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World Sailing: Olympic Single hander trials underway in Valencia

by World Sailing/Sail-World.com/nz 12 Mar 19:58 PDT 13 March 2019
Devoti D-Zero - Day 2- Single handed Dinghy Trials - Valencia, Spain © Michele Tognozzi - FareVela.net

Sea Trials for the selection of Equipment for the Paris 2024 Olympic Sailing Competition Men's and Women's One Person Dinghy Events commenced on 11 March in Valencia, Spain.

Real Club Náutico de Valencia is hosting an Evaluation Panel and sailors through to Friday 15 March. During the sea-trials, sailors will sail and test the four boats shortlisted during the Re-evaluation procedure. These include:

D-Zero, presented by Devotti Sailing s.r.o. Laser Standard and Laser Radial sailboat, presented by ILCA Melges 14, presented by Melges Boat Works Inc., NELO and Mackay Boats Ltd. RS Aero, presented by RS Sailing.

Sailors from nine nations are in Valencia, testing the boats. World Sailing invited Member National Authorities to put forward male sailors with a weight range of 75kg to 90kg and female sailors in the 55kg to 70kg weight range.

Sailors at the sea-trials include:

Ash Brunning (AUS) Guillaume Boisard (FRA) Pavlos Kontides (CYP) Stepan Novotny (CZE) Christian G. Rost (DEN) Ben Childerley (GBR) Anna Munch (DEN) Sarah McGovern (GBR) Fatima Reyes (ESP) Tania Elias Calles (MEX) Mafalda Pires de Lima (POR)

Sailors will sail the boats on a daily basis, testing them in a variety of conditions in Valencia, providing the Evaluation Panel with feedback on items such as performance.

Melges 14 Video

Representatives from each boat will also be invited to present to the Evaluation Panel on universality, measurement, quality control and cost.

It is not know whether all boats will compete in a combined fleet race so that relative speeds can be evaluated.

Since the concept of trials to select Olympic classes was used, particularly since the late 1960's the fastest boat has alway been selected with the exception of the Soling from the three man keelboat trials after the longer Etchells won, but the 26ft long Soling was nominated.

See video below of the Devoti D-Zero hitting 17kts downwind in a fresh breeze

Michele Tognozzi was at the trials for FareVela.net and filed his impressions of Day 2

The second day of the Single handed Olympic Trials at the Real Club Nautico of Valencia continued on Day 2 in lighter winds of 8-10 knots in the late morning, then dropped to 5-6 in the afternoon before veering left with a little chop. The was more waves than wind.

Day 1 was held in fresher breezes but with a similar impression of relative performance with the Devoti D-Zero ahead of the Melges 14.

On Day 2 World Sailing continued in its unusual technical choice to not to bring together the four different classes and the tests continued in groups of four boats of the same class. The morning was dedicated to testing reduced rigs for the women's boat, and the afternoon for bigger rigs for the men. Separate sessions were held for each class.

The rig sizes on Day 2 for women's rigs, ranging between 7 and 7.4 square meters for RS Aero, D-Zero and Melges 14. The Laser Radial has 5.7 sq meters.

The visual impression, with light wind and wind, were good for the D-Zero and the Melges 14, which had a similar speed in upwind and better in the downwind for the D-Zero, due to the smaller wet surface and the better ergonomics 'of the helmsman's position.

For a Day 1 report and overview from FareVela click here

Video of RS Aero

About the Equipment Selection Process

World Sailing launched the tender process in May 2018 which invited Class Associations and Manufacturers to tender for the Men's and Women's One Person Dinghy following World Sailing's Olympic Re-evaluation Policy, detailed in Regulation 23.6 and approved by World Sailing's Council at the 2017 Annual Conference in Mexico.

Click here to view the tender document.

World Sailing received eight compliant bids and the D-Zero, Laser Standard and Laser Radial, Melges 14 and RS Aero were shortlisted as being those who closely mirror the technical criteria for the event - easy to sail, shared hull dinghy monohull with different rig sizes for male, female and youth sailors.

Following shortlisting, in Phase 2, World Sailing undertook site visits to the manufacturers to confirm the submitted information, after which an improved bid was requested from each of them to address the supply of equipment to major events, the accessibility to the market by new builders and the standardization of equipment amongst different builders.

The Board's Re-evaluation Working Party reviewed the bids and recommended to World Sailing's Board of Directors that World Sailing should proceed to select new equipment with the additional recommendation that the existing equipment (Laser/ILCA) is included as a full option in the process. The recommendation was approved at World Sailing's 2018 Annual Conference. Click here Click here to view the Re-Evaluation Board recommendation to Council.

Following the Sea-trial phase, World Sailing's Council will select the Equipment in 2019.

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