Day four of the ISAF World Cup Regatta in Hyeres brought light winds and inconsistent results for the first time in this event. It was the first of two days racing in the final series, based on rankings from the first three days of competition.
Left: Stephanie Hazard, Jenna Hansen and Susannah Pyatt in the Women's Match Racing will be waiting for the last of the round robin to finish tomorrow before knowing if they progress to the repechage round. Photo by ISAF Sailing World Cup- Go Hashimoto.
In the Laser Gold Fleet where the NZL Sailing Team's Andrew Murdoch, Andy Maloney and Sam Meech are all doing well, results were mixed over the chart and not just for the New Zealanders. Andy Maloney continued with a relatively consistent day, having a third and fifth place finish. The fifth has become his discarded and worst score, so he is now in third overall but only one point ahead of Andrew Murdoch.
Andrew had two sixth place finishes today, and previous to this his worst result was a third. Andrew is now tied for fourth place on equal points with Australian Tom Burton, and the close results prove anything may be possible for this fleet as they head into the final day of the series tomorrow, before the top ten enter the medal race on the day following.
A difficult day for Sam Meech saw him slide back to 13th overall after two finishes around the middle of the Gold Fleet. Thomas Saunders, sailing in the Silver fleet, will be pleased with his results today of a fifth and fourth. He has moved up to 38th overall and this is second in the Silver fleet.
Peter Burling and Blair Tuke's disqualification from their first race today saw them drop down the leader board also to 13th and their next two races didn't help them catch up much. Pete and Blair now carry a couple of high scores, so good results become crutial tomorrow as they head into the final day of fleet racing. Their training partners Marcus Hansen and Josh Porebski have made their mark on the first races of the Silver Fleet, winning the last race after a third and sixth place finish in previous races.
Dan Slater and the rest of the Finn class did not have any racing yesterday, so after two races today, competitors were able to discard their worst score. Results were juggled as a result, and New Zealand Matt Coutts is now in seventh overall as his string of top ten results continue. Dan has dropped down just one place to fourth overall as a result of an on the water incident he was granted redress to his race average score, and the subsequent thirteenth place finish in race six.
Natalia Kosinska had sixth and fourteenth place finishes in the Women's RS:X Gold Fleet so she remains in Tenth spot overall. She will want to stay in this position or better at the end of tomorrow's racing in order to make the final Medal race on Friday for the top ten competitors only.
The Women's Match Racing Crew helmed by Stephanie Hazard had a very long day on the water with hopes of finishing the round robin, but time and wind conditions were not on their side to quite do this. This trio of NZL Sailing Team's Olympic representatives did well to win four of their matches today, and will now await the final results of the round robin to detemine their placing to the repechage round.
The Semaine Olympique Francaise, or simply Hy�res as it is commonly known, is one of the major regattas in the International Olympic Sailing Circuit and is the fourth of seven regattas in the 2011-12 ISAF Sailing World Cup series.
Tomorrow again for day five of racing is expected to bring extreme winds and challenging conditions.
Racing started in France on Sunday April 22nd, and runs for six days with medal races and prize-giving planned for Friday April 27th.
New Zealand's top crews in the Mens and Womens 470, Laser Radial and Star are not competing at this event. All of these crews will be racing at their class World Championships in May.
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