17 November 2019
| THE HEARTBEAT OF WOMEN'S SPORT

Sailing: Five top spots for GB after Weymouth’s ‘Big Wednesday’

June 9, 2011

British sailors are in pole position in five of the 13 classes at the halfway stage of the Skandia Sail for Gold World Cup regatta (Wednesday 8 June).

SailforGold2011_032Ben Ainslie has extended his lead at the top of the Finn fleet with two race wins today, while double race wins also on Wednesday for Skandia Team GBR windsurfer Nick Dempsey and the Paralympic Sonar trio of John Robertson, Hannah Stodel and Steve Thomas have ensured their places at the top of their respective leaderboards.

Nick Thompson took control of the Laser class, while a solid day for Hannah Mills and Saskia Clark sees them retain their spot at the top of the 470 women’s fleet for a second day.

The 2012 waters of Weymouth and Portland provided some spectacular and physical racing conditions, averaging 18-22 knots, for third day of competition at this penultimate leg of the ISAF Sailing World Cup series, dubbed ‘Big Wednesday’.

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Read related features:

Sailing: GBR sailors improve on a breezy second day at Skandia Sail for Gold

Sailing: A Slow Start for the Skandia Sail for Gold

Sailing: ‘Girls 4 Gold’ skiff weekend marks start of women’s training campaign

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The Paralympic Sonar trio of John Robertson, Hannah Stodel and Steve Thomas were the third British boat to ensure a perfect scoreline on this third day. Their two race wins were not without some drama, though, as helmsman Robertson explained.

“Conditions today were pretty full on. On the first run of last race we broke the whisker pole, so Steve was having to hold the jib out downwind and that was a bit of a mission!

“Steve was a legend today – well, he’s a legend all the time really, but even more so today!”

The Sonar trio have a four point lead over their nearest rivals – the Dutch World Champions – while no racing was possible for the remaining two Paralympic classes. The 2.4mR and SKUD sailors didn’t leave the dock today so SKUD World Champions Alexandra Rickham and Niki Birrell retain their second place overall, with Helena Lucas currently the top placed Brit in the 2.4mR event in tenth overall.

A consistent day of with 5,6 from their two races was enough to keep Hannah Mills and Saskia Clark on top of the 470 women’s table, while Penny Clark and Katrina Hughes advanced to fifth overall with the help of 4,9 and the ability to now discard their disqualification from race one.

Lucy Macgregor, Annie Lush and Kate Macgregor, already assured of a spot in the quarter-finals of the women’s match racing, had mixed fortunes in their gold group matches, winning against Anne-Claire Le Berre’s French crew, but losing in a gripping photo finish across the line to Nicky Souter’s Australian team.

Elsewhere Charlotte Dobson is fifth in the Laser Radial and Bryony Shaw is up to fifth in the women’s RS:X windsurfing event.

Louise Hudson, Sportsister
The Women’s Sports Magazine

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