Portugal continues as the Mecca of International dinghy sailing events with the 470 European Championships starting this weekend in Vilamoura, Portugal.
Following on the Finn Europeans and the 470 Worlds plus various Olympic qualification events, Portugal will host the 470 Europeans from 30 April – 7 May and the Finn Gold Cup from 8 to 12 May.
As with the 470 Worlds, while Olympic selected competitors will race in the separate men and women’s events, the biggest fleet will be for the newly popular Mixed Crew event.
Newly popular because it is a Mixed Crew 470 event that will be used at the Paris 2024 Games – taking the class back to its Olympic roots.
It was as an Open Event that the 470 was selected for the 1976, ’80 and ’84 Games, before being split into separate men’s and women’s events from the 1988 Seoul Olympic Games onwards.
Note that when an open event, no mixed crew featured on the medal podium, and it was not until the 1984 Games in Los Angeles that a mixed crew actually took part . . . when Britain’s Cathy Foster helmed with crew Pete Newlands, winning a race and finishing seventh overall.
Thus while Britain has its two Olympic Team GB crews entered in the men and women’s events, the biggest British entry is in the Mixed Crew event, with four British Sailing squad crews entered.
Of course we now have to wait on the new Alternative Olympic Event list, demanded by the IOC, to see if the Mixed 470 stays or perhaps gets split back to men and women’s events for Paris 2024!
Provisional British entry for the 2021 European Championships.
GBR – 1 Hannah Mills and Eilidh McIntyre
GBR – 4 Luke Patience and Christian Grube
GBR – 55 Martin Wrigley and Alexander Hughes
GBR – 11 Vita Heathcote and Ryan Orr
GBR – 7 Amy Seabright and James Taylor
GBR – 875 Freya Black and Mmarcus Tressler
GBR – 889 Georgina Povall and Arran Holman