Britain started the shortened 2017 World Sailing Cup series with a satisfying number of medals at the first event in Miami last week.
Laser Bronze for Lorenzo Chavarini GBR - Click image for a larger image
With two gold, three silvers and a bronze they seem well set for the European events to come. It is worth putting those results in context.
The Miami event featured some small entry levels despite the references to "the new Olympic cycle". Dinghy sailing is very Olympic centered and after the Rio Games a lot of the top crews had other priorities.
Either involved in other events - the America's Cup has drawn off a considerable number of the big names - or getting on with their lives outside the Olympic classes, before coming back into the series when it returns to Europe.
In the Nacra17, winners Saxton and Groves were 9th in the Rio Games and only one other (Bora Gulari USA) of the twenty teams in Rio was present in Miami.
Simlarly in the 49er event the winner Dylan Fletcher was 6th in Rio. None of the five who were ahead of him in Rio were present in Miami. In fact, only two other Rio crews were competing in Miami.
Some crews will have had problems with funding so soon after the last Games and a long trip to the USA could not be justified.
With a permanently funded squad Team GBR had over 30 competitors in Miami. Although a fair percentage of those were new to this level of competition, you would expect the Rio Olympic squad competitors to show their ability . . . and they did.
This 2017 fill-in series will wrap-up with Hyeres in April and then the Santander Final (late June/ early July), before the next full World Sailing Cup series starts with Japan in Oct 2017.
For the 2020 Olympics the first important regatta will be the Sailing World Championships in Aarhus, Denmark from 30 July to 12 August 2018, with 40% of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games nation quotas places available across the ten Olympic events.
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Gerald New - Sailweb
30 January 2017 14:21 GMT