CURTAIN CLOSES ON 2018 WORLD CUP SERIES10 Jun 2018
Mat Belcher and Will Ryan (AUS) and Great Britain's Hannah Mills and Eilidh McIntyre were crowned 2018 World Cup Series Champions as the curtain closed on the Marseille Final.
The final day of competition was plagued with a light breeze that never truly settled from a consistent direction, ensuring both the competitors and race management teams were tested to the maximum.
The Men's 470 completed the Medal Race but the Women's 470 fleet could not start before the cut-off time, ensuring the results from the previous day stood.
Belcher and Ryan had a comfortable advantage at the top of the Men's 470 fleet ahead of the Medal Race and knew exactly what they had to do, "Today we just had to keep tabs on the guys in second and third. We had seven points on second and a few more to the guys in third."
The Medal Race was full of wind shifts and unstable conditions but Belcher and Ryan maintained their focus, sailing through in second to seal their fourth World Cup title.
Jordi Xammar and Nicolás Rodriguez (ESP) held on to silver and Keiju Okada and Jumpei Hokazono (JPN) rounded off the podium.
After a series of delays and an abandoned start, the Women's 470 fleet were unable to sail their Medal Race.
The results from the night prior stood, handing Mills and McIntyre a successful defence of the title they claimed just 12 months ago. Silvia Mas and Patricia Cantero (ESP) took silver and Italy's Elena Berta and Bianca Caruso completed the podium.
"This time last year it was a try out and I felt I lot of pressure to perform well with Hannah," said McIntyre.
"This year it's been different because we are learning and trying to get better. I'm looking forward to the rest of the year."
As the dust starts to settle on the 2018 World Cup Series, the competitors are now looking ahead to the Hempel Sailing World Championships Aarhus 2018 this August.
The World Championships is the principle qualification event for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Sailing Competition and upwards of 1,500 racers are expected to sail in the Danish city.
Following that, it's back to World Cup action with Japan, USA and Italy holding Rounds before a return to the Paris 2024 Olympic Sailing venue in Marseille, France:
Round 1 - Enoshima, Japan, 9-16 September 2018
Round 2 - Miami, USA, 27 January-3 February 2019
Round 3 - Genoa, Italy, 22-28 April 2019
Final - Marseille, France, 2-9 June 2019