ZEGERS AND VAN VEEN SHOW HOW IT'S DONE26 Apr 2017
Afrodite Zegers and Anneloes van Veen (NED) were unstoppable on day two of Sailing's World Cup Series in Hyères, France, winning both Women's 470 races in convincing style.
Out of the 534 competitors from 52 nations racing across ten Olympic events, Open Kiteboarding and 2.4 Norlin OD, the Dutch team were the standout performers.
Following a brief morning postponement due to a wait for the wind, the 470 fleets got out for a 12:30 start, sailing in a westerly 10-15 knot breeze.
Zegers and van Veen were unrelenting, sailing their way to two convincingly victories to leapfrog Switzerland's Linda Fahrni and Maja Siegenthaler into first place.
The Dutch duo are on a hot streak in the Women's 470, winning gold at the opening 2017 World Cup Series event in Miami, USA before securing the Trofeo Princesa Sofia title in March.
They were agonisingly close to claiming a medal at Rio 2016, missing out by a single point and as their rivals have gone onto new ventures or taken time out of the boat, Zegers and van Veen were quick to get straight back into action.
"We already knew we wanted to continue as a team,” explained van Veen. "It was an easy choice to carry on.
"Since the beginning of the year at the World Cup in Miami we have made a lot of improvements, we still know there is a lot of work to be done but we feel like great improvements have been made.”
Zegers and van Veen got off to a strong start in both of their races and when compared to their rivals they were simply faster as van Veen explained, "We had good boat speed in the first race and from there we just tried to defend the lead and stay in front of the fleet which we did well.
"In the second race, we had a really good start from the pin and got the lead straight from that. We just played the shifts then.”
Watch, analyse and assess Zegers and van Veen's races using the SAP Sailing Analytics.
A familiar battle is developing in the Men's 470 with Rio 2016 silver and bronze medallists separated by small margins. Greece's Panagiotis Mantis and Pavlos Kagialis were made to settle for bronze at Rio 2016, beaten to silver by Mat Belcher and Will Ryan (AUS).
The tables have turned, for now, in Hyères as the Greek team hold the lead on five points to the Australia's seven. Both crews posted identical results on day two, recording a first and a third but the Greek team had a better opening day with a race win and a fifth to take the lead.
On the rivalry with the Australians, Kagialis said, "It is always nice to race against people like Mat and Will as they are top athletes. When the level is higher you try more and you push more so it's nice.
"It makes the sport better.
"Our goal is always to get a medal. You do your best in the regatta and if you are up there near the end you then get to choose which medal you can push for. It's still early though, we have three days of racing before we get to that point.”
Racing continues Thursday 26 April at 11:00 local time. Live Medal Races will be shown on the World Sailing YouTube Channel on Saturday 29 and Sunday 30 April, bringing the penultimate event before the Santander Final to a close.
Information on how to follow the event is below:
RESULTS / ENTRIES
A full list of sailors registered to sail in Hyères is available to view here - http://manage2sail.com/en-US/event/0adf7bcd-01d0-4214-a295-bb0b9136999e#!/entries?classId=7a9662de-4565-41e3-9008-4025d3177d5e
Results will be available from Tuesday 25 April via the World Cup Series results centre here - http://www.sailing.org/worldcup/results/index.php
Live tracking and competitor's analytics will be available via SAP Sailing Analytics throughout the event here - http://swc2017-hyeres.sapsailing.com/
High resolution imagery free for editorial usage will be provided throughout the World Cup Series by Sailing Energy. Imagery will be available to download via - http://worldsailing.photoshelter.com/gallery-collection/Sailing-World-Cup/C0000IVK9PByLpgw. The password to download is WSimages
Racing and action shots plus interviews in English and native language will be available throughout World Cup Series.
For further information please contact:
Sabina Mollart Rogerson
M: +44 (0) 7922 140 148
Medal Races on Saturday 29 and Sunday 30 April will be streamed live on World Sailing's Facebook and YouTube Channel.
WCS Hyères - Medal Races - 470, Finn, Laser, Laser Radial
URL - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qiLMa8QoXWI
Embed - <iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/ qiLMa8QoXWI" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>
World Sailing will be releasing international press releases after racing throughout the duration of World Cup Hyères. All the latest news and reports will be available to read here - http://www.sailing.org/worldcup/news/index.php
Follow the event on World Sailing's social networks and get involved in the conversation using #WCSHyeres2017
Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/worldsailingofficial/
Instagram - https://www.instagram.com/worldsailingofficial/
Twitter - @worldsailing
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Source: Daniel Smith - World Sailing