HomeSAILINGSemaine Olympique Française - Day 5

Semaine Olympique Française – Day 5

Flying Dutchwomen and Brilliant Brits strike early gold as Hyères prepares for medal races

– Dutch FX and British Nacra guaranteed gold
– Spain favourites in the 49er
– British re-take Ilca 7 top spots

After five days of racing two champions have already emerged a day early from the 900 competitors in the the 54th Semaine Olympique Française de Hyères – TPM. Incredibly, the flying Dutchwomen, Odile van Aanholt & Annette Duetz, won the women’s 49er in their penultimate race. Meanwhile, Britain’s John Gimson & Anna Burnett were almost as dominant as they claimed the Nacra. Both beat the reigning Olympic champions in their fleet.

For the rest, it was a test of stamina and concentration as much as speed and skill as light and fickle winds greeted the fleets and some spent over six hours on the water trying to get their races.

More steady easterlies promise a magnificent finish in the Bay of Hyères for the medal races tomorrow.

49er (men’s and women’s high-performance double-handed dinghy)

Women’s FX

Four races today

The Dutch world champions, Odile van Aanholt & Annette Duetz, had guaranteed gold in the penultimate race of the day, and then relaxed, tried something different and then promptly won the last race of day to confirm their complete dominance of the week. They finished an enormous 48 points ahead of the second-placed Jana Germani & Giorgia Bertuzzi (ITA), who had a mixed day with 24, 2, 16, 10 finishes.

“It was a super cool day, we’ve only been in this position once before (winning gold before the medal race), in Palma,” the dynamic Dutch duo said. “And we already had it today in the last race, it felt very fun and freeing and we tried a different tactic than the race before. So, we’ll just go in that way tomorrow and let the others play it out, we don’t want to mess with them.”

Germani & Bertuzzi have a good cushion of 12 points to the two boats behind and will guarantee silver if they can finish seventh or better in the 10-boat medal race. Belgium’s Isaura Maenhaut & Anouk Geurts finished second in the last two races to jump into bronze, level on 98 points with USA’s Stephanie Roble & Maggie Shea, who were also big jumpers at the end with 4, 3 finishes.

Brazil’s double Olympic champions, Martine Grael & Kahena Kunze (17, 1, 12, 17) slipped to sixth but, eight points back, have a shot of bronze.

Men’s 49er

Four races today

Spain’s Diego Bottin & Florian Trittel have one hand on gold after finishing the day 16 points ahead. The five boats behind them are separated by only six points in what promises to be a fierce fight for the podium.

On a day of big numbers across the top of the leaderboard, Bottin & Trittel held their nerve to finish 13, 25, 3, 10 in the four races in the 24-boat gold fleet.

Poland’s Mikolaj Staniul & Jakub Sztorch jumped into second with 8, 7, 13, 4 finishes one point ahead of the winners of the last race USA’s Ian Barrows & Hans Henken, who have fought their way back well after a tough Thursday in the light airs. It was a significant last race as the

The Dutch world champions Bart Lambriex & Floris van der Werken finished 13th and though level on points with the Americans are ranked behind them on overall results.

Nacra 17 (mixed double-handed hydrofoil catamaran)

Four races today

Britain’s John Gimson & Anna Burnett have guaranteed gold after finishing the day a massive 32 points ahead, confirming their complete dominance of the week with two more victories in the last races.

Gimson & Burnett, Olympic silver medalists in Tokyo were second here last year, but have been the dominant force at the start of this season after also winning Palma at the beginning of April, though they needed a strong medal race for that.

“It’s the first time for us, we’ve won a medal before the medal race, but we’ve never won a regatta before the medal race,” they said. “That’s really cool.

“We’ve had a whole week of our conditions. We had the one windy race at the start, but it’s generally been light air since and we worked on that quite a lot this winter, so we’re quite happy that the pace has been good. We’ll take that (winning the Palma and Hyères world cups in April).

“I think it’s still quite open (the class). We’ve had our breeze this week, but I’m sure if we’d been foiling the Italians would have been equally as strong. Last year was quite breezy (series) and we foiled in almost every regatta. This year, so far, has been quite a light airs year – every dog has its day.

“The first two races today were quite scary because it was quite a light, fickle wind. We were always fighting our way back; we went the wrong way on the first beat both times. Then it just filled in that little bit more – 8-9 knots maybe – and got a little more consistent, so we could really use our speed which made it easier to close out. It was easy to pick up high scores earlier in the day.”

Argentina’s Mateo Majdalini & Eugenia Bosco held on to second place with 4, 1, 13, 7 finishes. and are five points ahead of the Italian’s Gianlugi Ugolini & Maria Giubilei (10, 3, 11, 2), who jumped on to the podium thanks to a second place finish in the last race as their rivals fell away. They have an eight-point cushion to fourth.

Ruggero Tita & Caterina Banti, Italy’s Olympic and world champions and the winners here last year, missed out on the medal race after 16, 11, 3, 9 finished left them 11th overall.

470 (mixed double-handed dinghy)

Two races today

After dominating the week, Spain’s Jordi Xammar- Hernandez &Nora Brugman stalled in the light airs today, finished 29th and then 19th in the 32-boat fleet as Austria’s Lara Vadlau & Lukas Mähr finished the day on 49 points.

The Austrians finished fourth in the first race to close the gap and with a good discard in hand could afford a risk in the second, although their UFD disqualification for crossing the starting early will have been an uncomfortable reminder of last year’s medal race in Hyères, when they were disqualified for the same offence after starting third. This time they were saved by the Spanish finishing 19th.

Portugal’s Diogo Costa & Carolina Joäo closed to 12 points behind in third, but they have two German boats breathing down their neck.

ILCA 6 and 7 – (women’s & men’s solo dinghy)


Two races today

Britain’s Michael Bennet lifted himself back into gold medal position with another excellent pair of races, finishing 4th and then 3rd to take a five point lead over compatriot Elliot Hanson into the medal race. Both were helped by a 20th place finish by 2012 Olympic silver medallist Pavlos Kontides, the overnight leader. Kontides is five points behind Hanson with Australia’s Olympic champion, Matt Wearn (16, 10), a further five points back in fourth after struggling in the light to 10 and 16th place finishes.

Kontides was the the winner of a thrilling medal race in Hyères last year, but he has much more work to do this year against the consistency of Beckett, who also won Palma and will keen to again beat Hanson, who Britain’s selection for the Tokyo Olympics.

Pavlos Kontides: “I think I’m third now. There was a big left shift at the top mark in the last race which cost me a lot of positions and then I had to go for it, and was a big high-risk.

It’s not like last year with four boats three points apart. I think I’m 10 points Micky, some bigger gaps but still everything to play for.”


Three races today

A two-boat race for gold between the leader for most of the week, Canada’s Sarah Douglas, sixth at the Tokyo Olympics, and Denmark’s Olympic Champion, Anne-Marie Rindom, who has climbed into second place through the gold fleet over the last two days. Rindom was the only single digit sailor, closing the gap to just three points after 6, 8, 7 finishes in the testing and shifty conditions in which Douglas finished 12, 23, 8. Australia’s Casey Imeneo (2, 25, 17) is 16 points Rindom in third.

Sarah Douglas: “I haven’t looked at the points but it’s always good to be in the medal race and I definitely don’t take it for granted and if I have an opportunity to win a medal that would be great. It was a really long day, but we got the races in. Not my best day, but because I’ve sailed such a consistent series I was allowed a drop race. The last race, I was in fourth, but got a yellow flag, which was a bit unfortunate. But it was such a tricky day that everyone was going to have a bad race, and it could have been way worse.”

Anne-Marie Rindom: “I haven’t done a medal race since the Olympics so I’m looking forward to it, anything can happen. It was light wind and super tricky, anything could happen today, it’s so much up and down it’s really about keeping your head cool. I think the race committee did a really good job in pushing it. We’ve been on the water six and a half hours, so everyone is quite cooked. Luckily we got a little bit of hiking on the first upwind in the last race.”

iQFOiL (men’s & women’s)


No racing today

After dominating the week with 10 wins out the of the 14 races, Denmark’s Laerke Buhl-Hansen will have to wait until the winner-takes-all three-rider final to see which of the nine sailors behind her make it through. Her most likely challengers are the three Czech Republic riders.


No races today

Likewise Brazil’s Mateus Isaac, although he has been less dominant than Buhl-Hansen. Thailand’s Will McMillan is in second place ahead of Turkey’s Onur Cavit Biriz.

Medal Series format:

The top 10 in the overall ranking go through.
Quarter-finals: Seven riders (the fourth to tenth overall ranked riders). Top two go through.
Semi-finals: Four boats (second and third from the overall ranking plus top two from QF). Top two to through to the final.
Final: Three riders (overall ranking leader plus two from the SF). Winner of the race takes gold.

Formula Kite (men’s and women’s foiling kitesurfing)


Six races today

France’s Axel Mazella claimed the lead after the most consistent day’s sailing in the light with 3, 1, 7, 5, 3, 4 finishes but the 16-year-old Singaporean, Maximilian Maeder, 12, 2, 2, 1, 9, 1 won the last race of the day and will go straight to the four-rider final with Mazella.

That victory put Maeder, leader for the whole week, ahead of France’s Maxime Nocher (2, 6, 9, 2, 6, 6), who now faces the semi-final shootout between the sailors in 3rd to 10th. France has four sailors in the final series.


Six races today

Hyères and France’s local hero and rising star, Lauriane Nolot, won the last race of the day to take back the overall lead after a mixed set of six races, finishing 12, 11, 3, 15, 5, 1. Neither of her close rivals, Britain’s Ellie Aldridge in second or France’s Jessie Kampman in third, could finish the race to deny her.

Nolot and Aldridge go straight to the final, but Kampman must now fight her way through the eight rider semi-finals, which includes USA’s six time and reigning world champion, Daniela Moroz (2, 9, 5, 1, 8, 18), who beat Nolot into second in Hyères last year. Britain has four sailors in the finals series.

Medal Series format:

The top 10 in the overall ranking go through.

Semi-finals: Two separate pools of 4 riders each for the riders ranked 3-10. They will race each other until a rider has three points. They carry more points into the race depending on where they finished (2pts for the 3rd and 4th place in the overall ranking etc). Winner of each SF progresses.

Final : 4 riders. The two winners of the semi-finals will face the two highest in the overall ranking. The semi-finalists, start with 0 points, the second place in the overall ranking starts with 1 point and overall leader starts with 2 points. Riders get one point for each win in the Final Series. The winner is the first to three points. So, if the overall leader wins the first race they will take gold and the Final Series is over.

See page 22 of the amended sailing instructions: 


Programme (subject to change):

Saturday April 29: Medal Races
Saturday April 29: Prize giving and closing ceremony

Dates to remember: the next edition
2024: April 20 to 27 April – 55th edition



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