SAILING: Giles grabs Finn gold

Dorset Echo: GOLDEN BOY: Giles Scott GOLDEN BOY: Giles Scott

GILES Scott defended his Finn title on the final day of the ISAF World Cup Mallorca, as British sailors claimed a total of five medals on the final day of competition.

The Portland sailor’s gold and four bronze medals for fellow British Sailing Team crews from Saturday’s racing brought the British medal tally to seven from this Princess Sofia Trophy.

Helena Lucas and Megan Pascoe, also from the island, started the count with their respective gold and silver medals in the 2.4mR Paralympic class which concluded on Friday.

With this Palma victory, Finn star Scott has remained unbeaten since his full-time return to Olympic campaigning following a stint America’s Cup sailing.

But he didn’t have an easy time of things in the final 10-boat race for the heavyweight dinghy class, picking up two yellow flag penalties for illegally rocking on the downwind legs after an otherwise strong start to the race.

Scott got the better of his gold medal rival Thomas Le Breton in a pre-start match race.

“I was trying to put him towards the wrong end of the line – it was a pretty biased line towards the starboard end so I engaged him pretty early and didn’t let him tack onto port or gybe onto port to get to the starboard end,” the 26-year-old explained.

“I just held him out to the pin end of the line, left him with about 20 seconds to go and got a good start which enabled me to be on top of him.

“So that side of things was pretty good.”

“It was super tight towards the finish. I ended the race a little frustrated to be honest – I picked up two yellow flags, which of course I thought were unfair, but I would. The race up until the windward mark I thought I got pretty much spot on.”

For Scott this Palma victory means back-to-back World Cup golds, having won the previous stage in Miami, in addition to event wins at the Copa Brasil de Vela in Rio in January and at the EUROSAF Champions Cup in La Rochelle in October.

Andrew Mills won the medal race to finish fourth overall.

Chloe Martin had earlier started the day’s medal count for Great Britain, claiming bronze and her first World Cup podium finish in the Laser Radial event.

The Poole sailor saw off Belgium’s Evi Van Acker to sec-ure the third spot of the podium.

Hannah Mills and Saskia Clark closed off a medal in their first World Cup regatta of the 2016 cycle, securing bronze with a second place in the medal race.

The Olympic silver medallists turned back as a precaution at the beginning of Saturday’s double-points 10-boat race, thinking they may have been over the line early, but pulled back through the fleet.

The finals for the 49erFX class comprised three short, sharp single-points ‘stadium’ races to determine the winners, with Weymouth’s Charlotte Dobson and Sophie Ainsworth proving their boat-handling and consistency amid the light winds to take bronze in the women’s skiff event.

The duo placed 4-5-5 in the three races, which saw them round off the podium behind Brazil’s Martine Grael/Kahena Kunze and Denmark’s Ida Marie Nielsen/Marie Thusgaard Olsen.

European Champions Dylan Fletcher and Alain Sign capped off the day’s spoils with a bronze in the 49er class.

RS:X windsurfers Bryony Shaw and Weymouth’s Nick Dempsey end their regattas in fourth and sixth respectively.

GBR medallists

Gold – Giles Scott (Finn); Helena Lucas(2.4mR)

Silver – Megan Pascoe (2.4mR)

Bronze – Chloe Martin (Laser Radial); Hannah Mills and Saskia Clark (470 Women); Charlotte Dobson and Sophie Ainsworth (49erFX); Dylan Fletcher and Alain Sign (49er).

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