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RYA Olympic Selection: Tokyo

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    Posted: 02 Sep 19 at 1:39pm
So, just gone are what you might think were two pivotal regattas for Olympic selection both being held in Enoshima:
- the first Sailing World Cup of 19-20 

This cycle we are seeing some really great battles to be top Brit. Although, the 470 and Finn have seemed nailed on with returning medalists showing great form through the quad (Hannah Mills, Eilidh MacIntyre, Patience + Chris Grube, Giles Scott). 

I don't follow the windsurfing so much but it looks like a changing of the guard this quad with the main intrigue between Bryony Shaw and Emma Wilson... but with Bryony not in Japan for the World Cup it seems that may be solved.  

However, the real battles have been in the Nacra, 49er, FX , Radial and Laser. 

In some ways it's a bit disappointing not to know the selection criteria. Gone are the days of the 'selection event', which really would be cool from a fan perspective, although I can see it's maybe hard to recreate the challenge of a Olympic regatta on home waters. 

Yet reading between the lines of attendees at the 2020 Test Event and then Enoshima World Cup it would appear some of the campaigners in these very close run selection processes have been given the nod. 

Which got me thinking... why do the RYA push to select so early? Is having a fierce selection right to the end of the quad not the best way to ensure best chance gold?  Or have the RYA made the decision that they get a better result by throwing more resources behind one team from further out, even at the risk of that team isn't the 'form' team come the event? 

I encourage all your wildest speculation on the RYA's master plan, your picks for Olympic success and rumours for what the secret squirrel training regime that the RYA are so eager to get their candidates in to from so far out!


Edited by mozzy - 02 Sep 19 at 1:43pm
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Post Options Post Options   Quote JimC Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02 Sep 19 at 2:26pm
They do announce when people get the nod. The trouble with a selection at the end is your sailors peak for the trial not the event. It used to be done that way, and it didn't work.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Guests Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02 Sep 19 at 3:03pm
Well, for Rio the first names got announced officially in September. So if they're following a similar program then you'd imagine the shoe in's at least will be announced shortly. 

Giles (Finn), Mills & McIntyre (470W) both got medals in the test event and have been consistent podium placing throughout the quad with little competition from within GB. Neither stayed on for the world cup just a couple of weeks later. So presumably job done? 

Patience and Grube haven't had such an amazing run this quad. But still had their moments and it's hard to see who else would go. They also sat out the following world cup after competing in the test event. 

But then you have the tighter run selections... The Nacra has been neck and neck between Saxton and Boniface and Gimson and Burnet. So much so the Brits had two spots at the test event coming 3rd and 2nd respectively following a Europeans where Gimson and Burnet also narrowly came out on top. Both teams stayed on for the world cup, suggesting selection was still very much on with Saxton and Boniface finishing 2nd and Gimson and Burnet 5th. I'd imagine selection must continue to at least the worlds this winter for the Nacra (NZL). 

Then you have the Radial. Alison has been pushed hard and was selected for the one spot at the test event.  Alison didn't medal there and subsequently stayed on for world cup where she was joined by Hannah Snellgrove and Georgine Povall.  Alison got a bronze at teh world cup. Is that would be enough to ensure selection?

The Laser seems very open. Thompson, Hanson, Beckett, Chiavarini have all had their moments this year.  Hanson got the nod for the test event, but didn't have his best regatta. Thompson was top Brit at the world cup last week, but not a medal. This must be going on right in to next year. Could they leave it right up to the World Cup in Enoshima next June though? 

The 49er FX has been really close between the Sophie's and Dobson + Tidey.The later picking up a medal at the euros in May, then another medal at the test event... and then they chose to sit out the world cup. The Sophie's also aren't competing at the world cup... so has a decision been made here? If selection was still on it's hard to imagine the selectors not wanting you to do a world cup at the Olympic venue?

Similar story in the 49er... Fletcher Bithell were beaten by Peter Sterritt at enoshima last year and at the worlds. But then Fletcher Bithell have been pretty much faultless this season at the events they've attended and got the nod for the test event ahead of Peters Sterritt. It's worth pointing out here that James and Fynn haven't had a bad year, 3rd at the euros, world ranked number 1. Fletcher Bithell picked up a silver at the test event, then went home before the world cup... again, if they haven't been given the nod, then it would seem weird to miss the world cup a couple of weeks later which you would imagine if selection still was open would be a key event... which then Peters and Sterritt subsequently won in absence of the other top British team.

I just can't think that a team fighting for selection wouldn't try to prove themselves at Enoshima World cup.

Anyway, some fascinating battles for Olympic spots.   


Edited by mozzy - 02 Sep 19 at 3:06pm
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Post Options Post Options   Quote L192444 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02 Sep 19 at 3:36pm
Originally posted by mozzy

 
However, the real battles have been in the Nacra, 49er, FX , Radial and Laser. 

You need to take another look - in the Radial Ali Young has been bossing it all the way ... less so in the other classes you quote.

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Post Options Post Options   Quote Guests Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02 Sep 19 at 5:21pm
True, she's always been top dog, but Ali has been beaten by Hannah at enoshima last year, then had a few mediocre events at the start of this year. So up until this summer it wasn't impossible to imagine a situation where hannah put in a few top tens and maybe a podium and was a big challenger. But really since the Europeans Ali's had great form, so yeah, she is kinda bossing it now.

The 470 men and women, plus the finn all have top teams who have won Olympic medals and, I believe haven't been beaten by another brit this quad. 


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Post Options Post Options   Quote L192444 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02 Sep 19 at 5:35pm
Iím not sure you should be describing Ali as top dog ...

I think Ali has been ahead in almost all events bar the odd one or two. 

Plus she has won a worlds and significant podium spots. The clear front runner. 
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Post Options Post Options   Quote L192444 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02 Sep 19 at 5:46pm
Also look not only the the overalls but the points gaps between Ali and Hannah. Big difference in performance. 
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Guests Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02 Sep 19 at 5:50pm
So you wouldn't describe her as top dog, but you would say she's the clear favourite? Don't they mean the same?




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Post Options Post Options   Quote L192444 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02 Sep 19 at 5:57pm
Iím not sure many women welcome being called dogs ...
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Guests Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02 Sep 19 at 6:42pm
I'm pretty sure Alison is clever enough to appreciate context and work out the difference between the sporting cliche of top dog versus under dog as opposed to 'dog' as an insult, so my conscience is clear.

I think Alison would be more concerned that I didn't peg her as a 'shoe in' though. No offence intended as I'm sure many women don't like being called shoes. 

However, Alison has struggled in the light and even took to the 200 feet to improve some of her tactical sailing ahead of Rio and post London. Hannah only (re)turned pro last year through crowdfunding and impressively took 4th in Enoshima. Hannah's regatta results seem less skewed to any particular wind condition; so at that stage, if the rumours of a light wind tokyo were true and Hannah continued to take big steps forward going full time then it was serious threat to Alison's chances... but then Ali had a great summer this year and it seems almost done an dusted. 

However, Ali did turn up to the world cup when many of the other test event sailors didn't. Maybe she just wanted the extra experience at the venue?


Edited by mozzy - 02 Sep 19 at 6:45pm
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