2014 ISAF Sailing World Championships - The real deal?

The 2014 ISAF Olympic World Championships will be held in Santander, Spain starting 8 September. The combined worlds are held every four years and bring together all Olympic classes in a single competition. Santander 2014 will be the qualifier for Rio 2016. The British Sailing Team have qualified a minimum of four entries per event in what will be a preview of Rio 2016 - and a lot more competitive. It will be interesting to see if this is appreciated by British television and newspaper media and what level of coverage they give to it. Perhaps Ben Ainslie could make a well publicized "surprise" visit . . .

As always with sailing events, weather plays its part in deciding the outcome of the medals, depending on the particular strengths of competitors in the prevailing conditions. The British Sailing Team is well diversified, with a leaning towards stronger winds and medals can be expected in the men and women's 470, the Finn, 49er and men's RS:X, with the Laser and Radial as maybes.

The hardest to forecast are the two new events, the 49erFX and the Nacra17, where all competitors are improving with each event and no British crew has really claimed this as their own.

No doubt team manager Stephen Park will pitch his expectations on the low side, but it really is time for the British team to show that they can produce medals at the big events and justify the funds and resources lavished on them.

British Sailing Team for 2014 ISAF Olympic World Championships (P) Provisional entry
470, Men
Luke Patience and Elliot Willis
Mike Wood and Hugh Brayshaw
Robert Gullan and Sam Brearey
Ben Hazeldine and Rhos Hawes

470, Women
Sophie Weguelin and Eilidh McIntyre
Hannah Mills and Saskia Clark
Amy Seabright and Anna Carpenter
Anna Burnet and Flora Stewart

49er, Men
Dylan Fletcher and Alain Sign
John Pink and Stuart Bithell
Dave Evans and Ed Powys
Stevie Morrison and Chris Grube
Alex Tobutt and Stuart Appleby
Rory Hunter and Neil Hunter

49er FX, Women
Charlotte Dobson and Sophie Ainsworth
Frances Peters and Nicola Groves
Kate Macgregor and Katrina Best
Vikki Payne and Steph Orton

Finn, Men
Giles Scott
Ed Wright
Mark Andrews
Ben Cornish
Peter McCoy
James Hadden

Laser, Men
Nick Thompson
Alex Mills-Barton
Elliot Hanson
Martin Evans
Lorenzo Brando Chiavarini (P)
Michael Beckett (P)
Matt Reid (P)

Laser Radial, Women
Alison Young
Chloe Martin
Hannah Snellgrove
Georgina Povall
Ellie Cumpsty
Rhiannon Massey

Nacra 17, Mixed
Ben Saxton and Hannah Diamond
Lucy Macgregor and Andy Walsh
Pippa Wilson and John Gimson
Tom Phipps and Mary Rook
Alicia Clifford and Tom Bruton
Abby Zambinski and TBC TBC (P)

RS:X, Men
Nick Dempsey
Tom Squires
Joe Bennett
Kieran Martin
Ali Masters
Connor Bainbridge
Sam Sills
Brian Wilson

RS:X, Women
Bryony Shaw
Isobel Hamilton
Imogen Sills
Emma Wilson
Saskia Sills