Team GB's Hayling Island sailor Eilidh McIntyre and partner Hannah Mills preparing to launch 470 World Championship title defence

Hayling Island's Eilidh McIntyre and sailing partner Hannah Mills are putting in the final preparations ahead of launching their 470 Class World Championship title defence.

Friday, 5th March 2021, 2:36 pm
Team GB sailors Eilidh McIntryre, right, and Hannah Mills took silver at the Olympic test event in August 2019. Picture: Charly Triballeau/Getty Images)

The Team GB pair, who claimed gold in the last world event which took place in August 2019, will be competing for the first time in more than 18 months when they take to the waters from Monday in Vilamoura, Portugal.

Former Mayville School pupil McIntyre and Mills have been able to train out of the British Sailing bases in Weymouth and Portland, although competition has remained on hold for a continued period because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The pair are now sure to be delighted to get back racing and have the chance to defend their world title while also using the event as a building platform as they continue their work towards the delayed Tokyo Olympics this summer.

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The Team GB duo were crowned world champions at the Games sailing venue in Enoshima two years ago before taking part in an Olympic test event weeks later where they claimed silver in August 2019 which, incredibly, was their last international action.

When the pair finally get to compete at this summer's Games, McIntyre will be bidding to follow in the footsteps of her father, Mike, and claim a sailing gold.

He was the winner in the Star Class at Seoul in 1988 and the Hayling Island resident will be doing her best to add another gold to the family collection later this year.

But first her and Rio 2016 gold medallist Mills will be placing their full attention on retaining their 470 World Championship crown.