Britain’s sailors continued their pursuit of medals on the second day of World Cup Series Hyères with Ben Saxton and Nicola Boniface leading the charge in the Nacra 17.
There were longs waits for racing as the breeze proved elusive but the British Sailing Team continued to stay in the hunt with five crews in the top five across the ten Olympic class fleets.
When the wind finally kicked in late in the day the results started to flow. Three-time RS:X youth world champion Emma Wilson came third in the first race of the day for the women’s RS:X before Henry Wetherell went one better in the Finn taking second.
Rio 2016 Olympian Nick Thompson had the result of the day with a win in the final Laser Standard race of the day, but it was the Nacra 17 where the Brits started to shine.
Rupert White and Kirstie Urwin took a fourth place in the day’s opening race with John Gimson and Anna Burnet following them across the line in fifth, however it is current world champion Saxton and crew Boniface who took a third and sixth to sit in second place overall.
“We had three good races,” said Saxton, 27, from Cambridge, who teamed up with Boniface temporarily when regular crew Katie Dabson suffered an injury prior to the Princess Sofia Regatta in Palma earlier this month.
“It was light and building but then dropped off again. But we sailed the conditions really well I thought.
“Our boat handling is getting better but you can still tell that we are a new pair.
“I’m just grateful to Nikki that she can step in and help me with my racing and allow me to continue to practice.”
In the 49erFX Sophie Weguelin and Sophie Ainsworth continued to top the British interest taking a fourth place finish in the middle race of three to help keep them in touching distance of the medal places.
The relief was evident at the end of day two from helm Weguelin, 29, Lymington, Hants.
“It was really tight racing in the light winds,” she said. “It was a bit of nip and tuck with the fleet close together. There were lots of gains and losses, to be honest I’m glad to be ashore.”
In the Laser Standard and Laser Radial rising stars Lorenzo Chiavarini and Georgina Povall both sit in fifth on the leader board. Chiavarini was helped by a fifth in the first race of the day before a fourth from Povall finished her day’s racing.
Kieran Holmes-Martin scored a third place in the men’s RS:X while Olympic 470 gold medallist Hannah Mills and helm Eilidh McIntyre currently hold the fifth spot overall in the class.
Last out were the 49ers who just managed to sneak in two races before light brought an end to proceedings at around 20:35 local time. Current world champions Dylan Fletcher and Stu Bithell came home in fourth in the first race before James Peters and Rhos Hawes completed the day’s racing with a third.
The British Sailing Team all return to action on day three from Hyères with racing scheduled to begin at 1100 local time (0900 GMT) on Thursday 26 April.
Full results are available on the Manage2Sail website on behalf of World Sailing.
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