Parlier proves to be un-beatable in strong breeze at Sailing World Cup Hyeres

Sailors (and as such, kiteboarders) are always thrilled when they have a return of straight race victories. Then there are times when they are happy to come out in one piece, still within touching distance of the medals.

The competition in Hyères reached a critical stage on Friday with Medal Races imminent.

Saturday's racing will see the see the skiffs, windsurfers, multihulls and foiling kiteboarders fight for the medals after a day that saw all the competitors make a final dash to reach the top ten.

Overnight, the forecast for racing on Friday was not looking good and Hyères was expected to be on the receiving end of 30knots of breeze, gusting 35. The breeze was strong in the morning and sailing postponed for all classes except the foiling Formula Kites, as the conditions were not deemed safe enough to sail. 

French friends and rivals, Nicolas Parlier and Axel Mazella continue to lead the way in kiteboarding event. Parlier has the upper hand with six wins out of six races which gives him a four-point lead over Mazella. It was day of mixed fortunes for Mazella, but still good enough to give him a 22-point cushion over third placed Toni Vodisek (SLO).

Conditions were on the upper end of the scale - not because of the average wind but because of the extreme gusts and shifty winds at the beginning of the day that caused several equipment damage.

Everyone in the top 4 can win gold, and the podium is even possible for any rider down in the top 9. With a total of 30 points up for grabs in the three non-discardable medal races, almost everything remains possible.

TOP 5 after 12 qualifying and 6 final series races (3 discards)

1. Nicolas Parlier (FRA, Ozone) - 15 pts
2. Axel Mazella (FRA, F-One) - 19 pts
3. Toni Vodisek (SLO, Ozone) - 41 pts
3. Maxime Nocher (MON, Enata) - 42 pts
5. Titouan Galea (FRA, F-One) - 47 pts

World Sailing will be live on YouTube on Saturday at 15:30 with three final races. Subscribe for live alerts