DYLAN Fletcher and Alain Sign put up the best British performance on a testing opening day at the ISAF Sailing World Cup regatta in Hyeres, France.
The 49er duo are one of four British teams to lead their class standings after the light wind-affected first day of racing, with former Finn World Champion Ed Wright, RS:X world silver medallist Bryony Shaw, inset, and Palma World Cup silver medallist in the 2.4mR, Megan Pascoe, also topping their respective tables.
Light and fickle conditions saw a delayed start to Monday’s proceedings, but Market Harborough’s Fletcher and Lee-on-Solent’s Sign were quick to make a mark in the 49er event when racing did get underway at the southern French venue, picking up two back-to-back races wins to kick-start their regatta series.
The duo, who were crowned 49er European Champions in 2011, ended their day with a pleasing zero points on the scorecard.
“We had a really good morning – we won both races and it was quite nice to take a couple of races off the Germans, who’d been winning them all in Palma!” 25-year-old Fletcher explained.
“Then we got a second in the last race so we’re pretty happy with that. Everything seemed to slot together quite nicely, we worked ourselves a few shifts, Lady Luck was there and it was all good!”
Palma bronze medallists Dave Evans and Ed Powys are right behind their teammates in second in the overall 49er standings after three races, with John Pink-Simon Wheeler and Nic Asher-Fynn Sterritt also inside the top ten after the opening day of this six-day regatta.
The 2011 Finn World Champion, Ed Wright, tops the heavyweight dinghy standings after the first two races of the qualifying series, while Megan Pascoe and Helena Lucas are first and fourth overall in the 2.4mR Paralympic class.
Pascoe is keen to close out a third consecutive World Cup series medal this week, with Lucas getting back into the swing of things after her post-Paralympic Games break.
Bryony Shaw won the only race of the day in the RS:X women’s fleet, which had a second race abandoned due to the light, shifty conditions, while the British Sailing Team’s Charlotte Dobson-Mark Rook and Frances Peters-Nicola Groves seemed to find their groove on the first day of 49erFX racing.
Dobson and Rook are second overall thanks to 7,1,5 for their day’s effort, with Peters and Groves in third having posted 9,4,3 from their three races.
Two third places for Lucy Macgregor and Tom Phipps sees them in fifth overall after two races in the Nacra 17 mixed multihull event, while in the 470 men’s event, Luke Patience and Joe Glanfield are in sixth place after three races, and Nick Rogers and new crew Elliot Willis in 12th.
Chloe Martin and Alison Young both saw steady starts in the Laser Radial event, with Martin posting 4,6, and Young 6,11, while Sophie Weguelin and Eilidh McIntyre are 11th overall in the 470 women’s class.
In the RS:X men’s windsurfing event, RYA Volvo Team GBR’s Kieran Martin, who was recently crowned RYA Youth National Champion, is ninth overall after two races, while the British Laser and Sonar sailors will look to have a better time today.
John Robertson, Hannah Stodel and Steve Thomas are sixth in the Sonar event at their first event back since the Paralympic Games, while Elliot Hanson is the top-placed British sailor in the Laser class after day one, in 38th after two races.
Racing at the ISAF Sailing World Cup, Hyeres, continues today, with the final medal deciders set for Saturday. For the latest news and information, visit britishsailingteam.com or follow @BritishSailing on Twitter for race updates during the regatta.