Once again light conditions prevailed in Hyeres, with a 6-7 knot northwesterly breeze. The morning was sunny and warm, seemingly perfect for a sea breeze, but the afternoon brought a layer of clouds and the offshore conditions maintained. For most of the day, the wind was too light to race the boards. Mid-afternoon the two men’s fleets started, trying to get races in to finish their qualifying series. The girls had two back-to-back races after the first start of the men’s fleets.
The offshore wind was very shifty and throughout the afternoon there was a general trend of the right side of the course being favored. As the day grew later, the wind dropped off a bit until the last race was 4-5 knots. I had a better day today, as I am finally figuring out pumping technique upwind. I’m finally able to put my strength to good use, and it’s a great feeling. I had a couple really good upwind legs in which I made up ground against competitors with boardspeed. Again, I am meeting goals for this year during this regatta, so my sailing is right on target.
Leading the women’s fleet is still Israel’s Maayan Davidovich, who after one throwout is ahead by six points. She is followed by Blanca Manchon (ESP) and Flavia Tartaglini (ITA), who are separated by only two points. In the men’s fleet, the lead has been taken by 2008 silver medalist Julien Bontemps (FRA), who has yet to score lower than third in any race. With two bullets today Shahar Zubari of Israel (who won bronze in 2008) has moved into second place, and Piotr Myszka (POL) is now in third. We are looking forward to more breeze tomorrow, and a little rain. We may never see the windy conditions that south France is famous for during this regatta, but it’s good and challenging racing all the same.