Australian Sailors continue Olympic preparations

Australian sailors are poised to make waves in France in the four two-person disciplines as the Nacra 17 World Championships, 49er, FX and Mixed 470 European Champions take place this week. Sailors are preparing to use the last major event ahead of Paris 2024 to fine tune their skills ahead of the Games.

Nacra 17

The Nacra 17 World Championships will unfold in La Grande Motte, France, serving as crucial preparation for 2024 Australian Olympic Team members Brin Liddell and Rhiannan Brown. Each race day presents an opportunity for them to push their limits and refine their techniques ahead of their debut Games.

Opting to forgo the French Olympic Week last month in order to train at the World Championship venue instead, Liddell explained “Over the past few weeks here in La Grande Motte, we have experienced every wind strength and done practice races amidst some of the coldest sailing conditions I’ve encountered.”

With their sights set on breaking into the top 10 and securing a spot in the medal race, Liddell added, ““It is the last opportunity for us to put in a really good result down to build some more confidence before the Olympics.”


Meanwhile, Jim Colley and Shaun Connor, set to join Liddell and Brown on the Australian Olympic Team, are fully focused on maximising every opportunity on the water. The duo will compete in the 49er European Championships concurrently held with the Nacra 17 Worlds in La Grande Motte.

Colley shared, “We are straight into another event post Hyeres (French Olympic Week), as we feel the Europeans provides great opportunity to keep working on our racing skills.

The competition is set to be fierce, “We have most of our Olympic competitors here racing, so the environment is a prefect dress rehearsal for the Games,” said Colley. “Overall we are excited about the opportunities the Euros will provide and looking forward to another big week of racing!”


In the 49erFX, Australia will have Laura Harding and Annie Wilmot competing, though not selected for Paris 2024, their unwavering determination and resilience continue to inspire and demonstrate the depth of the Australian squad.

Harding remarked, “Looking forward to another week of racing with a lot of the top 10 boats in the fleet and being able to push the throttle in some of the racing areas we have been working on recently.”

The Victorian continued, “I’m excited to see what this venue brings, it’s looking like a lot of offshore breeze in the forecast which could make an interesting race track.”

Australian Olympic selected 49erFX athletes Olivia Price and Evie Haseldine have chosen to capitalise on time in Australia before they return to Marseille for a series of training camps and practice regattas for their final Olympic preparations

Mixed 470

The Mixed 470 will host their European Championships down the road at the Yacht Club de Cannes. Tokyo Olympian, Nia Jerwood who secured her ticket to a second Olympics provided a forecast of what to expect in the famous French city, “The weather is likely to be predominantly light winds, with plenty of chop expected caused by the super yachts zooming around Cannes Bay.”

Jerwood stressed the significance of competing against the world’s best, noting, “Conor and I have spent as much time as we can this year in Europe to maximise our improvement rate with our coach Andrea and our Italian training partners.”

From May 7th to May 12th, the racing action will unfold, with results available on the event websites listed below.

  • Nacra 17 World Championship results can be found here
  • 49er / 49erFX European Championship results can be found here
  • Mixed 470 European Championship results can be found here

Australian Sailing Team (AST)Australian Sailing Pathway Team (ASPT), Australian Sailing Futures (ASF) and other Australian entries (AUS) at the French Olympic Week Regatta:

Nacra 17 – 45 entries

Ruben Booth and Rtia Booth (ASPT)
Brin Liddell and Rhiannan Brown (ASPT)
Jake Liddell and Lucy Copeland (ASPT)

49er – 70 entries

Jim Colley and Shaun Connor (AST)
Jack Ferguson (AUS) and Max Paul (AST)

49erFX – 29 entries

Laura Harding and Annie Wilmot (AST)

Mixed 470 – 49 entries

Nia Jerwood and Conor Nicholas (ASPT)
Ashlee Daunt and Brayden Daunt (ASF)
Sophie Jackson and James Jackson (AUS)

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Facebook: @aussailingteam

Information: contact Lisa Darmanin, Australian Sailing Team Media Officer on 0424 098 617 or

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