BRITAIN’S sailors will aim to continue their strong start to the 2020 Olympic cycle as round two of the World Cup Series hits the French Riviera this week in Hyeres.

Among the 45 British Sailing Team athletes in action across the 10 Olympic classes on the Cote d’Azur are two different British 49er crews to have topped the podium at the first two international events of the year.

Olympians Dylan Fletcher and Stuart Bithell cemented their new partnership with gold in Miami, while James Peters and Fynn Sterritt took a maiden senior international victory in Palma to Fletcher and Bithell’s bronze.

For the RS:X windsurfers, the 470 fleets and the Finn class, the World Cup event in Hyeres serves not only as competition in itself, but also as a forerunner to their European Championships which are taking place in Marseilles (RS:X and Finn) and Monaco (470) in mid-May.

Ben Cornish, winner of the silver medal in Miami, is one of the younger guard of Finn sailors looking to make their mark in this new Games cycle.

Cornish is joined in the heavyweight men’s dinghy event by British Sailing Team stable-mates Ed Wright, a former world champion, plus Peter McCoy and Henry Wetherell.

Weymouth-based Izzy Hamilton, Youth world champion Emma Wilson and Imogen Sills will be in action in the RS:X women’s windsurfing event, with Tom Squires, Joe Bennett and Daniel Wilson set to race in the men’s fleet.

In the 470 women’s division, Amy Seabright and Anna Carpenter and Jess Lavery and Flora Stewart will be looking for a solid week ahead of their European Championship test, with young talents Martin Wrigley and James Taylor and Harvey Martin and James Bishop continuing their development in the 470 men’s event.

World champion Alison Young, who is based on Portland, will fly the flag in the Laser Radial fleet along with Georgina Povall, while there will be a strong British line-up in the men’s Laser event including double world champion Nick Thompson, Palma silver medallist Elliot Hanson and Miami bronze medallist Lorenzo Chiavarini looking to be in the mix.

Among the contenders in the Nacra 17 multihull fleet will be Miami gold medallist Ben Saxton racing alongside Steph Orton, Miami silver medallists Tom Phipps and Nikki Boniface, and John Gimson and Anna Burnet.

The 49erFX fleet will see three British boats in action with relatively new crew combinations in Weymouth-based Charlotte Dobson and Saskia Tidey, Kate Macgregor and Sophie Ainsworth and Megan Brickwood and Eleanor Aldridge looking to consolidate their partnerships.

Competition gets underway today and culminates in medal racing on Saturday for the 49er, 49erFX, Nacra 17, RS:X Men and RS:X Women’s events, and on Sunday for the Laser, Laser Radial, 470 Men, 470 Women and Finn.


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