The RYA has announced the British Sailing Team for the Paris 2024 Olympic test event.
The Paris 2024 test event runs from 9 to 16 July 2023, and is a dress rehearsal for the next Games with only one entry per nation in each of the ten classes as per the actual Paris 2024 event
It’s also a key performance indicator in the run-up to Paris 2024, especially critical this year as Britain will be sending a relatively inexperienced squad . . . only four of the fourteen selctions have competed at the Olympics before.
British Sailing Team for Paris 2024 Olympic test event
- Nacra 17 Mixed – John Gimson* and Anna Burnet*
- iQFOiL Women – Emma Wilson*
- iQFOiL Men – Sam Sills
- Formula Kite Men – Connor Bainbridge
- Formula Kite Women – Ellie Aldridge
- ILCA 6 Women – Hannah Snellgrove
- ILCA 7 Men – Micky Beckett
- 49er Men – James Peters and Fynn Sterritt
- 49erFX Women – Saskia Tidey* and Freya Black
- 470 Mixed – Martin Wrigley and Bettine Harris
* competed at previous Olympics
Selection for the Test event doesn’t guarantee that these athletes will be picked to represent Team GB at the Paris 2024 Games.
But at the last two Olympics, of the ten crews selected for the final test event, 90% went on the compete at the Games.
Following the Paris Test Event will be the Allianz Sailing World Championships in Holland, the Formula Kite Europeans in Portsmouth, UK, and the 49er, 49erFX and Nacra 17 Europeans in Portugal, which should confirm the final British Sailing Team for Paris 2024.
Mark Robinson, the RYA’s Performance Director, said: “Attending the Olympic test event is always a key milestone in one’s Olympic campaign journey and these 14 athletes, through their recent performances, thoroughly deserve that opportunity.”
“With a number of equipment and class changes for Paris 2024 we have selected a great mix of up-and-coming performers alongside seasoned campaigners at the highest level.”
Britain has an enviable record in recent Olympic sailing events, with one of the best financed and organised squads in the world.
But as Robinson has pointed out, the the combination of recent retirements and the change to classes being used at the Paris Games – dropping the Finn, two RSX events and the women’s 470 event, while introducing two kite foil events and two foiling board events – has changed the look and feel of the sailing competition.
The Paris Test event will indicate just how far the British Sailing Team – both the athletes and the coaching process – have adjusted to the new formats and organization culture, with few of the new events having the traditional sailing club background.
A trend that is likely to accelerate as the IOC pushes for broader, popularist events to appeal to a wider media audience.
New events have featured in both the Summer and Winter OLympic events as technology and popularist trends widen the definition of sports.
This has presented a challenge for sailing with its historic Governing Body – World Sailing – top-heavy, old style committee structure, which is very dependent on the Olympic Games for much of its revenue.
In the last round of equipment (classes) changes prior to the Paris Games it had to agree to IOC requirements, but finds the selection used at the Games drifting away from that associated with racing at sailing clubs that it ultimately represents.
This has led to a situation with almost all Olympic class racing taking place outside the UK and very rarely at British sailing clubs, and the RYA having to advertise for athletes from other sports to join their Olympic sailing squad.
As British sailing’s National Governing Body (NGB) the RYA works with the British Olympic Association (BOA) to determine the athletes who will represent Team GB at the Olympics.
Sailing at the Paris 2024 Olympic Games begins on 28 July 2024 and runs through to 8 August 2024.
All events will take place at the Marseille Marina.