Brits setting sail for first ever ISAF Sailing World Cup Final

Written by RYA | 20 November 2014

British sailors primed for Abu Dhabi action

The Emirati capital Abu Dhabi moves firmly into the sporting spotlight in the coming days with the F1 World Championship drawing to its finale this weekend, followed by the first ever ISAF Sailing World Cup Final being held off Lulu Island from 27-30 November.

Some 26 British sailors are set to compete across ten events at next week’s inaugural season-ending World Cup Final, introduced by ISAF to provide a greater showcase to the annual elite Olympic Classes series.

The British contingent will join invited competitors from 38 other nations battling it out in the ten Olympic classes, with an open kiteboarding event also forming part of the World Cup spectacle, with sailors having qualified via positions at the Santander World Championships, world ranking positions or via last month’s leg of the World Cup series in Qingdao, China.

While a number of British Sailing Team stars – including Giles Scott, and 470 pairings Hannah Mills-Saskia Clark and Luke Patience-Elliot Willis – have opted not to take up their invitations this time around, there will still be a heavy-hitting GBR cast in attendance, aiming for the podium spots and a share of the US$200,000 prize purse.  

The 2014 World and European Championship bronze medallist Ed Wright will feature in the 19-boat Finn class, with Croatia’s world silver medallist Ivan Kjlakovic Gaspic among his rivals, while double Olympic medallist and double World Champion Nick Dempsey lines up in the RS:X men’s windsurfing event, joined by Podium Potential talent Tom Squires.

Sophie Weguelin makes her competitive return with Eilidh McIntyre in the 470 Women’s event, having been given the all-clear to return after treatment for a deep vein thrombosis suffered in August, while Kate Macgregor will be sailing with new crew Kirstie Urwin in the 49erFX women’s skiff event.

Ben Saxton and Nicola Groves will be making their first foray into international competition together after joining forces in the Nacra 17 last month, with Lucy Macgregor and Andy Walsh also vying for British Sailing Team honours in the mixed multihull event.

Four time World Championship medallist Nick Thompson will be in action in the hotly-contested Laser class, while Bryony Shaw and Izzy Hamilton will feature in the RS:X women’s windsurfing event.

Four British 49er crews will be in attendance, with Dylan Fletcher-Alain Sign, John Pink-Stuart Bithell, Dave Evans-Ed Powys and Stevie Morrison-Chris Grube all on the startline in the men’s skiff event, while Alison Young, Chloe Martin and Hannah Snellgrove complete the British line up in the Olympic Classes in the women’s Laser Radial event.

Mother and son kiteboarding stars Steph and Ollie Bridge – with four-time World Champion Steph a recent ISAF World Sailor of the Year finalist – will race in the open kiteboarding event, being held in addition to the Olympic Class events in the UAE capital.

“The ISAF Sailing World Cup Final is for the most part a concept event this year, but we’re taking as strong a team as our programmes and logistics allow given its relatively late addition to the 2014 calendar,” explained RYA Olympic Manager Stephen Park.“

The introduction of the Sailing World Cup Final, as part of ISAF’s revamped vision for the World Cup circuit as a whole, provides some great opportunities for Olympic Classes sailing to grow in commercial and promotional terms – not to mention some quality end-of-season racing for our sailors.   

“I’m really looking forward to seeing what this first event has to offer, and our athletes are excited to be part of ISAF‘s evolving new vision for Olympic Sailing.”

Racing at the ISAF Sailing World Cup Final gets underway on Thursday 27 November, with the final medal races on Sunday 30 November.  

Stay with us at www.britishsailingteam.com, on Facebook or on Twitter @BritishSailing for all the action from the ISAF Sailing World Cup Final.

British competitors at the ISAF Sailing World Cup Final, Abu Dhabi: (Click here for full entry list)

RS:X Men
Nick Dempsey
Tom Squires  

RS:X Women
Bryony Shaw
Izzy Hamilton  

Laser
Nick Thompson  

Laser Radial
Alison Young
Chloe Martin
Hannah Snellgrove

Finn
Ed Wright  

470 Women
Sophie Weguelin-Eilidh McIntyre  

49er
Dylan Fletcher-Alain Sign
John Pink-Stuart Bithell
Dave Evans-Ed Powys
Stevie Morrison-Chris Grube

49erFX
Kate Macgregor-Kirstie Urwin

Nacra 17
Ben Saxton-Nicola Groves
Lucy Macgregor-Andy Walsh  

Kiteboarding
Ollie Bridge
Steph Bridge

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