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All eyes on Bainbridge as Last Chance Regatta looms




Can Connor complete Team GB's Paris line-up?


What, where and when?
The Semaine Olympique Française – or French Olympic Week – takes place in Hyeres, Var, from Sunday April 21 to Saturday April 27.

Historically French Olympic Week is a must for the British Sailing Team, but this year a selection of athletes are prioritising it over other regattas. Most notable of those is Connor Bainbridge, who has to compete to secure a spot for Team GB at Paris 2024. Team GB athletes Micky Beckett (ILCA 7), Vita Heathcote and Chris Grube (470), Sam Sills (iQFOiL), Emma Wilson (iQFOiL), Hannah Snellgrove (ILCA 6) and Ellie Aldridge (Formula Kite) will all be in action.

The lowdown
One of the classics of the Olympic class circuit, French Olympic Week is one of only two multi-class regattas – and crucially is the last time all ten classes will compete in the same event prior to the Olympics. For Team GB’s selected athletes it’s another chance to line up against their international rivals ahead of the big showdown in Marseille this summer. But the real story of this event is Connor Bainbridge, the British Sailing Team’s leading male Formula Kite athlete. Bainbridge narrowly missed out on securing a nation spot at the 2023 World Championships and the 2023 European Championships, and as such will compete in Hyeres at the ‘Last Chance Regatta’ – a fleet dedicated purely to those without an Olympic place. There are five spaces up for grabs in the men’s Formula Kite fleet – so a top five finish would bag Team GB a spot on the startline in Marseille.

Anything else?
Team GB’s 49er, 49erFX and Nacra 17 crews have opted to sit out this year’s French Olympic Week to concentrate on training for their class European Championships down the coast in La Grande Motte in early May.

How do I follow the regatta?
The official website featuring results and the full entry list is here. If you want to track the progress of the Brits the best place to do so is the British Sailing Team social media channels. Each day we will keep you posted on results, and feature the best photos the event has to offer.

About the author

Will Carson