by Matt Carter
At Kieler Woche, the fourth stage of the EUROSAF Champions Sailing Cup, Britain’s sailors claimed four medals with Mark Andrews picking up his third straight gold medal in the Finn class and the British Sailing Team claiming two golds and a silver in the 470 Men and Women events.
Marc Andrews (Finn GBR 88)
Andrews stormed to event victory in Kiel, clinching his third straight gold medal of the five-stage EUROSAF series, while Luke Patience-Joe Glanfield and Sophie Weguelin-Eilidh McIntyre picked up their first gold medals as new partnerships, with Nick Rogers and Elliot Willis claiming silver – their first podium finish since pairing up for the 2016 cycle.
The 27-year-old Andrews, who entered the Kiel regatta of the back of two gold medals from the Delta Lloyd Regatta in Holland and Sail for Gold at Weymouth and Portland, led the charge for the British Sailing Team from the word go posting eight race wins across the five day regatta, including a win in today’s medal race decider to give him event victory in front of Estonia’s Deniss Karpak. Teammate Andrew Mills finished fifth.
'It feels pretty good to win here in Kiel and to pick up my third gold medal in a row,' enthused the Largs sailor.
'We have had good breeze all week with 10-20 knots. It’s been quite shifty which has meant the fleet has been up and down all week so it has been really good to keep consistent and to be in the top three all but one race. The key has definitely been my boat speed, I have been sailing really quick which is nice to see.'
Andrews continued: 'Today’s final medal race was the windiest day of the regatta and I would always back myself in the breeze. It was quite shifty though and a very short course, so quite tough but I was happy to cap of the regatta with a win and the gold medal.'
With Andrews picking up his first ever senior podium finish at the Dutch leg of the EUROSAF Champions Sailing Cup in May, the Finn sailor admits that the boost in confidence you get from winning regattas has been a fundamental factor in his recent run of success.
'I think that has been the key really over the past few regattas, you win won or two events and your confidence is sky high, you’re going quick in the boat and you don’t necessarily take notice of the other sailors as you’re happy knowing that you’re fast and therefore you start to believe in yourself. You start to concentrate on the sailing rather than watching everyone else and start extending at the front – it’s then pretty easy from there on in really!'
Andrews concluded: 'I’m definitely getting better and better as the year goes on and it’s nice to be peaking just time in time for the two key events of the year - the Europeans and Worlds. There have been a few people missing from the events so I wouldn’t count my chickens too much at the moment, but you can only beat the people who turn up to the regattas and to win three golds in a row is pretty good.'
Kieler Woche 2013 - Sophie Weguelin and Eilidh McIntyre (Women's 470)
Recent 470 European bronze medallists Sophie Weguelin-Eilidh McIntyre entered the final six boat medal race out of the podium positions in fourth. However after a gutsy display in the breezy and shifty conditions, which saw the pair cross the Kiel finish line in first, Weguelin and McIntyre collected their first gold medal together after finishing top of the leaderboard on countback.
Weguelin explained: 'Given the conditions today we were confident heading into today’s final race even though we were entering in fourth. We know we are fast when it’s a bit breezy and our downwind boat speed is also quite good which was crucial on the last run.'
'It was just the two boats at the top of the fleet, us and the Germans who were leading round the first lap and half and on the last run we managed to get past her. We sort of said to ourselves – we are still in with a shout here so let’s just give it all we have got for the last run - and it paid off which we are over the moon about!'
'We have had an amazing six months and it’s just great to keep the momentum going – hopefully we can carry it on into the Worlds,' said the 24-year-old from Lymington.
2013 Kieler Woche - Luke Patience and Joe Glanfield (Men's 470)
In the Men’s 470 event, Luke Patience, the 2012 Olympic silver medallist, and double silver medallist Glanfield picked up their first gold medal together since joining forces at the beginning of this season – their third medal from four events from 2013.
On his first gold medal of the year, Patience said: 'I have had quite a fair few strings of silver medals in the last week while so it’s nice to break that cycle and win an event – we’re really happy!
'Joe and I have done four events together now and have won three medals out of four so I think we are just really pleased with how our sailing is going at the minute and where we are at.
'Obviously Joe has been out of the boat for four years so what we will have at the Worlds won’t be our finished product as it’s still only the first year of the cycle. We are doing all we can to be the best we can be in time for the Worlds and I think that being able to sail at the front of the fleet like we have done this week and this year so far fills us with confidence that we are able to go and do that again in La Rochelle,' the 26-year-old Helensburgh helmsman explained.
'We are happy were we are, happy with the progress we are making and the work that we have got to do between now and the Worlds to give ourselves the best chance. It is early days and just to be even able to challenge for medals is such a cool thing in such a short time together. We will be doing everything we can so that we peak like we did this week at the Worlds.'
Patience and his Exmouth-based crew Glanfield didn’t have the dream start to the regatta that they would have liked, picking up a black flag disqualification and a 23rd on day one, however with Patience admitting the duo were still confident of winning the regatta.
'We always are confident. The thing is with this sport is that ultimately it is very difficult to reach perfection in all that you do and not even the very best reach it. On a day like that [Saturday] when it goes badly, we know that from there onwards other people will make mistakes and we just need to keep plugging away and to not let it affect us too much and for us to do the right things at the right time. These regattas are marathons and medals aren’t won on day one which we proved!'
Patience and Glanfield finished the final medal race in second with Nick Rogers and Elliot Willis finishing first – enough to see the GBR sailors clinch the second step on the podium behind Patience and Glanfield.
'We are really pleased with the silver medal,' said Lymington’s two-time Olympic silver medallist Rogers on his first podium finish with his new crew – double World Champion Elliot Willis.
'We have a good regatta really – Elliott was ill on the opening day so we didn’t even sail so after that it kind of got better and better. We have had a couple of good medal races now, at the Europeans we were second and here we won it. Elliott has been ill most of the regatta but today we were absolutely ready and mad for it which was evident with the win.'
'We are now looking forward to the Worlds with the aim of finishing within the top ten, we would be happy with a top ten but would be over the moon with a medal.'
For the full list of results from the 2013 Kieler Woche Regatta visit the event website.
British Sailing Team website