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Paris 2024 Test Event, IC37 national championships, J/22 NA news

by David Schmidt 18 Jul 2023 18:00 BST July 18, 2023
Daniela Moroz smiles in the bronze position at the Paris 2024 Test Event alongside winner Lauriane Nolot (France) and Ellie Aldridge (GBR) © Sailing Energy

While large swaths of the USA, Europe, and China are grinding through one of the hottest summers on record, thanks at least in part to the start of the El Nino cycle, the Olympic cycle is hoving closer into view. Case-in-point: this past week marked the Paris 2024 Test Event (July 9-16), which unfurled on the waters off of Marseille, France.

As its name implies, the event is intended to help the venue work out any logistical kinks, while also allowing the sailors to speed check against their rivals ahead of the Paris 2024 Olympics (July 26-August 11).

Racing took place in the men's and women's windsurfing, men's and women's kite, men's and women's dinghy, men's and women's skiff, mixed (sex) dinghy, and mixed multihull events.

The USA managed to land in the Top Ten in six events, but only Daniela Moroz, racing in the Women's Formula Kite class, earned a medal for her third-place finish. Stephanie Roble and Maggie Shea, racing in the 49er FX class, finished in fourth place; Stu McNay and Lara Dallman-Weiss, racing in the Mixed 470 class, took fifth place; Ian Barrows and Hans Henken, racing in the 49er class, finished in sixth place, and Erika Reineke, racing in the ILCA 6 class, as well as Sarah Newberry Moore and David Liebenberg, racing in the Nacra 17 class, finished in tenth place.

Meanwhile, Sarah Douglas, Canada's always-fast ILCA 6 sailor, earned a fifth-place finish in the women's dinghy event. (To fans of Olympic sailing, it will come as no surprise that Marit Bouwmeester [NED] won this event.)

For Moroz, this third-place finish earned her nomination for the US Sailing team, however her next job is to qualify the USA for the Women's Formula Kite event at the Paris Games. Her next opportunity to do this will unfurl at the Sailing World Championships (August 10-20), which will take place off of The Hague in the Netherlands.

"The goal this week was getting on the podium to secure the Team USA nomination, and I'm proud of the work my team and I put in to get it done," said Moroz. "I'm excited and honored to be one step closer to representing USA at the Paris 2024 Olympics, and I've got my sights set on country qualification in The Hague next month. Racing on Olympic waters this week was really valuable, and I'm hungry to come back and get the result I know I can achieve."

While Moroz is on the pace and is likely the American-flagged team's best shot at an Olympic medal at next Summer's Games, it's fair to say that the rest of the U.S. team need to step up their game ahead of next year's Olympics if there's any chance of celebrating a second (or third) medal.

Sail-World wishes all Olympic-class athletes of all flags great luck in their training efforts ahead of next year's Games.

Much closer to home waters, the IC37 fleet has enjoyed another year of competitive racing on the waters off of Newport, Rhode Island, and this past weekend marked the 2023 IC37 National Championship, which was hosted by the New York Yacht Club.

After five races, skipper Steve Liebel's New Wave posted an unassailable scorecard of 1-2-1-4-1, which was enough to beat skipper Chris Lewis' Qubit by 16 points; John Lovell's Southern completed the Top Three with a total of 26 points, which was one point north of Qubit.

"The focus was to always get off the line, do well off the line, get the boatspeed up and do very minimal maneuvers," says Marcus Eagan, who served as New Wave's tactician. "We had one race where we didn't do very well, but we were able to get a clear lane and get out. We just kept it simple, very conservative, with good starts."

Finally, last weekend also marked the J/22 North Americans, which took place off of Kingston, Ontario. After seven races, skipper Glenn Darden and his Baby Doll crew earned top bragging rights, followed by Travis Odenbach's Honey Badger and Michael Gemperline's Defiance.

"There should never be a quiet moment on the boat; constant information was key from the front to the back," said Baby Doll's Min Min Kelly, in an official event release.

We're guessing that there was plenty of chatter happening on Baby Doll, given their 6-3-1-1-1-2 regatta scorecard.

Looking ahead, this coming weekend marks the start of the world-famous Rolex Fastnet Race, the 690-nautical mile biennial offshore event that rounds the iconic Fastnet Island. While this race needs no introduction to serious sailors and dedicated readers of this newsletter, sailors can always use good luck, especially on this challenging course, and Sail-World extends our best wishes to all competitors for a safe, fun, and fast passage over these historic waters.

May the four winds blow you safely home.

David Schmidt North American Editor

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