Consistent Zbogar takes lead on day two in Hyeres
Vasilij Zbogar (SLO) was the best Finn sailor on the second day at the ISAF Sailing World Cup in Hyeres and moves into a 10 point lead at the top of the fleet from Giles Scott (GBR) and Pieter-Jan Postma (NED). Race wins went to Oliver Tweddell, Zbogar and Andrew Mills (GBR).
Light winds dogged the regatta for the second day running. Though the bulk of the fleets were subject to an early postponement to wait for the wind the Finns started on time at 13.00 in about 6 knots that built slightly during the day, with a light chop and a few knots of current making things tight and tactical. Three races were scheduled to complete the opening qualification series.
The first race of the day again went to yesterday’s race 1 winner, Oliver Tweddell. He said, “I got a great start at the pin end, and headed out to the left hand side where there was more pressure and a nice left shift. I managed to take this all the way to the top and extend on the downwind, but lost a lot to Andrew Mills on the last upwind. It was a nail biting run to the finish, and I just managed to beat him to the line.”
Tweddell crossed the finish line first ahead of Mills, Aleksey Selivanov (RUS), Giles Scott (GBR) and Filippo Baldassari (ITA).
First over the line in race four was the best performer on Monday, Josh Junior (NZL), however he was black flagged at the start, giving the race win to Vasilij Zbogar, with Caleb Paine (USA) in second and Vujasinovic Milan (CRO) in third. Paine followed this up with a fourth in the final race of the day to rise to ninth overall, a great recovery after starting his regatta yesterday with a black flag and a 23rd.
Junior said, “I had a good day today picking up a 9th and 11th plus a black flag. I actually won that race so that was really cool. The wind was light again today, but not so shifty. I have been trying really hard to get good starts. Obviously I fired the trigger a little early today, but these things happen.”
In fact much of the fleet is picking up high scores. Yesterday’s leader Ed Wright (GBR) placed 35th and 24th before finally getting something right to place seventh in the third and last race of the day to just stay inside the top 10. Another of the favourites is London2012 bronze medalist Jonathan Lobert (FRA), but he is down in 13th after a tough series so far. “It is not easy and very patchy on the water. But some guys managed to be on top many times. Tomorrow the final series starts I will start with a 13th in my pocket, and now I have six races to get back in the game. Everything is still open so we will see at the end of the week.”
Race 5 was won by Andrew Mills (GBR), who had the second best day of any of the sailors. Zbogar completed an excellent day with a second while Berecz Zsombor (HUN) rounded out the top three.
Mills said, “It was a big left hand track all day, which made the race win relatively easy once leading. The hard part was coming off the line in good pressure, which was sometimes more good luck then judgement. It should be interesting tomorrow with good breeze forecast for the next few days.”
On the modified scoring system Tweddell commented, “I think so far up to this point in the regatta the scoring system works out okay, I think a few people will be upset about their points advantages getting cut for the Gold/Silver split, but I guess it depends on what side of it you are. It definitely takes away from the consistent sailor.”
The fleet is now split into gold and silver starts for the three-day, six race final series before the top 10 go into Saturday’s two medal races.
Results after five races
1 SLO 573 Vasilij ZBOGAR15.00
2 GBR 41 Giles SCOTT25.00
3 NED 842Pieter Jan POSTMA28.00
4 NZL 24 Josh JUNIOR29.00
5 NZL 16 Andrew MURDOCH32.00
6 FIN 218 Tapio NIRKKO37.00
7 GBR 85 Andrew MILLS38.00
8 AUS 261 Tweddell OLIVER47.00
9 USA 6 Caleb PAINE48.00
10 GBR 11 Edward WRIGHT48.00