Britain’s sailors scooped two medals for Skandia Team GBR on the waters of Biscayne Bay on Friday (1 February), with Megan Pascoe securing the top spot in the 2.4mR Paralympic class and Nick Dempsey sealing silver in the Men’s RS:X Windsurfing class.
Friday saw the conclusion of racing for the 2.4mR Paralympic class while the Men’s and Women’s RS:X events conducted a new format of semi-final and final round races at this second leg of the 2012/13 ISAF Sailing World Cup Series.
With a streamlined GBR team of only nine sailors competing in Miami, 26-year-old Pascoe led the charge for Great Britain posting six second place finishes and two race wins on the final day of racing to clinch the gold medal ahead of Canadian Allan Leibel.
“It’s a great way to start the season, Miami has always been quite dry for me in terms of medals so it’s nice to get back on top in America and add a second gold to the one which I won back in 2007,” said Pascoe.
“Consistency was certainly the key at this regatta, I was very close to winning three more races but was within a boat length each time of actually doing it which was becoming very frustrating at times, In the end I knew that second place was good enough and I came good on the last day. I wouldn’t say I did anything spectacular for the two race wins, circumstances just went my way!”
Pascoe continued: “I was competing against four of the best competitors in the world out in Miami which made it a very exciting regatta. The weather we had out in Biscayne Bay was just spectacular, it played out beautifully with sunshine and a nice consistent breeze. I haven’t had a week like that in Miami for a very long time.
“We are still very early on in a long four year cycle so there are always things to work on, but I’m now looking forward to the next two regattas in Palma and Hyeres where I hope I can produce a similar performance.”
Returning back to competition for the first time since winning a silver medal at the London 2012 Olympic Games, Nick Dempsey made it to the Men’s RS:X Windsurfing final to finish second, securing silver medal honours behind Spain’s Ivan Pastor.
“I’m pretty pleased with my result, it was a good outcome regatta but I always like to win! It was very close and I think my performance throughout the week was okay. We had some shifty conditions and a lot of weed which made it challenging and unpredictable at times.
“It was certainly nice to get back out on the board, I’ve got the World Championships in five weeks and after having such a long break after the Games I turned up in Miami a little rusty and apprehensive. However, I was on the pace after the first few days and was up racing at the front of the fleet which was a nice surprise.”
The London 2012 Olympic silver medallist continued: “Miami has now set me up for the next five weeks of training and come the World Championships I think I’ll be pretty much ready to go! I’ll be putting in some proper hours between now and Brazil, doing three races a day with lots of hours out on the board and in the gym.”
In the Women’s RS:X class Bryony Shaw finished her regatta one place off the podium in fourth while rising stars Elliot Carney and Izzy Hamilton both secured sixth place finishes behind their GBR counterparts. Meanwhile in the 72-strong Laser fleet Alex Mills Barton finished top Brit in 10th place overall.
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