With no time to bask in the sweeping success of their Six Medal haul at the Trofeo Princesa Sofía, the British Sailing Team will hit the road for the Semaine Olympique Française event in Hyères.
Logistics require the competitors in Palma, Mallorca to hit the road ASAP for the second major Olympic classes regatta with equipment to be presented for inspection in Hyeres from Friday 21 April and racing starting Monday 23 April.
Most countries are using these early Olympic class regattas as a selection process for the Olympic Test Event in Marseilles this July . . . which only allows one team per nation. The one entry in each class event has to be declared by 15 June 2023.
“Our team had some outstanding performances and, as always, some areas to work on in what will be a very important year with country qualification on the line and an Olympic Test Event coming up,” said British Sailing Team performance director Mark Robinson.
While the British Team took gold and silver podiums in six different class in Palma, there is hot competition for the British places at the Olympic Test Event and the mixed 470, men’s 49er, women’s 49erFX and ILCA 6 classes have still to demonstrate any clear-cut domination within the team.
As with Palma the added pressure of the rapid buildup for Paris 2024 has seen a very high take-up of the limited places for Hyeres, with almost 1,000 athletes from over 60 countries entered.
There will be a British presence in all ten classes with 40 dinghies and boards entered, down on the 60 at Palma, but involving all the top British Team members.
And straight after Hyeres there are European Championship events for the 470 in Italy and the iQFOil in Greece in May. Then all the Olympic classes meet again at the Allianz Regatta (May-June) in the Netherlands.
After Kieler Woche in June in Germany, for the selected few there will be the Paris 2024 Test Event, 7 to 16 July in Marseille mirroring the Olympic event organisation.
Another major event later this year will be the 2023 Allianz Sailing World Championships taking place off Scheveningen, in the Netherlands, from 10 to 20 August.
That event is also the primary qualification event for a country wanting to gain entry to the Paris 2024 Olympic Games, where the best sailors target World Championship glory and claim their countries Olympic qualification place.
In all this top class international competition there will be one small glimour for British Olympic sailing aficionados.
The Formula Kite Europeans are scheduled to take place in the Solent at Eastney – the beach at Portsmouth – from 16 to 25 September 2023.
And with the British team doing well in this new Olympic event, will provide a rare chance to see potential Olympic competitors performing in home waters.