John Gimson and Anna Burnet have been selected to represent Britain in the Nacra 17 at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.
The selection trial concluded with them taking fourth at the 2019 World Championships, adding to the silvers they won at the Ready Steady Tokyo test event and the 2019 European Championships.
Ben Saxton and Nicola Boniface finished two points and two places behind their British Olympic selection rivals in what had been a closely contested battle for the Team GB place.
The pair will make their Olympic debut on the waters of Enoshima, when the Games kicks off on July 24 – six months to the day.
Gimson’s Team GB nod comes after 15 years of campaigning Olympic classes in the UK alongside a host of professional sailing ventures to fund his dream.
His career has seen him race everything from 470 dinghies to Tornado catamarans, as well as having experience with the Artemis Racing team in 34th and 35th America’s Cups.
“It’s been a long journey but I’ve always had an inner belief that if I could put everything together and also get a bit of a break I could go to the Games. This is the first real opportunity I’ve had in the right boat, being the right size and sailing with the right person.”
“It’s amazing to finally put an end to the trials process and focus our attentions fully on Tokyo 2020. We’re going to the Olympics to win a medal for sure.”
Burnet, the niece of legendary New Zealand yachtsman Sir Peter Blake, added:
“When Mark told us we’d been selected it took a while to sink in, and then half an hour later I burst into tears. It’s been such a long process to get to this stage that it still hasn’t fully sunk in.”
“Now it seems like the Olympics is coming round fast and we’ve got so much to do, but I can’t wait to be part of it.”
Gimson and Burnet will compete at the Nacra 17 Oceania Championships (30 Jan) as a warm-up event for the 2020 World Championships in Geelong, Australia, in February.
Of the ten Olympic sailing classes, only the Laser men’s single-hander representative is yet to be announced.
Expect this to be after the Laser Worlds taking place at Melbourne from 11 February . . . although seeing how the Nacra17 selection announcement was timed?
The 14 selected sailors are:
- Giles Scott: Finn (Men’s One Person Dinghy Heavy)
- Hannah Mills and Eilidh McIntyre: 470 Women (Women’s Two Person Dinghy)
- Luke Patience and Chris Grube: 470 Men (Men’s Two Person Dinghy)
- Charlotte Dobson and Saskia Tidey: 49erFX (Women’s Skiff)
- Dylan Fletcher and Stuart Bithell: 49er (Men’s Skiff)
- Alison Young: Laser Radial (Women’s One Person Dinghy)
- Emma Wilson: RS:X Women (Women’s Windsurfer)
- Tom Squires: RS:X Men (Men’s Windsurfer)
- John Gimson and Anna Burnet (Mixed Nacra 17)