Nacra 17 duo Ben Saxton and Nicola Boniface claimed their second silver medal in as many regattas as they finished runners-up at World Cup Series Hyeres.
The British Sailing Team pair went into today’s double points-scoring medal race knowing they were assured at least bronze – and despite a race win from podium threat Iker Martinez and Olga Maslivets of Spain, Saxton and Boniface’s sixth was enough to comfortably secure silver. It is the crew’s second silver in succession, having taken second at Princess Sofia Trophy in Palma earlier this month.
“I’m pretty happy,” said Saxton, 27, from Southampton, Hants, the reigning Nacra 17 world champion. “If you had told me that I would come away with a silver medal from a World Cup event after my crew got injured I would have snapped your arm of for that.”
Boniface stepped in to sail with Saxton after his usual crew Katie Dabson picked up an injury just days prior to start of the Princess Sofia Trophy.
Despite the setback the pair went on to finish second – and continued their fine run of form in Hyeres.
“It’s really exciting to come second again at another event,” said Boniface, 24, from Polegate, East Sussex. “Sadly the medal race was quite light but it’s been a good week for us and we’ve come out quite well at the end of it.”
The multihull sailors will not be the only British sailors with medals in Hyeres as Hannah Mills and Eilidh McIntyre are guaranteed at least second on the podium ahead of Sunday’s 470 medal race.
A race win and 11th sees them finish the fleet racing element of the regatta with an unassailable 23-point lead on third-placed Ai Kondo Yoshida and Miho Yoshioka from Japan.
Mills, who has a silver medal in the 470 from London 2012 and gold from Rio 2016, and McIntyre trail leaders Camille Lecointre and Aloise Retornaz of France.
“It’s nice to have guaranteed a silver,” said Mills, 30, from Cardiff. “We would like to be a bit closer to Camille [Lecointre] but this does give us a great opportunity to maybe practice something different.
“It’s easy to approach a medal race and just see how it goes but then when you get to a competition like the Olympics you wish you had the chance to try something different earlier. Tomorrow is our chance.”
McIntyre, 23, from Hayling Island, Hants, added: “It was a great shame that we couldn’t get a third race in today as we were up and gunning for it.
“It would have been a chance to get closer to the French team, now we take that attitude in to the medal race.”
In the 49er current world champions Dylan Fletcher and Stu Bithell finished the regatta with a third place in the medal race to sit in sixth overall while in the 49er FX British Sailing Team compatriots Charlotte Dobson and Saskia Tidey finished fifth overall, three places ahead of Sophie Weguelin and Sophie Ainsworth in eighth.
As well as the women’s 470 there will be British interest in the Laser Standard and Radial medal races as Lorenzo Chiavarini and Georgina Povall secured places inside the top ten of their respective fleets, however both fall just outside of medal contention.
In the Finn class, the British Sailing Team’s four-strong contingent missed out on places in the medal race, with Hector Simpson finishing 13th, Ben Cornish in 15th, Henry Wetherell in 19th and Ed Wright in 24th.
The medal races are scheduled to begin at 1107 local time (0907 GMT). Watch the action LIVE on the British Sailing Team’s Facebook or follow updates on the Twitter and Instagram pages.
Full results are available on the Manage2Sail website on behalf of World Sailing.