Giles Scott

Strong start for GBR as home World Cup begins in earnest

Written by RYA | 09 June 2016

Light and shifty conditions on second day of World Cup racing in Weymouth and Portland

After an opening day of weather delays, British sailors made a strong start on a full second day of Sailing World Cup competition in Weymouth and Portland on Thursday (9 June).

Giles Scott took an early lead after three races in the Finn fleet, with British Sailing Team athletes holding top three positions in five other classes amid light and shifty wind conditions at the 2012 sailing venue.

The second day of the regatta began with a short wait ashore while the fog blanketing Portland cleared and visibility improved.

Once it had, Scott’s teammate and training partner Ben Cornish took first blood in the men’s heavyweight category, taking the first race win of the regatta.

But it was the Rio-bound World Champion who ended the day with the yellow leader’s jersey, following up an opening race outing of second with fifth and a race win.

Although the Finn fleet is small with only 11 boats at this event, Scott says it still makes for tricky racing.

“It’s very competitive, it’s odd really. Racing around in a fleet of 11 it’s hard to put points on people and everyone is of course more consistent and the fleet will stay more compact on points as the week goes on. It will be interesting.”

“Ben sailed well in the first and the last race and actually the pair of us got a bit caught out on the first beat of the second race as well, he had a good day too,” Scott said of this teammate Cornish, who is in second overall after his opening three races.

“We just ended up going right and the wind went left so the majority of the pack was left of us and just put a lot of distance on us. I think I did reasonably well to get up to fifth because at the windward mark we were not looking great.”

Emma Wilson and Izzy Hamilton occupy the second and third positions overall in the women’s RS:X windsurfing fleet, while Hannah Mills-Saskia Clark and teammates Sophie Weguelin-Eilidh McIntyre are placed similarly in the women’s 470 fleet after three races.

“Our first day was challenging. It was an exciting first race, noone quite knew where the finish line was though,” explained the 2012 silver medallist Mills. “We did but it was all bit confusing. It came good as we ended up winning the race but it was quite amusing. I think everyone found the funny side-ish.

“We did three races, it was quite a long day and tough - really tricky conditions out there but a pretty alright day. “It definitely reminded us of one of the Rio courses a lot, so it’s good practice.”

Elliot Hanson enjoyed a solid opening day in the Laser event, kicking his event off with a race win followed by two sixth places amid some tough international competition.

“It feels great, it’s been a bit of a tough 12 months for me actually,” explained the Macclesfield sailors, who trains alongside double World Champion and Rio representative Nick Thompson.

“I have been doing a lot of training with Nick and I’m sure my sailing has moved on a lot.

“I have not been able to perform as well as I would’ve liked at a few events, so to come here I’ve had a bit less pressure and to finally pull it together for a day has been quite refreshing.”

Thompson himself is in fifth place after the opening day with 4,11,5 from his three races and admitted that a difficult start put him on the back foot in the second race.

“I was struggling to make a decision on the starts because it was shifting so quickly,” Thompson explained. “I was struggling to make the decision on where to position myself and when you make that decision late you tend not to have the best start, a couple of poor shift decisions and you are suddenly near the back of the fleet – that’s the nature of the Laser fleet.

“I am pleased that I managed to sniggle away and gain a few places. There weren’t actually a huge amount of passing opportunities. You couldn’t bang a corner or take any big risks so it was just a bit of good pace downwind and some nice little sniggles up the shifts.”

Charlotte Dobson and Sophie Ainsworth could be happy with their first race day in the 49erFX fleet, winning the opening race of the day and taking home the red bibs for overall third place after their four races.

“It’s great, all we were looking for today was a kind of boring, standard day and get the good results in,” Dobson explained.

“We set ourselves up to build the series over the next couple of days so we are really pleased that we did that and even better that we managed to win the first race. It’s been a great day.”

49er duo Dylan Fletcher and Alain Sign ended their four-race day in overall third place, while Luke Patience and Chris Grube were happy with their efforts on the 470 course, posting 5,13,3 to sit fifth overall.

Ben Saxton and Nicola Groves are also fifth following a ‘day of two halves’ in the Nacra 17 fleet, while Podium Potential talents Joe Bennett and Tom Squires are fourth and fifth respectively in the men’s RS:X windsurfing event. Alison Young’s day improved as it went on in the Laser Radial class, picking up 21,16,8 from her three races to sit in 18th.

Full results are available at  

Racing at the Sailing World Cup continues from 1100hrs on Friday 10 June, with the final medal races scheduled for Sunday 12 June.

Tickets for the Sailing World Cup Weymouth and Portland (8-12 June) – part of UK Sport’s #EveryRoadtoRio major events series – are available at

Follow the British Sailing Team’s latest news and updates at, on Facebook or on Twitter @BritishSailing


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