Sailing Team bagged a quartet of silver medals on Saturday to add to the haul
started by Giles Scott’s early Finn class victory at the Princess Sofia
spots went to Alison Young in the Laser Radial, Dylan Fletcher and Stuart
Bithell in the 49er, women’s 470 duo Hannah Mills and Eilidh McIntyre and
Nacra 17 pair Ben Saxton and Nicola Boniface as the iconic regatta concluded
in trademark tricky Palma conditions.
It is a
timely boost for the British Sailing Team as it gears up to the next round of
the World Cup Series in Hyeres, France, later this month, followed by the
biggest test of the year – the Hempel Sailing World Championships
in Aarhus, Denmark, in August.
champion Scott went into the Finn medal race – a double points-scoring clash
for the top ten sailors – with an unassailable 29-point lead and the gold already
the deal by finishing fifth to notch up his third back-to-back victory since
returning to international competition six months ago.
women’s 470, Olympic champion Hannah Mills and Eilidh McIntyre narrowly
missed out on gold by two points to Japan’s Ai Kondo Yoshida and Miho
conditions out there were wacky but we got a good start and went round the
top mark in third but at the downwind mark it got light and the fleet converged,”
with the Japanese team and thought on the last leg that we’d be able to get a
boat in between us but we couldn’t.
“It was a
fun race and a good test for us. I feel like we’ve sailed well this week but
there’s a few obvious things we need to work on.
plenty to build on, and a silver from Palma where it’s always tricky is
rounded off her week with a second in the Laser Radial medal race to secure
the silver medal.
pleasing to finish second in Palma,” she said. “At times I've raced really
well this week but also made some significant errors, but overall it's nice
to see some good progress after a solid winter training working with my coach
Penny Clark and a good training group.”
Bithell took to the water in pole position in the 49er fleet but with only a
slim five-point jump on Argentinian rivals Yago and Klaus Lange.
like a dream start turned into a nightmare when they were found to be over
the line as the gun sounded, forcing them to turn back and restart.
the back of the fleet, current world champions Fletcher and Bithell picked
their way back to seventh but it wasn’t enough to prevent the Langes from
snatching the top spot.
early to the start obviously compromised our position, and we had to start
the race from last,” Fletcher said.
“We knew we
had to get back to seventh to secure the silver medal, which ultimately we did
although it wasn’t easy. We had a lot of adversity to deal with in today’s
race but we came away with second.
disappointed not to win, but it’s not a bad result from what’s been a tricky
week. We’ve had loads of good performances here in Palma so we can build on
that and come away with gold in Hyeres.”
Nacra 17 world champion Saxton was almost forced to miss the regatta entirely
when crew Katie Dabson suffered an injury in training two days before the opening
multihull sailor Boniface was able to fly to Palma just in time for the first
race – and the duo went on to win five of the 16 races.
“It was a
real rollercoaster of a week but it’s ended on a high,” Saxton said. “When
Katie got injured it looked like we wouldn’t be able to compete, and then
Nikki managed to get here just in time.
numerous races and sailed really well in very challenging conditions. This
result gives me great confidence because this is the first event since Rio where
95 per cent of the fleet has been racing and we’ve shown we can perform at
the top level.”
added: “I’d only just got home from another trip when I got the call to come
out to Palma. I basically repacked and went straight back to the airport! It’s
been a really fun week and I’ve learned lots. I’m really glad I got on the
In the men’s
470 Luke Patience and Chris Grube finished fifth overall, Kieran Martin came
eighth in the men’s RS:X while Emma Wilson finished seventh in the women’s
Weguelin and Sophie Ainsworth took eighth in the 49er FX, two places ahead of
Charlotte Dobson and Saskia Tidey in tenth.
Full results are available on the
Princess Sofia Trophy website.