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Youth Olympic Games qualification window opens

by Daniel Smith, World Sailing on 17 Jul 17 July 2017
Techno 293 Plus Worlds fleet © Patrik Pollak

The qualification window for the Buenos Aires 2018 Youth Olympic Games (YOG) has opened after the Techno 293 Plus World Championships kicked off in Brittany, France this weekend.

More than 160 sailors from 31 countries have registered for the Techno 293 Plus Worlds as they bid to book their nations spot on the Men's and Women's Windsurfer start line at the 2018 YOG.

Follow the latest news from Brittany at worlds2017.plus.techno293.org.

The Buenos Aires 2018 YOG will feature exactly 100 sailors aged 15-18 sailing across five events from 1-13 October 2018.

The Men's and Women's Windsurfer, remains on the YOG programme after memorable competitions at the Singapore 2010 and Nanjing 2014 editions. However, for Buenos Aires the Techno 293 Plus is being used in place of the standard Techno 293. The Techno 293 Plus has a bigger rig that allows for the wider age range of sailors in Buenos Aires.

Buenos Aires will see the introduction of innovation within the sport with Men's and Women's Kiteboarding, IKA Twin Tip Racing and a Mixed Multihull, the Nacra 15, added to the programme of events to provide thrills and spills at YOG itself and qualification events.

At Buenos Aires 2018, the Windsurfer fleets will sail slalom and fleet racing courses whilst the Kiteboarding fleets will race on short track boarder cross with obstacles on the racing area. The Nacra 15 sailors will qualify for Buenos Aires 2018 on the standard boat however, a unique Flying Nacra 15 will be introduced for the YOG itself. The Nacra 15s will sail fleet racing courses close to the shore.

The Flying Nacra 15 will be a unique boat supplied at the YOG. The boat will not be a fully foiling Nacra 15 and will not be available for teams to train on before the YOG itself. The Flying Nacra 15 will slot between the standard boat and a fully foiling boat. Teams that qualify for the YOG will be able to train in the Flying Nacra 15, and receive coaching, in Buenos Aires between the opening of the YOG Athlete Village and the start of the competition.

Getting to YOG is an achievement in itself as sailors have to earn the right and qualify their country at key international regattas.

The first opportunity for the Techno 293 Plus sailors to qualify is at worlds where six of the 24 spots available in each of the Men's and Women's Techno 293 Plus fleets are on offer. The second opportunity falls at a sailor's continental qualification event.

The South American qualifier will take place in Peru later this year with the Oceanic following in Brisbane, Australia in January 2018. Mexico will play host to the North American qualifier in February 2018 with Japan hosting the Asian qualifier in March. European sailors will have the final qualification opportunity at a venue to be confirmed in April 2018.

The Kiteboarding qualification process will commence at the turn of 2018 with the North and South American qualifier taking place in Cabarete, Dominican Republic, 15-20 January 2018. The African and European qualification will follow in Dakhla, Morocco from 20-25 February 2018 with the Asian and Oceanic qualifier taking place from 12-18 March 2018 in Pranburi, Thailand. The 2018 World Championships will take place in Shanwei, China, 10-15 April 2018 and this will act as the final opportunity for the kiteboarding sailors.

African and European sailors will have the first opportunity to qualify for the Nacra 15 fleet at their qualification event in Medemblik, the Netherlands from 21-27 October 2017. The North and South American qualifier will follow in Miami, USA from 18-20 November. Queensland, Australia will welcome Oceanic and Asian hopefuls from 10-14 January before Barcelona, Spain hosts the 2018 World Championships from 22-28 April.

In total, there will be places for 88 sailors through the qualification system with the host country automatically qualifying six athletes, one in each boat. Six further Universality Places will be made available to eligible National Olympic Committees.

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