Giles Scott (GBR) made his move on the fourth day at the ISAF Sailing World Cup Hyeres. A 1, 2 in Thursday's races gives him a five point lead over Andrew Mills (GBR), who won the second race, while some great sailing and consistency moves Josh Junior (NZL) up to third.
He has been poised to strike all week, always near the top but not making many waves around him. Giles Scott's results during the opening series were nothing to write home about but he still ended up second. This valuable two points, which is non-discardable, is now serving him well as he puts some distance between himself and the chasing fleet at the regatta moves towards its conclusion.
Scott led a British charge in the first race of the day in a much lighter breeze than the forecast 20 knots. Mark Andrews (GBR) took second with Ed Wright (GBR) in fourth and Andrew Mills in seventh. It pushed Scott to the top of the leaderboard for the first time this week. Josh Junior split the British team, crossing in third.
Four black flags inside the top 10 in race five (or the fourth actual race of the final series if you are still confused) changed the landscape somewhat with this morning's leader Pieter-Jan Postma (NED), Jonathan Lobert (FRA) Vasilij Zbogar (SLO) and Andrew Murdoch (NZL) all pulled out. A further eight boats further down were also disqualified for black flag infringements.
After the first general recall eight boats were pulled out when a left shift during sequence made people push the line too hard. Then another were four black flagged in the start that got away.
In the end it was Andrew Mills who led Scott across the finish line with Tapio Nirkko (FIN) in third. Mills summed up his day, “Race 1 was a left hand track but a long right hander a third of the way up the beat meant a pretty even race course. I was a little stuck in the pack but with good speed and happy to get back to seventh.”
“Race 2 got away in much lighter breeze but there was plenty of breeze on the horizon on the left so it was pretty much a race to the left. I started well and got out there. Then we had a limited pumping run which meant a change of sailing style to a bit more 'softly softly catchy monkey'. The final run was a good battle with Giles and I just managed to finish ahead.”
Scott said, “I did well out of a right shift on the first beat, rounding in about fourth or fifth and sailed to second downwind and maintained the gap that Mark had on me up the second beat. Then I was able to pass him near the bottom of the last run before the finish.”
On his performance so far Scott revealed, “I had the one really bad race in qualifying with some very up and down wind that I didn't make the most of, and then some gear failure in the final qualifying race with a vang shackle coming undone.”
On the new format he said, “Vasilij [Zbogar] was a little hard done by as he had a 10 point lead over me which is a shame for him as he sailed really well over the first two days. I still think the qualifying needs to count for more.”
Junior moves up one to third overall after a 3, 6. “I struggled a little bit going upwind, but have more than enough pace downwind to make up for it. The forecast today was for a lot of breeze but it never eventuated. I think because there was to much high cloud around. Looking forward to the last day of finals racing tomorrow before medal racing on Saturday.”
In the silver fleet there were race wins for Olympians Alican Kaynar (TUR) and Peng Zhang (CHN). However Oleksiy Borysov (UKR) continues to lead, albeit by just one point from Kaynar and two from Zhang after a 5, 6 today.
There are two races left for the gold and silver fleets before the top 10 go into Saturday’s two medal races.
Full results: http://sof.ffvoile.net/results/finn.htm