WORLD CUP SERIES TO REACH A CLIMAX AT PARIS 2024 VENUE31 May 2018
After a series of global events, Sailing's 2018 World Cup Series will draw to a close in Marseille, France as the Paris 2024 Olympic Sailing Competition hosts the Final.
The World Cup Series commenced in Gamagori, Japan in October 2017. Miami held the American round in January 2018, followed by Hyères, France in April.
Marseille will welcome the winners from all of the rounds as well as the best performing racers across the series, who will bid to be crowned the World Cup Series Champion.
The Final will be one of the final opportunities for sailors to test themselves and achieve the bragging rights ahead of August's Hempel Sailing World Championships Aarhus 2018.
Numerous Olympic medallists, World Champions and World Cup Series stars will be amongst the 221 registered sailors from 34 nations, racing in 158 boats.
The 20-boat Women's 470 fleet will feature the in-form teams who will all be aiming for gold.
Tina Mrak and Veronika Macarol (SLO) won in Miami and picked up their first European title earlier this month. The pair have consistently finished at the top end of the leaderboard and, with two major wins in 2018, they'll want a third to position themselves as favourites for the world title at the Hempel Sailing World Championships in August.
Great Britain's Hannah Mills and Eilidh McIntyre commenced their sailing journey together just one year ago where they won gold at the 2017 World Cup Final. Success has followed the pair since then, winning silver at the 2017 World Championship and silver most recently at the World Cup Series event in Hyères.
Camille Lecointre, France's Rio 2016 bronze medallist, has teamed up with Aloise Retornaz, and they approach the event in great form in the Women's 470 following their victory in Hyères. The pair had only previously raced together at one event, the Trofeo Princesa Sofia where they finished fourth.
Ai Kondi Yoshida and Miho Yoshioka (JPN) picked up the first World Cup gold of the series in Gamagori and will be amongst the fleet in Marseille. Olympians Fernanda Oliveira and Ana Luiza Barbachan (BRA) will also be in the hunt for the medals.
2017 World Cup Series Men's 470 champions, Panagiotis Mantis and Pavlos Kagialis (GRE), will head to Marseille to defend the title they won in Santander 12 months ago.
Mantis and Kagialis were convincing winners in 2017, but they've only finished on the podium at one of five 470 events they've competed at since then. They narrowly missed the Men's 470 podium in Miami, finishing fourth, but in Hyères they could only place 17th. The Greek racers have the big game experience, having won bronze at Rio 2016, and will be aiming to defend their title.
Australia's Mat Belcher and Will Ryan have been one of the most consistent 470 teams of all time. The pair have won 29 ranked events since 2012 and have numerous accolades to their name, winning gold in Gamagori and silver in Hyères.
Belcher and Ryan won the World Cup Final in 2014, 2015 and 2016. They did not race in 2017 but they'll be gunning for a fourth title in 2018.
Further contenders in the 20-boat fleet include Spanish Olympian Jordi Xammar, sailing with Nicolás Rodriguez, French favourites and World Cup medallists Kevin Peponnet and Jeremie Mion, and the five-strong Japanese team.
Racing will commence at 11:00 local time on Tuesday 5 June and will conclude with the Medal Races on Saturday 9 and Sunday 10 June, which will be streamed across the World Sailing Network.
Source: World Sailing