Hyeres day two - double win for Dan Slater

Day two of the Semaine Olympique Française in Hyeres brought much lighter winds and race wins for Dan Slater (NZL), Pieter-Jan Postma (NED) and Giles Scott (GBR). After four races Scott holds a one point lead over Ben Ainslie (GBR) and Postma.

With winds of 3-10 knots and 30 degree shifts, day two in Hyeres was a tricky day, though in general most of the same names appeared at the front. In the third race Dan Slater (NZL) and Pieter Jan Postma (NED) picked up race wins in their fleets, while Tapio Nirkko (FIN) and Ioanis Mitakis (GRE) got second places and Matt Coutts (NZL) and Deniss Karpak (EST) got thirds.

Karpak said, “Today was a great day in Hyeres. We had a light sea breeze with tricky shifts. I was lucky all the time, and did well in both races.” He placed eighth in race four to sit in 16th overnight. There was some extra drama in race three though, “There was a change of mark in the first race today, and the new mark is always white (the normal colour is yellow) but Ed Wright, Andrew Mills and Timo Hagoort went to wrong mark.” They were disqualified. Meanwhile both the joint leaders Ben Ainslie (GBR) and Giles Scott (GBR) received a yellow flag in race three and both finished seventh. Ainsie had actually rounded the first mark in the mid 20s but recovered to seventh by the finish, depsite the penalty.

For race four, Slater won his second race of the day while Giles Scott (GBR) won his third of the week to take the overall lead. Second place getters were Ben Ainslie (GBR) and Michele Paoletti (ITA) while the third places went to Thomas Le Breton (FRAO and Zach Railey (USA).

Slater commented, “It was very light today, about 6-9 knots and I was lucky to get off the line well. In the first race Ed was leading and then sailed the wrong course which handed me the lead and I went on to win. In the second race Ed, Ben and I were in front for the whole race with the lead changing a few times in the shifty conditions. It was all quite close today and the margins were were only 10-15 seconds.”

Third in the first race was the leading Finnish sailor, Tapio Nirkko, who is sailing his new boat this week. He said, “The conditions were pretty good in the first race today, almost 10 knots. I got big lines working and I was quite happy with my speed around the course today though my new boat feels different to my old one. It is taking a bit too much attention at the moment but I'll get used to it. The racing is challenging but fun when absolutely all the top guys are here. You can a little bit sense some kind of extra tension in those guys whose having trials going on, but mostly the feeling in the fleet is good, as usual.”

There is one more day of the blue/yellow fleet split before the all important gold and silver split on Wednesday and Thursday. The medal race for the top 10 is on Friday 29th April.

Results after 4 races:

1 GBR 41 Giles SCOTT 10
2 GBR 3 Ben AINSLIE 11
3 NED 842 Pieter-Jan POSTMA 11
4 NZL 1 Dan SLATER 18
5 SLO 5 Gasper VINCEC 23
6 SWE 11 Daniel BIRGMARK 31
7 FRA 112 Jonathan LOBERT 32
8 SLO 573 Vasilij ZBOGAR 34
9 ITA 123 Filippo BALDASSARI 37


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