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ILCA 7 World Championship presents crucial test for Team GB's Beckett

by British Sailing Team 23 Jan 18:03 GMT
Micky Beckett © RYA

What, where and when?

The ILCA 7 World Championship will take place in Adelaide, Australia, from January 26 until January 31.

Who?

The British Sailing Team is fielding three of its senior athletes: Paris 2024-selected Micky Beckett, plus Sam Whaley and Dan Whiteley. The British Sailing Squad athletes taking part are reigning under-21 world champion Fin Dickinson and James Percival-Cooke.

The lowdown

Hot on the heels of the ILCA 6 World Championship held earlier this month comes the battle for the ILCA 7 world title. Formerly known as the Laser, and one of the most sailed dinghies on the planet, the ILCA 7 is among the most hotly contested classes in the Olympics. This regatta promises to be no different, with 153 entries from 53 countries vying for the title.

All eyes will be on Micky Beckett, currently third in the world rankings, who was selected to be Britain's sole representative in the class for Paris 2024 last October. Beckett has been one of the most consistent performers on the circuit this cycle, and scooped silvers at the Paris 2024 test event and 2023 World Championship.

However, having had gold stolen on both occasions by nemesis and reigning Olympic champion Matt Wearn, Beckett will be looking to best his rival on home waters with only six months to go until Paris 2024.

Anything else?

Strength in depth has been a feature of the British Sailing Team's ILCA 7 squad for decades, and in 2024 that's no different. Sam Whaley and Dan Whiteley have proven they are capable of taking the fight to the world's best, while talented young guns Fin Dickinson and James Percival-Cooke are ones to watch heading into the LA 2028 cycle.

What they said:

Micky Beckett (Solva, Pembrokeshire): "Adelaide is a wicked place to sail, generally moderate to strong breezes and some quite tough sea states at times. We did some training here last year which gave us a bit of an idea what we're in for which should be really helpful. I'm really looking forward to this regatta - I enjoyed a break after an intense 2023 and now I can't wait to go again. I think this will be a big event to start a big year."

Sam Whaley (Swanage, Dorset): "Everyone wants to win the worlds, but even more so in the Olympic year. Micky has already been selected to go to Paris 2024 for us, but what a plot twist it would be if I pulled one out of the bag and won these worlds! Anyway, I'm currently opening many bags in the search for that. I'll let you know how that one went in a few weeks."

Fin Dickinson (Hayling Island, Hants): "I've been out here in Australia for a month now. We had the Australian nationals earlier this month which was a tricky event, I ended up in silver fleet but it was still an incredibly useful experience allowing us to try and get to know the venue better, and I've definitely started to understand it more especially in the last week. A few more days training followed by a rest day and then into the event!"

James Percival-Cooke (Wymondham, Norfolk): "I'm really looking forward to getting racing here in Adelaide. We had the Australian nationals here at the start of the month which was a real eye opener to the venue, there's a few features here that can do some pretty odd things to the wind at times so it's really good to get used to it early. A lot of the fleet have been out here since the start of the year too so it's been really good preparation to see how you mark up against your competitors ahead of the event. The conditions we've had here so far have been great and I'm sure it'll make for some interesting racing which kicks off in just over a week."

How do I follow the regatta?

The official website featuring results and the full entry list is up. 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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