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GRB sailors ready for Nacra 17 Worlds and 49er Europeans

The British Sailing Team’s run of World and European Championship regattas continues next week, with crews preparing to challenge at the Nacra 17 World Championships in Aarhus (DEN) and 49er Europeans in Porto (POR).

Four British pairings will contest the World Championship for the Nacra 17 mixed multihull when racing gets underway at the Danish venue (5-10 July), where some 69 crews from 31 nations will be in pursuit of the third world title in the new Olympic class.

John Gimson-Hannah Diamond, Ben Saxton-Nicola Groves, Lucy Macgregor-Dave Evans and Tom Phipps-Nicola Boniface will fly the flag for the British Sailing Team across the six days of competition.

Diamond, who won silver with Ben Saxton at the inaugural Worlds in 2013, believes the crews will be in for a testing time in the waters off Kaløvig.

“We have already done some training out in the venue. I think it is going to be a tricky week with really shifty, unpredictable winds,” explained the Hamble-based sailor, recently selected with Gimson for the 2015 Olympic Test Event in Rio, in her latest British Sailing Team blog.

“We will have a qualifying and a final series which represents the small fleets of the Olympics a bit better, so that will be great training for us.

GRB sailors ready for Nacra 17 Worlds and 49er Europeans

Ben Saxton and Hannah Diamond – 2013 Nacra 17 World Championship© Laurens Morel

“We are looking forward to racing again, but I think it’s going to be an event that is only over once the finish line has been crossed for the final time!”

At the 49er and 49erFX European Championships (7-12 July) in Porto, Podium squad crews John Pink-Stuart Bithell and Dylan Fletcher-Alain Sign will be among the names to watch in the battle for honours.

Fletcher and Sign are two-time European Champions, while Pink and Bithell hit medal-winning form at the recent ISAF Sailing World Cup Weymouth and Portland, where they won bronze to stake selection to the Olympic Test Event in Rio next month. Four of the British Sailing Team’s Podium Potential crews will also be in action in Porto.

The Europeans is an Open event, permitting entries from non-European crews, and New Zealand’s World Champions Peter Burling-Blair Tuke and Australia’s Olympic Champions Outteridge-Iain Jensen are expected to challenge once again for the Open crown among the 81-boat fleet.

The 49erFX European Championship runs concurrently, but no British crews will feature in the women’s skiff line-up for this edition.

Racing at the Nacra 17 World Championship gets underway on Sunday 5 July with 14 races scheduled ahead of the final medal race on Friday 10 July.

The 49er European Championship kicks off Tuesday 7 July with the medal race taking place on Sunday 12 July.

Meanwhile, the 470 European Championships will draw to a close in Aarhus on Saturday (Fourth July), with the British Sailing Team’s Sophie Weguelin-Eilidh McIntyre poised as the third European crew and Luke Patience-Elliot Willis as the fourth European crew heading into the final ten-boat medal races.

Nick Thompson and seven of his Laser squad teammates are also in action at the Laser World Championship, which kicked off in Kingston, Canada, yesterday and saw a good start for the Brits, with four-time World Championship medallist Thompson in fifth after the opening day and Martin Evans in sixth.

The Laser World Championship concludes on Wednesday 8th July.

British Sailing Team entries for the Nacra 17 World Championship:

• John Gimson-Hannah Diamond
• Ben Saxton-Nicola Groves
• Lucy Macgregor-Dave Evans
• Tom Phipps-Nicola Boniface

British Sailing Team entries for the 49er European Championship:

• John Pink-Stuart Bithell
• Dylan Fletcher-Alain Sign
• James Peters-Fynn Sterritt
• Chris Taylor-Sam Batten
• Jack Hawkins-Chris Thomas
• Rory Hunter-Neil Hunter

by RYA

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