With race wins going to Pieter-Jan Postma (NED) and Thomas Le Breton (FRA), Ioannis Mitakis (GRE) now has a reduced lead of just one point after the second day at the ISAF Sailing World Cup Hyeres. Postma jumps two places to second, while Caleb Paine (USA) remains in third.
It was another glamour day in Hyeres with sunshine, 10-15 knot winds and nice waves, making the racing testing but fun. Overnight leader Ioannis Mitakis (GRE) faltered in the opening race with a 17th but then recovered in the second race to post fourth and maintain his overall lead, however now by only one point.
The first race of the day went to Pieter-Jan Postma (NED) from Ivan Kljakovic Gaspic (CRO) and Caleb Paine (USA). Kljakovic Gaspic, who had a poor first day on Monday posting a 16-20, followed on with a third in the second race to bolster his overall position to eighth. After an excellent day on Monday, Jake Lilley (AUS) fell foul of the U flag, and along with Gasper Vincec (SLO), both were unrewarded for their efforts in race 3.
The Palma silver medalist Thomas Le Breton (FRA) took the second race of the day from Postma and Kljakovic Gaspic as the leaders consolidated their points, and those who had slipped up Monday carried out some recovery work. Apart from Kljakovic Gaspic, Josh Junior (NZL) drops his BFD from race 1 to move to seventh and Jonathan Lobert (FRA) drops his 28th in race 2 to climb to fifth.
Le Breton explained his race. "I had better starts than yesterday. My speed upwind was OK and I managed to go on the left, which was the good side. But I was super fast downwind, and I managed to get a nice lead by the second mark."
Third placed Paine said, "The wind was fairly steady with large left pressure. I just tried to start conservatively and not get leveraged to a side."
Postma said, "Today we had great racing. In the first race everybody was at the pin end. And I started at the boat end. I tacked directly after start for 200 metres, and then tacked, and I had a clear lead. I was very happy with that."
"The competition is tough. And we are not half way yet, so let's see tomorrow."
Postma is of course testing for a place on Team Brunel for the next Volvo Ocean Race, but is back sailing Finn for a few weeks. "I sailed for eight weeks with Brunel, but now they're testing other sailors for four weeks. Then I'm back on the 65, and in June will be the selection. Looking forward to sailing the VOR."
While the day's best performance went to Postma with a 1, 2, one of the day's big risers was the SWC Melbourne winner, Björn Allansson (SWE), moving up to 15th from 27th after Monday. He said, "Pretty good start in the second race, finished fifth. Tomorrow we keep on improving."
Lilley ended the day with a 17th. He commented, "Happy to be 11th overall after two days. Had some poor starts and sailed smart and fast today. Will be aiming to get off the line in better shape tomorrow."
The opening series continues until Friday, with the medal race for the top 10 on Saturday. From Wednesday all boats will be tracked and this can be watched live online at: http://www.sailing.org/worldcup/multimedia/tracking.php
Results after four races
1 GRE 77 Ioannis Mitakis 7
2 NED 842 Pieter-Jan Postma 8
3 USA 6 Caleb Paine 13
4 FRA 29 Thomas Le Breton 15
5 FRA 112 Jonathan Lobert 16
6 CRO 69 Milan Vujasinovic 19
7 NZL 24 Josh Junior 20
8 CRO 524 Ivan Kljakovic Gaspic 21
9 SWE 33 Max Salminen 23
10 ITA 123 Filippo Baldassari 26
Photo: Thom Touw www.thomtouw.com
Event website: http://swc.ffvoile.com/swc2014gbr