Olympics, the hunt to go to Paris continues: our report from Hyères


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470 Mix engaged in one of the Last Chance Regatta | © Sailing Energy / Semaine Olympique Française; April 23, 2024

Sunshine and a taut wind, though subject to large shifts in direction, also characterized the third day of racing at the
Semaine Olympique Française 2024
, which ended with a final water bomb to top it all off. As we reach the halfway point of the event, the hunt for slots for Paris 2024 continues, with considerable tension mounting where, as yet, the goal has not been reached. Tension undoubtedly heightened by weather that does not particularly cooperate, thwarting, at times, many of the efforts. Here is our report covering yesterday (23.04), complete with numbers, statements and atmosphere from Hyères.

French Olympic Week 2024

Third day of trials for many, not, however, for the ILCA 6 (QN), finally in their first tranche of racing. If, in fact, they had been the big absentees in the past few days (along with the Nacra 17 QNs, which will not race at all, to allow the athletes to train for the very close Nacra 17 World Championship), the 23rd was their “baptism,” with 3 races held. In short, the French event continues, bringing us deeper and deeper into the Olympic atmosphere that permeates the Base Nautique, more than ever filled with high expectations, anxiety and apprehension.

  • If you missed them, find the articles related to Day 1 and Day 2 here. Want to know the classes featured in the 2024 Olympics? We explain them HERE.
Nacra 17 during their trials in LCR © Sailing Energy / Semaine Olympique Française
April 23, 2024

SOF 2024: LCR, the fight for the Azure Olympic pass.

Still in the hunt for the Olympic pass, the situation on the Azure 470 LRC side is once again reversed, while still maintaining positive results. After two trials in a stiff wind, the third day of racing saw the previous day’s positions reversed, with Giacomo Ferrari and Alessandra Dubbini (ITA 3) returning first in the provisional, on the strength of two first place finishes. Passing provisional second are Elena Berta and Bruno Festo (ITA 6), first on day two, but fourth at the opening of the event. Equalized, however, is the current net score, which sees both crews with 8 points, after discards. They are followed by the Greek duo Spanaki/Spanalis (GRE 7), in provisional 3rd place with 23 net points.

The two 470 Azzurri in one of the LCR starts © Sailing Energy / Semaine Olympique Française; April 23, 2024

On the other hand, the provisional 49er LRC ranking sees the Azzurri athletes still in the Top 10, with Umberto Crivelli Visconti and Giulio Calabrò (ITA 88) in provisional 7th place while, Simone Ferrarese and Leonardo Chisté (ITA 23) move up a notch from the previous day, now 9th. Belgian crew Lefèbvre/Heuninck, now third, loses the lead in the provisional standings, undermined by German duos Stingele/Scheel (GER 21) and Meggendorfer/Spranger (GER 22), first and second respectively.

LCR 49er Start © Sailing Energy / Semaine Olympique Française
April 23, 2024

SOF 2024: QN, the Azure point of view

If the fight for the remaining Olympic passes in LCR continues, no less so are the trials among the already qualified nations (QN), where a mixed pool of Olympic and non-Olympic selectees clash daily. Here, the third day of SOF ’24 (like the second) does not offer the best of feedback on the actual abilities of the athletes, with scattered cards on the table and “surprises” in the rankings also due to weather: two days out of two the wind seems unwilling to stabilize, with sudden jumps in direction that, basically, can get in the way of even the best of strategies.

ILCA 7 QN © Sailing Energy / Semaine Olympique Française; April 23, 2024

A condition, this one, that is seen especially on the ILCA 7 course, witness the striking 30-degree wind shift in the day’s second trial. We talk about this with the coach of the blue men’s duo, who precisely points out that the (provisional) results, little reflect the work and preparation of the boys. In short, the performance is there but it is the context that affects it a bit. He himself is keen to emphasize this, pointing out that when looking at the individual components, trial by trial, the work done and the quality of the work are instead obvious and positive. The standard on the water, in short, is much higher than the numbers deceive, with great starts and rounds in excellent positions. Then, you know, sailing is such a sport, if the wind changes the field changes, and a previous reading may no longer be valid. But the gist of it all, and the important thing in the QN context, is to see that the quality is there.

ILCA 7 © Sailing Energy / Semaine Olympique Française; April 23, 2024

Dimitri Peroni (ITA 221118) reiterates, pointing out that under these conditions one cannot exactly find oneself in an ideal setting. Looking at his course, however, comparing it with past years as well, looking at the specific sections within the trials, eventually even he realizes the growth and quality present in the water. Lorenzo Brando Chiavarini (ITA 216159) also fits well into the discourse, which precisely emphasizes to us the duality of the context. On the one hand, the frustration of seeing one’s strategy and work nullified by sudden wind rotations, on the other, however, the satisfaction given by the awareness of one’s strengths, with a positive pace on the water and starts as desired-such as the second one of the day, where he crossed in front of the fleet, demonstrating a good reading of the field conditions at that stage. They close the day, the two, in 19th and 25th provisional positions respectively out of an ILCA 7 QN fleet of 68 boats.

iQfoil Women’s QN © Sailing Energy / Semaine Olympique Française; April 23, 2024

Linda Oprandi (ITA 4), on the other hand, more satisfied on the women’s iQfoil front, although, on this particular day, she was not feeling particularly well. In fact, he reports a good pace in some of the tests performed, then recognizing the high level of competition present in the QN category and, consequently, a morale not affected by the potential set-back due to the not exactly top conditions. Nineteenth her at the end of the day, 18th Sofia Renna (ITA 25).

iQfoil Women’s QN © Sailing Energy / Semaine Olympique Française

Finally present, the ILCA 6 class in QN records 3 trials today, offering us a first provisional ranking led by Australia, recording a first and second respectively by Casey Imeneo (AUS 210792) and Mara Stransky (AUS 208546). Third, however, was Dutch Marit Bouwmeester (NED 210407), while, Azzurra Chiara Benini Floriani (ITA 211961), recorded a provisional 18th out of 67 boats. Forty-ninth, on the other hand, was Giorgia Della Valle (ITA 212296), complicit in a BFD, already discarded, but making itself felt.

No matter what, however, there are still three days left. The games are still far from over…

First day of racing for ILCA Class 6 QN | © Sailing Energy / Semaine Olympique Française; April 23, 2024




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