Allianz Regatta set to offer perfect tune-up for Sailing World Championships

The Allianz Regatta begins in Almere and Lelystad as part of Dutch Water Week
The Allianz Regatta begins in Almere and Lelystad as part of Dutch Water Week

The first of two major sailing regattas in Dutch waters begins in Almere and Lelystad this week with the Allianz Regatta – the second Sailing World Cup of the season.

Two months out from the World Championships in The Hague, there will be six classes competing from 31 May to 4 June.

There will be a total of 280 athletes from 44 countries participating in the event, which is part of Dutch Water Week, being overseen by Arno van Gerven, the CEO of Dutch National Watersports.

As well as the high quality of sailing expected all week, there has also been a focus on improved sustainability and quality of water with all additional power supplies run on hydrogen generators, while there has been an increase in the number of robot buoys that use GPS technology to stay in position.

Van Gerven also explained that the introduction of an international race director (or Principal Race Officer, PRO) for the first time should have a huge impact of the quality of race management.

He said: “David Brookes comes from Australia and is directing all the race courses this year. Then we also have a representative of that PRO at each track.

“This is what all coaches have been asking for, for a long time and what we have now realized together with World Sailing. This should also become the new standard for all World Cup races. In short, we are doing the maximum as a sport to get it right.”


The 49er class looks particularly open following the retirement of Olympic champions Stuart Bithell and Dylan Fletcher from GB, with Kiwi silver medallists Peter Burling and Blair Tuke focused on the America’s Cup.

It was another pair of New Zealanders who were victorious in the World Cup opener in Palma, Logan Dunning Beck and Oscar Gunn, but they will also be missing in the Netherlands.

Therefore, Palma silver medallists Tom Burton, Laser Olympic champion in Rio, and his crew Max Paul (AUS) look like the combination to beat.

Among those who will be looking to get the better of them are Danish pair Daniel Nyborg and Nikolaj Hoffman Buhl, who are targeting a place in the medal race as they ramp up preparations for the World Championships.

Nyborg said: “It looks like it’s going to be a lot of wind at the beginning of the week which sounds good to us. We want to put things together and hopefully end up in the medal race.”

Formula Kite Men

The standout performer at the 52 Trofeo Princesa Sofia Mallorca Iberostar in Palma was Singapore’s Maximilian Maeder, who will be absent in the Netherlands this week.

But there will be no lack of high-quality competition even without the teenager. Reigning world champion Toni Vodisek of Slovenia, who pipped Maeder in 2022, will be looking to bounce back after finishing sixth in Palma.

But he will have to overcome podium pair Connor Bainbridge and Axel Mazella, the Brit and Frenchman finishing second and third respectively last month.

Formula Kite Women

Having already scooped gold in Palma in April, France’s Lauriane Nolot will be keen to make it two wins from two in the Netherlands.

With the class set to make its Olympic debut at Paris 2024, Nolot is building up an impressive collection of titles, as the reigning European champion as well as being the 2022 world runner-up.

Compatriot Poema Newland, who finished third in Palma, could provide stiff competition for Nolot.


Marit Bouwmeester was the class of the field in the ILCA 6 in Palma and will be eager to back that up on home waters.

The 2017 World Sailor of the Year, who won Olympic gold in Rio in the Laser Radial, marked her return from a maternity break with a dominant victory in Palma, clinching gold with a day to spare.

Her teammate Maxime Jonker scooped bronze and will be one of the main challengers to Bouwmeester.


The ILCA 7 is another class that looks particularly open, with Duko Bos and Niels Brokhuizen (NED) among those who will be hoping to impress.

Portugal’s Eduardo Marques and Ireland’s Ewan McMahon are others who could be in contention.

McMahon said: “I'm really looking forward to the racing. I think this will be a really good regatta into the lead-up to the summer and the Sailing World Championships in The Hague later this year.”

iQFOiL Men

There will be huge Dutch interest in the iQFOil Men where Olympic champion Kiran Badloe will be keen to make amends for finishing just 19th in Palma.

As well as his Olympic title in the RS:X, Badloe won a hat-trick of world titles from 2019 to 2021, and has the chance to make a statement here.

He missed the 2022 World Championships, with Dutch pair Luuc Opzeeland and Huig Jan Tak scooping silver and bronze medals respectively in his absence.

They will now be among the main challengers to Badloe at the Allianz Regatta.