Australia has announced its final selection for the Paris 2024 Olympic Test Event, with Lisa Darmanin and Darren Bundock set to represent the country in the Nacra 17 class.
Darmanin was originally selected to the Team with long-time Skipper Jason Waterhouse, but with Waterhouse announcing his intention to step back from his 2024 Paris Olympic campaign effective immediately, Australian selectors were left with the tricky question of what to do regarding selection for the class.
The answer, it turns out, was sitting in the coach boat.
Bundock, a two-time Olympic silver medalist in the Tornado class, has been Waterhouse and Darmanin’s mentor since 2017 in his role as Australian Sailing Team Nacra 17 Coach.
The duo has now come full circle. Bundock campaigned in the Nacra 17 for the 2016 Olympics, before Waterhouse and Darmanin were selected in the class and went on to win a silver medal of their own.
“I am looking forward to racing in Marseille and I’m thrilled that Bundy has been able to jump back in the Nacra and get up to speed quickly,” said Darmanin. “We did so much work over the summer and I feel we haven’t been able to showcase that just yet, so I wanted to see that play out.
“Bundy has so much racing and foiling experience, and there is plenty of familiarity and understanding between the two of us. We know how one another operate so I am excited to see how we come together for the Test Event and the Worlds.”
Bundock has stayed sharp since his Olympic retirement, winning the F18 World Championships with Conor Nicholas in 2019 and finishing fourth at the A-Class Catamaran Worlds last year.
Darmanin and Bundock’s selection further elevates Australia’s potential to secure the sought-after Nation Qualification for the 2024 Paris Olympic Games, with the top nine-placed nations in the Nacra 17 class at this year’s World Championships confirming their 2024 Olympic entries. Australia will have five Nacra 17 entries for the World Championships, which are set from 10-20 August at The Hague, The Netherlands.
Australian Sailing Technical Director Michael Blackburn explained the decision today.
“Lisa was one half of the team that performed the best in the Test Event selection regattas this year,” said Blackburn.
“Lisa remains selected while Darren comes in on the basis of their combined potential of achieving the best result at the Test Event and with the medium-term focus of best preparing this and all Australian Nacra 17 teams to accomplish Olympic Country Qualification at the Worlds.”
The selection rounds out the Test Event Team, which will compete in a full 2024 Olympic dress-rehearsal in the waters off Marseilles from 9-16 July.
The eight-day regatta will be followed by the Allianz Sailing World Championships at The Hague in August, where a wider Australian team will take part.
The full Australian Team for the Olympic Test Event is:
49erFX: Olivia Price & Evie Haseldine
49er: Jim Colley & Shaun Conor
Formula Kite – Female: Breiana Whitehead
Formula Kite – Male: Scott Whitehead
ILCA 6: Zoe Thomson
ILCA 7: Matthew Wearn OAM
iQFOiL – Male: Grae Morris
Mixed 470: Nia Jerwood & Conor Nicholas
Nacra 17: Lisa Darmanin and Darren Bundock
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