Sailing Team athletes Sophie Weguelin and Sophie Ainsworth say they’ve not
yet hit their peak after scooping bronze at the 49er FX class European
only joined forces for a tilt at Tokyo 2020 earlier this year and have
already notched up some impressive results on the international circuit, but
their European result is their best to date.
strong start, Weguelin and Ainsworth remained in the top three for the
majority of the week-long regatta in Gdynia, Poland.
incredibly tight at the top of the table, they went into the double points-scoring
medal race with a shot of moving up from third to second overall.
getting tangled in a scrap with fourth-placed Julia Gross and Hanna Klinga of
Sweden they finished seventh in the medal race, while second-placed rivals
Victoria Jurczok and Anika Lorenz from Germany took the spoils.
and Ainsworth (above) finished on equal points with the German duo but had to settle
for third place overall on countback. The win went to Helene Naess and Marie
Ronningen of Norway.
biggest event in the 2018 sailing calendar – the Sailing World Championships
– just two weeks away, they say they can still improve before their next
battle against the best racers in the world.
really happy to have won a medal,” said Ainsworth, who represented Great
Britain at the Rio 2016 Olympics.
a lot of fun racing this week. We’ve put in a lot of hard work and it’s nice
to see we’re going in the right direction but we know we have a lot more to
“It’s been really good practice for the world championships, staying
within the top three all week.
to deal with a little more pressure and a few more nerves, which I’m sure we
will feel at the worlds. Our secret was that we made sure we were always
49er world champions Dylan Fletcher and Stuart Bithell (above) couldn’t defend the
gold medal they won at last year’s European championships but an impressive
comeback saw them also finish third overall.
on a high, Fletcher and Bithell stormed to victory in the medal race to end
the regatta just one point behind silver medallists Dominik Buksak and Szymon
Wierzbicki of Poland, and six behind new champions Diego Botin and Iago Lopez
“It was a
tough regatta for us,” Fletcher said, “but a great learning tool ahead of the
world championships this summer.
some weaknesses highlighted on what we need to improve on which is always
hard to learn during racing but it will put us in better shape going forward
“We knew we
needed to go out and win the medal race to be within a shot of a medal and it
was great to do just that, especially after struggling in the racing in the
out firing and dominate the race was an awesome way to finish the regatta.”
In the 49er
FX fleet Britain’s Charlotte Dobson and Saskia Tidey came home in tenth,
while Ellie Aldridge and Megan Brickwood were 26th and Hannah
Bristow and Emily Covell were 39th.
fleet saw Jack Hawkins and Chris Thomas gain 17th place, Chris
Taylor and Sam Batten were 33rd, Morgan Peach and Rhos Hawes were 44th while
Gillies Munro and Daniel Harris were 61st.
17 European Championships was also being held at the same time – and
Britain’s Ben Saxton and Nicola Boniface finished fifth with John Gimson and
Anna Burnet in sixth.
Rashley and Laura Marimon were 16th and Rupert White and Kirstie
Urwin were 20th.
results for the 49er and 49er FX can be found here, while
Nacra 17 results are here.