PORTLAND-based reigning Olympic champion Hannah Mills alongside crew Eilidh McIntyre will look to seal their second consecutive major regatta win at the 470 class European Championships this week.

Mills and McIntyre face off against the world’s best in San Remo, Italy, for the week-long competition buoyed by their recent gold medal at the Princess Sofia Trophy regatta in Palma, Mallorca.

The duo, who paired up in 2017, dominated racing in Palma in April and sealed the win by storming home ahead in the medal race, but are under no illusions about the challenge they will face in San Remo.

Mills said: “We are really excited about the Europeans.

“The competition is going to be incredibly difficult with many countries using this event as part of their Olympic trials so no one will be giving an inch on the water.

“We will be going there to put down our best possible performance and will be putting pressure on ourselves to win.

“Practising this mentality before the Olympics is crucial experience for us as a team.

“The lessons we learn from events like this are hugely important in our journey to Tokyo 2020.”

Among those lining up in the stellar fleet will be French arch rivals Camille Lecointre and Aloise Retornaz, as well as Spanish threats Silvia Mas Depares and Patricia Cantero Reina.

McIntyre, whose father Michael won gold in the Star class at the 1988 Olympics, said she and Mills were preparing for all eventualities when racing got underway yesterday, with the regatta due to finish a week later.

McIntyre said: “It’s supposed to be a tricky venue with classic light Mediterranean Sea breezes and some interesting chop, but you never really know what you’re going to get – it’s sailing after all.

“There’s no doubt in my mind that it will be a close regatta but looks like a wicked venue and we should have a good fight on our hands.”

Fellow Brits Amy Seabright and Anna Carpenter will look to bounce back from a tough start to the year with a strong result in San Remo.

The men’s fleet will be equally hotly contested, with London 2012 silver medallist Luke Patience on the hunt for another medal with crew Chris Grube after clinching bronze at Princess Sofia.

Fellow Brits Martin Wrigley and James Taylor are targeting a top-ten finish after a string of impressive results at recent regattas.

Follow the British Sailing Team’s social media channels throughout the event for the latest news.