Rhos Hawes has his sights set on being crowned a European champion alongside James Grummett as the pair look to show their eye-catching World Championship display was no fluke.

Hawes and Grummett are enjoying their first season as a partnership in the 49er class and backed up their Portugal Grand Prix victory with an impressive fourth-placed finish at March’s global showpiece in Lanzarote.

They followed that with 16th at the prestigious Princess Sofia Regatta and now return to competition at this week's European Championships (May 7-12).

“We are feeling pretty good – there’s no reason we can’t win,” Hawes said.

“In our bigger picture goals for this year, having not been selected for the Olympics, the Worlds and Europeans are our big two events.

“This is our second opportunity to go and prove ourselves, which is exciting.

“Within our team, it [World Championship performance] hasn’t changed too much, we know where our strengths and weaknesses lie. It’s just about us going out and performing as well as we can.

“As far as how the competition sees us, I’m not too sure – we are probably better than they thought we were. It’s always good to go and put a stamp down and we’ll look to do so again.”

The European Championships are being held at La Grande Motte, around 150km from where Olympic medals will be decided in Marseille come August.

James Peters and Fynn Steritt got the nod over Hawes and Grummett to represent Team GB this summer, leaving the Cirencester sailor to focus on building as much big stage experience as possible.

“There was such a quick turnaround after the World Championships, so Princess Sofia was more about the process and learnings than the result,” Hawes added.

“It was exciting to get back into that racing mindset, that’s the bit we enjoy as a team, and this is another opportunity to get back to that.

“We learned a lot around starting routines, preparation, what it takes to get back into a new venue.

“It was the first time we’d sailed as a team together in Parma and we had a week or two-week lead-up, which is similar to what we have here, whereas in Lanzarote we had a few months to get used to the wind and water. It’s a skill to learn a venue in a short space of time.

“Naturally, the forecast this week is looking changeable so we just need to keep our eyes open and see what we get. We can’t have too many preconceived ideas and we have to adapt to what we get.

“We want to go and race it hard, enjoy it and see where we end up.”

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