French dominate midpoint of Rio 2016 quad

Published on September 22nd, 2014

The Santander 2014 ISAF Sailing World Championships in Santander, Spain on September 12-21 came to a close with new World Champions announced in each of the ten Olympic classes, and the French team deemed to be the best performing nation in the event.

The French were awarded the IOC President’s Trophy, presented to the best overall performing nation. Julien Bontemps (FRA) and Charline Picon (FRA) started the medal rush as they picked up men’s and women’s RS:X honours with Thomas Goyard taking men’s bronze. Billy Besson and Marie Riou (FRA) gave the nation a further gold to celebrate, picking up Nacra 17 gold with a day to spare.

“We had 1,200 sailors here, we had 81 nations represented, and we had 836 boats,” noted ISAF Vice-Present W. Scott Perry. “It’s a record for us and we hope that one day it may be exceeded.”

The ISAF Sailing World Championships was also the first opportunity countries (but not individual athletes) to qualify for the Rio 2016 Olympic sailing competition. While no North American medaled at the Worlds, both Canada and USA made progress in the country qualifying.

USA is now confirmed in 5 of the 10 events (Laser, Laser Radial, Men’s 470, Women’s 470, and Finn), while Canada has 2 events (Laser and Laser Radial). Additional qualifying opportunities are at 2015 class championships and last chances at continental events in 2015 and 2016.

“Our team’s top performances in Santander showed significant progress over the results from class World Championship events in 2013,” noted Josh Adams, Managing Director of US Olympic Sailing. “This event represents the midpoint of the Rio 2016 quad, and we are seeing positive results from the team’s effort so far and are looking forward to continuing our team’s training process to Rio.”

Aarhus, Denmark will host the 2018 ISAF Sailing World Championships. “The ISAF Worlds in 2014 have inspired us in Aarhus to work even harder to prepare for the 2018,” noted Mr Rabih Azad-Ahmad, Mayor of Sport, Culture and Citizens Services in the city of Aarhus.

The second largest city in Denmark, Aarhus is situated on the eastern side of the peninsula of Jutland. The competition venue will be established at a new Aarhus International Sailing Centre in Aarhus Yachting Harbour. Easily accessible and within walking distance of downtown Aarhus, the area is a favourite destination for residents and tourists alike who enjoy the restaurants and shops as well as clean bathing waters, fishing and fresh air.

Aarhus has welcomed several world class sailing events in recent years including the 2008 ISAF Youth Sailing World Championship, 2010 505 World Championship, 2011 A-Cat World Championship and the 2013 49er and 49erFX European Championships.

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