Windsurfing, Kitesurfing & Sailing

Sailing in the Olympics: Who Is Representing Team GB At Rio 2016 & Who to Watch Out For

Does Great Britain stand a chance of winning a medal in sailing at the Rio 2016 Olympics?

Nick Thompson will be representing Great Britain at Rio 2016 in the Laser class. Photo: British Sailing Team

Sailing has long been one of the most successful sports for Great Britain at the Summer Olympic Games. As one of the windiest countries in Europe, our track record is pretty good.

Over the past 100 years, we’ve won the most gold medals in Olympic sailing events than any other countries in the world – 25 in total, plus 18 silvers and 11 bronze. Cycling, rowing and athletics are among the other sports Team GB excel in.

Sailing In The Olympics: An Essential Guide To The Rio 2016 Events, The Rules And Schedule

With Rio 2016 just around the corner, we’re looking at the 13 sailors selected for the British Sailing Team. You can check out the British windsurfing medal hopefuls here and take a look at the full sailing schedule here.

Who should you be placing a bet on this August? Read on and find out…


After a tricky start to 2016, the 470 is back on track for Rio 2016. Photo: Ocean Images/British Sailing Team

Discipline: Men’s 470

Why are they worth watching? Luke Patience won silver at London 2012 – and wants to top the podium again

It’s been a tough year for this pair. Luke Patience qualified for Rio 2016 with his sailing partner Elliot Willis. However, in December 2015, Willis was forced to leave his Olympic dreams behind after he was diagnosed with bowel cancer.

Chris Grube stepped up to replace Willis in the 470 class. Now the pair have to cram four years worth of training into eight months.


Hannah Mills and Saskia Clark won silver at London 2012. Will they do it again at Rio? Photo: Jesus Renedo/Sailing Energy

Discipline: Women’s 470

Why are they worth watching? They won silver at the London 2012 Games and they are hoping to top the podium again

Ever since they won silver at London 2012, this stellar duo have been training hard for the next Olympics. Mills and Clark won gold at the World Cup in Weymouth last year and just won gold in France last month. They’ve got a strong winning streak behind them – let’s hope it carries them through to Rio.


Dylan Fletcher and Alain Sign with their medal from the Rio Teste Event 2015. Photo: 49er Team FletcherSign Facebook Page

Discipline: Men’s 49er

Why are they worth watching? It’s their first Olympics and they are currently are 5th position in the world rankings for 49er class.

After battling for a place at the London 2012 Olympics, this pair have finally secured a spot at Rio 2016. They’ve been sailing together since 2006 and have won the European Championships twice.

Sailing in Olympics Rio 2016: The Rules

They claimed a bronze medal at the World Championships in February and are currently ranked 5th in the world.


Charlotte Dobson and Sophie Ainsworth are competing in 49erFX class at the Olympics for the first time.Photo: GBR FX Girls

Discipline: Women’s 49erFX

Why are they worth watching? It’s this duo’s first time at the Olympics and they have got their sights set on winning a medal

Charlotte Dobson and Sophie Ainsworth were first paired together in 2013 and have been training together ever since for Rio 2016. They came 5th and 7th place respectively at the Rio Test Events in 2014 and 2015. Last year, they finished 5th in the World Championships.


British sailor Giles Scott has won the last four Finn World Championships. Photo: Ocean Images/British Sailing Team

Discipline: Men’s Finn

Why is he worth watching? He’s won gold at the Finn World Championships four times – and has his sights firmly set on gold at Rio 2016.

Giles Scott lost out to Ben Ainslie to represent Great Britain in the Finn class at London 2012. However, since Ainslie’s retirement, Scott has been first-pick for the upcoming Rio 2016 Olympics. He’s only 28 years old and is by far the best Finn sailor in the world right now. We’re excited to see how he fares at Rio.


Nick Thompson is a double Laser World Champion – will he secure gold at Rio? Photo: British Sailing Team

Discipline: Laser

Why is he worth watching? He’s won the 2015 and 2016 Laser World Championships – and has his eye on an Olympic gold medal

Thompson has been waiting for his time to shine at the Olympics – and now it has come. After being overlooked for Paul Goodison at London 2012, he secured his place for Rio 2016. With an excellent track record (including May’s double World Championship win) we will definitely be keeping a keen eye on Thompson in the heats at Rio.


Alison Young is one of the best Laser Radial sailors in the world. Photo: British Sailing Team

Discipline: Laser Radial

Why is she worth watching? She’s one of the world’s leading Radial sailors and she became the first British woman to become world champion in a solo Olympic dinghy class in April 2016

Alison Young is storming through the ranks in the Laser Radial class with a strong start to 2016. The 28 year-old won gold at the Laser World Championships in Mexico in April, making her the first British woman to become world champion in a solo Olympic dinghy class. After a disappointing 5th place at London 2012, Young is keen to make a place for herself on the podium at Rio 2016.


New to 2016, Ben Saxton and Nicola Groves will be competing in the mixed multihull Nacra 17 event at Rio 2016. Photo: Laura Carrau/BISC

Discipline: Nacra 17

Why are they worth watching? Nacra 17 is a mixed multihull event that’s new to the Rio 2016 Olympics – Saxton and Groves are European Champions, so definitely worth keeping an eye on

Ben Saxton and Nicola Groves have been sailing together since September 2014. They won the European Championships in Barcelona last October and they are currently ranked 4th in the Nacra 17 world rankings. “I’ve probably been dreaming of the Olympics since I was 11 or 12 years old,” Saxton told Cambridge News. Let’s hope they come out on top this August.

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