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Sailing - 21. April 2008.

British sailors gear up for French test


With just three and a half months left to the start of the Olympic regatta, China, Britain’s Beijing-bound sailors will be lining up against world class opposition on the French Riviera, with some 920 sailors from 58 countries set to race over the six days of the event/

Yngling trio of Sarah Ayton, Sarah Webb and Pippa Wilson will be considered among Skandia Team GBR’s best gold medal prospects for this ISAF Grade 1 event, with Goodison claiming victory at the Princess Sofia Trophy in Palma in March, and Ayton, Webb and Wilson clinching a hard-fought European title earlier this month.

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Ayton’s Team Mirabaud will expect another battle from the American trio of Sally Barkow, Carrie Howe and Debbie Capozzi, and the two Russian crews who are contesting their Olympic selection trials in Hyeres.

Christina Bassadone and Saskia Clark are in action in the 470 women’s event, buoyed by their bronze medal at the Princess Sofia Trophy.

In the Paralympic classes, British sailors begin their Beijing preparations in earnest having learned of their official selection for the Paralympic Games ten days ago. Beijing-bound Helena Lucas, who won silver at the last edition of this event – will race in the single-handed 2.4mR fleet, as will Megan Pascoe, while Hannah Stodel and will be pushing for a podium finish in the Sonar fleet.

Bryony Shaw has opted to skip the French Olympic Sailing Week, she is in training ahead of the the RS:X European Championships in May.

The 2008 French Olympic Sailing Week runs through until Friday 25 April. For the regatta news and information, visit http://www.skandiateamgbr.com/events/hyeresreg/hyrreg.htm

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