BATTLES BEGIN TO UNFOLD AT MARSEILLE WORLD CUP FINAL06 Jun 2018
Sailing's World Cup Series came alive on Wednesday as the medal hopefuls battled it out at the front of their respective fleets in a steady breeze and under blue Marseillaise skies.
Day one of the competition saw the competitors keep their cards close to their chest as they looked to lay down some markers. The second day saw the emergence of some medal contenders pushing ahead at the front of their respective fleets.
Racing commenced at 12:00 local time, with a steady 7-11 knot southerly breeze dancing across the four racing areas to test the 212 competitors from 34 nations racing across eight Olympic events.
After another strong day on the water, Hannah Mills and Eilidh McIntyre (GBR) hold the Women's 470 lead as they bid to defend their World Cup title. The pair finished fourth and second from two races, but Spain's Silvia Mas and Patricia Cantero narrowed the gap on them to a single point.
The Spanish crew took a race win and a third and, although they're in a podium position, they are continuously learning and won't be getting carried away. "It's incredible sailing with the top sailors like Hannah Mills and Camille Lecointre," commented Silva. "But it is super challenging and you learn a lot, because we are all close on the water and you fight for the best spot.
"We are trying to keep a consistent scoreboard this week and not have any odd results, which could make us lose out on a top position."
Gamagori World Cup winners Ai Kondo Yoshida and Miho Yoshioka (JPN) sit in the final podium position after four races.
Balázs and Zsombor Gyapjas (HUN) showed their race win on the opening day was not a one-off by continuing their form into the second day of Men's 470 racing.
The Hungarian brothers posted a second and a fourth which promoted them to first from seventh. Overnight leaders Jordi Xammar and Nicolás Rodriguez (ESP) remained at the front of the fleet in both races and are just a single point off the leaders.
Two Japanese teams claimed the day's race wins. Naoki Ichino and Hasegawa Takashi snapped up the first of the day and sit in tenth. Keiju Okada and Jumpei Hokazono followed suit in the next and are one point off the podium in fourth.
Racing is scheduled to commence at 12:00 local time on Thursday 7 June. Medal Races on Saturday 9 and Sunday 10 June will be streamed live on World Sailing's YouTube Channel and will bring the event to a close.
By Daniel Smith - World Sailing