The RYA's Olympic Steering Group has finalised its latest periodical review of the British Sailing Team squads following the Santander 2014 ISAF Sailing World Championships, with a number of changes at the Podium level as the focus towards Rio 2016 intensifies.
The Podium squad in the Olympic classes has been narrowed to 29 sailors across the ten events, with 14 of those sailors having qualified for the highest tier of funding via UK Sport's World Class Performance Programme following medal-winning performances at key regattas.
In addition to this, the Nacra 17 and 49erFX classes have seen crew changes, with Ben Saxton now partnering Nicola Groves, who transitions to the multihull from the 49erFX, while Groves' former helm Frances Peters will now sail with Katrina Best in the women's skiff.
Hannah Diamond, who previously paired with Saxton, will be trialling various potential helms in the Nacra 17 class.
The Podium squad will be underpinned by 50 Podium Potential sailors who have the opportunity to learn through the second half of this cycle as they prepare to launch their campaigns for Tokyo 2020.
RYA Olympic Manager Stephen Park explained: "We're halfway through the Rio cycle now, and at this stage at the Podium level it's about trying to narrow down the numbers so that we can increase the level of focus and support that we can give to those sailors who we think, by their performances to date, are most likely to be challenging for podium places come 2016.
"Clearly there are some sailors who will be disappointed by some of these decisions, but it's an important part of the process towards evaluating and refining the programmes in each of the classes, and delivering the support that hopefully will allow sailors to move from fourth or fifth places to the podium, and then into those gold medal positions.
"It's that fine detail of review, planning, delivery and execution that will see those gold medals being won in a couple of years, and we'll keep taking those steps and making refinements towards our target."
British Sailing Team October-December 2014
Podium Squad Olympic Classes:
Giles Scott (Finn), Ed Wright (Finn), Nick Thompson (Laser), Alison Young (Laser Radial), Chloe Martin (Laser Radial), Nick Dempsey (RS:X Men), Bryony Shaw (RS:X Women), Izzy Hamilton (RS:X Women), Hannah Mills-Saskia Clark (470 Women), Sophie Weguelin-Eilidh McIntyre (470 Women), Luke Patience-Elliot Willis (470 Men), Dylan Fletcher-Alain Sign (49er), John Pink-Stuart Bithell (49er), Charlotte Dobson-Sophie Ainsworth (49erFX), Frances Peters-Katrina Best (49erFX), Pippa Wilson-John Gimson (Nacra 17), Lucy Macgregor-Andrew Walsh (Nacra 17), Ben Saxton-Nicola Groves (Nacra 17), Hannah Diamond (Nacra 17)
Podium Squad Paralympic Classes:
Helena Lucas (2.4mR), Megan Pascoe (2.4mR), Alexandra Rickham-Niki Birrell (SKUD), John Robertson-Hannah Stodel-Steve Thomas (Sonar)
Podium Potential Squad Olympic Classes:
Peter McCoy (Finn), Ben Cornish (Finn), James Hadden (Finn), Hector Simpson (Finn), Lorenzo Chiavarini (Laser), Alex Mills-Barton (Laser), Martin Evans (Laser), Elliot Hanson (Laser), Jack Wetherall (Laser), Michael Beckett (Laser), Hannah Snellgrove (Laser Radial), Georgina Povall (Laser Radial), Ellie Cumpsty (Laser Radial), Rhiannon Massey (Laser Radial), Tom Squires (RS:X Men), Joe Bennett (RS:X Men), Connor Bainbridge (RS:X Men), Kieran Martin (RS:X Men), Sam Sills (RS:X Men), Ali Masters (RS:X Men), Imogen Sills (RS:X Women), Saskia Sills (RS:X Women), Noelle Finch (RS:X Women), Anna Burnet-Flora Stewart (470 Women), Amy Seabright-Anna Carpenter (470 Women), Katie Tomsett (470 Women), Kirstie Urwin (470 Women), Jess Lavery-Megan Brickwood (470 Women), Mike Wood (470 Men), James Peters (49er), Fynn Sterritt (49er), Ed Fitzgerald (49er), Chris Taylor-Sam Batten (49er), Jack Hawkins-Chris Thomas (49er), Kate Macgregor (49erFX), Vikki Payne-Steph Orton (49erFX), Tilly James-Alice Masterman (49erFX), Owen Bowerman-Morgan Peach (49erFX), Rupert White-Nikki Boniface (Nacra 17), Tom Phipps-Mary Rook (Nacra 17)
Podium Potential Squad Paralympic Classes:
Will Street (2.4mR), Carol Dugdale (2.4mR), John Brooker (2.4mR), Jonathan Currell (2.4mR), Craig Wood (2.4mR/Sonar), Steve Palmer (2.4mR/Sonar), Alex Hovden (SKUD)
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