Bryony Shaw, RS:X Women

Shaw finishes on a high while 470 Women claim pole

Written by RYA | 20 August 2015

A pleasing RS:X medal race victory for Shaw; Mills and Clark into yellow jersey position

Hannah Mills and Saskia Clark advanced to the top of the 470 Women’s leaderboard on the sixth day of Olympic Test Event racing in Rio (20 August), while Bryony Shaw ended her regatta on a high in the women’s windsurfing medal race.

An overnight weather front brought with it a change of wind conditions on the first of three finals days at this Aquece Rio International Regatta, with RS:X windsurfer Shaw revelling in the stronger winds to claim a final race victory and boost her overall standing to sixth at the conclusion of her regatta on Thursday.

After a challenging week for the European Champion, Shaw was gunning for a final day flourish and after a great start to the race, she reached the first mark a minute and a half ahead of her nearest rival.  She maintained her lead and wrapped up her Rio regatta in style.

“It was glamorous conditions out there, building all the time.  It was the first time that we’d really had planing conditions this week and I’m really glad that I smashed it today and climbed up the rankings.  It was nice to finish on a high,” Shaw enthused.

Although disappointed not to have been challenging for the podium, she drew positives from her time in the 2016 Olympic venue.

“It is all learning and there are some key points in my game that I can iron out,” the Beijing bronze medallist explained.  “I wouldn’t say it’s anything major but it’s such precise racing here in Rio, and every beat is different.  There’s certainly some fine-tuning needed in my overall game.

“I have a little bit of time off now, which is great, but then it’s back to Weymouth and preparing for our World Championships which are going to be out in Oman. 

“The World Championships is always a huge focus for me and so I hope to really go down there and smash it!”

It was a solid day for the British 470 teams, with 2012 silver medallists Hannah Mills and Saskia Clark claiming the yellow jerseys with two days of their 470 Women’s competition to run, and Luke Patience and Elliot Willis advancing into overall third in the 470 Men’s fleet.

“Today was always going to be a big day with three races to catch up a bit on schedule – we’d only done five so today was a large chunk of the regatta,” Clark explained.

”We were really pleased to come away with a win, a two and a four, which was a really solid day.  It was quite tricky, the wind was up and down but it was relatively steady shift-wise, or steadier than we have had on some of the other days.  It was a pleasing day for sure.”

Mills and Clark have a three point lead over the American duo Haeger and Provancha, and Clark expects it will continue to be close racing to the bitter end.

“I was definitely aware of where [the Americans] were on the race course and we could never seem to get any points jump on them!” Clark explained.

“They were either just behind us or just ahead.  So it’s three points difference going into tomorrow where we have two more fleet races before our medal race on Saturday.”

Four British boats have qualified for Friday’s five medal races, with Laser sailor Nick Thompson, Alison Young in the Laser Radial and 49er and 49erFX pairs of John Pink-Stuart Bithell and Charlotte Dobson-Sophie Ainsworth all making the cut in their respective fleets.

There was disappointment for Nacra 17 duo John Gimson and Hannah Diamond, who missed out on the medal race spots by an agonising one point. Thompson has a mathematical chance of making the podium spots on Friday, with the World Champion heading into his final race 16 points from third.   Young heads into the Laser Radial final in seventh.

In the skiff events, John Pink and Stuart Bithell sailed a steady 6,6,5,10 on Thursday to book their berth among the 49er final 10, with Charlotte Dobson and Sophie Ainsworth ending their penultimate day on a race win to see them into the 49erFX final race in sixth.

Giles Scott elevated himself into the top three on the Finn leaderboard after three good scores, including a race win, on Thursday.  The Finn fleet has two more fleet races on Friday ahead of their planned medal race on Saturday.

Schedule for Friday 21 August:
Laser - Medal Race, P. de Acucar, 1300
Finn, 2 races, Escola Naval, 1300
470 Men, 2 races, Ponte, 1300
470 Women, 2 races, Ponte, 1310
Laser Radial – Medal Race, P. de Acucar, 1345
49er – Medal Race, P. de Acucar, 1430
49erFX – Medal Race, P. de Acucar, 1515
Nacra 17 – Medal Race, P. de Acucar, 1600

Competition at the Aquece Rio International Regatta continues from 1200 on Friday (21 August), with final medal races scheduled for the Laser, Laser Radial, 49er, 49erFX and Nacra 17 on Friday (21 August); Finn, 470 Men and 470 Women medal races are on Saturday (22 August).

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