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Displaying items by tag: Paris 2024

Finn Lynch will not be racing at the Allianz Regatta at The Hague this week, despite his silver medal performance at the North Sea Regatta at the same venue, because the Rio Olympian is focussing on preparations for the Olympic test event in Marseilles from July 9 to 16.

After wrist injury setbacks after Hyeres in April but a 10th at the Europeans in March, the Irish number one finished an encouraging second overall counting seven top-five finishes from ten races at the largest regatta on the Dutch North Sea.

The windy 2023 edition was won by in-form Cypriot Pavlos Kontides, a 2102 Olympic silver medalist. Overall, Lynch beat noted international performer Tonci Stiponavic, the 2016 silver medalist, who finished fourth in the 53-boat fleet.

Howth Yacht Club brothers Ewan and Jamie McMahon are both competing in the men's single-handed ILCA7 fleet at Allianz Regatta at The Hague this week.

The results of the 2023 North Sea Regatta are here 

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Irish Olympic ILCA 6 and 7 campaigners for Paris 2024 will be hoping for a consistent Wednesday at Mallorca’s giant 52nd Trofeo Princesa Sofia to get back on track in the all-important qualifying series.

The National Yacht Club's top-ranked Finn Lynch had a 19th result in his opening ILCA7 race but suffered a U flag penalty for early-starting in race two. He is currently lying 124th in a 184-boat fleet.

Lynch's rival for Paris 2024, Ewan McMahon (Howth Yacht Club), rounded off a solid day with a 14th and 12th place to lie 31st, according to official results here.

McMahon's younger brother Jamie lies 142nd.

Jamie McMahon (Howth Yacht Club) in the thick of it on the first day of the  giant 52nd Trofeo Princesa Sofia in Mallorca Photo: Sailing EnergyJamie McMahon (Howth Yacht Club) in the thick of it on the first day of the  giant 52nd Trofeo Princesa Sofia in Mallorca Photo: Sailing Energy

Shifting wind directions and big changes of wind pressure again taxed competitors and race organisers alike as Mallorca’s giant 52 Trofeo Princesa Sofia Mallorca assumed its full size and shape when all ten Olympic classes took to the racing waters over the course of a very long day on the Bay of Palma.

Eve McMahon

McMahon's younger sister Eve racing in the women's ILCA6 event, put the disappointment of an early-starting disqualification on Monday behind her to place seventh in the second race of the day and lies 66th in a 106-boat fleet.

With the programme over the first two days compromised by weather, the organisers need a consistent Wednesday to get the qualifying series back on track. 

Olympic medallists started safely in the ILCA 6 and ILCA 7 fleets. The Netherlands' triple medallist Marit Bouwmeester tops the Womens' fleet whilst last year's Men's class winner GBR's Micky Beckett in second today, is sandwiched between Croatia's 2016 silver medallist Tonci Stipanovic who leads and Matt Wearn of Australia the reigning Olympic champion.

"It was a long day for a single race but I am happy to have won it so it was kind of worth it." smiled Wearn, "I was going well in the second race too when they abandoned it and so overall I am quite happy with the way I am sailing. Last year we had 25-30kts on the first race here and I had a breakage which cost me the two races effectively so I am happy to have started well now. We have had a good, big summer of training at home with our squad and some racing at the Nationals Sail Sydney and Sail Melbourne and did some training with the Brits at the venue for the 2024 Worlds and so I think I am in good shape."

Bouwmeester, who has started with a first and third remarked, "That was an ok result. But after two days, we have only done two races. Yesterday we started twice, but both races were cancelled again halfway through, due to lack of good wind. Today, three races were scheduled. Indeed, the other half of fleet has done three and our fleet only two. We are suffering from rain and showers here and they are completely messing up the wind. Yesterday we spent six hours on the water and today seven. They are very long days for very few races."

In spite of spending seven hours afloat and although the conditions were sunny for much of the day with up to 15 knots, the wind direction oscillated over 20-30 degrees and a steady course couldn't be set by the race committee for more than three hours.

Conditions permitting, three further races are scheduled for both ILCA single-handed fleets in the Men's and Women's events for Wednesday which will conclude the qualification round to decide Gold fleets across all classes in the regatta.

Mallorca‘s renowned Bay of Palma is set to see the biggest-ever racing fleet take to its waters as the Trofeo Princesa Sofia Mallorca by Iberostar lifts the curtain on the 2023 Olympic classes season.

Irish Olympic campaigners are in action this morning as Afloat reported previously here

The Balearic showcase ‘Sofia’ always marks the critical point at which winter and spring training stops and the serious business of racing, measuring up against full-scale opposition, starts in earnest.

Club Nàutic S’Arenal

From their various training hubs and complexes, the classes converge on Palma for a 52nd edition that carries even more importance than usual. The period between Olympics compacted this time to just three years and already there are just 15 months or so before Paris 2024.

As usual, some aspiring athletes have been here for between six weeks and two months. Europeans have been in breezy, wavy Lanzarote or Vilamoura, Portugal. But commitments and needs vary. Reigning Olympic medallists, who perhaps have America’s Cup or Sail GP commitments or are perhaps enjoying parenthood for the first time, have programmes pared back to what they consider spells of essential racing and training.

The ‘Sofia’ is the first Sailing World Cup of 2023’s four regattas along with the Allianz Regatta (The Netherlands), the Semaine Olympique Française (Hyères, France) and Kieler Woche (Kiel, Germany). And as such many nations are using 52 Trofeo Princesa Sofía Mallorca by Iberostar as a trials or observed event alongside with one or two other key regattas to make their team selections for the Olympic test event, the Games dress rehearsal 7-16 July in Marseille.

Italy’s dominant duo in the Nacra 17 foiling multihull, Olympic, World and European Champions Ruggera Tita and Caterina Banti have reduced the volume of their training and racing programme as Rolex World Sailors of the Year helm Tita takes on an increasingly important role with the Italian Luna Rossa America’s Cup challenge.

Looking relaxed, completing his final bits of boat work in the S’Arenal Club boat park last year’s Sofia winning helm enthuses: “This regatta is important for us to validate what we did through the winter because we did not do a lot of volume but focused on good quality in Cagliari with the British (John Gimson and Anna Burnet), the Italians and Santi Lange a bit too. We want to see how the level of the fleet has gone up which it certainly has. I think the level of the fleet is very high now and much more even than this time last year.”

Explaining how their priorities lie, he says, “I will be very busy with Luna Rossa, and so we will just do the key events, here and then Hyeres, we will then train in Sardinia and then do the test event – if we manage to qualify – and the worlds. Qualification is something to be accomplished and of course, the Italians are pushing very hard and working together so the level there is higher all the time...... and of course, they came second at the worlds. Sailing with Luna Rossa is give and take, somethings you can learn on the technical side that you can bring to the NACRA and somethings we practice on the water with the Nacra and we have done this for such a long time that it all helps with Luna Rossa.”

All of the Tokyo medal-winning pairs are racing in the 52 Trofeo Princesa Sofia Nacra 17 fleet. Tita points to their training partners, silver medal-winning British counterparts John Gimson and Anna Burnet as perhaps having a slight speed edge in the lighter conditions which are forecast for the first days of the regatta.

The 470 Mixed fleet has strengthened significantly since it debuted in ‘mixed doubles’ format here one year ago when Spain’s Jordi Xammar and Nora Brugman won. Sweden’s Anton Dahlberg and Lovisa Karlsson, European Championships led February’s Lanzarote International Regatta into the final stages but finished last in the medal race. “We had a communication problem then and it cost us but we are confident here, we have been going well in training. I just love sailing on the Bay of Palma with so many different boats around us.” smiles Dahlberg, silver medallist in Tokyo 2020.

Xammar says he is liking the shorter, intense three year pogramme, “I personally like it. We have been able to plan it accurately in advance, not like the Tokyo campaign, which nobody knew would go on to be five years. At a sporting level, I think it is very interesting because a year and a half ago all the athletes were at our maximum peak and in a year and a half we will have to be once again. And in terms of the media it keeps the focus on. A year and a half ago everyone had their eyes on Tokyo and in half a year we will be back into the Olympic year. So I think it is very positive in many areas and it is the same for everyone.”

The 49er skiff class sees Holland’s double world champions Bart Lambriex and Floris van der Werken (NED) starting as favourites along with Spain’s local heroes Diego Botín and Florian Trittel who fit their training and racing around Spain SailGP commitments. Britain’s James Peters and Fynn Sterritt’s won the Lanzarote event and took bronze at last year’s European Championships.

And in the 49erFX fleet the Dutch double world champions must be favourites too. Odile van Aanholt and Annette Duetz won here last year ten points clear of Brazil’s two times Olympic champions Martine Grael and Kahena Kunze.

The ILCA 6 racing will be fascinating, the fleet is stronger again this year. Canada’s Sarah Douglas was on relentless form after disappointment in Tokyo. But the Netherlands’ new mum Marit Bouwmeester is back in the fleet, hungry for a fourth Olympic medal after gold in Rio 2016, silver in London 2012 and bronze in Tokyo. So too Denmark’s 2020 Olympic champion Anne Marie Rindom returns to the Bay of Palma where she won class at the 2019 Sofia. And the ILCA 7 fleet is as densely packed with talent including gold medallist Matt Wearn who finished second last year behind GBR’s Micky Beckett after the Australian had to fight back from a bogey opening day with DNC due to a technical problem and a 26th.

Top seeds in the Formula Kite Men include Solvenia’s Toni Vodišek (SLO) and 16-year-old Singaporean Max Maeder, first and second at the world championships. Gold, silver and bronze medallists from last year’s Sofia debut were first and second placed French duo Théo de Ramecourt and Benoit Gomez while GBR’s Connor Bainbridge was third. In the Women’s kite event the USA’s Daniela Moroz finally prevailed over France’s Lauriane Nolot.

In the Women’s iQFOiL the duel is likely to be between France’s Hélène Noesmoen and Spain’s local favourite Pilar Lamadrid (ESP) along with Italy’s reigning world champion Marta Maggetti whilst Britain’s Sam Sills has shown strongly in the early stages of several events this season – as he did here last year – but this might prove to be his event. Among the contenders will be France’s Nico Goyard, Germany’s reigning world champion Sebastian Koerdel and Poland’s Pawel Tarnowski, winner of the iQFOiL Games in Lanzarote in January.

52 Trofeo Princesa Sofía Mallorca by Iberostar - Day 1 programme:

iQFOiL Men, 4 races for Yellow and Blue Fleets

470 Mixed, 2 races for Yellow and Blue Fleets
ILCA 7 Men, 2 races for Yellow, Blue and Red Fleets
ILCA 6 Women, 2 races for Yellow and Blue Fleets

iQFOiL Women, 4 races for Yellow and Blue Fleets

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The Princess Sofia Trophy regatta in stunning Palma de Mallorca is arguably the largest – and most loved – Olympic classes regatta in the calendar. It also happens to be the 2023 season opener – and what a season this promises to be. Racing starts on Monday, April 3, and runs until Saturday, April 8.

There have been a few smaller regattas over the winter period, but this is the first biggie, and the who of Olympic sailing will be at it. More than 1,300 sailors from 67 countries are set to compete.

As regular Afloar readers will know, Irish Olympic sailors have already been in action this year at the ILCA European Championships. Finn Lynch finished 13th overall (but a top-10 European finish), and Eve McMahon scored 16th

The pressure is starting to mount with Paris 2024 a little over a year away. Each nation will want to get one over on its rivals, while the athletes themselves will be looking to not only better their international competition but also stake a claim to the sole place in each of the ten classes for Paris 2024. 

Palma Bay is known for its ability to chuck all sorts of weather at sailors, which always makes for an exciting week.

Competing for Ireland in the week-long regatta (Monday, 3 to Saturday, 8 April) are Rio Olympian Lynch and Ewan McMahon in the ILCA 7 and his sister Eve in the ILCA 6.

In the 49er skiffs are Tokyo Olympians Robert Dickson and Seán Waddilove, and rivals for the single Paris 2024 berth Séafra Guilfoyle and Johnny Durcan.

Dun Laoghaire's Saskia Tidey of the Royal Irish Yacht Club, an Irish Rio 2016 Olympian, competes for Team GB with Freya Black, who will be looking to avenge their 2022 that saw them miss out on the 49erFX medal race by a single point.

The official website featuring results and the full entry list is here, but if you want to track the progress of the Irish, the best place to do so is We will update you daily on the results and feature the event's best Irish photos.

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For more than 50 years, the elite of Olympic sailing have been journeying to Hyères, the historic jewel of the French Riviera, at the end of April.

Over the years, the Semaine Olympique Française de Hyères - TPM has become an unmissable event for every national team. In 2023, for its 54th edition, Hyères will have the pleasure of once again welcoming the world’s best Olympic sailors in preparation for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games.

With almost 1,000 athletes from over 60 countries, the Semaine Olympique Française in Hyères is — along with the Trofeo Princesa Sofía this week — a Mediterranean event not to be missed for the Olympic elite, with under a year-and-a-half until Paris 2024.

Like every year, “La SOF” continues to stage an event exclusively dedicated to the 10 Olympic classes. ILCA (women’s and men’s single-handed dinghy), 49er (women’s and men’s double-handed dinghy), Nacra 17 (mixed double-handed catamaran), 470 (mixed double-handed dinghy), Formula Kite (women’s and men’s kitefoil) and iQFOiL (women’s and men’s windfoil) will compete on the Hyérois waters less than 500 days before the first Olympic events.

French Olympic Week 2023 logo

Olympic champions from Tokyo 2020 and Rio 2016 competing in Hyères next month will include the likes of Brazil’s Martine Grael (49erFX double gold medallist), Italians Ruggero Tita and Caterina Banti (Nacra 17 mixed), Australians Matt Wearn (gold in Tokyo) and Tom Burton (gold in Rio) in the ILCA 7, and China’s Lu Yunxiu (gold in the women’s RS:X in Tokyo) in the iQFOiL.

The event, coming during the school holidays, will be freely open to all and in particular to children, who will be able to get close to the best sailors in the world. There will be a multitude of onshore events to introduce sailing to as many people as possible.

Following reception and registration over the weekend of Friday 21 to Sunday 23 April, the opening ceremony takes place on Monday 24 April which also sees the start of the week-long qualifying phase, before the medal races, prize-giving and closing ceremony on Saturday 29 April.

Also, be sure to save the dates for next year’s Semaine Olympique Française, the 55th edition from 20-27 April 2024 just weeks before the Paris Games.

The 52nd edition of the Trofeo Princesa Sofía, which will be held from this Wednesday 29 March to Friday 8 April on the Bay of Palma, marks the start of a crucial season for the teams in the run-up to the Paris 2024 Olympic Games.

Among them the Irish Olympic team will be eager to prove their mettle, following on from the ILCA Euros earlier this month. Eve McMahon, Finn Lynch and other hopefuls are making the trip this week along with Ireland’s 49er contenders.

The Mallorcan regatta has a special importance just over a year before the Games of the 33rd Olympiad begin in Paris. The best Olympic sailing specialists in the world will meet in the Bay of Palma as a taste of what may happen at the French regatta off Marseille.

The pandemic reduced the Olympic cycle between Tokyo and Paris from the usual four years to three, an exception that intensified the programmes of sailors, teams and federations — and enhances the importance of events such as the Trofeo Princesa Sofía, which could not be held in 2020 or 2021. Last year, 2022, it made a strong comeback and faces 2023 as the biggest edition in its history.

Ferrán Muniesa, technical director of the Princess Sofia Trophy, explains that the pre-Olympic year is very important for the teams because “there are countries that have not achieved a place for the Games, so the Sofia, in many cases, is an Olympic country qualifying event. In this edition there is a lot of pressure, as it is well known that it is more difficult to get a selection place for a country than it is to participate in Paris 2024.

“This pressure is reflected in the numbers of the event, which for the first time will exceed 1,000 boats, with more than 1,300 sailors from 67 countries. The more sailors registered, the more groups there are to organise, and therefore the more races to compete in, which complicates the logistics.”

The changes in the Olympic classes have also affected the Trofeo Princesa Sofía. The Finn category and the division of 470 into male and female categories have given way to the unification in 470 Mixed and the creation of Formula Kite Men and Female, with the historic arrival of kitesurfing to the Olympic arena.

On the other hand, the iQFOiL revolutionises the windsurfing category, which now incorporates foils. Muniesa adds: “The events in the new flying classes are very short, between 12 and 15 minutes compared to 60 minutes before, and the speed is much higher. All of this makes the logistics more complicated, we have to be very attentive and increase safety.”

The first Sailing World Cup 2023 event will be followed by the Semaine Olympique Française in April in France, the Allianz Regatta in May-June in the Netherlands and the Kieler Woche in June in Germany. The hopefuls for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games have just 16 months to complete their preparations, and in the Princess Sofía they will find out where they stand in relation to their rivals and what their real chances are of achieving the coveted Olympic glory.

Paris 2024 Irish Olympic sailors are among athletes across sixteen sports who were awarded a total amount of €115,000 to support their performance through an Olympic Federation of Ireland athlete's fund

ILCA 7 campaigner Finn Lynch, who just finished 13th overall at last week's European Championships in Italy, got €3,000, and the Irish doublehanded 49er crews, Dublin's Robert Dickson & Sean Waddilove and Cork's Seafra Guilfoyle & Johnny Durcan were each awarded €3,000 per boat.

The proceeds of the fund were partially raised by the Make a Difference Golf Day in October 2022 and an additional €50,000 from the Olympic Federation of Ireland.

Athletes targeting both the Summer Olympics in Paris 2024 and the Winter Olympics in Milano Cortina 2026 will benefit from the fund, which will support applications detailing projects from training camps to specialist coaches.

Chair of the Olympic Federation of Ireland Athletes’ Commission, Shane O’Connor welcomed the increased amount saying,

“There are a huge number of athletes across a huge number of sports vying for Olympic qualification. The quality and depth of applications received were very impressive and highlighted that a little extra support to the athletes can really make a huge difference. We are happy as an Athletes' Commission to be able to support this fund, with the backing of the Olympic Federation of Ireland, and the Make a Difference golf fundraiser.”

Paris 2024 make a difference fund recipients - €93,000Paris 2024 make a difference fund recipients - €93,000

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Consistent sailing by Olympic Paris 2024 campaigner Finn Lynch puts him in the top ten of the ILCA 7 European Championships in Andora, Italy.

The National Yacht Club ace, ranked as high as second in the world last season, added another two fifth-place results to his scoresheet on Tuesday before ending the qualification rounds with a race win boost to sit eighth overall with 5, 5, (6.0) and 1.

Reigning World champion Jean Baptiste Bernaz FRA (1-3-1-10) leads the competition with five points among 191 sailors.

Medium air conditions were quite shifty, with the breeze up and down in big seas on the Riviera delle Palme.

Three sailors are just one point behind Bernaz, so the championship promises to be fought to the bitter end; Duko Bos NED (7-4-1-1), Philipp Buhl GER (1-19-1-4), and Matthew Wearn AUS (1-3-2-4) are all counting six points after the first four races. Tonci Stipanovic CRO (7-1-4-3) is also close with eight.

There was a special moment for Ireland at this major championship when Lynch's rival for Paris 2024, Ewan McMahon of Howth Yacht Club, crossed the finish line just behind Lynch, giving Ireland a 1-2 in race four.

Three races are scheduled for Wednesday, with the first warning signal at 09:00. Coaches meeting at 07:00.

ILCA 7 – Full results below

Building on the highest-ever recorded Irish medal achievements in 2022 – including the achievements of sailors Finn Lynch and Eve McMahon at World level – Sport Ireland announced this week its latest funding packages for Paris 2024.

Top-ranked ILCA 7 sailor Lynch is one of 32 Irish athletes to receive the top category of 'Podium' funding of €40,000. 

Three other Irish sailors are among 63 athletes to receive international funding, but the number of sailors awarded has halved since May 2022.

49er duo Robert Dickson and Sean Waddilove each get €18,000 (down from 25k each in 2022), and Irish Sailor of the Year Eve McMahon receives €18,000 for her ILCA 6 Paris bid.

Sport Ireland requires athletes to achieve published carded criteria to be eligible to apply to be on the Scheme.

 Sport Ireland carding for Irish Sailors in 2023Sport Ireland carding for Irish Sailors in 2023 - source: Sport Ireland

Meanwhile, in this week's High-Performance Programme Funding 2023 allocation, the Irish Sailing Association will receive €800,000, matching last year's grant, as part of the €3.2m it will get between 2021-2024.

High-Performance Programme Funding is provided to National Governing Bodies to fund performance team salaries and various activities, including training camps and competitions, pathway development, and performance services.

High-Performance Programme FundingHigh-Performance Programme Funding - source: Sport Ireland

Sport Ireland also announced that in 2022, the ISA received €220,000 in High-Performance Impact Funding. According to Sport Ireland, this 'Impact Funding' ensures flexibility to 'respond positively to performance opportunities' or 'reasonable financial challenges within NGBs'.

Under its 'multi-annual funding commitment' for 2022 to 2024, €10.8m in 'High-Performance Programme Funding' will be provided to 19 National Governing Bodies, including rowing, sailing and canoeing, to support the delivery of their performance programmes in 2023. 

See more from Sport Ireland here

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With 547 days to go to the Paris 2024 Olympics, America's Sailing Scuttlebutt website reports that USA Olympic Sailing has lost its Executive Director. 

Paul Cayard (San Francisco, CA), who had been appointed by US Sailing in March 2021 as Executive Director of U.S. Olympic Sailing, today announced his resignation from the position. Here are his words to supporters of US Olympic Sailing:

Unfortunately, over the past couple of months, the US Sailing Association and I had a complete breakdown on several levels. The process of resolution was not good and ultimately unsuccessful. Despite my passion for our mission and my perseverance, I can no longer work with US Sailing.

In 2020, I was told that trying to build a successful Olympic Team, within US Sailing, would be very challenging. Changing the processes, culture, and support for the Team is an extremely difficult task. We are just starting to make gains. Raising two or three times the amount of money ever raised in the USA, to support that goal is also a difficult task. Starting and building an endowment so that future leaders will have something to rely on financially is another tall order.

Ultimately, the relationship with US Sailing proved to be one that I could not cope with. It pains me to admit that as I did sail around the world twice, and generally feel pretty capable of dealing with adversity.

I want to emphasize my gratitude for your support, trust and confidence in me. Know that we made significant progress in the movement to get the USA back to the top of the podium. I remain interested in our mission and supporting athletes. Maybe this will take a different form in time.

It has been my honor and privilege to work with my staff and for all the great athletes of the USA who have so much potential. I wish them all the best!"

More on here

US Sailing restructures Olympic programme

US Sailing, the sport's national governing body, announces an operational restructuring of the US Sailing Team.

During a reassessment of its business, and to ensure US Sailing Team athletes receive the best support leading up to the Paris 2024 Olympic Games, the US Sailing Board of Directors has decided to dedicate the resources necessary to ensure all aspects of successfully operating the Olympic Team receive the attention they deserve.

Previously, the Executive Director of US Olympic Sailing was responsible for both leading team operations as well as garnering financial support for the team. In this new structure, duties would be streamlined and separated into two roles. A Head of Olympic Operations will focus full-time on this part of the role, while a second position will give fundraising for the team the necessary attention it deserves.

In the past two years, many strides have been made towards success on the podium. Fundraising efforts and successes have grown, athletes participating on the US Sailing board, which is a requirement of The Ted Stevens Olympic and Amateur Sports Act, have gained valuable leadership experience, and responsibilities have naturally been added.

By separating responsibilities into two roles, each effort will get the dedicated staff and time necessary for success.

"We are proud of the accomplishments made with respect to the Olympic Team and the development of our athletes over the past couple of years," said President of the Board of Directors Rich Jepsen. "We have done what all good organizations do, which is to continually assess how to be even better.

"In talking with many athletes and other stakeholders in that regard, and the Board believes that dedicating the necessary resources for these two valuable areas will help better position our athletes for success on the podium."

Additional steps are already being taken to implement this improved structure. A search committee comprised of US Sailing board members is being created to fill these important roles. Interviews are ongoing to recruit the successful development professional and will begin shortly for the head of the Team.

In the interim, two board members who have been integrally involved in the Board's oversight of the Olympic operations and the ongoing assessment, Olympian Sarah Lihan and long-time board member and 10-year sailor athlete Henry Brauer, will help oversee the Team.

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