France’s Charline Picon, the Rio 2016 Olympic Champion, made sure it was a golden finish for the hosts, winning the women’s RS:X windsurfing to close the 51st edition of the Semaine Olympique Française. There could not have been a better concluding day as the Medal Races played out in perfect Côte d’Azur conditions with a golden sun, clear skies and 15-knot westerlies.
Consistent excellence over a full week in all conditions in Hyères has earned Mattia Camboni and Matthew Wearn the right to party on Friday night before Saturday’s medal race. Blasted by 25-knot westerlies even Camboni and Wearn looked a bit windshocked as they arrived back to the harbour today. But in their different ways the two 23-year-olds have been dictating to their fleets from the book of Matthew all week.
Italy’s Mattia Camboni looks closest in the Semaine Olympique Française fleets to being able to have a party on Friday before Saturday’s medal races, after extending his lead in the men’s RS:X. But another full day of racing in Hyères could have turned out very differently after he crashed with his countryman, Daniele Benedetti at the start of the second race.
The word legend is distributed too liberally, but Robert Scheidt is a Laser Legend. At a time when the other 46-year-olds on the circuit are coaching, the Brazilian is here competing again and has more than one eye on the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. Tokyo (Enoshima) would be Scheidt's seventh Olympics. As well as winning 12 world championships between 1995 and 2013, he won the Laser in 1996 and 2004 Olympics Games (he is the only person to have beaten Ben Ainslie in an Olympics) and took silver in 2000, before transferring to the Star and winning a silver in 2008 and bronze in 2012. Back in the Laser for Rio 2016 he announced his retirement from Olympic competition after finishing just outside the medals in fourth. He is more than a decade older than the other experienced racers here, and twice the age of many in the top 10, but he is still pushing hard and is in the gold fleet with three top 10 finishes out of the six races up to Wednesday. Here he talks about why and how he is aiming for the Olympics, the Laser fleet being more open than ever and why he likes Hyères - now.
Day 3 If the RS:X men’s fleet has been all about the Italian city of Civitavecchia so far in the 51st Semaine Olympique Française, Wednesday’s solid 15-knot easterlies – “Classic Hyères conditions” as many of the sailors called them – were all about Perth in the Laser.