Olympics, last call: we’re in Hyères to see who can make it

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Starting Class ILCA 7; 55th Semaine Olympique Française
© Sailing Energy / Semaine Olympique Française
April 21, 2024

French Olympic Week has officially begun, with all boats on the water to kick off the event. In a nutshell, with yesterday opened a 6-day regatta of the highest class, as well as the last chance to get one of the 66 remaining passes to participate in the Paris 2024 Olympics. In short, it is one of the monumental regattas for Olympic sailing, as well as a key event for all the athletes and female athletes who are not in the selection process but who, still, do not want and cannot give up that Olympic spot. As for the Azzurri, eyes are on the two classes yet to be conquered: 470 Mix and Men’s 49er. But the Semaine Olympique Française is also much more. Overall, the situation here in Hyères is delicate and the focus and concentration are sky-high Here, meanwhile, are the numbers involved and the structure of the entire event according to yesterday’s latest updates. At 11 a.m. today, the first start of the day, as of yet characterized by low pressure that still offers no clues as to its evolution.

French Olympic Week 2024

The Format is simple: the classes to compete are 10, 470 mix, Nacra 17; ILCA 6 and 7; 49er and 49er FX; Formula Kite (men’s and women’s) and iQfoil, in turn divided into men’s and women’s (we have outlined the different classes HERE). Ten classes, however, divided into two distinct categories in turn: QN and LCR, i.e., one category (QN) dedicated to the already qualified nations (Qualified Nations), and one for those who, still, seek their Olympic pass, i.e., the SOF LCR (Last Chance Regatta).

Giacomo Ferrari and Alessandra Dubbini (ITA 3) – Last Chance Regatta
© Sailing Energy / Semaine Olympique Française
April 21, 2024

SOF 2024: Last Chance Regatta

We start the day of April 21 by looking at the LCR Class, the one that holds perhaps the most special importance for the Blue Team, still in the hunt to qualify the 470 Mixed and the Men’s 49. On this front, starting with the 470 Mixed, the first two races of the Last Chance Regatta are promising, with the two crews occupying two of the top 4 places in the provisional ranking. The pair composed of James Ferrari e Alessandra Dubbini (ITA 3), in fact, ends the first day at the top , with a first place gained thanks to a second and a third position, which leads them, as of now, to have 5 points less than the second crew on the list, the Croatian duo SamarŽija-Scheidl, with 10 points accumulated. Provisional fourth place, however, for the second blue crew, consisting of Elena Berta and Bruno Festo (ITA 6), who end the day with 13 points, the result of a first and a twelfth place.

Elena Berta and Bruno Festo (ITA 6) – Last Chance Regatta
© Sailing Energy / Semaine Olympique Française
April 21, 2024

First place in provisional also for the duo composed of Umberto Crivelli Visconti and Giulio Calabrò (ITA 88) on the Men’s 49er front, followed by the Belgian (Lefèbvre/Heuninck) and German (Rieger/Heinrich) crews. Provisional 11th place for the other blue boat, Simone Ferrarese and Leonardo Chisté (ITA 23).

Simone Ferrarese and Leonardo Chisté (ITA 23) – Last Chance Regatta
© Sailing Energy / Semaine Olympique Française
April 21, 2024

SOF 2024: Qualified Nations (QN)

As for the QN front, the one concerning the Nations already Qualified for Paris, Italy does not present, on this occasion, all the classes and, above all -declares DT Michele Marchesini- instead deploys young crews, while those already selected, in part, will be engaged in dedicated preparation sessions.

Participating in the Semaine Olympique Française 2024 QN, then, as far as the Azzurri are concerned, are the men’s and women’s iQfoil classes; the ILCA 6 class; and, finally, the ILCA 7.

iQFOIL (F) – Linda Oprandi (ITA 4) on return after 3 trials held

Starting with our women’s iQfoils, Linda Oprandi (ITA 4) places a provisional 16th, out of three trials held, with Sofia Renna (ITA 25), on the other hand, in 20th. Leading the provisional, Zheng Yang (CHN 37), followed by Mariana Aguilar Chavez Peon (MEX 28) and Maja Dziarnowska (POL 7). On the men’s iQfoil front, however, Manolo Modena (ITA 27) ended the first day of practice in 27th place. Provisional first place, however, to Australian Grae Morris (AUS 81).

iQfoil (QN) – © Sailing Energy / Semaine Olympique Française

Nothing to report, however, on the ILCA 6 and ILCA 7 front, which remained grounded. Here, representing Italy in QN, Chiara Benini Floriani and Giorgia Della Valle in ILCA 6, Lorenzo Chiavarini and Dimitri Peroni in ILCA 7

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