Please select your home edition
Edition
SW newsletters (top)

Rio 2016 - Rickham and Birrell relish Day 1 Rio 'Battle'

by RYA on 13 Sep 2016
Alexandra Rickham and Niki Birrell sailing Paul Wyeth / British Sailing Team
SKUD18 helm Alexandra Rickham described she and Niki Birrell’s opening day of the Rio 2016 Paralympics as “quite a battle” after an eventful two races on Guanabara Bay today (Monday 12 September).

Having posted a decent first race result of fourth, things got lively in the day’s second race as, when sat in second position, the Brits took a penalty turn for infringing the boat of Polish World Champions, Monika Gibes and Piotr Cichocki.

But once off the water it was the turn of the London 2012 bronze medallists to challenge an action of the Poles in the protest room, when they felt they had been impeded by Gibes and Cichocki at the first top mark of race two but the Poles did not do the required penalty turn themselves.

The International Jury found in favour of Rickham and Birrell meaning the Poles were disqualified from race two and the five-time World Champion Brits ended the day with scores of four, three to put them in fourth overall in the early standings.

Rickham believes they have given themselves a decent platform to move forwards from into the rest of the regatta.

She said: “It was quite a battle today. In the first race we had a slightly dodgy start but in the second race we had a stunner of a start.

“In that first race we got caught up in the fleet along the way, but we were pretty happy with the fourth to be honest, it’s a counter I think.

“Then the second race we had the two incidents with Polish. We did our spin for the second one because we were in the wrong. Ultimately getting the third in the race means it is a pretty solid start. The Games are on and there is a lot to play for. You never know what is going to happen in Rio.”

Defending London 2012 champions, Daniel Fitzgibbon and Liesl Tesch (AUS), enjoyed the best first day on the Pão de Açúcar (Sugarloaf) course, scoring a first and second from their two races to take an early regatta lead.

Canada’s Beijing 2008 bronze medallist, John McRoberts, now sailing with his British-born wife, Jackie Gay, are in second overall with three-time Para Sailing Worlds medallists, Marco Gualandris and Marta Zanetti (ITA) in third.

Rickham admits although not unhappy with their start, she and Birrell need to kick on from today to really begin to establish themselves among the medal challengers.

She added: “The main contenders are all up there fighting and the Australians had a really good day. The course was a bit difficult at times, the pressure was up and down and it was really hot, the downwind was quite painful.

“But I think we did the best that we could, battling back when we got a bit stuck in the fleet. The reality is we need to get to the front and be able to hold on. It was a beautiful sailing day, we are both in good spirits and looking forward to tomorrow.”

All SKUD18’s are scheduled to contest an 11 race series each, with two races per day from Monday 12 – Friday 16 September before one final series race for each class, after which the medals will be awarded, on Saturday 17 September.
MBW newsletters (top)

Related Articles

Sailing & windsurfing reinstated for GCSE PE
Awarding Bodies publish updated specifications Whilst the start of the school term has looked very different for many this year, there's positive news for young sailors and windsurfers with both activities now offered once again for GCSE, AS and A-level physical education (PE).
Posted on 22 Oct
12-month extension on Returned Goods Relief
RYA and British Marine jointly persevere in asking Government to increase this RYA and British Marine jointly persevere in asking Government to increase 1 year Returned Goods Relief extension period and supply further detail for recreational boaters and leisure marine industry as end of transitional period approaches.
Posted on 20 Oct
RYA shines spotlight on boating's unsung heroes
Some 44 volunteers are being celebrated across the UK Traditionally taking place at an awards ceremony in London, the RYA Volunteer Awards recognise and say 'thank you' to volunteers who have made an outstanding contribution to the sport with recipients nominated by their sailing clubs.
Posted on 15 Oct
UK boaters set to be hit by Brexit travel rules
RYA calls on Government to seek reciprocal visa arrangements in EU negotiations Almost 900,000 UK boaters are due to be hit by restrictions on how long they can stay in Europe after the Brexit transition period ends on 31 December 2020, a new survey by the Royal Yachting Association (RYA) has found.
Posted on 10 Oct
RYA calls to ensure fuel supplies are assured
The supply of red diesel should continue under current arrangements The supply of red diesel for recreational boaters should continue under current arrangements or the total conversion to the supply of white diesel at the waterside must go ahead as intended, RYA says.
Posted on 6 Oct
RYA Affiliated Clubs Conference more accessible
Easy-to-use virtual platform with live help will make online event user-friendly for all An innovative online platform will make the 2020 RYA Affiliated Clubs Conference supported by Gallagher, more accessible than ever before, with delegates able to take part from their home or sailing club.
Posted on 5 Oct
Racing Rules of Sailing 2021-2024
Pre-order your copy of the new versions today The RYA Racing Rules of Sailing 2021-2024 books are now available to pre-order from the RYA web shop. Updated every four years, the Racing Rules of Sailing are compulsory for racing sailors all over the world.
Posted on 3 Oct
Double gifts in October with RYA Refer a Friend
Two special gifts for every new member that signs up The RYA is calling on its over 100,000 membership to help spread the word about the many benefits of being a member to their friends and family and as a thank you they will be offering not one, but two special gifts for every new member that signs up.
Posted on 2 Oct
UK boat owners left stranded in Europe
Leisure marine industry faces turmoil due to Government inaction Urgent demand from recreational boaters and leisure marine industry for Government guidance and transitional arrangements on post-Brexit customs and VAT issues increases, as end of transition period looms.
Posted on 2 Oct
RYA Job Opportunity: Director of Sport Development
Looking for an experienced leader with a passion for boating The RYA are looking for an experienced leader with a passion for boating to spearhead the Sport Development team.
Posted on 1 Oct