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#isaf – Following on from Mallorca in under two weeks time, from 19 to 26 April 2014, the town of Hyères on the French south coast will be hosting the much awaited final leg of the ISAF world circuit, the Sailing World Cup Hyères. The only French leg of the Sailing World Cup, organised by the French Sailing Federation (FFV),welcomes more than sixty nations. With more than 600 boats and almost one thousand crew members, the competition will be intense and it promises to be a great show.

Five major legs make up the ISAF Sailing World Cup circuit: Qingdao (China), Melbourne (Australia), Miami (United States), Palma (Spain) and Hyères (France). Each of them plays host to all 10 Olympic classes as well as some Paralympic classes. In Hyères, the Finn , 49er , 49erFX , Nacra 17 , RS:X , Laser , Laser radi al, 470, Sonar and 2.4mR will be competing in the different areas offered by its waters.

This year celebrates the second edition of the Sailing World Cup to be held in Hyères and organised by the FFV with the technical, logistical and financial support of the town of Hyères and financial support of the Community of the Toulon Provence Mediterranean Agglomeration.The Hyères race has existed for over 40 years and, in 2013, it obtained the prestigious Sailing World Cup label from the International Federation. This distinction, which allows the points the competitors score to count towards their World Cup rankings, is confirmation of the undeniable prestige of this venue, one of the great venues of international sailing and is also a just reward for the work done by the teams responsible for organisation on land and on the water. Everyone acknowledges the quality of the welcome and the professionalism of the teams that run the Hyères – Toulon Provence Mediterranean leg of the Sailing World Cup. For the participants in this sporting and festive week, the town makes available the very finest facilities and top of the range services.

The islands of The Levant, Port Cros and Porquerolles provide a natural rampart for the sailing area when the sea gets too choppy and offer an exceptional backdrop, making the waters around Hyères some of the most appreciated on the circuit.

Hyères: the meeting place of the world's elite
The Sailing World Cup Hyères – Toulon Provence Mediterranean leg is the most important sailing competition in France in terms of numbers of participants and international competitors. A veritable feast of sailing and an important part of preparing for the Olympics, the Sailing World Cup is a flagship event for the crews, as witnessed by the presence of the best sailors in the world, including a number of Olympic medallists.

The Sailing World Cup Hyères leg in a few figures
10 Olympic classes entered
2 Paralympic classes
60 nations represented
More than 1,000 crew members
350 organisers and volunteers
80 organiser boats
27 international judges

Programme: ISAF Sailing World Cup – Hyères TPM from 19 to 26 April 2014
· 19 – 20 April: Entries – verification of the boats (tonnage)
· 20 April: Compulsory training session 20 April: Opening Ceremony at 5 pm
· 21 – 22 April: Qualifying Rounds
· 23 – 25 April: Finals
· 25 April: Paralympic Award Ceremony at 6 pm
· 26 April: Medal Race
· 26 April: Award Ceremony at 5 pm

Official web site: http://swc.ffvoile.fr/
FFV site: http://www.ffvoile.fr/

Published in World Sailing
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#sb20 – Racing has started today in the southern French port of Hyeres for the SB20 World Championship. The event is being run over five days and hosted by the International racing centre COYCH. Organisers have opted for a single start for the entire class which will see upwards of 90 boats jostling for position when the sequence commences. In the end, 10 Irish SB20s travelled which is a very impressive turnout from the Irish fleet.

Published in SB20
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The first SB20 class Grand Slam event of the season was held this weekend in Hyeres, France. 3 days of racing were scheduled between 3rd and 5th May. A quality fleet representing 7 nations arrived to warm sunny 22 degrees - a welcome change for sailors from our rather cool Spring in the UK.

Day one was sailed in a building sea breeze that increased from 12 knots at the start of race one to 22 knots at the end of race four. The first 3 races were dominated by John Pollard's "Xcellent" team from Royal Torbay Yacht Club, starting well, crossing the fleet and heading hard right. Pollard's team had the speed and strategy to stay ahead. SB20 Class President Ed Russo sailing for France and the new Russian team of Kirill Frolov, were also fairing well in brand new Sportsboat World boats. By the 4th race the breeze had built and the fleet were enjoying fast downwind planing conditions. Pollard again led to the windward mark, however gybe sets from Helena Lucas, Jean-Baptiste Bernaz and Jerry Hill took them into the top 3 places at the bottom mark with Hill finally getting through to first place by the end of the race.

Saturday was a bit hazier and lighter and it looked clear that the sea breeze was unlikely to settle. Instead after a short delay the Race Officer managed to get in 3 races in 5 knots of patchy shifty breeze. The Brits of Pollard and Hill struggled to find the best way up the first beats in all 3 races, however Kirill/Frolov and Russo clearly had a much better handle on the conditions, Kirill winning the first two races and Russo scoring a top three in each race.

With no racing on Sunday, as the breeze was even more unsteady and rarely reaching 3 knots the fleet headed back into port with the Russian team of Kirril/Frolov helmed by Alexey Murashkin winning on countback from Ed Russo, John Pollard was left in 3rd place.

The Russian team were popular winners and this win bodes well for a packed season for this new team. Helena Lucas in her first event picked up the Clarins sponsored prize for first Lady helm/crew team finishing in 5th place, and Michel Boussard's team from Monaco picked up the Masters prize.

With some lively evenings in Bar Sax, the fleet had a really enjoyable event. Many of the competitors now will move on to the next Grand Slam at Malcesine on Lake Garda where 40 boats are expected to compete at the end of May.

Published in SB20
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#isaf – The medals were decided across the ten Olympic events as ISAF Sailing World Cup Hyères brought the 2012-13 World Cup series to a close but there was no place for either of Ireland's London Olympic sailors who did not make the medal race finals.

Annalise Murphy's poor start to the event ultimately cost her the chance of competing in the final medal races. Another casualty was Chinese Olympic gold medallist Xu Lija whose slow start was also her downfall. Neither girl will be too worried as both the World Championships and Europeans are still to come later in the summer.

However,  Irish Sailing Association management admit 'a lot of work needs to be put in between now and then for Murphy to turn her fortunes around'.

In the end Murphy was in impressive form in the Silver fleet, as would be expected, and finished the regatta in 29th overall.

Meanwhile in the 113 boat Laser fleet, Northern Ireland's James Espey got off to an incredible start. Winning the first race, Espey was tied for second place after three races on Day 1. The solid start gave him the platform needed to qualify for the Gold fleet. He showed glimpses of his potential in gold but lacked the consistency to maintain a high overall placing. Nevertheless, he will take confidence from this performance and it sets him up well for a busy summer schedule. Overall he finished a respectable 34th.

An up and down breeze that never truly filled in at any point ensured for close knit racing on the final day in the south of France.

Although Alex Maloney and Molly Meech (NZL) brought an 18 point 49erFX lead into the final day there was no room for complacency as three double point Medal Races could have brought dramatic changes.

Keeping out of trouble they posted a steady 5-4-5 to take their second ISAF Sailing World Cup regatta win of the 2012-13 season. "We're happy that we've won our first World Cup event in Europe," said Maloney, who with Meech won the inaugural 49erFX event at ISAF Sailing World Cup Melbourne. "It was quite stressful out there with it being so light and shifty and the lead changed all the time."

There is room for optimism with the girls, however they know the road to Rio will take time, "It's just beginning," said Meech. "Most of the girls are quite new to the boat so there's a long way to go and it's going to keep getting harder."

Charlotte Dobson and Mary Rook (GBR) take silver and Dutch team Annemiek Bekkering and Claire Blom had a great day to take the final podium spot.

Great Britain's Dylan Fletcher and Alain Sign got the job done the 49er with a 2-1-3 score line. Having come into the day with a joint lead Fletcher and Sign couldn't have asked for much more in tricky conditions. David Evans and Ed Powys made it a British top two and Carlos and Anton Paz (ESP) rounded off the top three.

Marit Bouwmeester (NED) christened her return back in the Laser Radial after London 2012 with a well-deserved gold medal. Leading the first Medal Race from start to finish Bouwmeester established a seven point advantage over Tuula Tenkanen (FIN) and Alison Young (GBR) who were tied for silver.

"I just had to focus on myself and sail a good race," said the Dutch sailor. "When it is light and tricky it's a bit easier because you can only focus on yourself and I won the first race and made it a bit easy. The other two girls started racing each other in the second race so it was easy for me," she said with a smile.

"I didn't really have it as a goal to win a medal. I had a big break and came out here to see how it goes and it went a lot better than I expected," Bouwmeester added.

At the start of the final Laser Radial Medal Race Tenkanen found herself ahead of Young and made sure she kept her at bay, "I didn't get a very good start on upwind but I climbed a bit on the first downwind and chose the better gate mark," said Tenkanen. "I was before Alison and because Marit was so far in front I decided to ensure Alison stayed behind so the rest of the race I tried to cover her."

Finishing in ninth and tenth place Tenkanen and Young could not be caught so Young, who won gold at ISAF Sailing World Cup Palma took bronze.

Tom Burton (AUS) put his ISAF Sailing World Cup Palma woes behind him in Hyères to claim a hard earned gold medal. Burton lost a commanding lead in Palma but chipped away at Tonci Stipanovic's (CRO) advantage to come from behind and take Laser gold. Stipanovic (CRO) fell to third whilst Robert Scheidt (BRA) tastes silver on his Laser return.

"I was always coming from behind here whereas in Palma I was always in the front," said Burton. "It doesn't make up for it but it's good to learn from my experience and improve on it this."

Burton has been ranked World #1 in the Laser since December 2012 but doesn't see himself as the guy to beat, "Everyone is so good if you don't sail well it doesn't matter what your ranking is you're going to get chopped. It's good to be World #1 and at the front as well."

Daniel Mihelic (CRO) had a superb day on the water taking both race wins but being too far behind to take a medal he ended up fourth overall.

Charline Picon (FRA) lost a substantial Women's RS:X lead after she was OCS in the first Medal Race. This put Bryony Shaw (GBR) and Blanca Manchon (ESP) in the driving seat going into the second Medal Race making it winner takes all.

Ahead of racing on the final day Shaw said, "I'm really happy to be windsurfing. I had a good World Championship finished second and I want to keep the momentum going from that. That's why I'm happy to be here and doing all the World Cups."

Shaw has been prevalent on the World Cup circuit with a fourth in Miami and a second in Palma to move to World #3 and showed she is one of the best at the moment by taking the final race win in Hyères to seal gold.

Manchon finished third to take silver whilst a seventh for Picon meant she won bronze.

Przemyslaw Miarczynski (POL) came back into the Men's RS:X with a bang and notched up double bullets to claim gold. Compatriot Piotr Myszka came through in silver medal position and Julien Bontemps (FRA) concluded the podium.

"It was pretty hard and I've not trained a lot in the light conditions," said Miarczynski, London 2012 bronze medallist, "I didn't expect to be so good in the light winds but preparing a lot in the winter time was helpful here."

Poland boasts a strong RS:X contingent personified by them taking the top two spots in Hyères and Miarczynski is reaping the rewards, "This is very good because we train together and it's really helpful. We also have Pawel Tarnowski and he's also very good and we're three competing against each other so it's very nice."

Andrew Mills (GBR) overcame Giles Scott (GBR) in the Finn to take gold. Going into the last race the pair had secured the top two spots so it was winner takes all. "We both needed to get a result in to secure silver at least in the first race and then the last race was just a match race between the two of us. It was whoever did the best would win," Mills said.

Coming in third Mills was ahead of Scott who finished at the back of the pack and Mills was pleased to overcome his countryman, "Giles is hard to beat at any point so to beat him and put myself up there is great."

New Zealand's Josh Junior had a great week and sailed himself to the bronze knocking Pieter-Jan Postma (NED) out of the medals.

Brazil's Fernanda Oliveira and Ana Barbachan (BRA) turned their overnight Women's 470 lead into another ISAF Sailing World Cup gold medal making it three in a row after Miami and Palma wins.  "It was so difficult today," said Oliveira. "We didn't do good races and our starts were so bad. We are happy with the result and it's good to win again. We're going to have some days of rest, relaxing at home and then we'll start training again."

Camille Lecointre and Mathilde Geron (FRA) took the silver medal and Great Britain's Sophie Weguelin and Eilidh McIntyre took their second consecutive World Cup podium spot in third.

Double bullets on the last day for Mat Belcher and Will Ryan (AUS) secured them their fourth gold medal together since teaming up. For Belcher his unbeaten Men's 470 run, that stems from November 2011, continues, "To come into these events having won them last year and with a new partnership there's high expectations," said Belcher. "To come away with another win with today's condition and finish off by winning both Medal Races was fantastic."

Ryan added, "There's been a full range of conditions and a lot of the top sailors have really come through. Everybody has had a few bad races along the way and I think every fleet saw really close racing so it's been a really great event."

Sofian Bouvet and Jeremie Mion (FRA) maintained their spot in second place and London 2012 Olympic bronze medallists Lucas Calabrese and Juan de la Fuente (ARG) complete the top three.

Anything was possible on the final day in the Nacra 17 as just five points divided the top five.

The fleet were delayed due to fickle breeze and testing conditions that were prevalent on the course. Once racing got underway it was Sweden's Tim Shuwalow and Hanna Klinga (SWE) who prevailed. They ended up tied on 59-points with Billy Besson and Marie Riou (FRA) but based on the combined score of the Medal Races the Swedes took gold to win on count back.

Matias Buhler and Nathalie Brugger complete the podium.

Regattas in Melbourne, Miami, Palma and Hyères have made up the 2012-13 ISAF Sailing World Cup circuit with some great racing seen along the way.

With a busy summer of World Championships for the ten Olympic events attentions will turn back to World Cup duties starting at Qingdao, China in October 2013.

Published in Olympic

#isafworldcup – Annalise Murphy won both her races at the ISAF world Cup today but she is still counting the cost of disappointment in the qualifying rounds that has dropped her into the Silver fleet of the Laser Radial fleet.'I won both races today. Wish I was in gold but really makes me realise the importance of getting it right in qualifying' she said on coming ashore.

In the mens Laser fleet Belfast's James Espey discarded 44th leave to him 28th overall in the Laser Gold fleet.

The mistral at ISAF Sailing World Cup Hyères kicked in on the third day of racing in the South of France as the final series got underway, pitting the top sailors against one another.

After two days of tricky breeze a fresh 17-20 knot easterly breeze was welcomed by the sailors as racing ramped up.

Making the most of the conditions in the Nacra 17 was Sweden's Tim Shuwalow and Hanna Klinga who moved into pole position whilst France's Audrey Ogereau and Matthieu Vandame were in fine form taking two bullets to progress up the leader board.

Carrying forward a non discardable fifth place from the qualification series the Swedes notched up a third, second and an eighth, discarding the latter, to open up a three point advantage over Switzerland's Matias Buhler and Nathalie Brugger (SUI).

Shuwalow and Klinga teamed up three months ago and at ISAF Sailing World Cup Palma they finished sixth and Shuwalow is under no illusions that they are the finished product at such an early stage, "We're still developing and learning a lot each day and have a long way to go yet but it's proving good so far," said Shuwalow. "We try and keep it fun because obviously there are stressful moments and that's the way it always will be but she's new to the catamarans and enjoying it and I just really love the Nacra 17."

Two days of final series racing and two Medal Races follow and the Swedes believe a podium could be in sight, "If we continue sailing consistently and up there then we're in with a chance but there are many good teams and some of them are probably yet to find form this week and it will get tougher as we get towards the end no doubt."

Whilst the Swedish partnership proved consistent, stealing the day was France's Ogereau and Vandame as the pair picked up double race wins and an eighth. Carrying a 21st forward they have progressed nicely to eighth overall and just 11 points off the leaders.

"On the two races we won we had good starts and good speed upwind," said Ogereau. "It was busy on the start line and good starts don't always get you at the front but in these races we knew that the left was better so we got first.

"In our first win we were 20 metres ahead and a bigger distance of 150 metres in the second so we were happy with our speed in these races."

Swiss pair of Buhler and Brugger won the first race of the day and posted an impressive third and ninth to sit second whilst rounding off the top three is Billy Besson and Marie Riou (FRA).

Despite an OCS in the second race of the day Dylan Fletcher and Alain Sign (GBR) have taken the lead in the 49er. Carrying a third place forward they recorded a sixth and a fourth but will have to tread carefully for the remainder of the final series following an OCS.

Making the biggest climb up the leader board is Spain's Carlos and Anton Paz. The Spanish brothers flew out the traps taking a bullet and a second in the gold fleet before a 13th in the last race of the day. The result moves them from 14th to fifth. "For us our first two races were really good with a first and a second," said Carlos. "The last one was completely opposite after a change in the wind but overall we're happy with our day. Our 13th isn't a bad result for a discard so we will try to push and be in the final eight."

ISAF Sailing World Cup Palma gold medallists Erik Heil and Thomas Ploessel (GER) are just one point behind Fletcher and Sign whilst France's Julien D'ortoli and Noe Delpech sit third.

In the 49erFX Charlotte Dobson and Mary Rook (GBR) are coming together nicely after racing with different team-mates at ISAF Sailing World Cup Palma. Dobson finished fifth with Sophie Ainsworth whilst Rook came 22nd with Kate Macgregor. Two race wins in Hyères has moved them into top spot ahead of World #2 Alex Maloney and Molly Meech (NZL), who took the days other race win, and World #1 Martine Grael and Kahena Kunze (BRA).

"We're not really too focussed on the results," said Dobson, "although you're a competitive person so they are pretty much always on your mind – even though you say to your coach they're not."

With limited skiff racing experience the British team are mixing the 49erFX racers up at the early stages of the quadrennial to find the right formula and Dobson is seeing the progression first hand, "The learning curve is literally vertical, every day is a learning day and that's what's making it really rewarding at the moment.  You can really see the steps you're making forward every single day."

Ivan Pastor (ESP) held onto his lead in the Men's RS:X but French youngster Louis Giard was the stand out performer on the race track winning the first of the day and coming second in the other. Carrying forward a fourth Giard, who finished third at the 2011 ISAF Youth Worlds, moves up to second overall and was a cheerful sailor after racing, "I was behind the Polish sailor but he was OCS so that was the win for me. This is my first win here and I'm really happy."

In the Women's RS:X Charline Picon (FRA) and Bryony Shaw (GBR) hold a joint lead following solid days on the water. Shaw took the first race win whilst ISAF Sailing World Cup Palma victor Flavia Tartaglini (ITA) took the second to move to third overall.

Tonci Stipanovic (CRO) leads Brazil's Bruno Fontes and Robert Scheidt in the Laser after a race win and a discarded BFD. Australia's Matt Wearn took the days other bullet but carrying forward a 44th he only moves up to 25th overall.

Holding her Laser Radial advantage on the first day of the final series is Tuula Tenkanen (FIN). A third and a sixth enabled her to maintain her two point advantage over the chasing pack. Taking the day's race wins was Canada's Isabella Bertold, who lays fifth overall, and Great Britain's Alison Young, sitting pretty in fourth.

Mat Belcher and Will Ryan (AUS) were back on top form in the Men's 470 taking double bullets to jump up two places to second. Luke Patience and Joe Glanfield (GBR) hold the lead by two points but discard a 24th.

Fernanda Oliveira and Ana Barbachan (BRA) remain firmly at the top of the Women's 470 leader board and have an eight point advantage over Anne Haeger and Briana Provancha (USA).

Pieter-Jan Postma (NED) has taken first overall in the Finn class and is one point ahead of Giles Scott (GBR) and Vasilij Zbogar (SLO).

In the 2.4mR Heiko Kroger (GER) opened up a seven point lead over Megan Pascoe (GBR) and in the Sonar Aleksander Wang-Hansen, Marie Solberg and Per Eugen Kristiansen (NOR) and Bruno Jourdren, Eric Flageul and Nicolas Vimont-Vicary (FRA) share the lead.

Racing resumes on Thursday 25 April at 11:00 local time.

Published in Annalise Murphy

#HyeresSWC – There was no significant improvement for Irish sailing star Annalise Murphy who is uncharacteristically placed in a lowly 43rd place at the ISAF World Cup in Hyeres, France this afternoon.

A black flag disqualification in race four has ruled the Dun Laoghaire sailor out of the running after five races in her 55-boat fleet.

'In silver fleet now so going to use it to work on my racing' Annalise told fans.

Meanwhile Belfast lough sailor James Espey is now in 18th place from a 113 in the mens Laser class after falling back from joint second after the opening rounds on Monday.

Two days of fickle breeze at  Hyères brought the Qualification Series to a close as the world's best sailors positioned themselves at the top ahead of three days of Final Series racing.

In a breeze that stabilised later on in the day, peaking at 10 knots, Ivan Pastor (ESP) and Charline Picon (FRA) were the star performers in the Men's and Women's RS:X on the second day of racing in Hyères to take a clean score through to the Final Series.

Pastor has been a man on fire recently epitomised by back-to-back ISAF Sailing World Cup victories in Miami and Palma which moved him to World #1 in the Men's RS:X World Rankings. He was at his best again in Hyères winning both of the day's Men's RS:X races to take the overall lead and was pleased with the way things went, "I didn't have good starts but I chose the right side of the course," the Spaniard said. "I had good speed and good pumping to win both races. It was great for me. It was a difficult day for the RS:X with a lot of pumping and shifty winds but it was okay for me."

The Spaniard finishes the qualifying series ahead of Julien Bontemps (FRA) and Piotr Myszka (POL) to carry forward a clean slate into the start of Wednesday's Final Series and Pastor isn't getting carried away with his performance on the second day, "I want to compete day per day, it's a long race with this system and you've never won anything until the end."

Finding form in the Women's RS:X was French sailor Picon who, after London 2012, is competing at her second event following a fifth at the RS:X Worlds in Buzios, Brazil. Using her light weight to her advantage Picon attacked the light breeze head on, "I won the first and the second race of the day and I am very happy because my coach wanted me to win in these conditions because they are good for me. It's like the conditions in Rio and I have to be the leader in these winds."

Things didn't go all her way in the third race of the day as she explained, "I wasn't happy for the last race because I made a mistake on the upwind on the first run and went down to between 25-30. It was hard to get to the head of the race and I finished tenth so not too bad. I am first after the qualifying series which is nice but tomorrow is another day and it will be windy."

Spain's Blanca Manchon (ESP) took the final race win of the day to move to third whilst Bryony Shaw carries forward a second place to the Final Series after a steady day of racing.

Two race wins catapulted Luke Patience and Joe Glanfield (GBR) to the top of the Men's 470 fleet to move them nicely into the Final Series. They dislodged overnight leaders Paul Snow-Hansen and Dan Wilcox (NZL) who were still upbeat, "We had the best day we could have had," said Wilcox. "We struggled a little bit off the line and on the first beats but we had some good comebacks."

Like the Brits, the Kiwis are a new partnership and Snow-Hansen is happy with consistent results top five results over the Qualifying Series that sees them advance to the finals second overall, "If we can keep up there then we're really stoked. We're a new combination so we haven't sailed much together so we don't know what our weaknesses are. We've got to keep getting better throughout the week and it'll be hard to stay at the front."

Fernanda Oliveira and Ana Barbachan (BRA) were on form once again in the Women's 470 to pick up their third race win of the week. They advance to the final series on top followed by Lara Vadlau and Jolanta Ogar (AUT) and Tina Mrak and Veronika Macarol (SLO).

Dutch and French sailors remain at the forefront of the Nacra 17 fleet having dominated the proceedings at ISAF Sailing World Cup Palma. Elke Delnooz and Coen de Koning (NED) top the leader board followed by Franck Cammas and Sophie de Turckheim (FRA) who are making their inaugural appearance in the class. ISAF Sailing World Cup Palma runners-up Renee Groeneveld and Karel Begemann (NED) are third.

Tonci Stipanovic (CRO) enjoyed another strong day in the Laser to remain at the top of the 113-boat fleet. Following the Croatian is Bruno Fontes (BRA), Sam Meech (NZL), Jesus Rogel Sanchez (ESP) and Mattis Naud (FRA).

In the Laser Radial Finland's Tuula Tenkanen was a model of consistency and across three races recorded a first, second and third. Her standout performance pushed her to the top of the Radial leader board ahead of Mathilde de Kerangat (FRA) and Marit Bouwmeester (NED).

Taking the victories in the Finn on the second day was Oliver Tweddell (AUS), Vasilij Zbogar (SLO) and Andrew Mills (GBR). The Slovenian was the most consistent sailor in the fleet adding a sixth and a third to his tally to move up to top spot. Mills and Tweddell were less impressive than Zbogar but sit seventh and eighth respectively. Rounding off the top three ahead of the final series is Giles Scott (GBR) and Pieter-Jan Postma (NED).

Germany's Victoria Jurczok and Anika Lorenz maintained their solid start in the 49erFX and solidified top spot after the second day of racing. Following them is Charlotte Dobson and Mary Rook (GBR) and Alex Maloney and Molly Meech (GBR).

The 49er fleet were the last off the water at 20:10. Holding the lead is Federico and Arturo Alonso (ESP) followed by Pavle Kostov and Petar Cupac (CRO) who have finished third in all six races to sit second overall. Overnight leaders Dylan Fletcher and Alain Sign (GBR) slip to third.

In the 2.4mR Heiko Kroger (GER) holds a one point advantage over London 2012 Paralympic gold medallist Helena Lucas (GBR) and Bruno Jourdren, Eric Flageul and Nicolas Vimont-Vicary (FRA) lead the Sonar.

With the Qualification Series over, sailors now carry forward a non discardable race with their points equal to their final rank in the qualification stage. A three day final series now ensues ahead of Saturday's Medal and Stadium Races.

Racing resumes at 11:00 local time on Wednesday.

Published in Annalise Murphy
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#STAR WORLDS – A 14th scored in today's final race has dashed hopes of an Irish medal at the Star World Championships in Hyeres on the South of France but Peter O'Leary and David Burrows will take great confidence from their consistent performance in some tricky conditions this week.

The world championships in Olympic year is regarded as one of the most accurate and final guages of performance before July's London Olympic regatta. The fourth place Irish finish is a significant improvement on their world championship record to date.

In a final race upheaval the British pairing of Iain Percy and Andrew Simpson who were the regatta leaders for most of the week finished second with Brazil's Robert Scheidt and Bruno Prada taking the overall honours. Denmark's Michael Hestbaek and Claus Olsen jumped from fifth position in the regatta to win bronze after a third place finish today.

O'Leary's and Burrows fourth place finish is one of few exceptional finishes for Irish crews at Olympic class World championships eclipsed in the Star class only by a Bronze medal finish by O'Leary's Royal Cork club mate Mark Mansfield and David O'Brien in 2000.

Published in Olympics 2012
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#STAR WORLDS – Ireland's Peter O'Leary and David Burrows are third overall in the Star Worlds in Hyeres, France tonight having mastered light, shifty winds and notched up an impressive opening scoreline of 3, 4,12 in the 72-boat fleet that contains all their main rivals for an Olympic medal in 80 days time.

After the first two races O'Leary and Burrows lead with a third and a fourth for seven points, two ahead of Brazilians Robert Scheidt and Bruno Prada, who had a seventh and second for nine points.

But British sailors Iain Percy and Andrew Simpson win of today's race three gives them the overall lead.

starsscoresheet

World leaders – the scoresheet after two races in Hyeres

After two days of very shifty weather, it finally decided to blow, with 20 knots, and more in the gusts. Nine boats didn't finished the race, and three masts were broken.

starsailing

Stronger winds for the third race. Photos: Pierrick Contin

oLearyburrows

Iain Percy and Andrew Simpson showed their superiority with the Poland's Mateusz Kusznierewiczof second. The Swedish hlemsman Fredrik Loof was third.

10 knots are expected for the first start at 12.00 noon on Tuesday.

 

 

Published in Olympics 2012
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#OLYMPIC SAILING – A 4, 10 and 11 gives Ireland's Star sailors Peter O'Leary and David Burrows fifth overall, six points behind Germany's Johannes Polgar and Markus Koy after three races sailed at the Semaine Olympique Française - Hyères yesterday.

It was a breeze lovers day in Hyères and a long second day on the water for 13 competing Olympic classes.

A point behind The Irish pair in the 25-boat class is Frederick Loof and Max Salminen of Sweden who although counting a 1 and 2 are relegated to sixth with a black flag penalty in the opening race.

Race management issues yesterday forced long delays before the Star's second race yesterday and when it finally did get underway it had to be abandoned due to a drifting windward mark.

Another Irish sailor Dun Laoghaire's Anthony Shanks who is sailing with Britian's John Gimson lie 12th overall.

O'Leary and Burrows, the Irish Olympic pairing who qualified for the London Olympics last December in Perth reiterated their medal aims for Weymouth this summer at a pre-Hyeres interview.

Meanwhile, in the 49er class yesterday Ireland's Ryan Seaton and MattMcGovern, who are also Olympic qualified, counted 14,13,7 in 16-18-knots of breeze and lie 20th from 50 starters.

Ireland's other Olympic qualified sailor Annalise Murphy is not sailing in Hyeres in spite of the presence of some of her arch rivals for Weymouth Evi Van Acker of Belgium and Marit Boumeester of Holland lying third and fourth. Britain's Alison Young is leading the 80-boat fleet.

There are under 100 days to go and nine regattas before the Olympic regatta in July. Irish team officials say they are expecting six medal race finishes and two medals in the run-up to July as a sign that the team is on track to deliver its Weymouth promise of a place on the podium.

Published in Olympics 2012

#FFVoileEvt – Olympic class racing was scrubbed in Hyères, France for Ireland's Peter O'Leary and David Burrows in the Star class yesterday as a strong local Mistral wind blew away any chance of competition in the fragile keelboat class. Others classes got afloat however and there was plenty of Mediterranean capsizes.

The 49ers got out for one race where only 11 boats managed to finish. Ireland's Olympic qualified Ryan Seaton and Matt McGovern got across the line with only seconds to spare. Semaine Olympique Francaise, the French Olympic Sailing Week continues all this week.

 

Published in Olympics 2012
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The Half Ton Class was created by the Offshore Racing Council for boats within the racing band not exceeding 22'-0". The ORC decided that the rule should "....permit the development of seaworthy offshore racing yachts...The Council will endeavour to protect the majority of the existing IOR fleet from rapid obsolescence caused by ....developments which produce increased performance without corresponding changes in ratings..."

When first introduced the IOR rule was perfectly adequate for rating boats in existence at that time. However yacht designers naturally examined the rule to seize upon any advantage they could find, the most noticeable of which has been a reduction in displacement and a return to fractional rigs.

After 1993, when the IOR Mk.III rule reached it termination due to lack of people building new boats, the rule was replaced by the CHS (Channel) Handicap system which in turn developed into the IRC system now used.

The IRC handicap system operates by a secret formula which tries to develop boats which are 'Cruising type' of relatively heavy boats with good internal accommodation. It tends to penalise boats with excessive stability or excessive sail area.

Competitions

The most significant events for the Half Ton Class has been the annual Half Ton Cup which was sailed under the IOR rules until 1993. More recently this has been replaced with the Half Ton Classics Cup. The venue of the event moved from continent to continent with over-representation on French or British ports. In later years the event is held biennially. Initially, it was proposed to hold events in Ireland, Britain and France by rotation. However, it was the Belgians who took the ball and ran with it. The Class is now managed from Belgium. 

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At A Glance – Half Ton Classics Cup Winners

  • 2017 – Kinsale – Swuzzlebubble – Phil Plumtree – Farr 1977
  • 2016 – Falmouth – Swuzzlebubble – Greg Peck – Farr 1977
  • 2015 – Nieuwport – Checkmate XV – David Cullen – Humphreys 1985
  • 2014 – St Quay Portrieux – Swuzzlebubble – Peter Morton – Farr 1977
  • 2013 – Boulogne – Checkmate XV – Nigel Biggs – Humphreys 1985
  • 2011 – Cowes – Chimp – Michael Kershaw – Berret 1978
  • 2009 – Nieuwpoort – Général Tapioca – Philippe Pilate – Berret 1978
  • 2007 – Dun Laoghaire – Henri-Lloyd Harmony – Nigel Biggs – Humphreys 1980~
  • 2005 – Dinard – Gingko – Patrick Lobrichon – Mauric 1968
  • 2003 – Nieuwpoort – Général Tapioca – Philippe Pilate – Berret 1978

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