Last chance in Hyères for World Cup Final
Published on April 18th, 2018
After stops in Japan and USA, the third and final round of Sailing’s World Cup Series will be held April 24-29 in Hyères, France.
Offering sailors’ the final opportunity to qualify for the World Cup Final, which brings together the best of the best from the 2017-18 World Cup Series, more than 650 competitors from 46 nations are in Hyères to race in the ten Olympic disciplines and the 2.4 Norlin OD, a Para World Sailing class.
Winners in each of the Olympic classes will automatically qualify for the Final with the remaining sailors aiming to amass maximum points to qualify for the June championship which will be held 90km away in Marseille, home of the Paris 2024 Olympic Sailing Competition.
Great Britain’s Giles Scott will head to Hyères fresh from gold medal performances at the World Cup Series event in Miami, USA and Trofeo Princesa Sofia in Palma, Spain. The British Rio 2016 Olympic gold medallist will spearhead the 40-boat Finn fleet and will be a clear favourite for gold.
Scott has dominated the Finn in recent years but has only won in Hyères once out of five outings on the waters. His sole victory came in 2015.
Joining Scott in the fleet will be 2016 winner Jake Lilley (AUS) and 2017 gold medallist Alican Kaynar of Turkey. Further strength in the fleet comes from the 2017 Finn Gold Cup podium. Champion Max Salminen (SWE), silver medallist Jonathan Lobert (FRA) and bronze medallist Nicolas Heinder (NED) will all race in France.
The 49er and 49erFX will feature in-form sailors with the leading lights in Men’s and Women’s Skiff sailing making up their respective 40-boat fleets.
Dylan Fletcher-Scott and Stu Bithell (GBR) have set the bar in the 49er after Rio 2016. The British racers won the 2017 World and European Championships and have finished on the podium at every event they’ve sailed at together since joining forces after Rio.
At recent World Cup events, the British team have fought for the honours against Spain’s Diego Botin and Iago Lopez Marra.
After a strong opening series at the 2017 World Cup in Hyères, the Brits faded towards the latter part of the week allowing the Spanish team to claim the honours. At the 2018 World Cup Series USA, the tables turned as the Brits won by a single point.
Rivalries will be renewed once again in the south of France.
Further contenders in the 49er include a strong Australian quartet, Croatia’s ever improving Sime and Mihovil Fantela (CRO), Federico and Arturo Alonso (ESP) and four French favourites.
Since Rio 2016, numerous names have topped the World Cup Series podium in the 49erFX. Most recently, Argentina’s Victoria Travascio and Sol Branz won gold in Japan and Germany’s Victoria Jurczok and Anika Lorenz claimed top spot in Miami.
Both crews will be in Hyères and will be joined by Annemiek Bekkering and Annette Duetz (NED) who convincingly won the 49erFX title at the Trofeo Princesa Sofia. There is further strength and depth in the 49erFX fleet with Rio 2016 silver medallists Alex Maloney and Molly Meech (NZL) continuing their comeback.
Much like the 49erFX, titles in the Women’s 470 at recent events have been evenly distributed and there are plenty of contenders ready for Hyères action.
Poland’s Agnieszka Skrzypulec and Mrózek Gliszczynska won in Japan, Slovenia’s Tina Mrak and Veronika Macarol were successful in the USA and Ai Kondo and Miho Yoshioka (JPN) recently won at the Trofeo Princesa Sofia.
The trio will be part of the 38-boat fleet but further sailors such as Rio 2016 Olympic gold medallist Hannah Mills sailing with Eilidh McIntyre (GBR), the experienced Fernanda Oliveira and Ana Barbachan (BRA), World #1 Afrodite Zegers and Anneloes Van Veen and Switzerland’s Linda Fahrni and Maja Siegenthaler all have the attributes to garner success.
French favourite Camille Lecointre, Rio 2016 bronze medallist with Helene Defrance, makes her third appearance in the Women’s 470 since Rio 2016 with Aloise Retornaz. The pair recently finished fourth at the Trofeo Princesa Sofia and Lecointre knows what it takes to perform in Hyères after five podium finishes at the venue since 2005.
In the 40-boat Men’s 470 fleet, World #1 Australian pairing Mat Belcher and Will Ryan will be aiming for their fourth title in Hyères and they will be firm favourites after winning in Japan last year and most recently at the Trofeo Princesa Sofia.
Greece’s Panagiotis Mantis and Pavlos Kagialis, 2016 bronze medallists, will also be in the hunt, as will Miami victors Luke Patience and Chris Grube (GBR).
Some of the Olympics stars sailing in Hyères who will have an eye on the Hempel Aarhus 2018 Worlds include the Australian Laser sailor, Tom Burton, who won gold at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games and the legendary Santiago Lange and Cecilia Carranza Saroli (ARG) who clinched an emotional Nacra 17 gold medal in Rio.
Burton won gold at the previous World Cup Series round in Miami and hopes to continue his form. Lange and Saroli missed out on gold in Miami but managed to take silver, even after a period of absence from the World Cup circuit.
Jason Waterhouse and Lisa Darmanin (AUS) will also be coming to Hyères. The Nacra 17 sailors won silver in Rio and recently won gold in Miami, proving a challenge for Lange and Saroli.
Fernando Echávarri Erasun and Tara Pacheco van Rijnsoever (ESP) won gold at the 2016 and 2017 editions of the World Cup Series in Hyères and will be looking for a hat trick in 2018.
In the RS:X Men’s windsurfer, Kiran Badloe (NED, will be a spearhead in the 50 strong fleet. Badloe scored gold in the 2016 World Cup Final in Melbourne, Australia, and the 2017 Final in Santander, Spain. However, he just missed out on gold in Miami, this year, and settled with silver. He will be aiming to return to winning ways ahead of the Marseille World Cup Final this June.
Close rival, Pawel Tarnowski (POL) will also be looking to snap up gold in Hyères. Tarnowski had a great 2017 and a good start to 2018, winning gold in the 2017 Trofeo Princesa Sofía, Round 1 of the 2018 World Cup Series in Gamagori, Japan and the 2018 49th Trofeo Princesa Sofia in Palma, Spain.
Louis Giard (FRA) won gold in Hyères last year, as well as gold in Miami in 2017 and 2018. Giard is a strong contender in the RS:X Men’s fleet and will be one to look out for. Another Frenchman sailing on home waters will be Pierre Le Coq, who won bronze at the Rio 2016 Olympics games and gold in Hyères in 2015.
The Women’s RS:X fleet will see 46 sailors compete. Amongst the large fleet, the Poland’s London 2012 Olympic bronze medallist, Zofia Noceti-Klepacka, is favourite to take gold in the upcoming event, as she did last year in Hyères.
The Rio 2016 bronze medallist, Stefania Elfutina (RUS), just missed out on bronze in the previous round in Miami after a slipup on the final Medal Race, Elfutina was leading throughout the week but completed the Miami round in fourth place.
Besides Tom Burton in the Laser fleet, the current world #1, Pavlos Kontides (CYP) will also be attending. Kontides won gold in Hyères last year but can he do it again this time round?
Nick Thompson (GBR) missed out on bronze last year but will be returning in the hopes of going home with a medal.
In the Laser Radial class, it will be a very close competition for the strong fleet of 65 sailors.
Anne-Marie Rindom (DEN), who won bronze in Rio 2016, will be going head to head against the French sailor Mathilde de Kerangat, and Alison Young (GBR), who recently won gold in Miami.
In the 2.4 Norlin OD, seven-time Hyères victor, Damien Seguin (FRA), will lead the charge in the fleet as he aims for another title. He will be joined by Italian Paralympian Antonio Squizzato and Paralympic medallist Bruno Jourdren (FRA).
The 2.4 Norlin OD, 49er, 49erFX, Nacra 17, and RS:X fleets will conclude racing on Saturday April 28 with their Medal Races, while the Men’s and Women’s 470, Laser, Laser Radial, and Finn sailors’ bringing the regatta to a close on Sunday April 29.
All Medal Races will be available to watch across the World Sailing Network from 12:00 local time – www.youtube.com/worldsailingtv.
Teams from Canada, Mexico, and USA:
470 M (1): Stu McNay/ Dave Hughes
470 W (3): Atlantic Brugman/ Nora Brugman (USA), Alison Knoles/ Audrey Franchett (USA), Madeleine Rice/ Laura Slovensky (USA)
49er (3): William Jones/ Evan DePaul (CAN), Alexander Heinzemann/ Justin Barnes (CAN), Andrew Mollerus/ Ian MacDiarmid (USA)
49erFX (2): Erin Rafuse/ Mariah Millen (CAN), Stephanie Roble/ Margaret Shea (USA)
Finn (1): Tom Ramshaw (CAN)
Laser (8): Robert Davis (CAN), Justin Norton (CAN), Fillah Karim (CAN), Yanic Gentry (MEX), Marek Zaleski (USA), Henry Marshall (USA), Charlie Buckingham (USA), Chris Barnard (USA)
Laser Radial (5): Sarah Douglas (CAN), Coralie Vittecoq (CAN), Paige Railey (USA), Erika Reineke (USA), Haddon Hughes (USA)
Nacra 17 (2): Riley Gibbs/ Louisa Chafee (USA), Bora Gulari/ Helena Scutt (USA)
RS:X M (0):
RS:X W (0):
The World Cup Series is an annual circuit of Olympic sailing for elite and professional sailors, and a key touchpoint for fans and media to connect to the sport of sailing and develop support for athletes on their road to Tokyo 2020 and beyond. Over 2,000 of the world’s leading sailors, representing 75 nations, have competed in the World Cup Series since its inception in 2008.
2017-18 World Cup Series
October 17-22, 2017 – World Cup Series #1 – Gamagori, Japan
January 21-28, 2018 – World Cup Series #2 – Miami, USA
April 24-29, 2018 – World Cup Series #3 – Hyères, France
June 3-10, 2018 – World Cup Series Final – Marseille, France
Source: World Sailing