Paris 2024 Olympic Sailing Test Event, Marseille, France.


Wearn surpasses Beckett in commanding finale

Olympic champion Matt Wearn (AUS) snatched gold from under the nose of Micky Beckett (GBR) in a dramatic medal race at the Paris 2024 Test Event in Marseille.

Wearn dominated the ILCA 7 medal race to overhaul a nine-point deficit and relegate Beckett to silver at the last gasp.

A stiff, shifty, offshore breeze reached 25 knots and made for exciting medal racing across the board.

Camille Lecointre and Jérémie Mion (FRA) swelled the host nation’s medal tally to three golds while Marit Bouwmeester (NED) picked up the ILCA 6 gold that she mathematically sealed on Friday.

ILCA 7: Wearn clinches dramatic gold

Matt Wearn (AUS) took the spoils from Micky Beckett (GBR) in the latest chapter of a rivalry that could dominate the narrative in this boat class through to the Olympics.

The pair exchanged the lead four times in the regatta before Beckett, Palma gold medallist and Hyéres silver medallist, took a healthy nine-point advantage into the medal race.

Beckett was on the back foot from the start in an unstable breeze and Wearn seized the moment, taking a superb race win to grab gold.

Wearn said: “I respect the fact that Micky has done really well this week – probably better than me at times – but that’s how sailing works, the medal race can be a tough one. He was super respectful and congratulated me.

“I’ve been on the wrong side of it several times. I’m sure there are more battles to come between us, we’ve got the Worlds coming up and the big one in 12 months’ time, so hopefully we’ll be fighting it out for medals there.”

Beckett, who crossed the line second-last in the medal race to settle for silver, said: “Sailing’s not supposed to be easy, it’s a tough game for a reason and that’s why we do it.

“It was a tough way to finish the event but I’m happy with second and I’ll be even happier with it when a few days have passed.

“Matt and I have spent a bit of time training together over the winter and I was just very impressed with the way he sailed a fantastic race, right when he needed to.”

ILCA 6: Job done for Bouwmeester

In ILCA 6, the gold was set before the medal race.

Marit Bouwmeester (NED) took the lead on Tuesday and never looked back, winning gold with 44 points, 19 ahead of long-time adversary Anne-Marie Rindom (DEN).

Bouwmeester said: “Winning never gets comfortable and it’s always fun. I’m leaving soon to see my baby girl and we’ll do the celebrations at home.

“I love performing on home waters and the aim will be to do the same at the World Championships.”

It sets an immaculate tone for her tilt at a second Olympic title next summer, which would see Bouwmeester overtake Hannah Mills (GBR) as the most decorated female Olympic sailor of all time.

Chiara Benini Floriani (ITA) banked bronze despite picking up a one point penalty going into the medal race that was actually won by Erika Reineke (USA), the lowest-ranked qualifier.

470: Lecointre and Mion win third French gold

Camille Lecointre and Jérémie Mion (FRA) put the seal on the host nation’s third gold medal of the regatta in the 470 class.

Two scores of ten on the final day, their highest of the week, couldn’t jeopardise victory by six points from Malte and Anastasiya Winkel (GER).

Lecointre said: “It’s great to do this in front of all of the friends and family who have come to watch us.

“This is one step in our preparation for Paris, we still have qualification, but this keeps us confident and I’m amazed with the results of the team, we hope it will continue.”

The German married couple were out of the medals in the latter part of yesterday but timed their run to perfection and climbed above Jordi Xammar-Hernandez and Nora Brugman (ESP).

Malte Winkel said: “We had a really strong fleet. Everyone had good days and then days when they couldn’t deliver. It was a difficult race week with the conditions.

“The medal race was brutal as well, we nailed the start and that put us in a good position. We are absolutely happy we could take the medal.”

49er: Dutch on the brink

Bart Lambriex and Floris van de Werken (NED) extend their lead at the top of the Men’s Skiff event.

Although, not as spectacular as Friday’s three bullets, the pair scored five, seven and seven to give them a 21 point lead over second place rivals Erwan Fischer and Pequin Clement (FRA), meaning only a disqualification in Sunday’s medal race can deny them victory.

Lambriex said: “We didn’t come here with the main objective of winning this event. We wanted to work on our speed in these conditions and gain knowledge of this venue, we succeeded. We are happy with that as well. We learnt a lot.”

Nacra 17: Finns steal a march

Sinem Kurtbay and Akseli Keskinen (FIN) are poised to take a huge step forward in their Olympic campaign as they stand on the brink of Nacra 17 gold.

The 2022 world bronze medallists dropped a score of only seven in the first race of the regatta and have been rewarded for their relentless consistency with a 13-point lead ahead of the medal race.

Meanwhile, world champions Odile van Aanholt and Annette Duetz (NED) remain the class of the 49er FX fleet. They’ve guaranteed themselves a medal heading into their final race with a lead of 22 points on third place.

In women’s iQFOiL, Emma Wilson (GBR) and Sharon Kantor (ISR) are the automatic qualifiers for the final, with Wilson carrying two wins and Kantor one, leaving the rest to fight it out for the two remaining spots in the final.

Nicolas Goyard (FRA) remains dominant on the men’s side and he will be joined by Nicoló Renna, as well as two others, in the final.