The official test event of Tokyo 2020, Ready Steady Tokyo – Sailing, got underway today with the first day of racing.
And the 363 sailors from 47 nations were met with strong winds and big waves in Enoshima, Japan, an ideal way to start six days of competition.
In the 49er fleet, where 21 teams are competing, reigning Olympic champions Peter Burling & Blair Tuke (NZL) have made an ideal start to the test event, sitting first overall after winning two out of three races.
“This is our first event in Enoshima so we are really trying to put our best foot forward,” Burling said. “It’s called the Olympic test event for a reason and we are testing things for next year.”
Tuke added: “You always want to go out and do well on the first day and it was good conditions. We were pretty pumped to get three good ones on the board. It’s quite a short event for us, with only 12 races before the medal race, so it’s a good start.”
Fresh from SailGP Cowes, Dylan Fletcher-Scott & Stuart Bithell (GBR) have also started strongly here, winning their first race to help them to second. Australian brothers Will & Sam Phillips are third.
The British Sailing Team are also performing well in the 49erFX, with Charlotte Dobson & Saskia Tidey topping the 23-strong fleet.
Two wins out of three races puts them ahead of 2016 Rio Olympic champions Martine Grael & Kahena Kunze (BRA), with Victoria Jurczok & Anika Lorenz (GER) currently in third place.
Today’s other race win went to Ida Marie Baad Nielsen & Marie Thusgaard Olsen (DEN).
Racing continues tomorrow at 12:00 local time on Sunday 18 August. The RS:X Men & Women, 49er, 49erFX and Nacra 17 fleets are scheduled to sail another three races, with the remaining fleet set to complete two.