Gold medallists Hannah Mills and Giles Scott are among 12 sailors named by the British Olympic Association (BOA) as the first Team GB athletes selected for Tokyo 2020.
The Rio 2016 champions are joined by a host of elite sailors representing eight of the 10 Olympic sailing classes, as the team is announced at Haven Holiday Park, Rockley Park in Poole.
A Tokyo 2020 medal for Mills would make her the most successful female Olympic sailor of all time. She will look to defend her crown in the 470 Women’s event alongside crew Eilidh McIntyre, who makes her Olympic debut 32 years after her dad Mike won gold for GB in the Star class.
Mills and McIntyre have rarely been off the podium since teaming up in 2017, with their success culminating in victory at the 2019 World Championships and silver at the Ready Steady Tokyo test event this summer.
Scott has also enjoyed a run of success in 2019, claiming his third Finn class European title and a bronze at Ready Steady Tokyo.
Returning for another tilt at Olympic glory are London 2012 silver medallists Luke Patience and Stuart Bithell.
Patience, sailing in his third Olympics, will compete in the 470 Men class alongside Rio 2016 crew Chris Grube, while Bithell will fly the flag for Britain in the 49er class with Rio Olympian Dylan Fletcher.
Olympian Charlotte Dobson returns in the 49er FX, joined by Saskia Tidey who represented Ireland at Rio 2016 before joining the British team in 2017.
Both representatives in the RS:X windsurfer class are newcomers to the Olympics: Tom Squires and Emma Wilson, who at 20 years old is the youngest athlete announced.
Squires takes up the mantle from veteran Olympian Nick Dempsey, the most successful Olympic windsurfer of all time with five Games and three medals to his name.
Wilson, the daughter of 1988 and 1992 Olympic windsurfer Penny Way, will look to win Britain’s first Olympic medal in women’s windsurfing since Bryony Shaw’s bronze at Beijing 2008.
Alison Young, the 2015 Laser Radial World Champion, earns her third Team GB call-up to round off the first wave of sailing selections for Tokyo 2020.
Britain has a rich history of excellence in Olympic competition, having won 58 medals – including 28 golds – since sailing made its debut at Paris 1900. Team GB currently tops the overall Olympic sailing medal table.
The selected sailors are:
Giles Scott: Finn (Men’s One Person Dinghy Heavy)
Hannah Mills and Eilidh McIntyre: 470 Women (Women’s Two Person Dinghy)
Luke Patience and Chris Grube: 470 Men (Men’s Two Person Dinghy)
Charlotte Dobson and Saskia Tidey: 49er FX (Women’s Skiff)
Dylan Fletcher and Stuart Bithell: 49er (Men’s Skiff)
Alison Young: Laser Radial (Women’s One Person Dinghy)
Emma Wilson: RS:X Women (Women’s Windsurfer)
Tom Squires: RS:X Men (Men’s Windsurfer)
Selection for the Nacra 17 (mixed) and Laser (men) classes is still ongoing.
Mark England, Team GB’s Chef de Mission for Tokyo 2020, said: “We are delighted to announce the first 12 athletes who have been selected to Team GB for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.
“Sailing made its debut at the Paris 1900 Games and British athletes have excelled on the Olympic stage ever since. The sailors we have announced today have a wealth of experience, including reigning Olympic Champions Hannah Mills and Giles Scott and I look forward to seeing what they can do in Enoshima next summer.”
Mark Robinson, Team GB Sailing Team Leader and RYA Olympic Performance Manager, said: “We’re thrilled to be announcing the first sailing members of Team GB today. These athletes have all proven themselves in their class and every single one of them is capable of returning from Tokyo 2020 with a medal in their hands. There is great experience within the sailing team, from our Rio 2016 gold medallists back to defend their crowns to experienced Olympians who know what it will take to taste victory in Tokyo.
“We are also delighted to welcome new talent who have immense potential towards achieving Team GB’s objectives in this cycle and beyond. Selection at this point of the cycle will allow these athletes to have maximum preparation time in the run-up to Tokyo 2020, putting Team GB in the best possible position to rule the waves.”