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Giles Scott secures first Hyeres win with medal race victory
Giles Scott (GBR) secured his second Sailing World Cup event of the year in Hyeres on Sunday after winning the final double points medal race to take the top spot by 24 points. Vasilij Zbogar (SLO) made sure of the silver with a third place, while Ed Wright (GBR) just managed to retain the bronze with an eighth place finish.

Scott had almost done enough to take the win already, but just needed to make sure he wasn't last. He took the lead on the first downwind and never looked back, taking the race win in the perfect conditions on the final day. Caleb Paine (USA) was the early leader, and but slipped back to fourth at the finish to finish a respectable seventh overall.

After a perfect performance on Saturday winning both races Zbogar still had a fight on his hands to keep the silver. However his main opposition Ed Wright, didn't have the best day and Zbogar sailed well to place third and the silver.

He said, “It was a hard week, but I am very happy to finish in second place. The level in the Finn is very high and to be in front you have to push very hard. I very happy to improve my speed in stronger winds which was the goal for this regatta. With a bit of a luck in some of the races in light wind I could have been closer to Giles for the medal race.”

“The Medal race was hard as Ed Wright is extremely fast in strong winds but I am happy that I could keep his speed and at the end get in front of him. The week was good but it could be even better.”

Wright commented, “It was amazing sailing conditions today. I really enjoy racing when it's like that. I made Vasco work hard for his silver medal but didn't quite get any breaks to secure it as mine.”

“This race was the first one this week that was really fun. I got stacked at the the start with a few boats but still happy to be on the podium with bronze. I did some changes in my gear set up this week and it seems to be faster. Now I am ready to go to the Europeans with the aim to win it.”

On the week in general he said, “The week was ok. It was mainly quite tricky racing and trying to stay alive. I can't complain, but my rig needs a bit of work to make that tricky stuff my bread and butter.”

Ivan Kljakovic Gaspic (CRO) placed fifth overall after a second in the medal race. “We finally had a consistent and sailable sea breeze. It was fun sailing. I really wanted to have a good result before the end of the event. I led up to the end of the first downwind. I was so focus on my sailing i didn't really check behind and was very surprised to see Giles arriving from nowhere turning the gate inside me. I finished just a few boat length behind him.”

He says he likes the new format. “It is different and makes it more interesting for the sailors, and races are a bit shorter. Everybody needs to get used to it. The racing is tougher but in the end the good guys are in front.”

“Now I am going to Split to train before the Europeans. It is very exciting for me to race in my home town and I am really looking forward to it. I have not sailed much there in the last two years so will be good to be back there.”

Scott summed up. “It was glamour sailing today with 18 knots and waves. Taking the event and the medal race is a great way to round up the regatta, especially when it is my first win in Hyeres.”

“This was not an easy regatta. The conditions were super difficult with light and shifty winds for most of the week. So the result is very rewarding.”

On the new format he said, “Sailing with top 40 is great and very competitive, however this can not replace the regattas that are more inclusive.”

On his plans, “I have decided to skip the Europeans and go training in Rio. The conditions are so different there that I need to learn more for the Games. My next event will be Weymouth and I am looking forward to it and racing at home. It will be my first big event there in the new quadrennial.”

Results after medal race (medal race in brackets)
1 GBR 41 Giles Scott 38 (1)
2 SLO 573 Vasilij Zbogar 62 (3)
3 GBR 11 Edward Wright 75 (8)
4 HUN 40 Zsombor Berecz 78 (5)
5 CRO 524 Ivan Kljakovic Gaspic 85 (2)
6 CRO 69 Milan Vujasinovic 89 (6)
7 USA 6 Caleb Paine 91 (4)
8 NZL 24 Josh Junior 96 (7)
9 FRA 112 Jonathan Lobert 105 (UFD)
10 GRE 77 Ioannis Mitakis 109 (UFD)

Photo: Ocean Images/British Sailing Team
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