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Local sailor claims the day

Semaine Olympique Franaise - Hyres - Local sailor claims the day
HYRES, FRANCE-(23-4-2006) Racing kicked off today in Hyres for the 1000 competitors engaged in the 38th SOF. With a soft and shifty breeze on the 6 racing areas, the daily programme couldnt be completed and some races had to be shortened.

Local sailor, Jean-Baptiste Bernaz, mastered these difficult sailing conditions winning both races in his Laser group. The SOF is the first international regatta in the Laser for the 19 years old Hyres sailor. With his eyes set on the 2008 Olympics, Bernaz is already setting the pace to reach his goal.
Same results for Skandia team GBR, Paul Goodison, winner of the Rolex Miami OCR. They both lead the 137 lasers fleet with Tom Slingsby (AUS), 2005 SOF winner in third place.

Xu Lija (CHN) opened the score in the Laser radial class with a bullet in the first race followed by a 5th place. In second position, Anna Tunnicliffe (USA) winner in Miami is on equal points with Canadian Lisa Ross. Other race winners include Karin Soderstrom (SWE), Zhen Su (CHN), and Sophie de Turckheim.
The French sailor, winner of the SOF last year, collected a black flag in the opening race.

Sydney Silver medallist in the Tornado, Darren Bundock pairing with Glenn Ashby (multiple A class world and national champion), won todays second race in the Olympic multihull leading the scoreboard on equal points with double Olympic champions Roman Hagara and Hans Peter Steinacher from Austria. The German team of Johannes Polar and Florian Spalteholz is in third place after winning the first race of the regatta.

The only race sailed in the Yngling went to the Dutch trio led by Annelies Thies. Two British teams took 2nd and 4th. In second place, American sailor Nancy Haberland (sailing with Annie Lush and Lucy MacGregor) is temporarily replacing Shirley Robertson in the British boat. The double Olympic Gold medallist is due to have twins in 3 months! Kristin Wagner, Anna Hoell and Anne Pfister (GER) are claiming third place in front of British team helmed by Athens Gold medallist Sarah Ayton.

Top ranked 470 Men sailors and Princess Sofia regatta winners, Gideon Kliger and Udi Gal (ISR) took an early lead in the 86 boats fleet with a 5th in the first race and a victory in the second. Polish team of Rafal Sawicki and Piotr Szwoch are in second position in front of French Alexandre Rossignol and David Boudgourd. Sailing in the eastern racing course in the bay of Hyres, the 470 Men and women teams and the Finns had difficult conditions due to conflicting winds. The race committee had to shorten the first race in the 470 Men before postponing any further racing waiting for the wind to settle.

After waiting 4 hours on the water for good racing conditions, the Finn fleet finally started, following Canadian Chris Cook around the course. Guillaume Florent (FRA), after a year off, was the only one who came close enough to threaten the Canadians lead, crossing the finishing line in second position in front of Daniel Birgmark (SWE).
Chris Cook, after winning a Bronze medal in the 2005 Finn Gold Cup in Moscow , continue on his good form, taking second in Miami and 3rd in Palma this year.

Thierry Schmitter (NED) won both races in the 2.4M class leading the scoreboard in front of Helena Lucas (GBR).

No results are available yet in the 49er, 470 Women and RS:X Men. A further release will be sent at a later stage.

Source: Media Office - Corinne McKenzie

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