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Bet on this horse for Paris 2024

Published on May 4th, 2022

Despite North America being ground zero for the Laser boat, the continent has not reaped the rewards at the Olympic level. Introduced as the singlehanded equipment at Atlanta 1996, only one person – USA’s Anna Tunnicliffe – has medaled.

In those seven games, with three open events and four men’s and women’s event, that’s 11 opportunities to stand on the podium. While Tunnicliffe got gold, considering the depth of the class in the continent, the poor conversion rate is curious.

The best opportunity in the One Person Dinghy event for Paris 2024 will be from Sarah Douglass (CAN), who will be looking to parlay her sixth at Tokyo 2020 for something better. Here’s her update following a recent trip to Europe:

Palma World Cup – April 4-9 – Palma, Spain
Going into this event, I had no expectations and was focused on my process goals, open communication with my coach and improving certain technical aspects of my sailing.

Palma was windy and cold for the first couple of days. Given that I was mostly focused on downwind sailing for the last couple of months, I hadn’t done much upwind training in 25 knots but when it came to the first couple days, I seemed to have a speed advantage in the breeze.

Mid-way through racing, I was called over early at the start and disqualified. With only 1 drop race, the pressure was on for every start and every race. This was a great opportunity for me to sail under pressure and to fight for every inch in every race to gain positions as every point counted.

I managed to secure the gold medal before the medal race after a superb week of racing. That meant the pressure was off and I got to enjoy the moment of being on my first World Cup podium with a 31 point lead.

Thank you for all of the kind messages and support, to the Canadians who came out to cheer me on in the medal race and to my coach, Vaughn Harrison. Winning my first international competition post-Tokyo with this performance gives me confidence in our plan towards Paris 2024! – Final report

2024 Olympic Sailing Venue
For the 2024 Paris Olympics, sailing will be at a satellite venue in Marseille. With Paris just over two years away, it is important for us to start learning about the Olympic venue so, after a short break in Palma, my coach and I headed to Marseille for a training camp with some international competitors.

This was a very eye opening week. We learned a lot about the venue as neither of us had been there before. It is important to not only focus on the wind patterns, but to get the lay of the land so that when we return this summer, we know where to stay, where the grocery stores are, where the gym is, etc. We want to be as comfortable as possible in Marseille for the next two years so that the Olympics feels as normal as possible.

Unfortunately, I ended up getting sick towards the end of our training camp as it turns out that I had mold in my water bottles. Lesson learned: always travel with a proper water bottle cleaner and wash out my drink mix every day!

French Olympic Week – April 25-30 – Hyères, France
Arriving to Hyeres under the weather, my priority was recovery and to try to get healthy by the first day of racing.

Hyeres brought a range of conditions, and while I posted some good scores, I also I made a lot of mistakes. I knew going into this event that I would be fatigued as I had been in Europe for a month already.

However, I continued to push through and stay focused on the process which paid dividends in the end. My score line, like the rest of the fleet, was a roller coaster but I entered the medal race sitting in 4th place with a shot at a silver or bronze medal.

After a postponement on land, the wind slowly filled in and we had a very light wind medal race. I had a strong start, rounding the first windward in 2nd place and in a medal winning position, but ended up losing on the downwind, finishing 5th in the race and 5th overall. – Final report

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