The 2018 Sailing World Championships begin tomorrow, though the first races won’t be held until Thursday. The event is the first major Olympic qualification event with around 90 nations competing to qualify in the 101 available quotas across the 10 sailing events. Also being held are the kiteboard races which are expected to become official Olympic events in 2024.
The field holds an impressive fleet of athletes with several Olympic medalists, world champions and World Series winners competing. Among defending Olympic gold medalists Giles Scott from Great Britain and New Zealand sailors Peter Burling and Blair Tuke are not competing here in the men’s Finn and men’s 49er respectively though they still intend to qualify to the Olympics. Women’s 470 skip Hannah Mills will be competing with a new crewmate, Eilidh McIntyre while Croatian skip and men’s 470 gold medalist Sime Fantela has switched boats and will compete in the men’s 49er with his brother Mihovil.
Each nation can only qualify one boat in each event, for a maximum of 15 athletes across the 10 events. The quotas are given to the nation meaning athletes from more accomplished nations will still face stiff competition in order to qualify to the Olympics themselves. Medal races are scheduled for August 9-12 2018.