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ISAF Grade one Hyeres Regatta starts next week

Grade 1 Hyeres Regatta approaches
Date Released: 18 April 2008
From: Jodie Bakewell-White

ISAF Grade one Hyeres Regatta starts next week

A mass of international Olympic class sailors including around ten kiwis are in Hyeres, France for the start of the 40th French Olympic Sailing Week. Racing starts on Sunday 20th April and runs through until Friday 25th April.

The New Zealand contingent includes five sailors who will represent us later this year at the Olympic Games, as well as one pair who will try to impress the Olympic selectors with a good performance in Hyeres.

Finn: Dan Slater kicks off his European season with this event. Already this year he won silver at the 2008 Finn Gold Cup sailed in Melbourne in January, pipped for the gold by living legend in the Finn - Ben Ainslie of Great Britain.

Men's 470: Carl Evans and Peter Burling will be the youngest ever sailors to go to the Olympic Games and a second place at the International 470 Spring Cup just last week shows they've found form already. Next week's French Olympic Sailing will have greater depth and quality in the Men's 470 fleet than last week's lead-up regatta, but Evans and Burling will no doubt be giving it everything.

Laser & Laser Radial: Both Andrew Murdoch and Jo Aleh, who are confirmed in the 2008 Olympic team, will be in the starting line-up in the Laser and Laser Radial fleets in Hyeres.

Tornado: Aaron McIntosh & Mark Kennedy were 12th at their World Champs sailed on home waters off Takapuna in February. Still in with a chance at being named to go to China, the pressure is now on this pair to do even better.

Men's & Women's RS:X: While our Olympic representatives Tom Ashley and Barbara Kendall will not be competing in Hyeres Kate Ellingham, Steffanie Williams and Mike Kilduff are all in France and will represent New Zealand in the windsurfing fleets.

Racing will take place over six days with a total of eleven races planned for each of the fleets except for the RS:X windsurfing in which 15 races are planned. Two to three races will be sailed each day with the opening series being sailed over the initial three days of competition.

From Wednesday the bigger fleets will be split to gold and silver for two more days of competition following which only the top ten will compete in the final medal race. The medal race counts for double points and cannot be used as the one discard race.

Around 1000 sailors from over 50 countries will take part in the ISAF Grade One regatta which celebrates its 40th year in 2008.

[ Regatta website ]


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