Rhos Hawes hopes recent practice in ‘relentless’ North Sea conditions provides perfect preparation for the upcoming Allianz Sailing World Championships.

Cirencester star Hawes and partner Chris Taylor will head to The Netherlands for World Championship action from August 11, competing in the 49er classification.

Hawes and Taylor were not selected for a recent Olympic Games test event, and instead decided to embark on a two-week training block ahead of competing in The Hague.

And he believes that the exposure to tough conditions could well work to their advantage once action gets underway.

“We weren’t selected to go to the test event in Marseille unfortunately,” said Hawes.

“We just said ‘right, let’s put a positive spin on not being selected and get into training in Worlds conditions.’ We went to Belgium which is very similar in terms of being a tidal venue, the same bit of coastline and similar wind conditions. We did a two-week block there while the test event was on, and it was brilliant doing that.

“It feels now that going into the World Championships, where we’re going to be racing against top guys who have been in the test event, we’ve got a foot up in terms of preparation, which is great.

“I think it’s quite a different venue to what we’re used to, with such strong tides. The North Sea is pretty relentless, so we could potentially have big waves, big swells, big tides, which could make for quite chaotic racing compared to flatwater lakes or the Mediterranean.

“I think the tide is the big thing. A lot of venues we usually go to don’t have that much across the course, whereas this will be quite a big factor, so tuning into that is going to be quite a big thing.”

Despite having sailed together in the past, Hawes’ partnership with Taylor is comparatively still quite new, with the duo only joining forces once again last summer.

And ahead of their biggest competition as a partnership to date, Hawes hopes that the pairing can build on a solid foundation set across their recent training block and season as a whole.

He added: “It’s all about our process, trying to build it up together in the lead-up to the event and building confidence in all areas, but also still being aware of where the weaknesses are just accepting of them.

“You’re not going to be able to change the world, but you are going to be able to do the best with what you’ve got.”