Enoshima, Japan (August 26, 2019) – Racing is set to begin at the 2020 Hempel World Cup Series Enoshima. Over 490 of the world’s best sailors, representing 46 countries will begin racing at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 venue in Enoshima, Japan.
This event comes on the heels of the Ready Steady Tokyo Sailing Olympic Test Event that concluded on August 22, and is expected to be a harder event to win based on larger, competitive fleets with more than one sailor per nation on the starting line. Racing is scheduled to take place on the same racing areas as the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games and the event will be a real indicator as to who will be in contention for medals in just under one year’s time.
The U.S. will have 19 entries, with athletes representing the country in all fleets, except the Women’s RS:X. Five US Sailing Team athletes will have the momentum of a recent top-ten finish at that event on their side.
Stu McNay (Providence, R.I.) and Dave Hughes (Miami, Fla.) placed fourth in the Men’s 470 fleet, Erika Reineke (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.) finished eighth in the Laser Radial fleet, and 49erFX athletes Stephanie Roble (East Troy, Wisc.) and Maggie Shea (Wilmette, Ill.) finished tenth overall.
In addition to the athletes that represented the U.S. at the recent Test Event, several American sailors arrived early to Japan to log some extra practice at the venue. Nacra 17 athlete, Ravi Parent (Sarasota, Fla.), is among the many athletes who chose to take advantage of the extra training time in Japan.
“We chose to train through the Test Event in order to learn from the racing, gain familiarity with the venue and conditions, and acclimate to the heat and humidity,” said Parent. “Our U.S. Nacra boats were able to connect with some other countries to train during Test Event racing. We’re looking forward to reconnecting with the full international fleet.”
Parent is racing with fellow U.S. campaigner, Charlotte Mack (Miami, Fla.) this week. While this will be Mack’s first regatta in the Nacra, she is no stranger to Olympic class boats. She can usually be found on the racecourse in a 49erFX. This week, she is replacing Caroline Atwood (Killingsworth, Conn.) who usually crews for Parent, but is currently recovering from an injury.
During their time in Japan, Mack and Parent have been working hard to get comfortable in the boat and at the Olympic venue. Mack acknowledged that while the Nacra has a steep learning curve, she is grateful to carry her high-performance racing experience in the FX, “The FX is also a high-performance boat, so there’s a decent amount that I can bring from that class into the Nacras, but everything obviously happens a lot faster in this boat.”
For most of the athletes, this will be the last event before a long break between regattas. “Our next big event after this week is the Hempel World Cup Series Miami, in January. Until then, it’s preseason training, so we’re looking forward to continuing to train in a racing setting,” said U.S. Women’s 470 skipper Atlantic Brugman (Winthrop, Mass.). “We’re also really excited to get another opportunity to sail at the Olympic venue to learn more and get more practice in racing scenarios here.”
As well as a fight for Hempel World Cup Series Enoshima glory, the regatta also acts as the Asian Olympic qualification event in the Finn class. China’s He Chen, Hong Kong’s James Dagge and Iran’s Ahmad Ahmadi are the three sailors fighting for the single spot and will do battle in a 25-boat fleet.
Strength in depth is present throughout the fleet so it’s unlikely the trio will be in the hunt for medals but they will no doubt be keeping a close eye on each other in their bid to qualify their country for Tokyo 2020.
Hungary’s Zsombor Berecz, 2018 World Champion and winner of Ready Steady Tokyo, will be the overwhelming favorite having successfully conquered on the waters last week. Nicholas Heiner (NED) clinched a medal at Ready Steady Tokyo so knows what it takes to perform on Tokyo 2020 waters. Jake Lilley (AUS), Jorge Zarif (BRA), Tom Ramshaw (CAN), Alican Kaynar (TUR), Caleb Paine (USA) and Luke Muller (USA) will also be focusing on achieving a podium finish.
Hempel World Cup Series Enoshima is the Men’s and Women’s 470 their third consecutive event in Enoshima. They concluded their World Championships earlier this month and moved straight into Ready Steady Tokyo.
In the Men’s 470 fleet, 2019 World Champions and Ready Steady Tokyo winners Mat Belcher and Will Ryan (AUS) are aiming for a hat trick of victories. Jordi Xammar and Nicholas Rodriguez (ESP) and Anton Dahlberg and Fredrik Bergström (SWE) joined the Australians on the podium at both events and will want to overthrow them. In total, 32-teams will take to the starting line and this is bolstered by eight Japanese teams who are fighting to go to the Olympic Games.
Hannah Mills and Eilidh McIntyre (GBR) won the Women’s 470 World Championship and Camille Lecointre and Aloise Retornaz (FRA) clinched the Ready Steady Tokyo honors. Both teams have opted out of a third consecutive event. Japan’s Ai Kondo Yoshida and Miho Yoshioka, already selected for Tokyo 2020, will lead the charge and are joined by strong teams from Australia, China, Spain, Germany, Italy, Japan, New Zealand, Switzerland the USA.
The Laser fleet will be the largest in Enoshima with 51 entries. Jesper Stalheim (SWE), Tom Burton (AUS) and Hermann Tomasgaard (NOR) demonstrated at Ready Steady Tokyo that they have the skillset to succeed on Sagami Bay. They will race on Olympic waters again but will be joined by a large Laser squad from Australia, Great Britain, Japan and New Zealand. Elliot Hanson (GBR) clinched the title one year ago and will line up again. 2018 medalists Matt Wearn (AUS) and Sam Meech (NZL) also return.
In the Laser Radial, 49 sailors are primed and ready. Emma Plasschaert (BEL) won gold at Ready Steady Tokyo and has sights set on another victory. Rio 2016 gold medalist Marit Bouwmeester (NED) and bronze medalist Anne-Marie Rindom (DEN) will also race.
Further contenders in the Laser Radial include 2018 World Cup Series Enoshima silver medalist Josefin Olsson, Alison Young (GBR), Maria Erdi (HUN) and 2019 Hempel World Cup Series Champion Viktorija Andrulyte (LTU).
Italy’s Ruggero Tita and Caterina Marianna Banti have been the ones to beat in the Nacra 17 and that was confirmed when they won gold at Ready Steady Tokyo last week. However, just one year ago at the World Cup, they fell one point short, losing out to Jason Waterhouse and Lisa Darmanin (AUS). Both teams will race from Tuesday onwards.
They will be joined by strong compatriots. Tita and Banti have been locked in a qualification battle with Vittorio Bissaro and Maelle Frascari over recent months. Both Nacra 17 teams have consistently hit the podium and their national selection could go down to the wire. Meanwhile, Australia’s Nathan and Haylee Outteridge as well as Paul Darmanin, brother of Lisa and cousin of Jason, and Lucy Copeland will go up against Waterhouse and Darmanin.
The 49er and 49erFX fleets will feature 37 and 36 boats respectively.
The 49er top three from 2018 all return. James Peters and Fynn Sterritt (GBR) clinched gold ahead of Logan Dunning Beck and Oscar Gunn (NZL) and Lukasz Przybytek and Pawel Kolodzinski (POL) last year and all will be looking for a repeat performance.
In the 49erFX, the 2018 podium also return. Gold medalists Martine Grael and Kahena Kunze (BRA) took the Ready Steady Tokyo title and will want to claim another. Alex Maloney and Molly Meech (NZL) and Sweden’s Klara Wester and Rebecca Netzler completed the podium in 2018 and make a return.
Charline Picon (FRA) will spearhead the 24-boat Women’s RS:X pack. She will be joined by strong Chinese, Hong Kong and Japanese teams. Patricia Freitas (BRA), Laerke Buhl-Hansen (DEN), Ingrid Puusta (EST), Emma Wilson (GBR), Katy Spychakov (ISR), Veerle Ten Have (NZL) and Zofia Noceti Klepacka (POL) will also line up.
Mengfan Gao (CHN) will be the one to beat in the Men’s RS:X after he won gold at the recent Ready Steady Tokyo. World Cup medalists from 2018, Mateo Sanz Lanz (SUI) and Pierre Le Coq (FRA), make a return.
Racing will start at 12:00 local time on Tuesday, August 27. The 49er, 49erFX, Nacra 17 and RS:X fleets will conclude racing on Saturday, August 31 with their Medal Races at 12:00 local time. The 470s, Laser, Laser Radial and Finn fleets will follow on Sunday, September 1 at 12:00 local time.
Event details – Entry list – YouTube – Facebook
North American Entries (Canada, Mexico, and USA):
• Men’s One Person Dinghy – Laser: Charlie Buckingham (USA), Chris Barnard (USA)
• Women’s One Person Dinghy – Laser Radial: Erika Reineke (USA)
• Men’s Two Person Dinghy – 470: Joshua Yale/ Michael Montagnese (CAN), Stu McNay/ Dave Hughes (USA), Trevor Bornarth/ Trevor Davis (USA)
• Women’s Two Person Dinghy – 470: Nikole Barnes/ Lara Dallman-Weiss (USA), Rachel Bryer/ Laura Slovensky (USA), Carmen Cowles/ Emma Cowles (USA), Atlantic Brugman/ Nora Brugman (USA)
• Men’s Skiff – 49er: Judge Ryan/ Hans Henken (USA), Andrew Mollerus/ Ian MacDiarmid (USA)
• Women’s Skiff – 49erFx: Stephanie Roble/ Maggie Shea (USA), Paris Henken/ Anna Tobias (USA)
• Men’s One Person Dinghy Heavy – Finn: Tom Ramshaw (CAN), Caleb Paine (USA), Luke Muller (USA)
• Men’s Windsurfing – RS:X: Pedro Pascual (USA)
• Women’s Windsurfing – RS:X: No entry
• Mixed Multihull – Nacra 17: Riley Gibbs/ Anna Weis (USA), Ravi Parent/ Charlotte Mack (USA), Sarah Newberry/ David Liebenberg (USA)
The World Cup Series is an annual circuit of Olympic sailing for elite and professional sailors, and a key touchpoint for fans and media to connect to the sport of sailing and develop support for athletes on their road to Tokyo 2020 Olympics and beyond. Over 2,000 of the world’s leading sailors, representing 75 nations, have competed in the World Cup Series since its inception in 2008.
2019-20 Hempel World Cup Series
Aug 27-Sep 1, 2019 – Enoshima, Japan
January 21-26, 2020 – Miami, USA
April 14-19, 2020 – Genoa, Italy
June 16-21, 2020 – Enoshima, Japan
Source: World Sailing and US Sailing