The NZL Sailing Team are gearing up for the northern hemisphere season with the entire sailing team flying to Europe over coming weeks and a container of equipment already docked in Barcelona.
Over the coming six months the calendar is full of Olympic class sailing regattas building towards the pinnacle event of the year – the ISAF Sailing World Championships, being raced off Santander, Spain in September.
Kicking things off this month and next are two ISAF Sailing World Cup’s European regattas where many of the world’s Olympic campaigners will congregate.
'Every campaign on the NZL Sailing Team has put in a lot of work both on and off the water through the New Zealand summer. It’s been a great domestic season,' says Jez Fanstone, High Performance Director. 'We’re looking forward to putting it all into practice at the opening regattas of the European season.'
ISAF Sailing World Cup, PALMA, Spain (Princess Sofia Regatta) Racing dates: 31st March – 5th April, 2014
ISAF Sailing World Cup, HYERES, France (Semaine Olympique Francaise) Racing dates: 21st – 26th April 2014
August and September are key months in the 2014 calendar for the NZL Sailing Team with the Olympic Games Test Event on in early August providing the team a ‘trail run’ opportunity at the 2016 Olympic sailing venue. 2014 ISAF Sailing World Championships where all ten Olympic events will be racing for World Championship glory and Olympic national qualification.
'The ISAF World Champs in September is the big one in 2014 for the NZL Sailing Team because it’s our first opportunity to earn national qualification for the 2016 Olympic Games in each event. Then you add in the fact that the 2014 World titles are on the line as well,' says Fanstone.
Olympic Games Test Event, Guanabara Bay, RIO, Brazil (Aquece Rio - International Sailing Regatta 2014) Racing dates: third – 9th August 2014 Note: Just two boats per nation can compete in each class
2014 ISAF Sailing World Championships, SANTANDER, Spain All ten Olympic events racing for World Championship glory and Olympic qualification Racing dates: 12th – 21st September 2014
In May and June the EUROSAF Champions Sailing League cranks up with four regattas at four different European venues…
EUROSAF Champions Sailing League, LAKE GARDA, Italy (Fraglia Vela Riva) Racing dates: seventh – 11th May 2014
EUROSAF Champions Sailing League, MEDEMBLIK, Netherland (Delta Lloyd Regatta) Racing dates: 20th – 24th May 2014
EUROSAF Champions Sailing League, WEYMOUTH, United Kingdom (Sail for Gold Regatta) Racing dates: second – 6th June 2014
EUROSAF Champions Sailing League, KIEL, Germany (Kieler Woche Regatta) Racing dates: 21st – 25th June 2014
EUROSAF Champions Sailing League, LA ROCHELLE, France Racing date: October 2014
European Championships Regattas for each of the Olympic classes are staged separately and feature mostly through May, June and July.
Fanstone notes that these regattas are very well attended; 'These European Championship regattas attract a full strength entry list from around the world. They provide a great opportunity to prepare for the World Championships because the fleets have both quantity and quality.'
Finn European Championship, LA ROCHELLE, France Racing Dates: fifth – 10th May 2014
Laser (Laser Radial) European Championship, SPLIT, Croatia Racing dates: seventh – 14th June 2014
RS:X Men’s and Women’s Championship, CESME, Turkey Racing dates: June 30th – July 5th
49er and 49erFX European Championship, HELSINKI, Finland Racing dates: eighth – 13th July, 2014
470 Men’s and Women’s European Championship, ATHENS, Greece Racing dates: 10th – 15th July, 2014