The Paris 2024 Olympic Test Event isn’t just a dress rehearsal for the organisers, it’s a valuable benchmark for the sailors to see how they are performing against some of their likely competitors this time next year when racing at the Olympic Games in Marseille.
The rivalries at the top of each class can be dominated by the big sailing nations. Here we take a look at some personalities from other countries who may spring a surprise at the Paris 2024 Olympics…
Canada’s Sarah Douglass in the Women’s Dinghy
In fifth place overall was SSL Team Canada’s Sarah Douglas, who improved as the week went on.
“I’m happy to have pushed through this week,” said Sarah Douglas. “It didn’t start well but I continued to climb up the leaderboard. I came here quite fatigued and a bit burnt out from a very heavy training load and a lot of time spent out on the water these past months, with short periods of rest. But it’s great to see that I can push through, focus on the process and still put together some good races. Now, I will be able to get some well-deserved rest at home ahead of the 2023 World Sailing Championships next month.”
Marseille can serve up just about anything wind-wise, and that was borne out this week.
“We learned a lot about the venue and how it can keep you on your toes on the water,” pointed out Douglas. “The heat will be a significant factor for Paris 2024, so it was good to be able to run through our cooling strategies here. There are still some kinks for me, the Canadian team and the organizing authority to sort out, but that’s the point of a test event.”
Singapore’s Ryan Jun Han Lo in the Men’s Dinghy
Just outside the top ten in 12th overall was SSL Team Singapore’s Ryan Lo who qualified for Paris 2024 after winning the Mussanah Open in Oman in April. The 24-year-old is the second Olympian in his family after his sister Man Yi competed in the Women’s Laser Radial in Beijing 2008.
Japan’s Keiju Okada and Miho Yoshioka in the Mixed Dinghy
The 470 class moved from being separate men’s and women’s discipline at Tokyo 2020 to being the mixed dinghy for Paris 2024. This has resulted in a huge shake up in the teams, and some incredibly tight racing.
The home French team of Camille Lecointre and Jeremie Mion wrapped up the win ahead of Germany’s Malte Winkel and Anastasiya Winkel and Spain’s Jordi Xammar Hernandez and Nora Brugman Cabot, but just off the podium were SSL Team Japan’s Keiju Okada, together with crew Miho Yoshioka. Okada finished seventh in the Men’s 470 at Tokyo 2020, while Yoshioka finished fifth in the Women’s 470 at the Rio 2016 and seventh at Tokyo 2020, so this team has plenty of experience and are definitely contenders for the podium next year.
The final medal races are taking place today (Sunday) and we’ll bring you a wrap up of other SSL Team sailors who are pushing for the top.
Full results can be found at https://paris2024.sailing.org/paris-test-event-results-centre/