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GJW Direct 2020

British Sailing Team descends on The Hague for Sailing World Championships

by British Sailing Team 7 Aug 17:26 BST 11-20 August 2023
British Sailing Team descends on The Hague for Sailing World Championships © British Sailing Team

What, where and when?

The Sailing World Championships is a multi-class regatta that takes place once an Olympic cycle. In 2018 the Danish city of Aarhus held the regatta, and now it's the turn of Dutch capital The Hague to play host, with the action taking place in the beach resort of Scheveningen. Racing starts on August 11 and finishes on August 20.

Who?

Unlike the Paris 2024 test event that saw only one entry per class per nation, the Sailing World Championships is open to multiple entries in each class - and that means huge fleet sizes. More than 1,400 of the world's best sailors will descend on The Hague for the regatta, including over 60 British Sailing Team and British Sailing Squad athletes. The full British Sailing Team contingent can be found here.

The lowdown

The second of two major regattas this summer, the Sailing World Championships promises to be massive. It's the first time that nations can qualify for a spot on the start line at next year's Olympics. And just to up the ante even more, many nations are still in the process of choosing their Paris 2024 team, so performance on the waters of The Hague is absolutely critical. Para sailing also makes a welcome return to the Sailing World Championships in The Hague, with Britain fielding three para sailors: Emily Wright, Adam Billany and Rory McKinna.

Ones to watch

All eyes will be on our Paris 2024 test event medal-winning athletes. Micky Beckett will be out to right the wrongs of Marseille, when he was forced to settle for second place despite leading the ILCA 7 fleet for most of the week. Likewise Emma Wilson will be a strong contender for the world title in the iQFOiL fleet off the back of her silver in Marseille. And after getting so close to gold last month, could this now be the moment for kiters Ellie Aldridge and Connor Bainbridge to come out on top? It's not just about those that went to the test event however. Those athletes not picked for the test event but still vying for a place in Team GB next summer will be out to prove to selectors that they're the right sailors for the job. The likes of Elliot Hanson (ILCA 7), Matilda Nicholls (ILCA 6), Matt Barton (iQFOiL) and Katie Dabson (Formula Kite) will be looking to upset the apple cart when racing starts.

Anything else?

In the mixed 470 keep an eye out for the return of two-time Olympian Chris Grube, who's coming out of retirement to sail with Vita Heathcote. Grube called time on his impressive Olympic career after finishing fifth at Tokyo 2020 alongside Luke Patience. He's since become a dad for the second time - which could explain his move back into Olympic campaigning! Special mention also goes to the Dutch organising committee for their 'patriotic' naming of the course areas. Highlights include Windmill, Tulip, Pancake and - best of all - Cloggy.

Quotes

Elliot Hanson, ILCA 7: "I've had some consistent performances at the worlds over recent years but also fell a race short of medalling several times since 2018 which has been frustrating. You always set out to win each event but the ILCA 7 worlds is the one everyone will be attempting to turn up on their best form. Throw in the added spice of qualifying the nation, this will usually be the most hotly contested Worlds of the cycle. I haven't actually raced since April so I feel my form is a little unknown but I know what to expect and look forward to getting stuck in."

Steph Orton, 49erFX: "It feels like we've been training for this worlds for a really long time the multi class worlds and worlds before an Olympic year are always a big one and we can't wait to get out there now and get racing! We've been there a few times now and every time we've had it all wind, tide, rain mega waves, we do love some wavy sailing! It really could be anything but we are really looking forward to that challenge."

Matt Barton, iQFOiL: "Super excited for the upcoming world championships in The Hague. As the first multi-class worlds in five years as well as the first opportunity to qualify your nation for the Olympics it's set to be an incredible regatta. The Hague offers such a variety of conditions which should make it a really challenging regatta. I'm feeling prepared and ready to get started."

Daisy Collingridge, ILCA 6: "I attended the last combined worlds in Aarhus in 2018, and it was my first event as part of the British Sailing Team. Five years later on I'm really excited to attend this event again. I can't wait to get back on the race course and see where the work I've put in over the summer will leave me on the leaderboard."

Katie Dabson, Formula Kite: "This will be my first big event since Hyeres in April and I'm really excited to get back out on the race course and see what I can do. Everyone has definitely stepped it up a notch this year and the fleet is getting more and more competitive but after finishing so close to the podium last year (4th) I'm determined to make it up there this time around."

How do I follow the regatta?

The official website featuring results and the full entry list is allianzsailingworlds.com, and the event will be live-streamed for the four medal race days (August 17-20). If you want to track the progress of the Brits the best place to do so is the British Sailing Team social media channels. Each day we will keep you posted on results, and feature the best photos the event has to offer.

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