The British Sonar trio of John Robertson, Hannah Stodel and Steve Thomas emerged victorious on the final day of World Cup racing for the Paralympic classes in Hyeres yesterday, with bronze also going to Portland’s Megan Pascoe in the 2.4mR event.
The British Sailing Team secured their first medals of this final leg of the ISAF Sailing World Cup series, with the Sonar team adding gold to their World Cup silver from Miami in January while Pascoe secured a third straight podium finish this year.
Pascoe went in to the final of 2.4mR racing in a three-way battle for gold with Paralympic gold medallists Heiko Kroeger (GER) and Damien Seguin (FRA).
The island-based sailor maintained the consistency she’s showed all week to finish fourth and third in the final two races, but it wasn’t enough to overthrow her rivals, with gold going to Kroeger and silver to Seguin.
But Pascoe is happy with her third straight World Cup podium finish this season.
She said: “It was nice to be in there (with a chance of gold). Last year I didn’t really have the chance to get into second or first so this year it’s really nice to be in there and fighting, and these are the guys that I’ve got to beat to really be on top of the world,” she explained.
“Yesterday I had to try and put in a top three, or one or two so I didn’t quite manage that but generally I’m very happy.
"I was a bit on the back foot, because I didn’t quite have enough firsts and that meant that if we’d been on equal points they’d have still beaten me so we had to go out and win the races.”
Robertson, Stodel and Thomas started the day with the ‘maillot jaune’ but had three other boats on their tail with just four points separating the top four crews and two races to sail.
The French crew won both of the races to move them to the top of the leaderboard – but a subsequent protest saw them penalised for a breach of the class rules and gold was instead awarded to the British crew.
Yesterday saw the penultimate day of racing for the Olympic classes, and the opportunity to earn berths in the top 10 medal races today.
The British Team have 14 boats featuring in the medal races across all eight of the 10 classes they’ve contested this week.
European bronze medallists Sophie Weguelin and Portland’s Eilidh McIntyre head into the 470 women’s race in silver medal position, and assured of a podium finish if they sail a clean race, while British crews will have chances in the 49er and 49erFX men’s and women’s skiff events.
In the women’s 49erFX event, Weymouth’s Charlotte Dobson and Sophie Ainsworth will hope for a solid three races to boost them into the podium spots.
Portland’s Luke Patience and Elliot Willis race in the 10-boat 470 men’s race, qualifying in ninth while Weymouth’s Nick Dempsey will also feature in the men’s RS:X windsurfing event.