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Paris 2024 Olympic Test Event at Marseille, France - Day 8

by World Sailing 16 Jul 10:48 PDT 9-16 July 2023

The Netherlands closed out the Paris 2024 Test Event with a pair of gold medals to build momentum less than a month out from contesting the Allianz Sailing World Championships on home waters.

Odile van Aanholt and Annette Duetz set the ball rolling with victory in the 49erFX, with Bart Lambriex and Floris van de Werken clinching their gold in the 49er class straight after.

Elsewhere, Gigi Ugolini and Maria Giubilei (ITA) claimed gold in dramatic fashion in the Nacra 17, while Nicolas Goyard gave France a fourth gold later in the day in the iQFOiL men in unusual circumstances.

And in the iQFOiL women, Sharon Kantor (ISR) maintained her flying form in the latter stages of the regatta with victory in the final.

Dutch dominate 49er and 49erFX

The chances of a pair of Dutch golds in the 49er and 49erFX were already high heading into the medal races, and the two crews lived up to the billing.

Odile van Aanholt and Annette Duetz had a little more to do going into the medal race, but the withdrawal of Vilma Bobeck and Rebecca Netzler because of injury changed the dynamic of the race.

Van Aanholt and Duetz, the reigning world champions, proceeded to finish second in the medal race to wrap up gold by 30 points from Brazilian pair Martine Grael and Kahena Kunze, with the Swedes just hanging on for bronze ahead of Stephanie Roble and Maggie Shea (USA).

And while there were mixed feelings at the absence of their rivals and training partners, Bobeck and Netzler, Duetz was still delighted at the performance.

She said: "It's quite sad because the Swedes who were second were injured. Unfortunately, they needed to go out and focus on their recovery. But we still wanted to put a good race down and we did that."

Van Aanholt added: "We're super happy. We went into it very well but you always want to end it well and we certainly did that so we are two very happy girls."

In the 49er, Bart Lambriex and Floris van de Werken simply needed to avoid disqualification to secure gold, but they finished with a flourish by winning the medal race.

The pair will now look to make it a hat-trick of world titles next month, and a year out from the Olympics, Van de Werken was thrilled to have mastered the conditions in Marseille.

He said: "We're happy to do well in Olympic waters and we're happy that we know what we need to do well to execute our game plan well. Technically and strategically, we got a lot of knowledge this week."

The silver medal went to French pair Erwan Fischer and Clément Péquin, a remarkable achievement considering the latter needed an operation on a torn meniscus earlier this year and only returned to the water a month and a half ago.

Switzerland's Sébastien Schneiter and Arno de Planta took the bronze.

Italians pay tribute to French boatbuilder for Nacra 17 success

Gigi Ugolini and Maria Giubilei (ITA) had French team boat builders Laurent Tournier & Olivier Hecking to thank for their victory in the Nacra 17 after a crash on Saturday had almost ended their hopes of victory.

A collision with a Swedish crew left the Italians with a broken hull that required a French boatbuilder to work through the night to ensure the boat was ready to go for the medal race on Sunday.

Giubilei explained: "We broke the hull and last night the French team was working on it. They did a beautiful job and we thank them for that. Today we were able to sail pretty well.

"It was quite a lot of damage and we didn't know if they were going to be able to solve it in one night. But they did it so we thank them a lot."

After the boat was fixed, the duo took the win in the medal race, while Finland's Sinem Kurtbay and Akseli Keskinen could only finish ninth, meaning that the Italians leapfrogged them to take gold by five points, with John Gimson and Anna Burnet coming third in the medal race to take the bronze.

Goyard delivers final French gold in iQFOiL Men final

The drama continued in the iQFOiL Men, with Nicolas Goyard taking the victory in the most unusual circumstances.

Having waited patiently for the quarter-finals and semi-finals, Goyard was joined by Nicolo Renna (ITA) and Sebastian Kordel (GER) in the final.

However, Renna received a black flag disqualification for an early start at the first attempt to start the final. That left Goyard and Kordel, with both then going too early in the second attempt, leaving all three men disqualified.

As a result, Goyard took the gold by virtue of finishing the ranking races first, while Kordel took silver for winning the semi-final with Renna in bronze.

While it was the first time he had ever been involved in such a finish, the Frenchman was still ecstatic at adding another gold to the home collection.

He said: "It's a really good feeling to win the Test Event, I'm super happy with that and the week, and all the work I've been putting in place before. I've improved a lot."

The iQFOiL Women final was not quite as dramatic, with Sharon Kantor (ISR) getting the better of Emma Wilson (GBR) in the battle for the gold, with Sara Wennekes (NED) making her first international podium with bronze.

Kantor said: "I feel super happy. I did a really good job today. All the week was super hard for me. I'm just glad to be here and super happy to be the first one.

"I was a bit stressed but I know my ability so I just pumped a lot and wanted to be the first one. I think it's good, I like a good fight. In the finals we had a fight so I'm super happy."

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