Hayling Island sailor James Peters plans to inject some much-needed ‘spark’ into his Olympic campaign at the World Championships.

Peters has already been selected by Team GB for this summer’s Games, set to race in the 49er category alongside partner Fynn Sterritt.

Having finished sixth at Worlds last year, Peters wants to use the upcoming global gathering in Lanzarote to find a higher gear.

“Our form last season was just shy of medal standard, consistently between fifth and tenth,” said Peters.

“Over the winter, everything we’ve been doing has been focusing on continuing to do all of that good stuff but just to inject a bit of spark into it. That’s not easy but we feel like we’re moving forwards.

“Fynn and I wouldn’t have started this campaign if we didn’t think we had the potential to win the Olympics, and certainly to be going in as a strong medal contender.

“The Worlds is a big halfway marker for us. Let’s be honest, anywhere in the top 10 is a good result but we’re aiming for more than that, we want to be among those medals.”

Unlike Peters and Sterritt, a number of their rivals are still vying to win domestic Olympic selection races and are unsure of their place on the start line at Marseille Marina on 28 July.

One thing is for certain - the conditions that confront the British pair in the Canary Islands will be very different to the ones that meet them in the Mediterranean in a few months’ time.

“In Lanzarote, you get a big ocean swell in different directions that is very much influenced by whatever the sea state is at the time,” explained Peters.

“The wind tends to be dictated by the shape and topography of the islands and different course areas. You can get big waves in Marseille but not this giant ocean swell.

“That does have an impact on how you set up the boat, how it feels on the water and practical things like visibility. There are huge differences but as sailors, we expect ourselves to be able to adapt and that doesn’t mean we can’t go and deliver.”

The Dutch duo of Bart Lambriex and Floris van de Werken won last year’s Worlds and the Marseille Test Event to install themselves as the team to beat heading into Olympic year.

Peters believes that he and Sterritt, as well as Spain’s Diego Botin Le Chever and Florian Trittel Paul, are still nipping at their heels.

“There are a few teams who are head and shoulders above the rest,” said Peters. “I would put the Dutch, the Spanish and ourselves in that category as teams that you’d expect to be in the top five.

“The Dutch have proved they can dominate but they aren’t dominant, we don’t always see them winning smaller regattas and in training. I can see where their strengths are but this is Olympic year, everyone’s pushing hard and that is the ultimate leveller.”

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