There will be twelve Olympic nation quotas for the Paris 2024 Olympics available when this year’s Sail Sydney commences for Olympic classes next Monday.
This year’s event is doubling as the Oceania Qualifier for the Paris Olympic Games, with one nation quota available in each class (except ILCA 6 and ILCA 7 where there are two).
The quota will go to the Oceania nation who has a competitor finishing the highest, unless that nation has already qualified, in which case the quota goes to the next highest finishing Oceania nation yet to qualify.
Australia achieved a nation quota in five classes at the 2023 Sailing World Championships in The Hague in August:
- ILCA 6
- ILCA 7
- Men’s iQFOiL
- Women’s Kitefoling (where Australia recently announced Breiana Whitehead as the Paris selection)
This leaves Olympic nation quotas available for Australia in the remaining five classes:
- Men’s Kitefoil
- Mixed 470
- Nacra 17
- Women’s iQFOiL
Perth’s Nia Jerwood competed in the Women’s 470 class at Tokyo 2020, so when the class changed to a Mixed class for Paris and her Tokyo Crew Monique de Vries retired from Olympic sailing, she had a decision to make.
Jerwood decided to give it another crack, and at Sail Sydney she will be looking to secure the Olympic nation quota with new Crew Conor Nicholas.
“We are expecting it to be a shifty and tough racetrack,” said Jerwood of the event.
“We are confident after our result at Sail Melbourne, but we need to control what we can control and use our speed to our advantage.”
The pair have spent time coming into Sail Sydney under the coaching of Andrea Manini, who guided Croatia to Gold in the Men’s 470 at the Rio 2016 Olympics.
“We’ve learnt a lot from Andrea,” continued Jerwood. “He’s easy going and a great regatta coach as he keeps us balanced. He knows when to support us and when to really push us.”
Men’s Kitefoil athlete Hector Patarau will be another chasing the Olympic nation quota for Australia at Sail Sydney.
Patarau holds three citizenships – his native Mauritius, his new home Australia, and the nation he hopes to visit for the Olympics next year – France.
“To achieve the nation quota for Australia would be absolutely amazing,” said Patarau.
“I would then be pushing incredibly hard next year to be selected.”
Patarau is coming off a big win at Sail Melbourne, where he won 13 of the 16 races.
“Sail Melbourne was really challenging with the big winds, so transitioning to the flatter waters of Botany Bay will be interesting. We’ve had some great training sessions at the venue, so I am really looking forward to a great challenge and a great battle.”
Woollahra Sailing Club will be playing host to the 49er, 49erFX, ILCA 6, ILCA 7, Mixed 470 and Nacra 17 classes, while George’s River Sailing Club will host the Men’s and Women’s iQFOiLs and Men’s and Women’s Formula Kites.
Head of Marketing and Communications, Australian Sailing