G4S sponsored GBR sailors secure eleven medals at Regatta
Alison Young and Giles Scott sealed victories in the Laser Radial and Finn events on the final day of racing at the Skandia Sail for Gold Regatta on Saturday (09 June), with further podium glory for British sailors in the 470 men, 470 women, 49er, Star, Finn and RS:X men’s events taking the GBR medal tally to eleven from their home World Cup regatta.
With two gold medals and one silver already secured from the three Paralympic classes on Friday, medal race day in Weymouth and Portland proved an eventful one for Skandia Team GBR with Alison Young kicking off the gold medal proceedings in the Laser Radial class.
The 24-year-old Young, who earned her call-up to Team GB for the 2012 Games just four weeks ago, entered the medal race in second overall after a string of consistent scores at the 2012 Olympic venue, which served up a mix of conditions across the regatta.
The Radial sailor finished the medal race in second place, which was enough to secure the regatta gold by two points – her first gold medal at a senior event.
Giles Scott finished his regatta in style, posting a sixth race win of the event and claiming the gold medal in empathic style in the medal race.
With a twelve point margin over nearest rival Ben Ainslie, Scott had a comfortable cushion heading into the final ten-boat showdown for the race for gold.
Ainslie suffered a capsize coming into the downwind gate and finished the race tenth – still enough to earn him the silver medal – with the Skandia Sail for Gold crown going to the 2011 World and European champion Scott.
Luke Patience and Stuart Bithell entered Saturday’s medal race in the 470 class trailing three points behind World Champions Matthew Belcher and Malcolm Page, and after a tightly fought contest the GBR duo were unable to overthrow their 470 rivals finishing with the silver medal.
World Champions Hannah Mills and Saskia Clark improved their overnight position from fourth to claim bronze in the 470 women’s event.
G4S 49ers Stevie Morrison and Ben Rhodes finished fourth overall in the 49er class, directly below British teammates Dylan Fletcher and Alain Sign, who secured their first ever podium finish in the ISAF World Cup circuit with a bronze medal.
“I guess it must be good for [Stevie and Ben] to know they have got some of the top teams to be training against,” Fletcher continued. “We’re fully committed to helping them try and win gold because ultimately if it can’t be us then we hope it’s them!”
In a gold medal position going into the day, but with the current World Champions hot on their heels, Iain Percy and Andrew Simpson had a tough battle in the Star class. The Skandia Team GBR duo had a collision with their Brazilian rivals, resulting in the Olympic champions finishing the medal race eighth and having to settle for the bronze medal.
Nick Dempsey sealed the bronze medal in the RS:X men’s windsurfing event with the Dutchman Dorrian Van Rijsselberge taking the event gold, while Paul Goodison was unable to break into the podium positions in the Laser class with gold going to Australia’s Tom Slingsby.
G4S 4teen Laser sailor Juan Maegli took tenth place in the Laser class, following a fantastic week of sailing. Juan is looking in great shape for the upcoming Games, having also posted a fourth place finish at the Laser Sailing World Championships last month.
The women’s match racing trio of Lucy Macgregor, Annie Lush and Kate Macgregor lost their quarter final bout with the Aussie trio skippered by Olivia Price, the eventual gold medallist, and finish fifth overall, while In the RS:X Women’s class, Olympic bronze medallist Bryony Shaw finished the medal race in fifth to end her regatta in eighth.
RYA Olympic Manager, Stephen Park, surmised: “It’s been a successful week to come away with medals in seven Olympic classes and all three of the Paralympic classes, it sets up well to hone in on the performances in the final build up to the Olympic and Paralympic Games and go in confident that we can hit our targets.
“It’s really confirmed our thinking that we are certainly medal competitive in all thirteen of the Olympic and Paralympic classes and that if you make any mistakes then you will be punished. Sailors who have made mistakes generally didn’t medal this week and those that didn’t get on to the podium which is what we expected.”
Skandia Team GBR’s final medal standings at the Skandia Sail for Gold Regatta:
Alison Young (Laser Radial)
Giles Scott (Finn)
John Robertson, Hannah Stodel and Steve Thomas (Sonar)
Alexandra Rickham and Niki Birrell (SKUD)
Luke Patience-Stuart Bithell (470 Men)
Ben Ainslie (Finn)
Helena Lucas (2.4mR)
Dylan Fletcher-Alain Sign (49er)
Nick Dempsey (RS:X Men)
Iain Percy-Andrew Simpson (Star)
Hannah Mills-Saskia Clark (470 Women)