France’s Jonathan Lobert made the best of the light winds on the first day of the World Cup Series in Hyères on Tuesday to take the early lead in the 40 boat Finn fleet from Brazil’s Jorge Zarif and Ioannis Mitakis, from Greece. The race wins went to Nicholas Heiner, from the Netherlands, and Zarif.
Heiner led the opening race from the top mark and won with a comfortable lead. He was followed round the top by Jake Lilley, from Australia and Mitakis. Lobert rounded a close fifth and moved up to second with Lilley holding on for third.
Heiner, “Kind of typical Hyeres conditions, starting with a nice sea breeze at 8-9 knots dropping to 6 knots and a bit more steady than the second race. In the second we started in about 4-5 knots and a dying breeze.”
He struggled to get off the line cleanly in the second race and placed 11th. “It was a tricky day. I had one really good result and in the second I had the opportunities but it was OK.”
The wind was clearly dying for the second race and after one false start the fleet got away in around 5 knots. Britain’s Ben Cornish led at the top from Croatia’s Josip Olujic and Lobert. Cornish just held the led round the gate with Olujic rounding the opposite gate almost level. Lobert picked up a yellow flag for kinetics on the first downwind “I was maybe pushing too much”, which put him back slightly. But on the final, shortened, upwind, Zarif slipped through them all to lead down to the finish and take the win from Cornish and Lobert.
Zarif, “In the first race there was a little bit more pressure on the left. I tried to start in the middle, but unfortunately I had to tack to the right. I turned the top mark about fifteenth and then started to recover downwind.” He crossed the line in fifth.
“In the second race it changed completely. We had much more pressure on the right. I had a good start and a good first beat. Then the guys left me alone on the second upwind and I passed Ben and Lobert, so it was a very god day with a fifth and first.”
Overall leader, and third overall last year, Lobert was quite content with his day’s work.
“It was a light wind day and quite tricky. I managed a second and a third, so am quite happy with that. In the first race I managed a good start and then I could sail in the free spots, so that was good and then I was just following the shifts."
"It was very light in the second one. On the last upwind Ben Cornish and Zarif went a little more on the right, so it was a good call and they crossed in front.”
Racing for the Finn fleet is scheduled to continue at 11.00 on Wednesday. The opening series concludes on Saturday ahead of Sunday’s medal race.
Results after two races
1 FRA 112 Jonathan Lobert 5
2 BRA 109 Jorge Zarif 6
3 GRE 77 Ioannis Mitakis 8
4 AUS 1 Jake Lilley 10
5 NED 89 Nicholas Heiner 12
6 CZE 5 Ondrej Teply 15
7 NZL 61 Andy Maloney 22
8 NZL 24 Josh Junior 25
9 GBR 91 Ben Cornish 27
10 SWE 11 Johannes Pettersson 29