Britain’s Eilidh McIntyre is targeting World Championship gold with Hannah Mills to tick off a bucket list ambition and to set the pair up for Tokyo success.
In the first of two major events held in Enoshima in quick succession, crew McIntyre is aiming for gold in the home of the Tokyo 2020 sailing regatta and with it lessons for her Olympic ambitions.
The regatta, beginning on Sunday 4 August, precedes the Tokyo 2020 Test Event – dubbed READY STEADY TOKYO – in which Mills and McIntyre are Britain’s representatives in the women’s 470.
Having previously won World Championship silver and bronze together as a team, McIntyre wants that gold medal to complete the set and give the pair confidence on the Olympic waters.
“It’s a World Championships which always has a hefty weighting,” said McIntyre, 25, from Hayling Island, Hants. “Add to that it’s in the Olympic venue and I would say we’re taking it pretty seriously. Everyone wants to win a Worlds and having never won one it’s on my bucket list.”
Helm Mills, 31, from Cardiff, Wales, who has won a World Championships with former partner Saskia Clark is focussing on the bigger picture of an another Olympic medal: “It’s going to be a challenge rolling straight into the Test Event for sure, two peak events back to back is a difficult one.
“The Worlds are still massively important as it’s in the Olympic venue at the right time of year, but both events this summer the goal is to learn as much as possible about the venue and the type of sailors we need to be for next year.”
McIntyre added: “Rolling into the Test Event straight afterwards is a challenge we have been planning for all year. I’ve got a strategy in place to make sure I’m fully recovered mentally and physically by the time the Test Event kicks off.
“To be honest every minute of time we have in the Olympic venue is precious so to have two major events in one year is so lucky.”
Competing alongside Mills and McIntyre will be team mates Amy Seabright and Anna Carpenter while Luke Patience and Chris Grube will take on the men’s fleet.
Patience, 32, from Rhu, Scotland, said: “This Worlds is interesting for a couple of reasons. One – It’s at the Olympic venue right bang on the time that the Olympics will be taking place. And two – you have to peak twice with the Test Event straight after.
“We definitely want to peak twice. This isn’t a one or the other for us. We want two results that reflect the work we have put in. We will be fighting hard to get where we think we deserve to be – at the top of the fleet.”
Racing begins Sunday 4 August and concludes 9 August. More information on the event and results can be found here.