Five-medal haul sets British Sailing Team on path to Paris 2024
Britain’s elite sailors brought home five medals from the Paris 2024 test event
Four silver medals and one bronze were won as fourteen of the country’s best dinghy, windsurf and kite racers took on the world’s best in Marseille, the host city for the Paris 2024 sailing competition.
Among those picking up silverware were Tokyo 2020 medallists Emma Wilson, John Gimson and Anna Burnet (pictured below). Wilson scooped silver in the foiling iQFOiL class, due to make its Olympic debut next summer, while Gimson and Burnet took bronze in the Nacra 17 multihull class.
Michael Beckett continued his run of form in the ILCA 7 dinghy class, formerly known as the Laser, narrowly missing the top spot in a final-race battle with Australian Olympic champion Matt Wearn.
Ellie Aldridge and Connor Bainbridge completed the podium line-up with silvers in the Formula Kite class, also new for Paris 2024.
The eight-day regatta was the first of four test events run by Paris 2024 organisers to fine-tune their processes – and for the athletes it was a dress rehearsal for the Games with only one entry per nation in each of the ten classes.
It was also a key performance indicator in the run-up to Paris 2024, where Britain will aim to maintain its title as the world’s most successful Olympic sailing nation.
"It’s been a great event here in Marseille with a range of conditions to test all involved. With so many equipment changes and new sailors this cycle it was important for us to equal the 2019 Test Event haul of 5 medals as a platform to springboard from for the games proper next year."
- Mark Robinson, RYA Performance Director
Marseille threw plenty of conditions at the sailors over the week, from light, fickle winds to Provence’s famous mistral breeze.
Combined with temperatures of up to 37 degrees Celsius it made for tricky racing conditions but provided a useful insight into what the sailors may face next summer.
British sailors finished in the top ten in nine of the classes. Full results from the regatta can be found here.
A promising sign just one year out from next summer’s Games
Selection for the test event was made by the RYA's Olympic Selection Committee, and is a key step in the RYA's ongoing process to nominate athletes to go to Paris 2024 as part of Team GB.
It doesn’t guarantee that these athletes will be picked to represent Team GB at Paris 2024.
The British Sailing Team will have little time to rest and recuperate before heading to the Sailing World Championships in The Hague, The Netherlands.
More than 60 British Sailing Team athletes will be among 1,400 sailors from the across the globe expected to attend.
The regatta is a once-a-cycle event where the world championship titles for all ten Olympic classes are up for grabs at the same time.
It’s also the first opportunity for nations to qualify for a spot on the start line at the Olympics, doubling the significance of the regatta.
Follow the British Sailing Team’s progress on social media at @britishsailing