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Brits set for World Cup Series in Hyeres

The British sailing team continue with a mix of rising talents, new pairings and seasoned campaigners for round two of the World Cup Series.

The second, and final event, of the 2017 World Cup Series hits the French Riviera this week in Hyeres (25-30 April).

After this event the series will finish with the Finals in Santander from 4 June.

Among the 45 British Sailing Team athletes in action across the ten Olympic Classes are 2016 Olympians Dylan Fletcher and Stuart Bithell who cemented their new partnership with gold in Miami

While James Peters and Fynn Sterritt took a maiden senior international 49er victory in Palma to Fletcher and Bithell’s bronze.

Competitors in the RS:X windsurfers, 470 fleets and the Finn class will be using this event as a warm-up to their European Championships in Marseilles (RS:X and Finn) and Monaco (470) in mid-May.

Ben Cornish, winner of a Finn silver medal in Miami, 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."

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 and Anna Carpenter, and Jess Lavery and Flora Stewart will be looking for a solid week ahead of their European Championship test.

In the men's 470 two Rio 2016 medallists are on the start line. Australia's Mat Belcher and Will Ryan took Olympic silver and Greece's Panagiotis Mantis and Pavlos Kagialis the bronze.

So a tough event for young GBR talents Martin Wrigley and James Taylor, and Harvey Martin and 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.

They will face Radial Rio 2016 champion Marit Bouwmeester (NED) and London 2012 medallist Evi Van Acker (BEL) together with Vasileia Karachaliou (GRE) who won in Miami.

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.

Again a high quality Laser fleet, including, Matt Wearn (AUS), Pavlos Kontides (CYP). Philip Buhl (GER), plus Australia's Tom Burton, Croatia's Tonci Stipanovic and New Zealand's Sam Meech will all be on the start line looking to add to their summer Olympic medals.

In the Nacra 17 the Brits will face the return of four-time World Champion Billy Besson, now with new crew, Amélie Riou (no relation to former crew Marie Riou).

Among the GBR contenders in the Nacra 17 multihull fleet will be Miami winner Ben Saxton and Steph Orton, Tom Phipps and Nikki Boniface, and John Gimson and Anna Burnet.

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.

They will face the darlings of Brazilian sailing, Martine Grael and Kahena Kunze. With Olympic gold and a win at the World Cup Series Miami they will be favourites again.

The World Cup Series in Hyeres adds an invitational kiteboarding event, with British racer Connor Bainbridge in the line-up spearheaded by France's World Champion Maxime Nocher. Nocher.

In the 2.4mR Paralympic class Will Street will be in action, with France's Damien Seguin the stand out name in the event.

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.

The medal races will be the normal Olympic format, the trials with various formats that took place in the Palma event are not continued in the World Cup Series.

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