British crews aim to build on early season success at Hyeres World Cup
45 British Sailing Team athletes ready to race at round two of 2017 World Cup Series
Britain’s sailors will aim to continue their strong start to the 2020 Olympic cycle as round two of the 2017 World Cup Series hits the French Riviera this week in Hyeres (25-30 April).
With rising talents, new pairings and seasoned campaigners all sharing in the early season successes at the opening leg of the World Cup at Miami in January and the Princess Sofia Trophy last month in Palma, the stage is set for an enticing battle on the Cote d’Azur.
Among the 45 British Sailing Team athletes in action across the ten Olympic Classes are two different British 49er crews to have topped the podium at the first two international events of the year.
Olympians Dylan Fletcher-Stuart Bithell cemented their new partnership with gold in Miami, while James Peters-Fynn Sterritt took a maiden senior international victory in Palma to Fletcher-Bithell’s bronze.
For the RS:X windsurfers, the 470 fleets and the Finn class, the World Cup event in Hyeres serves not only as competition in itself, but also as a forerunner to their European Championships which are taking place in Marseilles (RS:X and Finn) and Monaco (470) in mid-May.
Ben Cornish, winner of the silver medal in Miami, is one of the younger guard of Finn sailors looking to make their mark in this new Games cycle and is eyeing a good performance in Hyeres to set him up for his Europeans challenge.
“I think it’s reasonably similar weather systems that we get here and in Marseilles so it should be quite a good test of where we’re at before we go into the first major,” the 25-year-old explained.
“We’re still approaching [Hyeres] in the same way that we do all the big ones and definitely it’s a good chance to set the mark as to where you want to be come next week at the Europeans.
“We’ll be taking it seriously and it would be nice to be up there again for sure. We’ve got quite a strong fleet here and quite a few people returning after Rio who have had some time out but are back and ready to go again for Tokyo. It will be interesting to see how we’re going against them.”
Cornish is joined in the heavyweight men’s dinghy event by British Sailing Team stablemates Ed Wright, a former World Champion, plus Peter McCoy and Henry Wetherell.
Izzy Hamilton, Youth World Champion Emma Wilson and Imogen Sills will be in action in the RS:X women’s windsurfing event, with Tom Squires, Joe Bennett and Daniel Wilson set to race in the men’s fleet.
In the 470 Women’s division, Amy Seabright-Anna Carpenter and Jess Lavery-Flora Stewart will be looking for a solid week ahead of their European Championship test, with young talents Martin Wrigley-James Taylor and Harvey Martin-James Bishop continuing their development in the 470 Men’s event.
World Champion Alison Young will fly the flag in the Laser Radial fleet along with Georgina Povall, while there will be a strong British line-up in the men’s Laser event including double World Champion Nick Thompson, Palma silver medallist Elliot Hanson and Miami bronze medallist Lorenzo Chiavarini looking to be in the mix.
Among the contenders in the Nacra 17 multihull fleet will be Miami gold medallist Ben Saxton racing alongside Steph Orton, Miami silver medallists Tom Phipps-Nikki Boniface, and John Gimson-Anna Burnet, who claimed bronze in Palma in addition to a World Cup Final bronze at their first event together in Melbourne last December.
The 49erFX fleet will see three British boats in action with relatively new crew combinations in Charlotte Dobson-Saskia Tidey, Kate Macgregor-Sophie Ainsworth and Megan Brickwood-Eleanor Aldridge looking to consolidate their partnerships.
In addition to the ten Olympic Classes, the World Cup Series in Hyeres welcomes an invitational kiteboarding event, with British racer Connor Bainbridge in the line-up, as well as racing in the 2.4mR Paralympic class where Will Street will be in action from 25-29 April.
Competition at the 2017 World Cup Series in Hyeres, France, gets underway on Tuesday 25 April and culminates in medal racing on Saturday 29 April for the 49er, 49erFX, Nacra 17, RS:X Men and RS:X Women’s events, and on Sunday 30 April for the Laser, Laser Radial, 470 Men, 470 Women and Finn.
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British Sailing Team line-up for the 2017 World Cup Series in Hyeres:
Tom Squires; Joe Bennett; Daniel Wilson
Izzy Hamilton; Emma Wilson; Imogen Sills
Nick Thompson; Elliot Hanson; Lorenzo Chiavarini; Michael Beckett; Jack Wetherell
Alison Young; Georgina Povall
Martin Wrigley-James Taylor;
Harvey Martin-James Bishop
Amy Seabright-Anna Carpenter;
Jess Lavery-Flora Stewart
Dylan Fletcher-Stuart Bithell;
James Peters-Fynn Sterritt;
Jack Hawkins-Chris Thomas
Charlotte Dobson-Saskia Tidey;
Kate Macgregor-Sophie Ainsworth;
Megan Brickwood-Eleanor Aldridge
Ben Saxton-Steph Orton;
John Gimson-Anna Burnet;
Tom Phipps-Nikki Boniface;
Rupert White-Kirstie Urwin