SAILING: Pascoe in hunt for podium finish

Dorset Echo: EYES ON PODIUM: Megan Pascoe EYES ON PODIUM: Megan Pascoe

PORTLAND’S Megan Pascoe and the British Sonar trio of John Robertson, Hannah Stodel and Steve Thomas are training their sights on the World Cup podium with one day of racing left to go for the Paralympic classes in Hyeres.

After a testing fourth day at the French venue, Pascoe maintained her consistency in the 2.4mR class to post a first and a second from her two races and keep herself firmly in the hunt for gold with two races to run today.

The battle for the podium spots in the one-person Paralympic class is increasingly looking like a three-horse race, with Pascoe currently in overall third on equal points with the second-placed French sailor Damien Seguin, and with Germany’s Heiko Kroeger just a point ahead in the standings. Paralympic champion Helena Lucas is in overall fifth.

Robertson, Stodel and Thomas, meanwhile, will take the ‘maillot jaune’ into their final day of racing in the three-person Sonar class, but face close competition from the local trio of Jourdren, Vicary and Flageul.

With two days left to run for the Olympic classes, Thursday’s tricky light wind racing provided a tough test for a number of the international fleet, with several British crews frustrated to find more snakes than ladders on the racetrack.

Sophie Weguelin and Portland’s Eilidh McIntyre picked up a race win in the 470 women’s class to start their two-race day, followed by a seventh.

Weymouth-based Charlotte Dobson and Sophie Ainsworth remain in touch with the podium spots in spite of a tough day in the 49erFX class.

They started strongly with a fifth in the first race of the day, but were unable to match it in the following two races, picking up a 19 and nine to end the day in fourth.

Portland’s Luke Patience and Elliot Willis saw the wrong side of a 20 degree windshift in their first race of two in the 470 men’s class, posting a 30th before improving to finish ninth in the second.

They end their day in eighth place, as does Weymouth’s RS:X windsurfer Nick Dempsey, who admitted to making it ‘harder than it needed to be’ in what were three inconsistent races for the current world champion.

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