Sailing World Cup: Fickle Friday Breeze In Hyères

Sailing World Cup Hyères served up a light dose of wind for the third day of racing but big breeze is expected to follow on Saturday.

Sailors had a short wait for breeze in the morning but a 7-8 knot southerly veering to the west came through allowing a good number of races across the ten Olympic and two Paralympic fleets.

Looking further afield and the breeze that pushed sailors to their boundaries on the opening day is to return on Saturday leading through to Sunday’s Medal Races which will be broadcast live on the World Sailing TV YouTube Channel.

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Men’s and Women’s 470

Fernanda Oliveira and Ana Luiza Barbachan (BRA) have learnt to love racing in Hyères in recent years, winning the 2013 and 2015 editions of the Sailing World Cup.

“For me it’s a little bit cold,” joked Oliveira. “I prefer Rio, in Brazil, but for me it is okay. I think it is very usual event in Europe and very famous. The regatta is always crowded with good sailors. We like it, but tomorrow I might tell you differently as the Mistral is coming back.”

At present, they are on course to strike gold again, advancing to pole position after a second in the single Women’s 470 race.

The calibre of competition in Hyères is extremely high. London 2012 gold medallists Jo Aleh and Polly Powrie (NZL), 2014 and 2015 World Champions Lara Vadlau and Jolanta Ogar (AUT) and 2016 World Champions Camille Lecointre and Helene Defrance (FRA) are all on the start line vying for supremacy.

“There are a lot of good teams here,” explained Oliveira. “They are very fast, very smart and have been sailing 470s for a long time so there is a lot of experience. We are trying to do our best and we’ll have to see what happens.

“Everybody is working and trying to find the best way to get to the top and get a medal. Sometimes a team can do better and then sometimes drop.”

The pair clinched gold in the televised Medal Races in 2015 (review the race here) and after five races in 2016, they are one-point clear of Olympic silver medallists Hannah Mills and Saskia Clark (GBR).

Tina Mrak and Veronika Macarol (SLO) took the single victory on the day and occupy sixth overall.

In the Men’s 470, the dog fight between Australia’s Mathew Belcher and Will Ryan and Croatia’s Sime Fantela and Igor Marenic continued.

The pair have shared the leading positions over five races and are only separated by two points. The different between the pair was minimal in the only Men’s 470 race and the Croatians took it by just four seconds.

Belcher and Ryan lead on six points followed by the Croatians on eight. They have opened up a gap in excess of ten points over Anton Dahlberg and Fredrik Bergstrom (SWE) in third.

Hyères, France will welcome 574 sailors from 47 nations from Wednesday 27 April through to 1 May for the 2016 edition of Sailing World Cup Hyères.  ©Pedro Martinez/Sailing Energy/World Sailing
Hyères, France will welcome 574 sailors from 47 nations from Wednesday 27 April through to 1 May for the 2016 edition of Sailing World Cup Hyères.
©Pedro Martinez/Sailing Energy/World Sailing

Laser and Laser Radial

The biggest smile of the day in the Laser fleet was reserved for El Salvador’s Enrique Arathoon who snapped up a huge victory in the sixth race.

After a series of results in the mid 20s, Arathoon sprung a huge surprise taking the lead from the off and maintaining through to the finish. “I was lucky enough to win the last race,” he said through a smile. “I started at the committee boat, I spoke with my coach and he said the right looked good and I just went for it.

“Winning was more than I expected but I managed to keep it and it was a nice race. Man it was tight. Lorenzo almost got me on the downwind so I was really nervous. I managed to stay calm and keep the boat moving fast and I made it first through.

“The best sailors of the world are here so it’s pretty tough out there. A little mistake can cost you more than usual and it’s really good to use this event to prepare for the Olympic Games.”

Arathoon sits 21st overall and aims to continue the momentum into the penultimate day in a bid to climb the leader board, “Usually I feel more comfortable in stronger breeze but doing well in the calmer breeze gives me more confidence to keep doing well in every condition.”

Tom Burton (AUS) retains the lead in the Laser and Sam Meech (NZL) climbs to second overall followed by Matt Wearn (AUS). The day’s other race win went the way of Andy Maloney (NZL) who is eighth overall and 14 points off Meech, his rival for New Zealand’s Rio 2016 Laser spot.

At the top of the Laser Radial consistency was king for the leading lights. Evi Van Acker (BEL) posted a pair of fourths and Josefin Olsson (SWE) secured two seconds. They are separated by three points. Veronika Fenclova (CZE) remains in the podium positions.

The day’s wins went the way of Maud Jayet (SUI) and Isabella Bertold (CAN).

Hyères, France will welcome 574 sailors from 47 nations from Wednesday 27 April through to 1 May for the 2016 edition of Sailing World Cup Hyères.  ©Pedro Martinez/Sailing Energy/World Sailing
Hyères, France will welcome 574 sailors from 47 nations from Wednesday 27 April through to 1 May for the 2016 edition of Sailing World Cup Hyères.
©Pedro Martinez/Sailing Energy/World Sailing

Men’s and Women’s RS:X

Light breeze makes for physically demanding work for the RS:X racers. In order to move forward as fast as they can, sailors pump their sails, using all of their physical strength to obtain an advantage that propels them forward faster than their rivals.

One physically gruelling race was completed in both the Men’s and Women’s RS:X fleets.

Italy’s Mattia Camboni proved to be the king of day claiming the bullet which positions him in 15th overall. Nick Dempsey (GBR) advanced to first overall following a fifth. Trailing him is Piotr Myszka (POL) and Louis Giard (FRA).

In the Women’s RS:X, Zofia Noceti-Klepacka (POL) has a ten-point advantage over Great Britain’s Bryony Shaw (GBR). Hong Kong’s Hei Man Chan won the single race of the day and is 11th overall.


Brazil’s Jorge Zarif was the standout performer in the Finn, taking a first and a fifth in the light wind. He has pulled himself into contention and is just ten points off of Jake Lilley (AUS) and Oliver Tweddell (AUS) who are tied on 27 points at the top of the tree.

The Aussies are locked in a gruelling selection battle for Rio 2016. It’s anyone’s game as to who will be selected but with only the Finn Gold Cup and Sailing World Cup Weymouth and Portland remaining, time is running out for each individual to claim their worth.

Jonas Hogh-Christensen (DEN) claimed the day’s other bullet.

The Sailing World Cup Hyères  image ©Jesus Renedo/Sailing Energy/World Sailing
The Sailing World Cup Hyères image ©Jesus Renedo/Sailing Energy/World Sailing

49er and 49erFX

Game over in the 49er? After just eight races, Peter Burling and Blair Tuke of New Zealand have opened up a 37 lead over the chasing pack.

Will and Sam Phillips (AUS) were in contention overnight but they slipped up with a 38 and a black flag. Meanwhile for Burling and Tuke it was business as usual. A first and a ninth gives them a monstrous lead which will take the pressure off in the coming days, not that there was any in the first place.

The Australian Phiilips sailors have been pulled back into a battle for the remaining medals. Jonas Warrer and Christian Peter Lubeck (DEN) are two points off them in third and five crews remain firmly in contention behind them.

Late off the water, at 19:15 local time, the 49erFX completed four races and Sweden’s Lisa Ericson and Hanna Klinga (SWE) held on with a steady day of racing. Their results, a 2-1-3-(14), leave them on 20 points, 13 clear of Annemiek Bekkering and Annette Duetz (NED). Martine Grael and Kahena Kunze (BRA) are up to third.

Nacra 17

It was a long day for the Nacra 17 as well, as the last boats reached the shore at 19:30.

Fernando Echavarri and Tara Pacheco (ESP) could not continue their stunning start and dropped from first to sixth. Four double figure scores leave them 27 points off leaders Mandy Mulder and Coen de Koning (NED).

The Dutch racers put together the best string of scores on the day, posting a 2-12-1-2 and lead Jason Waterhouse and Lisa Darmanin (AUS) by 14 points.

The Sailing World Cup Hyères  image ©Jesus Renedo/Sailing Energy/World Sailing
The Sailing World Cup Hyères image ©Jesus Renedo/Sailing Energy/World Sailing

Paralympic Events

With a bullet in the final race of the day, USA’s Alphonsus Doerr, Bradley Kendell and Hugh Freund moved to the top of the leader board in the Sonar. The bullet followed two fourth place finishes and they head the field with 13 points.

Closely behind with a 1-2-5 for the day are Norway’s Aleksander Wang-Hansen, Marie Solberg and Per Eugen Kristiansen. A good day for the team puts them on 15 points.

Slipping down to third are overnight leaders, Great Britain’s Hannah Stodel, John Robertson and Steve Thomas. The Briton’s could only manage a third, seventh and an eighth which they discard.

In the 2.4 Norlin OD, Australia’s Matthew Bugg continues to lead the way with a second, sixth and a discarded seventh. Bugg has 14 points overall.

Birthday girl, Great Britain’s Helena Lucas, didn’t start her day, recording an 11th, which thanks to her other results she now discards. Those other results were a second and third which moves her second behind Bugg on 16 points and leave her a little happier coming ashore.

Norway’s Bjonar Erikstad and the improving Damien Seguin (FRA) are third on 17 points.

Daniel Smith,
World Sailing

World Snooker Makes Four More Tour Cards Available At Q School

Following a record level of entries to 2016 Q School, World Snooker has decided to increase the number of tour cards available from eight to 12.

A total of 182 players have entered Q School, which runs from May 11 to 22 at the Meadowside Leisure Centre in Burton.

The players who qualify from Q School will be handed a two-year card to play on the World Snooker Tour in 2016/17 and 2017/18, competing for millions of pounds of prize money against the best players, all around the globe.

And World Snooker has decided that given the high number of entries, an extra four tour cards will be awarded. The four semi-finalists in each of the two Q School events will all earn tour cards, as well as the next best four players on the Order of Merit.

World Snooker Chairman Barry Hearn said: “I was delighted to see record entries for Q School this year with players coming from as far afield as China, India, Israel, Pakistan and the USA. It shows how many players there are on the amateur scene who want to earn a place on the professional tour. The opportunities for players on the pro circuit have never been better than they are now, as our sport grows around the world and the number of events and level of prize money goes up year after year.

“Our decision to increase the number of tour cards available to 12 is a tremendous incentive for all 182 players to practise as hard as they can and be ready for the challenge, because every match will count and there is a huge potential reward.”

Entry for fans to watch Q School will be FREE and they are encouraged to come and watch. There is no need for fans to book, they can come along on the day and watch high quality snooker.

The draws and formats are available on

Australia’s Sporting Capital To Host 2016 Sailing World Cup Final

Australia’s sporting capital, Melbourne, is to host the 2016 Sailing World Cup Final from 4-11 December out of the St Kilda Sailing Precinct.

The Sailing World Cup Final will bring together the world’s best sailors in the aftermath of the Rio 2016 Sailing Competitions as they seek to end the year on a high heading into the Tokyo 2020 quadrennial.

With a grandstand for sailing like no other, the Sailing World Cup Final in St Kilda Sailing Precinct, made out of the Royal Melbourne Yacht Squadron (RMYS), St Kilda Baths, St Kilda Beach and Catani Gardens, will put the sport front and centre of the public.

The Sunsets on St Kilda pier as part of the venue for the SWC ISAF Sailing World Cup - Melbourne St Kilda sailing precinct, Victoria Port Phillip Bay Wednesday 9 Dec 2015 © Sport the library / Jeff Crow
The Sunsets on St Kilda pier as part of the venue for the SWC
ISAF Sailing World Cup – Melbourne
St Kilda sailing precinct, Victoria
Port Phillip Bay Wednesday 9 Dec 2015
© Sport the library / Jeff Crow

Racing alongside the St Kilda Pier and beach, a bustling metropolitan atmosphere will ensure a fusion of sport and leisure. Olympic and World Champions will race across the ten Olympic fleets and the 2.4 Norlin One Design in a bid to be crowned 2016 Sailing World Cup Champion and those on-shore will be able to enjoy the show in the race village.

Andy Hunt, World Sailing CEO commented, “Melbourne’s sporting heritage is one of the finest in the world. World Sailing are delighted to be taking the centrepiece of the Sailing World Cup to the Australian city.

“Following Rio 2016, sailing will have a new crop of heroes. Welcoming them to the 2016 Sailing World Cup Final will be the start of inspiring the next generation of sailing talent. St Kilda’s thriving foreshore, Melbourne’s famous breeze and the organising authorities exceptional track record of event delivery will enable World Sailing to showcase Olympic sailing and our athletes to the wider public.”

Racing under the Melbourne skyline, ISAF Sailing World Cup

Event Chairman, Mark Klemens said, “Last year’s World Cup held in the vibrant and cosmopolitan St Kilda sailing precinct proved itself to be an outstanding location to compete and experience. I am delighted to be Chairman of this year event and so delighted we have been chosen as the venue for the finals particularly in an Olympic year. I promise to all, a magnificently staged event with Melbourne as its back drop. I promise to competitors and spectators alike a memorable week of the highest competition on the perfect waters of Port Philip. I encourage all the finalists to come to Melbourne and experience something special.”

The 2016 Sailing World Cup Final will be the climax of a yearlong series. The first event took place in Melbourne before a stop in Miami, USA at the end of January. Two stops in Europe in Hyères, France and Weymouth & Portland, Great Britain lead into Sailing World Cup Qingdao in September before December’s showcase.

49er FX gold medal race /  General views of rigging and preparing on St Kilda beach ISAF Sailing World Cup - Melbourne St Kilda sailing precinct, Victoria Port Phillip Bay Sunday 13 Dec 2015 © Sport the library / Jeff Crow
49er FX gold medal race / General views of rigging and preparing on St Kilda beach ISAF Sailing World Cup – Melbourne St Kilda sailing precinct, Victoria Port Phillip Bay Sunday 13 Dec 2015 © Sport the library / Jeff Crow

The St Kilda Sailing Precinct and the Royal Melbourne Yacht Squadron have welcomed Olympic sailors before, playing host to the Melbourne 1956 Olympic Sailing Competition. The legacy of the Olympiad remains and the stars who won medals on Melbourne waters then, Paul Elvstrom (DEN) and Durward Knowles (BAH) to name but a few, remain household names now.

The Rio 2016 heroes are to be crowned in just 98 days’ time and the new breed of heroes will follow in the legends footsteps on the waters they became king at the 2016 Sailing World Cup Final.

Daniel Smith
World Sailing

Cowrie RFC Will Bounce Back – Azeez Ladipo

Captain of Cowrie RFC of Lagos, Azeez Ladipo has apologized to their fans for the unexpected defeat the club suffered against Racing RFC in the week 2 match of the 2016 CMB Investment and Building Company sponsored South West Rugby league.

Reacting after the loss, he philosophized that in the world of sports, nobody can remain invincible forever despite agreeing that losing against a less fancied Racing side made the defeat a much bitter pill to swallow.

Speaking with NRFF media, the influential flyhalf who also doubles as the National Team captain assured that all that is needed for the team is to go back to the drawing board and give 200% efforts to preparing for future games.

“I think we just need to go back and do what we used to do, work hard in training, come over here and impose our game on everyone.”

Azeez Ladipo of Cowrie RFC leading an offensive attack   against Police RFC
Azeez Ladipo of Cowrie RFC leading an offensive attack against Police RFC

He agreed that the effect of the defeat may not yet be known especially on some players who have not tasted defeat since they joined the club, but asserted that, “This is Cowrie, we know what to do to bounce back .

“The last time we lost the Independence 7’s in 2013, the following year, we came back and won it.”
“The league is still open. All we just need to do is to put more intensity, be on top of our game, prepare harder for games.”

The 15-7 defeat on Saturday, 23rd of April saw the team’s 7 years unbeaten record in the league come to an abrupt end in the 15’s series.

Women’s African Club Volleyball Championship Down To Final 4

2016 Women’s African Club Championship- Quarterfinal

Organisers Carthage (Tunisia), Pipelines (Kenya), defending Champions Ahly and dark horses Revenue Authority (Rwanda) claimed the semifinal tickets of the 2016 Women’s African Club Championship following their victories in the quarterfinal matches in Tunis, Tunisia on Thursday.

Revenue attacks
Revenue attacks

Now Carthage face Pipeline in a thrilling face off at the competition semifinal Today, while Ahly meet Revenue in the other semis.

Rwanda’s Revenue Authority made the competition biggest surprise as they upset the 2015 semifinalists Shams of Egypt 3-1 (25-21, 10-25, 29-27, 25-18) to become the first ever Rwandan team to quaify to the semifinal.

Defending champions Ahly came from a set behind 1-2 to beat the struggling GSP of Algeria 3-2 (32-30, 23-25, 22-25, 25-18, 15-6) in more than 2 hours of thrilling performance.

Record holders Pipeline of Kenya cruised past Sfax of Tunisia 3-1 (25-15, 25-14, 15-25, 25-17) to claim the third consecutive semifinal berth.

Organisers Carthage of Tunisia entertain their fans with a win against Kenya Prisons 3-1 (25-19, 25-22, 25-27, 25-18) in the last of the quarters day.

Carthage attacks
Carthage attacks

Semifinal Programme On April 29
Semifinal 1-4

Revenue Authority (Rwanda) v Ahly (Egypt)
Carthage (Tunisia) v Pipeline (Kenya)

Play off 5-8
Prisons (Kenya) v Sfax (Tunisia)
Shams (Egypt) v GSP (Algeria)

Play off 9-12
Machaal Bejaia (Algeria) v FAP (Cameroon)
Injis (Cameroon) v Wilaya Bejaia (Algeria)

Play off 13-16
Jos South (Nigeria) v Bafia (Cameroon)
Ndejje (Uganda) v Police (Ghana)

Go Round FC Round Up Pre-Season Friendlies

Go Round FC will round up their series of pre-season friendly matches with a game against Bayelsa United at Omoku on Friday, April 29, 2016.

The team had played six friendly matches within the last three weeks and will now be looking forward to the league’s opening game at home to Akwa Starlets on Friday, May 6.

Go Round FC had previously beaten J. Atete FC 4-2 in Delta State and drawn 1-1 against them in Omoku.

They then lost to Bayelsa United 1-0 in Otuoke and won the reverse fixture 1-0 in Omoku before losing 2-0 to Rangers International.

After Friday’s game against Bayelsa United, the team will now wait to kick start the 2016 Nigeria National League, with that game against Akwa Starlets.

Go Round FC unveil 2016 jerseys and Team Photo
Go Round FC unveil 2016 jerseys and Team Photo

Meanwhile, Prime FC will now play in Group B1 of the NNL as they were moved from Group B 2.

With Cofine FC taking the place left behind by Sharks FC in B1, the NNL moved the new comers to B2 and now drew lots for the previous eight teams in B2 and it fell on Prime to be relocated to B1.

Cofine FC will be based in Uyo and Uyo already has Akwa Starlets in Group B1.

Brussels Court Denies FEI Appeal In GCL Case

The Brussels Court of Appeal has today denied the FEI appeal on the interim measures imposed by the Belgian Competition Authority which prevent the FEI from imposing its unsanctioned event rule on athletes and horses competing in the Global Champions League.

“We are of course disappointed that the Brussels Court of Appeal has denied the FEI’s request for a full annulment of the Belgian Competition Authority decision, but this is only a phase in the process”, FEI President Ingmar De Vos said today. “The real procedure hasn’t even begun yet, as the full merits of the case still have to be heard by the Belgian Competition Authority. We will continue to fight with all legal means.

“This decision seems to be in direct contradiction to the investigation undertaken by the European Commission into similar cases, including this specific FEI case, with the stated aim of ensuring the coherent application of EU anti-trust rules.

“The FEI has already raised this issue with the IOC, ASOIF and other international sports Federations, as many of our colleagues in the sports world are confronted with similar cases concerning European Competition Law. We all agree that we need this kind of rule to allow us to effectively govern our sport, preserve its integrity, protect our athletes and guarantee clean sport and a level playing field. Commercial considerations should never prevail over sport.”

“The necessity of an unsanctioned event rule in sports was discussed again during meetings with the IOC and ASOIF in Lausanne last week. There was consensus that this rule is fundamental to sport. We agreed that we need to defend the legitimacy of this rule and have a common and consistent approach in addressing this with the European Commission.”