Europeans challenge awaits GBR Nacra 17 sailors
British Sailing Team head to La Grande Motte, France, for Nacra 17 European Championships
Britain’s sailors will be on the hunt for European glory when racing kicks off at the Nacra 17 European Championships in La Grande Motte, France, on Monday (7 July).
Five British Sailing Team crews will be in action in the mixed multihull event at the Yacht Club Grande Motte from the 7-12 July, with in-form Lucy Macgregor and Andrew Walsh vying for their second successive podium finish since teaming up last Autumn.
London 2012 Olympian Macgregor and her crew Walsh - a former Tornado Olympic campaigner and Extreme 40 racer - have been finding great form of late, denied a Delta Lloyd medal in May after suffering a mast breakage, before going on to take event honours in Weymouth and Portland at the Sail for Gold Regatta four weeks ago.
And although there is no denying a medal is within their sights in the south of France next week, Macgregor insists their focus for this year remains on the 2014 ISAF Sailing World Championships in Santander, Spain, in September (8-21 September 2014).
“For Walshy and I it is quite an important time in our campaign, we are certainly really keen to put in a good result at the Europeans - but our main focus this year is on the World Championships,” Macgregor explained.
“Saying that we are really looking forward to getting back out racing again. The Europeans is always a big event with a lot of really good competitors and there doesn’t seem to be too many big names missing from this year’s line up, so there should be some fantastic racing and we are looking forward to getting stuck in.”
“I think performance wise it’s been coming together really well for us at the last few events and it will be good to put some pressure on ourselves, sail a complete series that we are happy with and see how we are shaping up towards the World’s later this year.”
Macgregor, who will be joined by fellow Brits Ben Saxton-Hannah Diamond, Pippa Wilson-John Gimson, Rupert White-Nikki Boniface and Tom Phipps-Mary Rook, admits she is looking forward to testing the French waters for the first time.
“I have never been to La Grande Motte before so it’s a completely new venue which I’m sure will be great fun. It’s not that often nowadays that you get to go somewhere completely new or that no other classes have been to recently, so the key will be to try and work out the venue as quick as possible.”
The 27-year-old from Poole, Dorset, concluded: “We are sailing well and are pleased with the progress we are making and at the end of the day the World and European Championships are the biggest events of the year, so of course we would love to go and get a top result, and if we can it will be a great showing of where we are at in our campaign.”
Racing gets underway on Monday 7 July, with three races per day planned. The final medal races are scheduled for Saturday 12 July.
For news and results from the Nacra 17 Europeans in La Grande Motte, France, follow us at www.britishsailingteam.com, on Facebook or on Twitter @BritishSailing