Portland duo Scott and Young land golden doubles at Palma regatta

GOLDEN BOY: Giles Scott

GOLDEN BOY: Giles Scott

First published in Sport
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PALMA World Cup golds for Portland’s Alison Young and Giles Scott topped the seven-medal haul for Britain’s sailors at the conclusion of the Princess Sofia Trophy.

Steely performances from established campaigners Young, in the Laser Radial event, and the 2011 World Champion Scott, on his return to the heavyweight Finn class, were underpinned by some impressive displays from rising British sailing stars at this first European World Cup event of the 2013 season.

The scratch pairing of Sophie Weguelin and Eilidh McIntyre claimed silver in the 470 women’s event, while Dave Evans and Ed Powys recorded their first World Cup podium finish, with a bronze in the 49er event.

After Portland’s 2.4mR Para-lympic sailor Megan Pascoe kicked off the medal tally for Britain with silver on Friday, it was Young, who scored her first World Cup win at the Skandia Sail for Gold Regatta in Weymouth and Portland last June, who was the first to add to it.

Under the new scoring format being trialled at this regatta, there were two double-points medal races for the majority of the Olympic classes.

Young maintained her overall lead after the first of the day’s two races, but was left fighting back in the second. Her closest rival and the only sailor who could prevent her from winning gold was Denmark’s Sarah Gunni.

The Dane saw a better start than Young in race two, and at one stage had enough boats between her and the Brit But the Olympian pulled back alongside Gunni and once she had her in her sights, match raced her to the back of the fleet to ensure she couldn’t get away again.

It meant that Young crossed the line 10th out of 10 boats in the final medal race, but had dragged her rival back with her to ninth place to ensure gold remained in her hands.

A delighted Young said: “Going into the last race, it was only the Danish girl who could beat me, so coming down the run I was just going to make sure of it, and make sure she couldn’t get boats between us.

“I’m pretty pleased to come away with a win – I’ve learned lots of lessons here, it shows all the winter’s training is going in the right direction so I’m looking forward to the rest of the season.”

Scott also deployed match-racing tactics at the start of the final Finn race to get the better of Dutchman Pieter Jan Postma, who had narrowed Scott’s lead to just one point after the first of the two medal races.

The two Finn medal races were each won by Brits, with Mark Andrews winning the first and Andrew Mills then second to end their regattas in sixth and fifth respectively.

Two race wins for Flavia Tarta-glini saw the Italian overturn Wey-mouth’s Bryony Shaw’s narrow lead in the RS:X women’s event, with the British windsurfer adding World Cup silver to her World Champion-ship silver last month.

Portland’s Luke Patience and Joe Glanfield captured bronze at their first event since teaming up in the 470 class in their bid to turn separate Olympic silvers into gold in Rio.

The duo went into the day in third overall, and held on to the bronze medal spot after a tricky first race in which they finished seventh.

It was a shifty, gusty racecourse, with the second medal race eventually abandoned due to the windshift and unable to be re-started due to the time limit for racing on this final day, leaving the Brits with their bronze.

British sailors experienced their first taste of competitive action this week in the two new Olympic classes for Rio, with a promising start in both events.

In the women’s 49erFX, Weymouth’s Charlotte Dobson and Sop-hie Ainsworth finished fifth overall, while Poole’s Lucy Macgregor and Tom Phipps were also fifth in the Nacra 17 mutlihull event, with a third and a second from their medal races.

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