Two race wins from Jake Lilley (AUS) moves him to the top of the pile after the second day of racing at the Sailing World Cup Hyeres. Josh Junior (NZL) drops to second while Oliver Tweddell (AUS) remains in third. All three are still seeking national Olympic selection.
The wind was down from windy Wednesday, but there was still enough, eventually, enabling two great races for the 33 boat Finn fleet. Junior explained, “Sailing didn’t look promising this morning as there was no wind and lots of cloud. Just after lunch the breeze came in, the Nacras got four races away before we headed out to the race course. We had two races in a 10 to 13 knot WSW breeze, and the top left was pretty favoured.”
In race 3, Jonas Høgh-Christensen (DEN) rounded first after starting mid-line, and sailing up the middle, from Tweddell who favoured the right side. Max Salminen (SWE) rounded third. The Dane led through the gate with Tweddell and Salminen exchanging places but on the second upwind, Lilley and Tweddell moved ahead with Ivan Kljakovic Gaspic (CRO) now in third. The final downwind was tantalisingly tight all the way. Tweddell got the initial advantage but then Lilley closed right up and took the lead less than 50 metres from the finish. Tweddell crossed second with Kljakovic Gaspic close behind for third.
Lilley said, “I got to Oli by the bottom of the final run and pushed him out, and then gybed inside to lead through the line for the win.”
The conditions obviously suited Lilley as he led race 4 almost all the way. He was led at the top mark by Enrico Voltolini (ITA) and Jonathan Lobert (FRA) but had the lead at the gate and extended on the fleet to win by more than 30 seconds. Ioannis Mitakis (GRE) climbed up to third on the first downwind after rounding the top mark in ninth, and then moved up to second on the final downwind. Lobert crossed in third.
Junior continued, “I struggled to hold a lane off the start line, which left me fighting to come back through the fleet. However I managed to pick off some boats and end the day with a 5, 7. Jake sailed amazingly well today to win both of the races.”
Lilley explained his day, “Today we had a shifty offshore wind fill in which was fighting the thermal push which meant we were getting some big phases and pressure coming from either side. I feel good and am just trying to sail conservatively and move forward throughout the races.”
“I started in the middle both races and just ground them out. I'm just trying to round top 10 and make as few mistakes as possible and keep moving through the water. It was a tricky day, but tomorrow looks reasonably similar so fingers crossed I can just keep executing my game plan.”
Racing in Hyeres continues to Sunday, 1 May when the medal race is scheduled.
Results after four races
1 AUS41 Jake Lilley 4
2 NZL 24 Josh Junior 10
3 AUS 261 Oliver Tweddell 12
4 USA 6 Caleb Paine 12
5 CRO 524 Ivan Kljakovic Gaspic 13
6 FRA 112 Jonathan Lobert 18
7 NOR-1 Anders Pedersen 19
8 GRE 77 Ioannis Mitakis 19
9 DEN-2 Jonas Hogh-Christensen 24
10 NZL-16 Andrew Murdoch 27