North Sails NEWS

TOKYO 2020: 8 OLYMPIANS TO WATCH 

We wish everyone a PB (Personal Best) at the Olympics!

📸 Sailing Energy / World Sailing

As athletes get ready for a much-anticipated Olympics, it’s even harder than usual to guess who will be stepping onto the podium this time around. The only prediction we feel completely safe in making is that we’ll have a plenty of new entries for the #NSVictoryList. Here’s a little background on 8 favorite Olympians we’ll be watching when the Games begin.

Giles Scott GBR (Finn)

The 2016 gold medalist dominated the entire Olympic quad leading up to Rio, so Giles has to be at the very top of our list. Calling America’s Cup tactics for former Finn rival Ben Ainslie on the foiling Ineos Team UK has undoubtedly honed already fast reaction times, and afterward this versatile sailor stepped right back onto the Finn podium with a silver medal at the 2021 Europeans—though he did have to “settle for second.” 

Alex Maloney and Molly Meech (49erFX)

📸 Graeme Murray/Red Bull Content Pool

Kiwis Alex and Molly both grew up on boats and both sailed around the world before the age of ten. When the 49erFX class was introduced into the Olympics roster for the 2016 Rio Olympics, the Kiwis began sailing together full time. It paid off when the dynamic duo won a silver medal at Rio 2016. To get ready for Tokyo, they’ve been taking advantage of New Zealand’s Millennium Institute of Sport state-of-the-art heat chamber—and also doing the occasional sail after dark, to test their non-visual senses. 

Watch their story on RedBull.com

Matt Belcher and Will Ryan (470M)

After training at home in Australia for the past year and a half, the 2016 silver medalists Matt Belcher and Will Ryan have not yet posted any international results. That said, Matt already knows how to win 470 gold (2012, with Malcolm Page), and he’s also won a record-setting seven 470 Worlds. Back in 2000, he won the 420 Worlds, a reminder of that class’ importance as a feeder to the Olympic 470. 

Hannah Mills and Eilidh Mcintyre (470W)

Hannah Mills (GBR) won gold in 2016 and silver in 2012 with crew Saskia Clark. She and first-time Olympian Eilidh Mcintyre won the 2019 Worlds in Enoshima, which turned out to be the last 470 regatta held on Olympic waters ahead of the Games. After a rough start at the 2021 Worlds, they took the last three bullets before the medal race and finished fifth overall. With an entire fleet of North Sails and both 2016 medal-winning skippers sailing with new crews, this will be an especially fun battle to watch. 

Josh Junior (Finn)

Josh finished seventh at the 2016 Rio Olympics and joined the winning America’s Cup Team New Zealand shortly afterward, along with close friend and Finn tuning partner Andy Maloney. In 2019, he became the very first New Zealander to win a Finn Gold Cup. Andy won this year’s Gold Cup, while Josh finished third, so awarding the country’s single Olympic slot must’ve been a very tough call. With Andy as his primary training partner, Josh will be well-prepared for the pressure-cooker uncertainties of Tokyo.

We’re looking forward to watching all the 2020 Olympians adapt to the special challenges of this year’s competition, which runs July 25-August 5. Let the Games begin!