Please select your home edition
Edition
Kilwell - 1

Semaine Olympique Francaise - A tough test for GBR sailors

by Lindsey Bell on 22 Apr 2012
Lucy Macgregor, Annie Lush and Kate Macgregor clinching the French Sailing World Cup women’s match racing title in 2011 - Semaine Olympique Francaise de Voile 2012 RYA http://www.rya.org.uk
Semaine Olympique Francaise de Voile, the ISAF Sailing World Cup second European stop, is being held in Hyéres, France from 22nd April to 27th April 2012. British sailing team manager Stephen Park believes this will provide a tough test for the small but select GBR contingent competing in the Olympic and Paralympic classes off Hyeres.

Skandia Team GBR has fielded its top sailors in just four of the ten Olympic classes, with 2012 picks Iain Percy and Andrew Simpson in the Star class and the women’s match racing trio of Lucy Macgregor, Annie Lush and Kate Macgregor among those expected to challenge for the podium spots, while GBR’s leading contenders in the 49er and Laser Radial classes will be also be in action and hoping to catch the eye of the RYA’s Olympic selectors, as crews for the 2012 Games in both of those events have yet to be named.

John Pink-Rick Peacock, Dave Evans-Ed Powys, Stevie Morrison-Ben Rhodes and Dylan Fletcher-Alain Sign will be aiming to impress in the 49er event at this French Olympic Sailing Week, as will performance squad sailors Charlotte Dobson and Alison Young who both finished inside the top ten in the Laser Radial class at the previous World Cup series event in Palma earlier this month.

In the Paralympic classes, the London-bound crews of Alexandra Rickham and Niki Birrell – four-time World Champions in the SKUD – and the multiple World Championship medal-winning Sonar trio of John Robertson, Hannah Stodel and Steve Thomas will use the World Cup regatta to build towards the Paralympic medal-winning efforts, while in the one-person 2.4mR event where the 2012 selection has still to be made, Helena Lucas and Megan Pascoe will be pushing for the podium.

'With just less than 100 days to go now to the Games, we’re really getting to the business end of the four-year cycle and this regatta is going to be incredibly competitive,' explained the RYA Olympic Manager Stephen Park.

'Many nations will be using this as part of their Olympic trials and indeed in the events that we’re competing in we would hope to be challenging for the podium. It is going to be tough – there’s no doubt about that. Everyone’s going to be on their best performances across all the countries, but hopefully we’ll be able to get a few people onto the podium by the end of the week.'

Skandia Team GBR crews in the Finn, 470 men’s and women’s events, RS:X men’s windsurfing and the top British performers in the RS:X women’s and Laser fleets have opted to skip this stage of the World Cup series and are focussing instead on domestic training.

For Star Olympic Champions Iain Percy and Andrew Simpson, the French Olympic Sailing Week provides a dual purpose in their preparations towards their Olympic title defence this summer.

'We’ve got to pick equipment for sure because we don’t want to be thinking about that late, but we’ve also got to do regattas – this period was in the diary to do competitions so that we’re sharper at competitions,' the 35-year-old Percy explained, who will compete with Simpson at the Star World Championships also in Hyeres shortly after this World Cup regatta ends (5-11 May).

'We made a lot of basic mistakes in Palma – racing mistakes and the reason we’re racing now is to iron these out, get savvier, get sharper, so Hyeres will be great for that, especially if it’s strong winds. In those conditions you’ve got to be on the ball, you’ve got to be sharp and alert and it will help us going forward into Weymouth. [Hyeres and the Worlds] and Skandia Sail for Gold in Weymouth for us are just about racing again.'

Skandia Team GBR development squad sailors Izzy Hamilton and Claudia Carney will also be in action in the RS:X women’s event, as will Alex Mills-Barton, Martin Evans, Jack Wetherall and Elliot Hanson in the Laser class.

Racing at the French Olympic Sailing Week in Hyeres will kick off on Sunday 22 April with the final medal races scheduled for Friday 27 April. Click here for the full line-up of Skandia Team GBR sailors competing in Skandia Team GBR website

Related Articles

Sailing in the Olympics beyond 2016 - A double Olympic medalist's view
Bruce Kendall takes a look at what he believes Sailing needs to do to survive beyond the 2016 Olympics. Gold and Bronze medalist and multiple world boardsailing/windsurfer champion, Bruce Kendall takes a look at what he believes Sailing needs to do to survive beyond the 2016 Olympics. A key driver is the signalled intention by the International Olympic Committee to select a basket of events that will be contested.
Posted on 29 Apr
From Olympic flag to Olympic Gold and maybe another
The Sydney Olympics was a Sailing double 470 Gold event for Australia. Having won the 420 World Championship in 2000, the feeder class to the 470, while still at school in Australia young Matt Belcher was given the honour of carrying the Olympic flag during the closing ceremony of the Sydney 2000 Olympics.
Posted on 28 Apr
The Road to Rio now 99 days short
The Road to Rio 2016 still has a few curves, bumps and potholes for teams battling to win. The Road to Rio 2016 still has a few curves, bumps and potholes for teams battling to win in Hyeres, at some World championship events and Weymouth World Cup but for many crews: 'It's 106 miles to Chicago we got a full tank of gas, half a pack of cigarettes, it's dark and we're wearing sunglasses.' Whoops wrong movie.
Posted on 28 Apr
America's Cup - Oracle Racing win in Court but with collateral damage
Oracle Racing have had another claim against them by a former crew member dismissed. Oracle Racing have had another claim against them by a former crew member dismissed. Mitchell focussed largely on the circumstances of the matter and introduced into the public arena some interesting documents to support his claims.
Posted on 23 Apr
An interview with Jake Beattie about the 2016 Race to Alaska
In 2014, Jake Beattie and a few friends envisioned the Race to Alaska. Now, it’s time this wild race’s second edition. In 2014, Jake Beattie-the executive director of the Northwest Maritime Center in Port Townsend, Washington, and a few friends hatched the bold idea of a human-powered race to Ketchikan, Alaska, took flight. They decided that their human-powered race would start in Port Townsend, Washington and run to Ketchikan, by way of the inside passage between Vancouver Island and British Columbia.
Posted on 14 Apr
Children of the Internet, Rio and Hong Kong
I have four daughters, the youngest, who in her mid 20's is a true child of the Internet. I have four daughters, the youngest, who in her mid 20's is a true child of the Internet. The kind of conversations I have with her run along these lines.... In the olden days we did not have television until I left school and they had a thing called print magazines, that reported events between two weeks and four months after they happened. And her sceptical response... Hoh! Daddy, Hoh!
Posted on 14 Apr
Go fast girls - 49er FX sailors Paris Henken and Helena Scutt
Paris Henken and Helena Scutt will be representing the USA at the Rio 2016 Olympics, which will be their first Olympiad. American’s Paris Henken (20) and Helena Scutt (23) recently won a berth to represent the USA at the Rio 2016 Olympics in the high-performance 49er FX skiff, a goal that the team has been working on for almost three years. While this is their first Games, writing them off as Olympic newbies would require ignoring their recent results and their strong teamwork.
Posted on 13 Apr
World Sailing Cup V3 - A Dead Rat in a Shoe or Spring Daffodils?
While a host of major sailing events go from strength to strength, the Sailing World Cup has very major issues. Last night my Irish better half was sitting beside me on the sofa watching an Australian version of the popular TV Cooking Program My Kitchen Rules on a tablet with her headphones while I was watching Diehard II for the seventeenth time (it’s a boy thing) on TV. She suddenly spluttered and laughed, took off her headphones and motioned for me to mute Diehard. (Seriously!!)
Posted on 9 Apr
Volvo Ocean Race appoints stadium racing pioneer as new CEO
Sail-World forecast the appointment of Mark Turner as Volvo Ocean Race CEO a month ago. We profiled Turner at that time. Sail-World forecast the appointment of Mark Turner as Volvo Ocean Race CEO a month ago. We profiled Turner at that time. Today his appointment has been confirmed.
Posted on 31 Mar
Large spectator fleet heading north for boat watching season
I’m absolutely not going to lay claim to the phrase, but it is insanely apt and hilarious all at the same time, however. I’m absolutely not going to lay claim to the phrase. It is insanely apt and hilarious, all at the same time, however. Well then, boat watching season is definitely upon us once more. The whales will soon be gathering again off the coast of Queensland to observe all manner of racing and cruising craft as they head North for a Winter in the sun.
Posted on 29 Mar
Southern Spars - 100Kilwell - 3Naiad