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JEAN-BAPTISTE BERNAZ: “IT IS LIKE LEARNING SAILING THE LASER AGAIN!”

 

Just one week to go to Trofeo Princess Sofia, France’s ILCA7 Men Laser specialist Jean-Baptiste Bernaz has already Olympics Paris 2024 in his scope. « After finishing 6th at Tokyo 2020, I did not know where I stood, » confesses SSL France n°2 to StarSailors.com« I had to take some time off to decide whereas to continue or not. I finally took a new coach, Nicolas Le Berre, and we decided to work on a winning project for Paris 2024. »

To achieve his dream of reaching a medal at what will be his 6th Olympic Games in « his backyard » in Marseille, « JB » has set up an innovative strategy in inshore sailing: share training sessions with fellow competitors SSL German n°1 Philipp Buhl and Norway SSL n°1 Hermann Tomasgaard. « We decided to train together at a very high level of performance. The French method is a very close and exclusive one. Opening to a new method gives me a total different understanding of other countries’ Sailing methodology and cultures. There is so much new things I learn from them and vice versa. There is no filter amongst us. It’s like learning how to sail Laser again! Our goal is to share the top 3 medals in Paris 2024. »

Trofeo Princess Sofia will be the first major regatta for all ILCA7 sailors. There will be 180 sailors on the starting line, and amongst them, Olympic Champion Australia’s Matt Wearn (SSL Australia n°1), Olympic Silver medalist Croatia’s Tonči Stipanovic (SSL Croatia n°1) and Olympic Bronze medalist Hermann Tomasgaard. « Competition will be fierce as there will be all the best Laser sailors in the place. I am actually at 70%-80% of my potential. My goal will be to reach 100% of this percentage of performance. There is still a lot of work to do for my target in 2022: ILCA7’s World Cup in May in Mexico. I am really looking forward to compete in Palma. It is a really nice place, and I like sailing in the Med, my home sea. It’s usually the first « warm » regatta of the year, even though it has not been the case last week! »

JB Bernaz is also involved in SSL Team France as a helmsman/ tactician, and SSL Gold Cup will be one of his priorities this year too. The French are SSL Nations Top 10 and will race directly in Final Series Last Round 16 in November in the same group as SSL Team Sweden. « The concept of this competition is just unbelievable. I love defending the colours of my country. Doing that as a team will be such a great feeling. There will be sailors from all horizons and all countries. SSL Gold Cup will finally settle who is the best Sailing country. »