A stellar final day at the Miami World Cup saw the
British Sailing Team win four more medals including three golds to bring its
final tally to five.
Rio 2016 gold medallist Giles Scott dominated the
action on his return to major competition to win the Finn class on Sunday 28
January, Luke Patience and Chris Grube took the top spot in the men’s 470
and Alison Young was victorious in the Laser Radial.
Two-time world champion and current European champion
Nick Thompson rounded off the medal haul with bronze in the Laser fleet.
Dylan Fletcher and Stuart Bithell had kicked off
the team’s success with a win in the 49er fleet on the penultimate day of
It is a timely boost for the British Sailing Team
as it gears up to the biggest test of the year – the Hempel Sailing World
Championships in Aarhus, Denmark, this summer, the first opportunity for Olympic qualification.
Scott, who took a break from Finn racing after the
Olympics to sail with Sir Ben Ainslie in the America’s Cup, went into the
double-points medal race with a comfortable 19-point lead having only
finished outside of the podium places twice in nine fleet races.
He sealed victory in style with a win in the medal
race, announcing his return to the Olympic circuit in no uncertain terms.
“It’s my first proper regatta after the Olympics and
it’s nice to be back,” Scott said. “It’s great to jump back in the boat and
still be racing well. We normally expect 5-6 knots in Miami but we’ve had some
real top end stuff. It’s been a great week for everyone.”
In the men’s 470 Patience and Grube also had a
commanding lead going into the medal race, and secured victory by finishing
“We came here looking to measure where we are in the
fleet and work out what we need to do to win the world championships,” said
Patience, who won a silver at London 2012 alongside Bithell. “But we’ve sailed
out of our skin, gone really fast, raced smart and well, and we’re really happy
to have won. We took a year off after the Rio Games so it’s nice to ramp up the
energy again. We’re buzzing right now, filled with energy to work hard.”
After struggling to find pace in the early stages
of the regatta when winds were light, Young went into the medal race at the
top of the Laser Radial rankings on the back of four wins in eight fleet
races as the breeze built.
A second place in the medal race handed the Rio
2016 athlete, who recently teamed up with coach and Olympian Penny Clark, the
“A win is a nice way to start the year,” Young said.
“It’s an important year for us – it’s the first chance as a nation to qualify
for the Olympics – so this is a real positive. I went well in the breeze which
was good to see because it’s one of the things we’ve worked on, but there’s plenty
more room for improvement.”
With the Laser gold medal already guaranteed to go
to Australian Tom Burton, Thompson went into the medal race with a battle on
his hands to keep his second place position.
On the first leg Thompson was handed a penalty for
infringing New Zealander Thomas Saunders, sending him to the back of the
He clawed back to third place but German rival Philipp Buhl’s second denied
Thompson the silver and forced him to settle instead for bronze.
“I knew it was going to be a tough battle but I’m
pleased to come away with a third,” Thompson said. “It’s another year where
Philipp and I have had a good fight – he’s a good friend and a great sailor –
but there were two other guys also in contention. The penalty was a mistake
on my part – I thought I was ok but I wasn’t. It was a bit frustrating, but I
came here with no expectations of a result so to come away with a medal is
Sailing Team athletes came close in three other classes: men’s RS:X competitor
Tom Squires, 49er FX pair Sophie Ainsworth and Sophie Weguelin and women’s
470 duo Amy Seabright and Anna Carpenter all finished fourth overall. Promising
young windsurfer Emma Wilson finished tenth in the women’s RS:X fleet.
The third leg of Sailing's
2018 World Cup Series will be held in Hyères, France, in April.
For the full results
from the World Cup Series Miami click here.