Aussie Women Through to Next Match Racing Stage in Hyeres
Hyeres, France: Australia’s Katie Spithill, Nina Curtis and Amanda Scrivenor have qualified to go through to the Gold fleet in the Women’s Match Racing at the Semaine Olympique Francais De Voile in Hyeres.
Spithill’s crew will join the German team of Silke/Hahlbrock, the two Great Britain teams led by Lucy Mcgregor and Anne Le Berre, the Russian crew led by Skudina and Anna Tunnicliffe’s USA team. The Gold fleet will sail tomorrow in a round robin style to decide the seeding for the quarter finals.
Australia’s other Women’s Match Racing team of Lucinda Whitty, Stacey Jackson and Angela Farrell finished the first round robin stage 4th in Group B, which saw them through to the repechage. This round only had 1 race sailed today, with Whitty & crew victorious against the Dutch team led by Renee Groeneveld.
While the news is good for Spithill and crew, it’s been difficult sailing for everyone with very little wind to work with.
In the Men’s 470 class the fleet waited on the water from 10am until 1pm before being sent back to the dock and then called back to the course just 20 minutes later only to wait another hour to start racing at 3pm.
Once they were underway, it was a case of selecting which side of the course to sail in three to four shifting knots.
“The hardest thing, in a big fleet and light winds, is committing to one side,” said Belcher.
“The conditions are extremely shifty and unsettled, if you don’t commit to one side you end up back anyway, otherwise it’s a little bit of a lottery in choosing the right side.
“When the two time Olympic silver medallist finishes second last in the race, you know it’s tough sailing.”
Belcher and Ryan placed 13th in the only race of the day and are now in eighth position overall.
“To have 35 points for three races in qualifying and to still be in the top ten is a little strange. It just shows how difficult the conditions are,” said Belcher.
The race committee has scheduled a 10:30am start for the Men’s 470 tomorrow, with only one qualifying race. The plan is to then split the fleet into Gold and Silver groups for final races starting at 1pm. Given the prevailing conditions, only time will tell if this will plan will have a chance to be implemented.
In the Laser class, Australian Sailing Development Squad member Tom Burton is 22nd overall in a fleet of 141 boats. The 19 year old from Belmont NSW has posted race results of fifth, second and 35th. His group has one more race scheduled for tomorrow to allow three results from four races to be counted.