Samoa Sailing Team head to Hyeres Regatta in Toulon ahead of Paris Summer Olympics

Eroni will compete in the Qualified Nation, whilst Vaimo’oi’a will line up against the world 's best in the Last Chance Regatta.

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The Samoan Sailing Team (SST) heads to Hyeres, France this weekend to test the waters ahead of this summer’s Olympic Games.

Eroni Leilua qualified earlier this year for Paris and will be looking to get his first taste of European waters in France.

Vaimo’oi’a Astrid Ripley will be looking to secure one of the few spots available for Paris.

The Samoan team will compete in the historic Semaine Olympique Francaise (SOF), which is a part of the sailing World Cup series for Olympic class boats.

Commonly known as “the Hyeres Regatta”, the SOF has played host to the world’s best sailors on the French Riviera for over 50 years.

This year represents the 55th edition of the prestigious regatta, which will see the world´s best sailors being put to the test in world class conditions, ahead of this summer’s Paris 2024 Olympic Games.

This year’s edition will feature two events – the Qualified Nations regatta (QN) for those who have already booked their place at this summer’s Olympics, and a Last Chance Regatta (LCR) for sailors looking to book the final berths for their countries in Paris.

This exceptional line-up means that the SOF is set to break its record for the number of participating nations in Hyères. With nearly 1,000 athletes and 500 support staff from 90 countries across 5 continents.

Toulon Provence Méditerranée’s French Olympic Week will welcome around 20 nations more than its annual average figures.

The prospect of securing the last 39 places at the Olympic Games is a high stakes event for these countries and promises to
be a tale of joy and tears.

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Eroni will compete in the QN, whilst Vaimo’oi’a will line up against the world ‘s best in the LCR.

Samoan Sailing Team coach Chris Russell highlights the significance of the SOF, and says the Hyeres regatta is a hallmark of the Olympic Sailing circuit.

“It’s great to see Samoan sailors competing here for the first time. We have a lot at stake this week, with Eroni looking to finalise his preparations for the Games, and Vai competing for one of the final few spots in Paris..”

“We enjoyed an intense training camp last month in Auckland, and we´re in good shape heading into this period. It’s always a really challenging regatta in Hyeres, and we´re looking forward to a big week of racing”.

Racing in Hyeres will begin on 20 April, and conclude on 28 April 2024.

 

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