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Olympic sailing: British Nacra World Champions target Euro title

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British Sailing Team members and reigning Nacra 17 world champions John Gimson and Anna Burnet are looking to add a European title to their names as they head into battle in Attersee, Austria.

The pair, who were selected to represent Team GB at Tokyo 2020 in February in the wake of their world title win (pictured above), were runners up at the 2019 Europeans – and are now aiming to go one better.

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After a six-month break in international competition due to the Covid-19 pandemic, Gimson and Burnet marked their return to action earlier this month with silver medal at Kieler Woche.

They will look to take that momentum into the 2020 Europeans, which start today with a fleet of 30 boats lining up.

“We’re looking forward to getting started,” said Burnet, 28, from Shandon in Scotland. “Lake Attersee is a small lake surrounded by big mountains – there are definitely some similarities to Gareloch and Rudyard Lake where John and I grew up sailing, but it’s very different to Tokyo and the usual Olympic class venues.

“We have a very competitive fleet here with all the top European teams so it’s a fantastic opportunity for us to race in difficult sailing conditions.”

Olympic sailing
British Sailing Team 49erFX sailors Megan Brickwood (right) and Steph Orton (left) Image © Nick Dempsey/RYA

Megan Brickwood and Steph Orton (pictured above) will fly the flag for Britain in the 40-boat 49erFX class – and after a long break from competition they are equally buzzing to get back to it.

“We are really excited to be back with the 49erFX fleet and racing a lot of the top boats,” said Orton, 24, from Chichester, West Sussex. “Although it is a little strange with the current Covid situation, the class and club are doing a great job to put on a safe event.

“For us, the Europeans will be a good check in with the rest of the fleet and a great chance to get some racing in this year. We have worked really hard throughout the year and can’t wait to put it into action on the racecourse.”

Racing begins today and will conclude on Sunday October 4.

Main image © Kieler Woche

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