sail-world.com
 
 
News Home Video Gallery Photo Gallery
Sail-World.com : Sail for Gold - Trio of medals for GBR Paralympic stars
Sail for Gold - Trio of medals for GBR Paralympic stars

'Alexandra Rickham and Niki Birrell, (GBR) racing in the Skud class'    onEdition ©    Click Here to view large photo

The closing day of competition at the Skandia Sail for Gold Regatta for the Paralympic classes in Weymouth and Portland saw two gold medals and one silver for Britain’s sailors with their Skandia Team GBR teammates having it all to play for in the Olympic classes in Saturday’s medal race deciders.

All ten Olympic classes and three Paralympic classes were confined to shore on day five of the Skandia Sail for Gold Regatta, with RYA event organisers taking the decision to call off all racing in Weymouth and Portland with strong winds throughout the day.

The SKUD duo and four time world champions Alexandra Rickham and Niki Birrell along with the Sonar team of John Robertson, Hannah Stodel and Steve Thomas both clinched the gold medal, while Helena Lucas narrowly missed out on a clean swoop for the GBR Paralympic team with a silver in the 2.4mR event.

With Paralympic racing cancelled on the final two days at the 2012 Skandia Sail for Gold Regatta with gusts of up to 40 knots battering the Olympic venue, the GBR boats had their fate decided on the six race series completed in the first three days of the regatta.

The morning of day 5 of the Skandia Sail for Gold Regatta, in Weymouth and Portland, the 2012 Olympic venue. -  onEdition ©  

Rickham and Birrell have missed out on the Skandia Sail for Gold crown on the past three attempts, to finally clinch the gold medal and their third consecutive ISAF Sailing World Cup title two months prior to the Paralympic Games, Birrell insists it’s the perfect confidence boost.

'It feels fantastic to finish the regatta with a gold medal here in Weymouth and Portland. We came here wanting to win this event and we have done, so that’s great! Obviously we want to win the Paralympics in September so the overall result here wasn’t as important as the Games, buts it’s a great boost to have won.'

'We had a similar situation in Hyeres with a similar forecast at the end of the week and we didn't get to go racing. We were in silver position then and that was very frustrating so when we saw the forecast for the end of this week, me and Alex made it our absolute top priority to be leading by Wednesday night because we thought this might happen.

With Weymouth and Portland offering up light breeze on the opening day of the regatta to gale force winds today, Birrell explains you can never be certain of what the 2012 venue will throw their way.

'You can get anything down here in Weymouth and Portland. People always ask what the normal conditions are – this week we have had everything from 3-4 knots on Monday to it being blown off today with 40 knots so you can always expect the unexpected.'

'The past few years we have always had to settle for silver so to walk away with gold is fantastic. There is still one or two areas of our sailing that were not doing as well as we need to be so we will be working on those for the next ten to eleven weeks. Hopefully we can get these fixed and tidy up on a few areas so we are as strong as we can be for the Paralympics.'

Birrell concluded: 'Britain's never had a medal in Paralympic sailing, there is a bit of pressure but we'll just carry on training, working hard, racing fast and see what's in store.'

In the Sonar fleet, 2012 IFDS Worlds bronze medallists John Robertson, Hannah Stodel and Steve Thomas, had done enough earlier in the week to secure a hard-fought gold in the three-person Sonar class, finishing two points above the Dutch trio of Hessels-Rossen-Veen.

John Robertson, Hannah Stodel and Steve Thomas, (GBR) racing in the Sonar class -  onEdition ©   Click Here to view large photo

'I was quite disappointed actually that racing got cancelled, it would've been good to get more practice in before the Games,' said Thomas.

'We had an average start to the regatta but we improved on the second day and we wanted to continue with that through the week. It was a pretty tough competition, all the guys who were competing are going to be here at the Games, it was a strong fleet, everyone sailed well.'

Gold in the 2.4mR event went to the Dutchmen, Thierry Schmitter, with Skandia Team GBR’s Helena Lucas finishing level on points in second after the six-race series.

Helena Lucas, (GBR) racing in the 2.4 class -  onEdition ©   Click Here to view large photo

'I’m obviously happy with the silver medal but at the same time a little frustrated as I was so close to the gold. I was in fourth in the last race on Wednesday which would have given me the gold but at the last minute I was piped over the line when the boat from Norway caught a good wave – it was so close and so frustrating as I kind of knew it was the last race of the regatta. But it’s still good to medal and obviously its September that counts!

'This week has given me the opportunity to test all my kit in pretty much all the wind conditions which is a big tick of the box!' said Lucas.

With today’s racing cancelled, Lucas feels the gold medal would have been achievable if the 2.4mR class were given one more race.

'I would certainly like to have think if we were given one more race I could have gone on to win gold this week – In the strong breeze I’m definitely quick and very quick downwind so hopefully with my speed it could have been a completely different story. However you can’t control the weather unfortunately, so never mind!'

'It’s definitely made me even hungrier for the Paralympics finishing on equal points with the top boat and I have proved that I can do it even though I didn’t sail the best regatta. Knowing that there are still areas that I can still improve on is great. It’s September that really matters so hopefully it will all fall into place for me then,' concluded Lucas.

Meanwhile, Skandia Team GBR Olympic class sailors are in seven medal positions as they enter the double point medal races tomorrow (Saturday 9 June), with a further three crews sitting just outside with it all to play for.

Olympic Champions Iain Percy-Andrew Simpson are in prime position in the Star class, while Giles Scott and Ben Ainslie lead the charge in the Finn fleet sitting first and second respectively. Luke Patience-Stuart Bithell and Alison Young occupy second in their respective fleets, while Nick Dempsey in the RS:X and Dylan Fletcher-Alain Sign in the 49er class reside in third.

In the 470 Women’s class, World Champions Hannah Mills and Saskia Clark will be looking to break back into the podium positions, currently fourth, the same position as Evans-Powys in the 49er while their team-mates Morrison-Rhodes are two places further back in sixth, but still in with a chance of a medal. Olympic Champion Paul Goodison has it all to play for in the Laser just three points off the podium in fifth.

The women’s match racing trio of Lucy Macgregor, Annie Lush and Kate Macgregor will compete in their scheduled quarter final bout tomorrow morning against Aussie trio skippered by Olivia Price, with the semi-final and final taking place tomorrow afternoon. In the RS:X Women’s class, Bryony Shaw heads into the medal race in eighth.

Medal race schedule (Saturday 09 June):

08 00 - 1530 – Women’s Match Racing
10 00 – Laser
10 40 – 470 Men
11 20 – Laser Radial
12 00 – 470 Women
12 40 – 49er
13 20 – RS:X Women
13 50 – Star
14 30 – RS:X Men
15 00 – Finn

Racing at the Skandia Sail for Gold Regatta continues tomorrow (Saturday 9 June) with the medal races for the 10 Olympic Classes.

Skandia Team GBR website
Sail for Gold website


by Lindsey Bell

  

Click on the FB Like link to post this story to your FB wall

http://www.sail-world.com/index.cfm?nid=98208

6:32 PM Fri 8 Jun 2012GMT


Click here for printer friendly version
Click here to send us feedback or comments about this story.


Related News Stories:

12 Jun 2012  Sail for Gold Regatta - Team Sperry bring home host of medals
10 Jun 2012  Sail for Gold - Giles Scott emerges victorious
10 Jun 2012  Sail for Gold - Aussies claim four gold medals
10 Jun 2012  Sail for Gold - Podium glory for GBR sailors
10 Jun 2012  Sail for Gold Regatta – Medal race day overall + Video
10 Jun 2012  ISAF Sailing World Cup - Women’s Match Racing title winner announced
09 Jun 2012  Sail for Gold Regatta - Great Britain tops leaderboard
09 Jun 2012  Sail for Gold Regatta – Gold, Gold, Gold, Gold for Australia
09 Jun 2012  Sail for Gold - Racing cancelled on penultimate day
09 Jun 2012  Sail for Gold Day 5 - No action for US sailors + Video
MORE STORIES ...






News - USA and the World

























HUD Vision: An interview with Afterguard Marine’s Alex Moret *Feature by David Schmidt, Sail-World USA Editor, Seattle














America's Cup: Expected de Ridder penalty should be reduced *Feature by Richard Gladwell/Sail-World.com/nz, Auckland, NZ
















Congressional Cup - Victory for Taylor Canfield and crew by Rich Roberts (As Amended by ISAF),




2014 Halifax – Saint-Pierre Ocean Race by Patricia Nelder, Nova Scotia








Earth Day boater tips
Anna Tunnicliffe - from CrossFit to Extreme 40's
Charleston Race Week - Photos by Chris Howell
Image Gallery: Stratis SL33 flies on the Waitemata
Audi Melges 20- Sperry Topsider Charleston Race Week - Light final day
Clipper Round the World Yacht Race - PSP Logistics prepares for USA
ISAF Sailing World Cup Hyères - Crème of the crop to compete
Congressional Cup: Luna Rossa makes podium in first event
Int 14 World Championships 2015 launch new event website
International Optimist Regatta Clinic and Team Race - Register now!
Congressional Cup: World top rankers finish that way in Long Beach
Sperry Top-Sider Charleston Race Week Day 3 finale
America's Cup: Gino Morrelli outlines the new AC62 design
Doyle Sails New Zealand signs Andrew Brown as One Design Manager
America's Cup: Dean Barker's Blog - A sail with the Duke and Duchess *Feature
29er World Youth Sailing Week Easter regatta - Day 1 and 2 overall
C Thomas Clagett Jr Memorial Clinic/Regatta - Entries start to roll in
50th Congressional Cup: See the delayed coverage and media conferences
Clipper Race 10 Day 27: Closing stages - Qingdao to San Francisco
Canfield, Williams, Bruni, Swinton in Congressional Cup final four
Sperry Top-Sider Charleston Race Week - Day 2   
Audi Melges 20 Charleston Race Week - Perfect conditions in Charleston   
Oyster Regatta Antigua - Full on ocean conditions for day 3   
PWA World Tour - A taste of things to come at La Torche + Video   
Women's International Match Racing Series kicks off in June   
Melges 32 Audi Tron Sailing Series - Action shots by Max Ranchi   
Clipper Round the World Yacht Race - Frustrating conditions   
Man rescued after falling overboard in Pacific taken to hospital   
Sperry Top-Sider Charleston Race Week 2014 - Youth leading Melges 20   
Congressional Cup - Canfield leads toward Congressional Cup sailoffs   
Sperry Top-Sider Charleston Race Week 2014 - Perfection for Day 1   
America's Cup: Coutts claims ISAF Jury on a crusade, backs Kiwi report *Feature   
Clipper Round the World Yacht Race - Will light winds hamper progress?   
Les Voiles de St. Barth - Preparing to rock Saint Barthélemy waters   
Clipper Round the World Race - OneDLL and Qingdao now in San Francisco   
America's Cup: Emirates Team NZ up against funding hurdle for year *Feature   
Melges 32 Sailing Series Napoli - Day 1 images by Stefano Gattini   
50th Congressional Cup: View the Live racing here   
Melges 32 Sailing Series - Napoli action shots by Max Ranchi   
Volvo Ocean Race - Team Alvimedica launch new boat   


For this week's complete news stories select    Last 7 Days
   Search All News
For last month's complete news stories select    Last 30 Days
   Archive News







Sail-World.com  


















Switch Default Region to:

Social Media

Asia

Australia

Canada

Europe

New Zealand

United Kingdom


http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/Twitter_logo_small.png http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/FaceBook-icon.png  http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/RSS-Icon.png

United States

Cruising Northern

Cruising Southern

MarineBusiness World

PowerBoat World

FishingBoating World

 

Contact

Commercial

News

Search

Contact Us

Advertisers Information

Submit news/events

Search Stories/Text

Feedback

Advertisers Directory

Newsletter Archive

Photo Gallery

 

Banner Advertising Details

Newsletter Subscribe

Video Gallery

Policies

 

 

 

Privacy Policy

 

 


Cookie Policy

 

 



This site and its contents are © Copyright TetraMedia and/or the original author, photographer etc. All Rights Reserved.  Photographs are copyright by law.  If you wish to use or buy a photograph contact the photographer directly.
X6XL WAS US