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Racing in full gear thanks to perfect conditions.

Semaine Olympique Franaise - Hyres - Racing in full gear thanks to perfect conditions.
HYRES, FRANCE-(24-4-2006) No rest for the 6 racing committees in Hyres who made the most of the perfect conditions to complete 46 races on the second day in the SOF regatta.

The Easterly breeze, which was fighting its way in yesterday, settled to 15 knots in the late morning. Weakening to 8 knots later in the afternoon close to the shore on the RS:X course, the wind granted the Tornados with stronger conditions averaging 17 knots with gusts reaching 21, and nice waves. While suiting some teams like the Australians Bundock/Ashby, comfortably in the lead after a third and a victory, or the Spanish Echavarri/Paz, who enjoyed the conditions scoring a 1st and a 2nd, the stronger breeze took also its toll. Roman Hagara and Hans Peter Steinacher (AUT) dropped 10 places in the overall results from 2nd to 12th after scoring a 13th and capsizing in the second race. The Puerto Rican team of Enrique Figueroa and Jorge Hernandez didnt finish the last race after damaging their equipment; same fate for the Russians Morozov/Russi who broke their sail or the French Morvan/Vandame who after some gear failure in the first race missed both races.
Better results for other French team of Xavier Revil and Christophe Espagnon, consistent with two five races they take the second place overall at only one point from the Germans Polar/Spalteholz in third.

Perfect results scored by Page Railey (USA) and Sari Multala (FIN) who won both races in their respective Laser radial group. Sophie de Turkheim is adding 2 second places to her score. A black flag in the first race yesterday is still counting on their results, but the three favourites could threaten the fleet leaders if they drop their disqualification tomorrow. Youth World Silver medal, Lijia Xu is keeping the lead after scoring two 6th, the young Chinese is only a point ahead of Anna Tunnicliffe who is closing the gap after a second and a 8th places. Laura Baldwin gains 7 positions in 3rd. The level of competition has improved a lot in the last year explains Sophie de Turkheim. The sailors coming from the Europe or other boats are catching up quickly. I can see that I still have a small edge on most of them but they are learning fast.

With the 138 Lasers spread in 4 groups, scores are very tight and tomorrows last qualification races will promise some excitement. Gold and Silver medallist in last years SOF, Australian Tom Slingsby and Mate Arapov (CRO) were victorious in both races claiming again the top of the classification. In third place is Thomas Le Breton (3-1). Not such a good day for Paul Goodison (GBR) who broke his mast in the first race and finished 9th in the second after choosing the wrong side of the shift.

Stevie Morrison and Ben Rhodes (GBR) have shown their full potential today and are climbing to the top of the 49ers scoreboard after placing 3rd, 1st and 2nd. Same results for the Danish team formed by the Hansen brothers in second place: We are testing new equipment in this regatta and so far it proved to be good especially in the breeze. Athens Gold Medallists Iker Martinez and Xavier Fernandez (ESP) are placing 3rd (1-6-4).

Impressive performance realised by Casper Bouman (NED) in the RS:X Men. The young Dutch is confirming his ease in the breeze with 3 bullets. Casper was too tall for the Mistral explains Jaap Zielhuis, Netherlands Head coach, The RS:X in these stronger breezes is a perfect support for him. He just needs to train more in the lighter range. At 21 years old, Casper is starting to collect good results this year after winning Sail Melbourne a few months ago. Michal Polanowski (POL) is second overall, 1 point ahead from Tom Ashley (NZL) in third.
In the women division, Marina Alabau (ESP) is replacing Zofia Klepacka (POL) in the lead of the RS:X women 2nd, in front of team mate Anna Galecka (POL) last race winner.

Many general recalls under Z flag and Black flag took their tolls on the 470 and Finn fleets.
Despite a 16th in the last race today, Yuka Yoshisako and Noriko Ohkuma (JAP) are conserving theor early lead in front of Giulia Conti and Giovanna Micol (ITA). The Czech team of Lenka Smidova and Elizabeth Kratzig conserves their third position. After a difficult start yesterday, Christina Bassadone and Saskia Clark (GBR) are back in their usual form. They scored a second place in the first race and won the last.

Gideon Kliger and Udi Gal (ISR) caught up from their gear failure in the last race yesterday with a win in the first race and a second. They are discarding their bad results to climb to the top position. First race winners, Gabrio Zandona and Andrea Trani (ITA) are taking second place in front of Australians Belcher/Behrens.

Three races were sailed in the Finn class. Slovenian Gasper Vincec (SLO) is claiming the 1rst place in the Finn after improving his results throughout the day (8 4 1). Ed Wright (GBR) is reaching the second position after winning the first race. Jonas Hoegh Christensen penalised by a Z flag in the first race today, adds 20% of the fleet score to his 3rd place, he is also in 3rd overall. Among the 9 Z flag starters is Pieter-Jan Postma (NED), first across the line on the 2nd race, he scores 10 points to place in 11th position overall.

Yngling World champion and last winners, the American trio led by Sally Barkow has taken the lead in the Yngling regatta, only 1 point in front of british rivals after winning the first race. Sarah Ayton and her crew won the second race. The Dutch crew of Annelies Thies, Marije Faber and Petronella de Jong are 3rd.

Thierry Schmitter (NED) is conserving his lead in the 2.4m only 2 points from Helena Lucas (GBR). Bjornar Erikstad (NOR) is in 3rd position.

Source: Media Office - Corinne McKenzie

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