Marseille was ready to host the finals of the Hempel World Cup
Marseille, France is ready to host the final of the 2019 Hempel World Cup in 325 sailors from 40 countries. Sailors will compete at the Paris 2024 Olympic Sailing Championships in ten Olympic disciplines and an open kite park to crown Hempel as the 2019 World Champion.
The series began in Enoshima, Japan, at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Stadium in September 2018, before moving to Miami, USA in January 2019, and most recently to Genoa, Italy, in April. The sailors above the leaderboard participate in all fleets. The race should start on Tuesday, June 4th. The medal competition on Saturday June 8th and 9th will end the 2019 series.
The Dutch Lilian de Geus comes to Marseille. The Dutch sailor won gold at the 2018 Hempel Sailing World Championships in Aarhus and recently added the European title to a growing collection of awards.
In the final of the 2018 World Cup, de Geus lost one point to Noga Geller. The Israeli won the medal and de Geus took sixth place, giving him a silver medal. De Geus is back in Marseille, wishing to add the Hempel World Cup title to his list of achievements.
The women's RS: X fleet has many leading rivals aimed at stopping de Geus's success. Geller returns to defend his title, and French Rio 2016 Olympic champion Charline Picon will compete in Tokyo 2020 in his home waters. Olympic medalists Bryony Shaw (GBR) and Stefania Elfutina (RUS) sail in the fleet as well, ensuring that anyone who walks away to become the champion of the women's RS: X Hempel World Championship certainly deserves that right.
The 2018 finale edition saw the French dominate their homeland; Pierre Le Coq took the title, followed by Thomas Goyard and Louis Giard throughout the French podium.
Although Goyard will not sail in 2019, Le Coq and Giard are sure to take the title. In the run-up to the Tokyo 2020 Preliminary, the French couple have fought hard to compete for one place at the Olympics. The qualification process between couples continues to heat up, so they both want to assert themselves in Marseille.
Byron Kokkalanis (GRE), Radoslaw Furmanski (POL), Piotr Myszka (POL) and Mateo Sanz Lanz (SUI) have been consistent performers in the men's RS: X fleet and will also be nominated for medals.
Ruggero Tita and Caterina Banti (ITA) have been holding World # 1 on Nacra 17 since August 2018 and the couple are worthy of the title. They were convincing winners of the 2018 World Cup finals and came to the event as one of the gold medal favorites.
They lost the medal at the recent European Championships in Weymouth, UK, as claimed by Ben Saxton and Nicola Boniface (GBR). Although Saxton and Boniface do not participate in Marseille, their compatriots and European silver medalist John Gimson and Anna Burnet are in the fleet and watch the podium.
The four-time Nacra 17 World Champions Billy Besson and Marie Riou (FRA) combine the continuing Olympic sailing and compete in SailGP with a French team. They lead the ranks of four French teams dedicated to Tokyo 2020 before heading to New York for the third race of the SailGP Season 2019 later in the month.
The fleet is also welcomed by world No 5 Gemma Jones and Jason Saunders, world No 6 Thomas Zajac and Barbara Matz (AUT), Rio 2016 gold medalists Santiago Lange and Cecilia Carranza Saroli (ARG) and world No 9 Vittorio Bissaro and Maelle Frascari (ITA).
The women's 470 fleet medal hopes include Camille Lecointre and Aloise Retornaz (FRA), recently crowned European champions, Rio 2016 gold medalist Hannah Mills sailing with Eilidh McIntyre (GBR), Dutch Olympics Afrodite Zegers and Lobke Berkhout, and World # 1 Berkhout, Kondo Yoshida and Miho Yoshioka (JPN).
The men's 470 also features a fleet of world-leading sailors competing in Marseilles waters. Since establishing their partnership in December 2012, Mat Belcher and Will Ryan (AUS) have been featured on the world leaderboard in 46 editions of the world leaderboard. Wherever they sail, they are considered potential gold medalists and it is no different in Marseille.
Swedes Anton Dahlberg and Fredrik Bergström, Frenchmen Kevin Peponnet and Jeremie Mion, Spain's Jordi Xammar and Nicolás Rodríguez, and the five-team Japanese team have everything they need to beat Australia for an exciting week of competition.
The 24-member open kite fleet will be showcased for the first time in the 2019 Hempel World Championship Series, where several big names are set to compete.
The 2018 World Champions Nico Parlier (FRA) and Daniela Moroz (USA) recently retained their titles at the 2019 Formula Kite World Championships in Lake Garda, Italy and are delighted to impress at the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris.
Silver medalists Toni Vodisek (SLO) and Poema Newland (FRA) will also make their Hempel World Series debuts at the 2018 Junior Olympics in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
Gold medalists Sime and Mihovil Fantela (CRO) at the 2018 Hempel Sailing World Championships lead the loading of the 14-boat 49er fleet, and Tanja Frank and Lorena Abicht of Austria are favorites in the nine-pack of 49erFX.
In the laser, ten boats ride 11 boats to reach the Laser Radial start line. Finns are led by Olympic medalists Jonathan Lobert (FRA) and Max Salminen (SWE) in a 13-boat fleet.
The competition is set to begin at 11:00 AM on Tuesday, June 4th. Fleet races with 49er, 49erFX, Nacra 17 and RS: X fleets will run until Friday, June 7th, before they sail their medals on Saturday. Ships, Laser, Laser Radial and Finn finish their fleet racing on Saturday and sail on Sunday for medals.
The medal competition on Saturday June 8th and 9th will be broadcast live on the World Sailing YouTube channel here - http://youtube.com/worldsailingtv.
All international press releases about the world sailing world during the duration of the Hempel World Cup, including the latest news and reports, can be found here: http://www.sailing.org/worldcup/news/index.php.