Around 90 Finn sailors are about to begin battle at the 2019 Open European Championship in Athens. It will be a truly Olympic fight in one of the most Olympic settings on the planet.
Also at stake are at least four places on the starting line at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.
The line-up of Finn stars says it all. Just about everyone who is anybody in Finn sailing will be taking part, either to test themselves against the best sailors in the worlds, or to scrap for one of those elusive four places.
Eight nations (including GBR) qualified for Tokyo 2020 at the Hempel Sailing World Championships in Aarhus last year. With the exception of Japan, which gets a place as host country, a total of 21 nations are here trying to qualify for Tokyo 2020.
In the warm-up event the winner was the current World Champion, Zsombor Berecz, from Hungary.
He will be one of the favorites next week, but with so many sailors training at the venue over the last month, it won’t be easy for him – or anyone.
The defending European Champion is Ed Wright, from Britain. After a successful 2018 season in which the 2010 World Champion narrowly missed out on his second world title, he is arguably sailing as well as he has ever done.
However to achieve his Olympic dream he has to get past Olympic champion, Giles Scott. And while Scott is not yet dominating the fleet in the way he did leading into Rio 2016, he has not shown any signs that he will make it easy for anyone else.
This will be Scott’s first Finn class championship since winning gold in 2016 and a very important one for selection to Team GB.
With light wind conditions on the cards, there will be a wide range of competitiors in with a chance of the 2019 title.
Including local hero Ioannis Mitakis, the 2012 bronze medalist Jonathan Lobert, from France, the 2017 World Champion, Max Salminen from Sweden, Alican Kaynar from Turkey, Facundo Olezza from Argentina, and Nicholas Heiner and Pieter-Jan Postma, from The Netherlands, who conclude their Olympic trials here.
Among the nations still looking to quaify for Tokyo 2020 are: the USA, Brazil, Croatia, Finland, France, Norway, Czech Republic, Spain, Poland and Germany.
Registration and measurement take place over three days from Friday 10 to Sunday 12 May, with the opening ceremony Saturday evening and the practice race Sunday afternoon.
The series will consist of 10 races from Monday 13 to Friday 17 May with the 11th race and medal race on Saturday 18 May.