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La Semaine Olympique Francaise: Preview

Hyères, France is all set to host the Semaine Olympique Française, the fourth regatta on the ISAF Sailing World Cup series.

The RS:X men's windsurfing and women's fleets will feature strongly with 98 men registered to race and 76 women.

This is the big one with top quality racers coming from more than 35 nations and 5 continents.
The ISAF Sailing World Cup has seen some excellent racing in the Olympic and Paralympic Sailing Events at Sail Melbourne in December, US SAILING'S Rolex Miami OCR in January and the Trofeo S.A.R. Princess Sofia MAPFRE at the start of April.

The world's most experienced sailor's preparations for next year's Olympic Sailing Competition are well underway and competition in this year's ISAF Sailing World Cup has been tense. The 2011 Semaine Olympique Française should be no exception.

Dorian Van Rijsselberge (NED) will be making the trip to France to sail in his third ISAF Sailing World Cup regatta this season. With victories in the Men's RS:X in Miami and Palma the Dutchman leads the Standings with 40 points.

His nearest rival, Nick Dempsey (GBR) on 37 points, won't be making the trip to Hyères but with World #1 Nimrod Mashich (ISR) and World #2 Piotr Myszka (POL) set to compete, van Rijsselberge will have his work cut out to maintain his perfect record so far.

Just like van Rijsselberge, Spain's Marina Alabau has a perfect record in the Women's RS:X. She won the Rolex Miami OCR and Princess Sofia to lead Charline Picon (FRA) by four points.

Alabau's rivals in the Standings will have a chance to overtake her throughout the week as she won't be sailing in Hyères. Despite Alabau's absence, the field boasts ISAF Rolex World Sailor of the Year Blanca Manchon (ESP), World #2 Bryony Shaw (GBR) and current holder of third place in the Women's RS:X Standings Laura Linares (ITA).

event website: http://sof.ffvoile.net/

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