24 July 2019
| THE HEARTBEAT OF WOMEN'S SPORT

Sailing: Solid start for GBR at World Cup event

June 5, 2012
Hannah-Mills_Saskia-Clark

Britain’s sailors got off to a solid start at the Skandia Sail for Gold Regatta this bank holiday Monday with 470 crews Hannah Mills and Saskia Clark (pictured) and 2.4mR sailor Megan Pascoe making the most of the light and fickle conditions at the 2012 sailing venue.

Weymouth and Portland served up light wind conditions for this first day of the ISAF World Cup event, leading to the majority of classes coming back ashore for a lengthy delay until late afternoon when the breeze eventually built to allow racing to get underway.

In the 470 women’s event, newly crowned 470 World Champions Hannah Mills and Saskia Clark continued their form with 4,1 to put them in first overall, while Development Squad duo Amy Seabright and Eilidh Mcintyre lay ninth.

Clark commented, “It was quite a frustrating day with a lot of sitting around but once we were out racing we did very well.

“We were quite conservative at the start as we didn’t want to relive our [black flag] drama at the Worlds, however we raced very well and just picked of boats all the way throughout the races which lead to two great results and a solid start to the regatta.

“Our focus is most definitely to learn more about Weymouth, the Olympic environment and the team environment. Learning the lessons which we need to learn for two months’ time when competing at the Games is our main aim.”

Bryony Shaw revelled in the light conditions on the RS:X course posting a 3-3 to sit her in second behind Poland’s Zofia Noceti-Klepacka. Skandia Team GBR Development Squad sailors Claudia Carney and Izzy Hamilton lie 23rd and 24th respectively after today’s two races.

“I was really happy with how I was going in the light winds; I was a bit shy on both start lines as I was very wary of getting an OCS,” said the 2008 Olympic bronze medallist Shaw.

“It wasn’t very punchy but I managed to hold my lane and play the shifts pretty well. In both upwinds I was inside the top seven and I think my down winds were my real strength today – they really pushed me through the fleet.

“A couple of things that need work on are my port speed up wind and putting a bit more power into the pumping which are a couple of nice bits to work on between now and the Games.”

With the breeze expected to pick up over the next few days, Shaw has every confidence in the stronger winds.

“I’m very comfortable in both light and breezy conditions, I would say the girls who were at the top today are the all-rounders of the fleet and it showed today, so it’s just whether the big girls who might be counting high scores today can pull it out the bag later in the week or whether us all-rounder’s can hold on when the breeze picks up!”

In the Laser Radial fleet, Charlotte Dobson and Alison Young occupy 13th and 14th respectively.

Lucy Macgregor, Annie Lush and Kate Macgregor won three out of their four opening round robin group bouts in the Elliot 6m women’s match racing event, losing at the hands of Finland’s skipper Silja Lehtinen in their opening race of the regatta.

In the Paralympic classes, Alexandra Rickham and Niki Birrell sit third in the SKUD class, while John Robertson, Hannah Stodel and Steve Thomas posted a twelfth in the Sonar class.

Megan Pascoe opened her account in the 2.4mR event with a race win and a second to sit equal first with Dutchman Thierry Schmitter, with Helena Lucas in seventh overall after 13-7 for her opening day.

More info: www.rya.org.uk/skandiateamgbr/

Lizzie Flint, Sportsister
The Women’s Sports Magazine

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