The 53rd Semaine Olympique Française de Hyères - Toulon Provence Méditerranée, is back from April 23 to 30, 2022. Once again, the Olympic sailing elite will be in Hyères for one of the most anticipated events of the season. For the first time in France, the SOF will bring together on the Hyères field of play the 10 classes that will be present in Marseille for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games.
An historic and unmissable part of the Olympic circuit, the Semaine Olympique Française is recognized as the best event for preparing for the next Olympic Games. The race programme and the restricted entry will allow the best sailors in each class to measure themselves against each other with a limited number of participants. The format is very close to the one used for the Olympic Games.
Coming from more than 50 countries, the 650 registered competitors, including the world's best Olympic sailors, will make the Hyères event an exceptional edition. After the Trofeo Princess Sofia, at the beginning of April, Hyères will be the second major event on the Olympic calendar.
The 10 Olympic classes: iQFOiL (foil windsurfing, men and women), Kitefoil (foil kiteboarding, men and women), ILCA (solo dinghy, women and men), 49er (double dinghy, men and women), Nacra 17 (double foil catamaran, mixed), 470 (double dinghy, mixed) will compete on the Hyérois field of play, which is as technical as it is tactical and renowned for its often strong easterly winds.
The gold medallists at the Tokyo Olympic Games last summer, who will be competing in Hyères: Australia’s Matt Wearn (men’s ILCA), Italy’s Ruggero Tita & Caterina Banti (Nacra 17, mixed), Brazil’s Martine Grael and Kahena Kunze (women's 49er), Britain’s Eilidh McIntyre, with new partner Martin Wringley (470 double dinghy, mixed).
For France, the world champions of iQFOiL, Hélène Noesmoen and Nicolas Goyard will be competing in women’s and men’s in Hyères. Goyard will be up against Thomas Goyard, silver medallist in RS:X in Tokyo, and Pierre Le Coq, bronze medallist in RS: X in Rio. In KiteFoil, the field includes the world champion, Théo de Ramecourt; the European champion, Axel Mazella; and Lauriane Nolot (3rd in the World Championship). Gold medallist in Rio and silver medallist in Tokyo, Charline Picon, returns - and for the first time in competition in France in the 49er – partnering with Sarah Steyaert. Bronze medallist in Tokyo in the 470, Aloïse Retornaz will form a new mixed duet with Kevin Peponnet.
“For the first time, the 10 classes competing at the Paris 2024 Olympic Games will be in Hyères from April 23 to 30, 2022,” Jean-Luc Denéchau, President of the French Sailing Federation, said. “This field of play, renowned for being as technical as it is tactical, also has the privilege of being surrounded by the aptly-named “golden islands". For the competitors, for all those involved in this great competition, for the partners: the city of Hyères and TPM, and of course for our Federation, this “comeback” edition of the SOF is a pleasure even more heartfelt following, as it does, two difficult years.”
Solidarity with Ukrainian sailors
The organizers of the Semaine Olympique Française have taken the decision to invite and take care of the accommodation of the entire Ukrainian delegation which will be present for the event.