The Olympic circuit arrives in Amsterdam >> Scuttlebutt Sailing News

Amsterdam will host more than 400 of the world’s best sailors and riders in nine Olympic disciplines during the 2022 Hempel World Cup Series at the Allianz Regatta.

The competition takes place from May 31 to June 5 at two sites. Almere will host all five ‘boat’ classes while further north Lelystad will be the base for the four brand new foiling classes which have been introduced for the Paris 2024 Olympics.

There is a real sense of excitement around the new events on the Olympic sailing schedule, not just for the gravity-defying spectacle of flying over 30 knots above the surface, but for the radical racing formats that bring more excitement to the last day of competition.

Asian countries – India in particular – are well represented in some of the more technical events. The Dutch Olympic Regatta has always attracted great international participation, and now with the move of the traditional Medemblik venue closer to Amsterdam, there is a drive to bring the thrill of Olympic competition closer to the public.

The Hempel World Cup Series at the Allianz Regatta is part of a brand new initiative called Dutch Water Week, the aim of which is to expose the public to the world of water sports and encourage more people to get involved in the sailing and other water activities.

Even the non-sailing public will be delighted to watch the foiling classes race close to shore at Lelystad. Sheer speed and athleticism are easy to understand and enjoy, whether you’ve sailed before or not.

In the iQFOiL category, the Netherlands have two of their most famous stars from the previous Olympic cycle. Three-time RS:X World Champion Lilian de Geus competes in iQFOiL windsurfing in the women’s fleet and Tokyo 2020 Olympic champion Kiran Badloe also switched from low RS:X windsurfing to high-flying iQFOiL in the women’s fleet. men. fleet.

In the other new foiling class, the Formula Kite, a number of young riders have just taken part in the U21 World Kitefoiling Youth Championships in Sardinia. Bronze medalist at the Senior World Championships last year, Riccardo Pianosi (ITA) also won bronze at the Youth World Championships, showing how teenager talent operates at world level in this still very new discipline.

Pianosi will be among the favorites alongside fellow teenager Tiger Tyson from Antigua and French great Benoit Gomez who won silver two months ago in the opening round of the Hempel World Cup series at Palma, the Trofeo Princesa Sofia.

Kitesurfers include Under-19 World Sailing Champion Gal Zukerman (ISR) and fellow Israeli Maya Ashkenazi who took silver last week at the U21 World Kitefoil Championships, as well as Frenchwoman Heloise Pegourie whose bronze shows she is improving rapidly race by race.

The Allianz Regatta has attracted a large number of entries from Asia, including classes where Asia has not been so well represented in the past. India, for example, has commitments in the Nacra 17 foiling catamaran fleet as well as the 470 Mixed.

The 470 fleet has entries from as far away as Japan, Korea, Thailand, Malaysia and Australia. However, the team to beat is Spanish, Tokyo 2020 Olympic bronze medalist and SailGP skipper Jordi Xammar, crewed by Nora Brugman. This new duo dominated the first round of the Hempel World Cup Series in Palma two months ago and will be hard to beat at this regatta.

Another dominating performance from the Trofeo Princesa Sofìa in March was that of Canadian sailor ILCA 6 Sarah Douglas who will start as one of the favorites in this hot fleet. Having become a mother for the first time earlier this month, multiple world and Olympic medalist from the Netherlands, Marit Bouwmeester, is temporarily absent from the competition. It is therefore up to Maxime Jonker and the rest of the Dutch team to leave their mark on national waters.

Others to watch include Maria Erdi of Hungary, Vasileia Karachaliou of Greece and reigning world champion of Belgium, Emma Plasschaert.

The ILCA 7 World Championship having just ended in Mexico, there is no ILCA 7 fleet competing at the Allianz Regatta. However, Rio 2016 ILCA 7 (Laser) Olympic Champion, Australian Tom Burton, switched to the 49er and together with his crew, Simon Hoffman is looking to adapt to high-speed double-handed single sculls competition as quickly as possible. .

Another Olympic champion from Rio is Sime Fantela (CRO) who won the 470 gold in 2016 and just two years later his brother Mihovil won the 49er World Championships in 2018. The Croatian brothers are part of the strong 49er squad in Amsterdam with local favorites and reigning world champions from the Netherlands, Bart Lambriex and Floris van der Werken.

The Dutch hold the world titles in both single sculls categories, and Odile van Aanholt and crew Annette Duez will be tough to beat on home soil. After trying out with a few different crews over the past two years, van Aanholt is thrilled to team up with her former rival for Olympic selection on a permanent basis.

“I’m very happy that we’re teaming up,” van Aanholt said. “I really believe in Annette and I as a team, the intuition is good. We won the first World Cup of the year which is a good start, but we also noticed that there was a lot of room to improve. There are less than two and a half years left before the Games, so not very long. We are looking forward to the challenge!

However, there is plenty of talent to give this dynamic duo a run for their money, including strong Italian crews. Jana Germani and Giorgia Bertuzzi took bronze at the Trofeo Princesa Sofìa in March and will try to prevent the Dutch from repeating their victory in Palma.

Odile van Aanholt predicts delicate and difficult navigation in the new site. “It’s going to be very sneaky and bloated, no boring stable stuff!” she laughed. “It will be great for single scull sailing and of course for us in the Netherlands, it is always nice to race so close to home, when friends and family can visit us and see what we are doing. think we’re going to have a lot of fun.”

May 31-June 4: ILCA 6, 470 Mixed, Nacra 17, 49er, 49erFX
June 1 to June 5: Formula Kite Women, Formula Kite Men, iQFOIL Women, iQFOIL Men

Event detailsList of entriesFacebook

2022 Hempel World Cup Series:
April 4-9 – Hempel World Cup Series Palma (Princess Sofía Regatta), Spain
May 31-June 5 – Hempel World Cup Series Amsterdam (Allianz Regatta), Netherlands
TBC – Hempel World Cup Marseille, France

The Hempel World Cup Series is the definitive annual circuit for the world’s best sailors and Olympic hopefuls. Reflecting the Olympic style of sailing in terms of format, duration and fleet size, the World Cup Series visits prestigious venues around the world at all stages of the four-year Olympic cycle, supporting athletes in their quest to qualify for the Games and connecting fans with the sport’s best sailors.

Source: Andy Rice

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