Best ever World Championship finish for British windsurfer Martin

Written by RYA | 23 September 2017

RS:X Worlds draw to a close in Japan

Britain’s Kieran Holmes Martin returned to action in style following a five-month break from competition as he took fifth place at the RS:X World Championships in Enoshima, Japan, his best ever finish at a senior World Championships.

The 22-year-old windsurfer from Cheadle took a step back from competition to focus on his final year at university following his last international outing at the Princess Sofia Trophy in Palma in early April.

But having graduated from Exeter University with a degree in mechanical engineering, Martin showed that he had lost none of his form over the summer, climbing up through the gold fleet from a poor start to the competition to be in with an outside chance of a medal going into the final day.

Getting his first real taste of racing in the Tokyo 2020 sailing venue this week, Martin took a solid sixth place in the double-points medal race to seal a top-five finish overall.

“I’m really pleased with how the week has gone,” explained Martin. “It was an awesome medal race. Nice and windy which made things interesting. After the reach it was quite hard to change positions, but I’m happy with how I raced.

“Palma was my last regatta as the majority of competitions clashed with exam season at university this year. So to come here and do well was a happy surprise. Graduating from uni and getting a fifth place at the World Championships in the same year is pretty epic. I want to say a huge thanks to my coach Dom Tidey and physio Matt Tinsley for all their help this week.”

The men’s fleet was dominated by China, who took the gold and bronze medals, separated by Switzerland’s Mateo Sanz Lanz. Martin’s British Sailing Team team mate Tom Squires rounded out the event in 40th with youngsters Dan Wilson, Joe Bennett and Andy Brown finishing in 57th, 61st and 62nd overall.

Britain’s top finisher in the women’s event was teenager Emma Wilson, who narrowly missed out on a medal in the Women’s Under 21 division while claiming 19th place overall. The 18-year-old from Christchurch was edged out for age group medal honours following a close battle with Berenice Mege of France for third place.

It’s been a strong year for Wilson who has taken a number of top ten finishes in senior competition before going on to win gold at the RS:X Youth World Championships in Torbole, Italy in July.

“I’m pretty happy with my week overall,” said the 18-year-old from Christchurch. “It was really tough and it’s always so tight sailing with the best in the world, but it’s been a great experience and most importantly I had fun.

“I am happy with my progress and it’s nice to see that I’m still improving but there’s a long way to go and I’m determined to keep that improvement going.”

Wilson will travel to China in December to defend her Youth World Sailing Championship title.

Compatriots Isobel Hamilton and Saskia Sills finished the regatta in 30th and 56th respectively.

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