Josh Junior (NZL) continued his winning ways from Palma to take the early lead at the Sailing World Cup Hyeres, holding the overall lead from Caleb Paine (USA) and Oliver Tweddell (AUS) after two windy races were held on the opening day.
The forecasts were predicting wind and there was plenty of that. Anders Pedersen (NOR) made the most of the opening race to lead all the way to win from Jake Lilley (AUS), who moved into second place on the second upwind, overtaking Jonathan Lobert (FRA) who crossed in third.
Early on in the second race Junior was in the pack but climbed through to second on the second upwind, to take the lead on the final downwind to the finish to take the bullet from Paine and Tweddell.
Pedersen said of his day, “It was for sure a big day here in Hyeres. Strong wind and big chop made it a hard day, especially upwind. In the first race I had a good start near the pin and it all went on track from there. In the second race I had a less good start but managed to be OK at the top mark. But on the second beat I really messed up so I ended up 14th.”
“But I’m happy with the first race, and it was really fun sailing conditions today.”
For the few countries that have still to select sailors for Rio, Hyeres is an important regatta, for some it will be the end, for others the beginning of the end. One of those countries is Australia with Lilley and Tweddell upping their game as the trials heads towards a conclusion at the Gold Cup, the class world championship, in two weeks time.
Tweddell said, "Hyeres was WINDY today! The wind was coming offshore and it was breeze on. It was shifty upwind, and survival downwind; it was pretty fun though.”
“The racing was nice and tight and intense which is what you'd expect with the majority of the best guys here.”
Racing in Hyeres continues to Sunday, 1 May when the medal race is scheduled.
Results after two races
1 NZL 24 Josh Junior 5
2 USA 6 Caleb Paine 7
3 AUS 261 Oliver Tweddell 10
4 CRO 524 Ivan Kljakovic Gaspic 10
5 AUS41 Jake Lilley 12
6 NOR-1 Anders Pedersen 15
7 FRA 112 Jonathan Lobert 15
8 NZL-16 Andrew Murdoch 18
9 RUS 57 Egor Terpigorev 18
10 DEN-2 Jonas Høgh-Christensen 20
Full results here.