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Five Kiwis in top 10 at French Olympic Week

Sunday 1 May 2022, 10:06AM

By Yachting New Zealand

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Micah Wilkinson and Erica Dawson were fifth in the Nacra 17. Photo: Sailing Energy.
Micah Wilkinson and Erica Dawson were fifth in the Nacra 17. Photo: Sailing Energy. Credit: Yachting New Zealand

New Zealand's top Olympic class sailors emerged from their first block of international competition in two years knowing they're not too far off the top.

Five boats finished in the top 10 at the French Olympic Week regatta which finished in Hyeres today on top of five who were in the top 10 at last month's Palma World Cup, which represents a good return after so long in the international wilderness. Only four of those who competed in Hyeres went to last year's Tokyo Olympics and two were in different combinations. 

No racing was possible in the iQFoil medal races in Hyeres today due to light winds, meaning Veerle ten Have finished fifth overall in the women's event and Josh Armit eighth in the men's competition.

The remaining classes all got their medal races away with Micah Wilkinson and Erica Dawson finishing fifth overall in the Nacra 17, George Gautrey ninth in the ILCA 7 (Laser) and Alex Maloney and Olivia Hobbs ninth in the 49erFX.

The race didn't exactly go to plan for Wilkinson and Dawson, who started the day in fourth, but they picked up a penalty in the pre-start after a tangle with the Australians and struggled to recover.

"It was a lot of fun, quite eventful and we definitely came out on the wrong side of it, ending up last [in the double points race], but it was a cool opportunity to learn and we are definitely going to be coming back stronger next time," Wilkinson said. "Overall it’s been a really good week, with positive signs for us."

It was also a good week for Maloney and Hobbs, who were competing in their second international event together after teaming up in February. The pair won two races earlier in the week on top of five other top-five results.

"We are really encouraged after the first two events we have done together as a team and have real clarity on what we need to work on," Maloney said. "It’s an exciting place to be at and it feels good to be shaking off the racing rust."

Maloney and Hobbs, along with some other Kiwi crews, will head to Marseille to train at the Olympic venue.

The windfoiling squad heads to Lake Garda to prepare for this month's iQFoil European Championships in good spirits after impressing in their first international competitions.

Ten Have was seventh in Palma and fifth in Hyeres and shows good potential in a class that will make its debut at the 2024 Paris Olympics. She finished outside the top 10 in races only once this week and fancied her chances of finishing on the podium had the medal racing taken place.

Both ten Have and Armit were sent out for their medal races but were soon sent back to shore when it was apparent there wasn't enough wind to get foiling.

"Josh and I are both gutted because we were pretty keen to race, especially as the light is kind of our strong point at the moment because it’s what we have been training in the most," ten Have said. 

"Because we didn’t race today, I want to race even more now. I can’t wait to get back racing even though it’s been only a couple of hours."

The men's iQFoil was dominated by French and Polish sailors, with 11 of the top 13 from those two countries, but the Olympics will present a different picture with only one from each nation selected to compete.

Armit went into these first two European regattas with no expectations having not competed internationally in the class before - he's been windfoiling for only two years but in 2018 won gold in the ILCA 6 at the youth sailing world championships - and showed huge improvement in a short space of time.

"It was a really good week," he said. "I learned so much and have some new stuff in the playbook, which is really cool. A big one is all the modes and settings but also how to race because there are all these new courses that we haven’t been able to race in fleets in New Zealand."

The main focus for New Zealand's sailors this year will be their class world championships, which mostly take place in September and October. The ILCA 7 squad, however, now head to Mexico for their world championships where Tom Saunders will defend the title he won in Spain late last year.

Results and standings after final day of the French Olympic Week regatta in Hyeres:

49er (61 boats)

1st: Dominik Buksak / Szymon Wierzbicki (POL) 3 1 1 3 4 1 1 4 2 8 2 10 9 (23) 9 8 - 66 points
2nd: Nevin Snow / Max Agnese (USA) 1 4 3 1 2 3 3 11 5 4 (18) 17 3 4 14 18 - 93 pts
3rd: Erwin Fischer / Clement Pequin (FRA) 1 1 14 4 (19) 1 1 16 9 2 5 1 6 15 2 16 - 94 pts

12th: Logan Dunning Beck / Oscar Gunn (NZL) 12 6 7 8 1 13 11 5 14 17 (21) 4 8 8 19 - 133 pts
13th: Isaac McHardie / William McKenzie (NZL) 2 11 4 8 11 3 2 20 15 (27) 26 23 1 3 15 - 143 pts
32nd: Sam Bacon / Henry Gautrey (NZL) 14 15 12 29 23 22 20 (32 BFD) 5 10 1 1 - 152 pts

49erFX (38 boats)

1st: Martine Grael / Kahena Kunze (BRA) 8 (13) 4 5 8 5 1 3 1 11 2 3 2 1 2 12 - 68 pts
2nd: Vilma Bobeck / Rebecca Netzlar (SWE) 1 1 14 (20 DSQ) 2 9 3 2 1 1 1 9 8 5 8 10 - 75 pts
3rd: Helene Noess / Marie von Ronningen (NOR) 5 12 1 1 1 4 4 4 6 16 (19) 4 1 12 3 4 - 79 pts

9th: Alex Maloney / Olivia Hobbs (NZL) 3 10 5 11 10 1 1 4 3 10 9 11 3 10 (17) 20 - 110 pts
12th: Jo Aleh / Molly Meech (NZL) 6 12 16 4 15 2 9 8 6 3 8 (19) 15 15 5 - 123 pts

Nacra 17 (32 boats)

1st: Ruggero Tita / Caterina Banti (ITA) 1 5 4 4 1 1 1 1 2 1 1 1 1 (6) 4 8 - 36 pts
2nd: John Gimson / Anna Burnet (GBR) 3 (16) 3 1 5 4 5 2 1 3 3 3 3 5 1 12 - 54 pts
3rd: Sinem Kurtbay / Akseli Keskinen (FIN) (14) 1 3 2 2 2 3 6 2 4 2 9 1 10 14 - 72 pts

5th: Micah Wilkinson / Erica Dawson (NZL) 7 1 12 (16) 6 3 3 10 4 4 14 6 4 9 2 20 - 105 pts

Women's iQFoil (32 boards)

1st: Hélène Noesmoen (FRA) 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 (2) (6) 1 21 1 (8) 1 1 - 12 pts
2nd: Maja Dziarnowska (POL) (6) (6) 5 2 3 2 2 3 4 2 5 (9) 5 1 1 - 36 pts
3rd: Delphine Cousin (FRA) 2 3 7 6 2 4 3 4 2 6 11 3 (13) (15) (15) - 53 pts

5th Veerle ten Have (NZL) (9) 4 2 5 7 3 4 5 8 4 (17) 5 3 (9 RDG) 5 - 55 pts
27th: Brianna Orams (NZL) 27 28 26 28 (30) (30) 29 25 25 25 25 17 20 17 (33 DNF) - 293 pts

Men's iQFoil (57 boards)

1st: Nicolas Goyard (FRA) (10) (2) 2 (6) 2 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 - 15 pts
2nd: Clément Bourgeois (FRA) 2 3 3 1 6 (57 DNF) 8 2 (13) (11) 1 3 6 5 1 - 44 pts
3rd: Sebastian Koerdel (GER) (11) 1 6 4 3 2 4 3 (18) 2 (11) 3 1 5 1 11 - 46 pts

8th: Josh Armit (NZL) (15) 13 13 (28) 7 10 (17) 9 11 5 5 9 9 7 3 7 - 108 pts
27th Eli Liefting (NZL) 27 (36) (47) 20 20 31 24 32 31 (40) 13 5 13 36 27 21 - 300 pts
56th: Thomas Crook (NZL) (DNC 58) (DNC 58) DNC 58 DNC 58 DNC 58 DNC 58 DNC 58 DNC 58 DNC 58 DNC 58 39 DNC 39 DNC 39 DNC 57 DNC 39 DNC 39 DNC - 651 pts

ILCA 7 (129 boats)

1st: Pavlos Kontides (CYP) 3 1 2 2 1 10 7 5 7 (17) 4 - 42 pts
2nd: Elliot Hanson (GBR) 14 19 4 3 3 5 4 3 3 2 2 - 43 pts 
3rd: Michael Beckett (GBR) 6 4 3 6 4 1 (26) 14 1 1 10 - 50 pts

9th: George Gautrey (NZL) 9 2 2 2 5 16 5 8 (23) 18 14 - 81 pts
24th: Tom Saunders (NZL) 2 3 1 4 (44 UFD) 44 UFD 44 DSQ 2 18 12 - 130 pts
91st: Luke Deegan (NZL) (35) 17 31 25 33 21 4 21 10 11 - 173 pts
104th: Luke Cashmore (NZL) 35 26 28 41 9 29 2 18 (44 BFD) 44 BFD - 232 pts

ILCA 6 (65 boats)

1st: Agata Barwinska (POL) 8 2 1 17 4 (19) 7 2 19 14 12 - 86 pts
2nd: Marie Barrue (FRA) 16 12 6 16 (28) 1 12 18 4 10 16 - 111 pts
3rd: Louise Cervera (FRA) 5 9 22 7 (25) 24 3 21 14 6 2 - 113 pts

45th: Olivia Christie (NZL) 32 33 40 39 36 44 38 26 44 (66 DNF) - 331 pts

Full results