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Slingsby takes a tumble in Toulon

What a difference a day makes. After experiencing full-on foiling conditions 24-hours earlier, the six teams competing at the Louis Vuitton America's Cup World Series Toulon were left frustrated by light breezes that prevented yesterday's official practice races from being held on the Mediterranean.

“It was beautiful beach weather, but unfortunately the wind didn't fill in enough, so no racing today,” said Tom Slingsby, the Oracle Team USA helmsman.

The day before in stronger winds, the Olympic gold medal-winner endured a baptism of fire at the helm of Oracle's AC45F catamaran in the absence of skipper Jimmy Spithill, who is recovering from an elbow injury.

Slingsby suffered minor injuries after flipping head over heels and bouncing off a winch during a bear-away manoeuvre.

“We had just come off the mooring, and that was my first bear-away on a foiling AC45F, and I got it a little bit wrong,” he said. “I have a few bumps and bruises down my left hand side from hitting the winch. I got a bit of a knock on the head too, but fortunately I had my helmet on.”

The light air conditions are expected to continue throughout the weekend, something which could play into the hands of regatta hosts Groupama Team France, who have posted their strongest results in non-foiling conditions.

“Our strong point is light airs,” Franck Cammas, the team skipper, said. “We've had good results in those conditions. Our progression curve is going up, but we need to be more consistent. Throughout the events, we've had ups and downs. I hope Toulon will be one of the ups!

“We've worked a lot for this. Anyhow, we're especially motivated to do well. We're dead set on giving a good image of what we're made of here, to show these boats and this racing to our public. Our goal is to create a team with a true French spirit for the next ten years.”

Land Rover BAR, the British challenger, lead the overall World Series standings by a point over nearest rivals Oracle Team USA, the America's Cup defender. The event is the first stage of competition for the 35th America's Cup to be held in Bermuda next year, with all racing taking place in the Great Sound, which hosted the World Series last October.

• Local sailors Tim Patton and Jesse Kirkland will be looking to finish the Etchells World Championship in Cowes, Isle of Wight, on a positive note with their respective teams during today's final day of racing on the Solent.

Patton, who is making his 26th appearance at the event, is the island's sole representative and is competing with Tom Herbert-Evans, the America's Cup's community sailing manager, and Richard Percy, the brother of Artemis Racing tactician and sailing team manager Iain Percy, on Thrash.

Kirkland, who represented Bermuda with brother Zander in the 49er at the 2012 London Olympics, is serving as tactician on American Jane II, helmed by skipper Scott Kaufman, of the United States.

With one race remaining, Patton sits in eighth in the Corinthian Division and 46th overall while Kirkland and his team-mates, who posted a victory earlier this week, are fifteenth overall.

Bumps and bruises: Slingsby suffered minor injuries after flipping head over heels and bouncing off a winch during a bear-away manoeuvre in Toulon

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Published September 09, 2016 at 9:44 pm (Updated September 11, 2016 at 12:49 pm)

Slingsby takes a tumble in Toulon

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