and drive to work her way up the leaderboard with four more fleet races remaining ahead of the Medal Race.

It was a similar scenario in the Laser. Tom Burton (AUS) and Nicholas Heiner (NED) discarded their opening day 33rd and 24th respectively to sit in first and second overall.

Burton was in fine form, taking a third and second to take the lead on seven points. For Heiner, his 4-5 on the day is enough for second. Tonci Stipanovic (CRO) is three points off the Dutchman.

Race victories were picked up by Julio Alsogaray (ARG) who is 19th and Kristian Ruth (NOR). Ruth enjoyed a terrific day taking a fifth alongside his bullet and he moves up to eighth.

Men's and Women's 470

Following on from Hannah Mills and Saskia Clark's (GBR) second place success at ISAF Sailing World Cup Miami and, with only four races left until the Medal Race, they top the Women's 470 leaderboard by the narrowest of margins.

The day provided the perfect conditions for Mills and Clark who started the brilliantly by gaining a first place and an 18th which the pair have discarded. Mills and Clark have no time to relax however, as the fight for the top three places are extremely close.

Rounding off the top three behind the Brits is Anne Haeger and Briana Provancha (USA) in second and Jo Aleh and Polly Powrie (NZL) in third.

The Men's 470 took to the water this morning and, after two more races Croatian pair Sime Fantela and Igor Marenic end the day in first place five points clear of Gabrio Zandonã and Andrea Trani (ITA) in second.

Race wins on the day went to Luke Patience and Elliot Willis (GBR) and Stuart Mcnay and David Hughes (USA) who are sixth overall.

Paralympic Events

In the Sonar, Colin Harrison, Jonathan Harris and Russell Boaden (AUS) remain at the top of the scoreboard after achieving a second and a third place which the team have discarded. However, the Australian team cannot afford to relax just yet as, hot on their heels and only one point behind are Bruno Jourdern, Eric Flageul and Nicolas Vimont-Vicary (FRA) who achieved a bullet in the second race of the day to land them in second place overall.

Thursday is set to be another interesting day on the water for the class as only one point separates second and third place from the top spot.

In the 2.4mR class, Damien Seguin (FRA) had a fantastic day on the water and showed that the stronger conditions suited his style. Seguin gained a second and first place in the two races knocking Bjørnar Erikstad off the top spot and relegating him into second place.

Seguin is no stranger to this event after claiming second place at last year's ISAF Sailing World Cup Hyeres and with only four races left to go before the medal race, is well on his way to gaining another place on the podium.

Megan Pascoe (GBR) rounds off the top three sailors in third place. While a race win also went to Lasse Klötzing (GER) who finished the day in seventh place.

Racing resumes on Friday 24 April at 11:00 local time when sailors will continue to compete for a place on the podium and a chance to claim their share of the €72,000 prize money on Sunday 26 April.

Published in Olympic
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