When news happens get involved. Send your pictures, views and video to us by text and email
UPDATED: Dempsey makes history
WEYMOUTH’S Olympic silver medal-winning windsurfer Nick Dempsey has etched his name into the history books by becoming the first man ever to win two RS:X World Championship titles.
There were double celebrations for the town and Skandia Team GBR, with Bryony Shaw also claiming silver in the women’s fleet – her first ever podium finish at an RS:X World Championship yesterday.
Dempsey, 32, claimed gold in emphatic style at the Brazilian venue of Buzios, going into the final medal race with a nine-point lead over Dutchman Dorian Van Rijsselberge – the 2012 Olympic Champion.
Light winds delayed the start of Wednesday’s medal races, but they eventually got underway in 12-knot shifty and gusty conditions, with Van Rijsselberge, the 2011 world champion, quick out of the blocks.
Dempsey had a slower start in the 10-board finale, but sailed a superb second upwind leg to move back through the fleet and maintain his hold on the gold medal.
The Weymouth-based windsurfer adds this 2013 title to the world crown he won on home waters in Weymouth and Portland in 2009, and admits it was “pretty good” to be the first male winner of two RS:X world titles, and that the win is a great boost at the start of his Rio campaign.
“After the Olympics, I didn’t know if I wanted to carry on. I didn’t know if I still had it in me. But windsurfing is what I love, I love doing it,” the Team GBR sailor explained.
“This trip has been great preparation for Rio and I think it’s going to suit me there. It’s going be slightly lighter in Rio than here, but I’m one of the smaller guys in the fleet so hopefully that will work in my favour.
“I didn’t really have any idea of how I was going to perform [at the Worlds] after so long off the board after the Olympics.
“With just a seven-week build up you can’t really expect too much, but I have trained really hard in that time and it’s been a long time away from home.
“I’ve kept it steady this week and did everything I could, and have ended up having one of the best regattas of my life.
“My strengths have always been that I can perform across the range of conditions and we’ve had that this week.”
Dempsey’s long-serving coach Barrie Edgington has been impressed with his protégé. He said: “It’s been a challenging week, but Nick held it together and has been really impressive.
“Considering the build-up we have had, he’s had one of the best week’s sailing in the 17 years that I have been working with him, and it bodes really well.”
Beijing bronze medallist Shaw added to the British Sailing Team’s joys in Buzios, claiming a silver and her first ever podium spot at an RS:X World Championship.
She said: “I’m really happy to come away with silver. I feel I’ve been sailing really well, especially for the first two-thirds of the week.
“I really wanted to close the points on Israel’s Lee Korsitz and yesterday was the day to have done that. It was shifty and tactically hard, and she has been sailing phenomenally in all conditions, so all credit to her, she got away.
“My Games year didn’t work out as I had wanted and it was tough – physically and mentally – so the most important thing for me here is to have had that self-belief grow back inside me again that I do still have it and I can perform on the water.”