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British ILCA 7 lads show strength in France

Written by 1st May 2022 Featured-post, Paris 2024

Elliot Hanson and Michael Beckett yet again showed the depth of talent in the British Sailing Team’s ILCA 7 squad as they scooped silver and bronze medals at the Semaine Olympique Francaise.

The teammates steadily rose through the rankings during the six-day regatta in Hyeres, France, showing their class in overcoming some of the world’s best sailors.

Hanson, Team GB’s Tokyo 2020 representative, signed off with a win in the medal race, missing out on the overall top spot by just one point to Cypriot ILCA 7 veteran Pavlos Kontides.

Beckett only had two finishes outside of the top six over the fleet’s 11 races to take bronze, adding to the gold he won at the Trofeo Princesa Sofia regatta in Palma, Mallorca, last month.

Hanson (l) and Beckett (r) flank Cyprus’ Kontides on the podium. © Sailing Energy

The pair’s success was complimented by medals for John Gimson and Anna Burnet in the Nacra 17, taking silver, and bronze for Ellie Aldridge in the women’s Formula Kite.

“This week’s been a real test for me,” said Beckett. “I spent most of the racing working on my technique and decision making because to begin with I wasn’t really sailing very well. I’m really pleased I was able to make tangible improvements despite the pressure that comes from racing in this fleet, I kept my head up and kept working so it came good in the end.

“I’m happy, the world championships are just around the corner and I can’t wait. It’s also great to be stood on the podium again with Elliot. We do so much training together it’s really cool to both be up there.”

Aldridge (r) adds another medal to her 2022 haul. © Sailing Energy

Aldridge, who also brought home bronze in Palma, added: “It was a long week for us – six days of racing where we normally only do four or five days, so I’m pretty tired now. We had a really good week of wind, ranging from 25 knots on the first day of racing, down to six knots for our medal series today. I’m happy to jump up to third position in the final race today and have lots to work on when I get back home. Hopefully we can take back the sunshine and warmth to Weymouth!”

After two regattas featuring all ten Olympic classes, the fleets will now split for their individual European and world championships.

Full results from Hyeres can be found here.