THERE was more success for Weymouth and Portland sailors on the last day of the Sail for Gold Regatta, which provided a fast and furious finale.
Weymouth’s RS:X windsurfing world champion Nick Dempsey has ruled the 9.5 fleet throughout the week.
The Olympic silver medallist posted 10 race wins from the 13 races completed, and finished yesterday’s medal race in second behind Connor Bainbridge to claim his first gold medal since the same regatta in 2013.
Dempsey said: “It’s been a week where it started off really tough in the light winds and then as the week has gone on the wind has got stronger, with yesterday being a really nice windy medal race.
“It has been brilliant racing from the start all the way through, it certainly looks a lot easier when you look at the results than it actually was, but it’s great for myself and our GBR training group.”
Meanwhile, heading into yesterday’s two fleet races in the 2.4mR event, Paralympic champion Helena Lucas harboured a one-point lead over Portland’s Megan Pascoe.
But in the strong easterly breeze it was Pascoe who came out all guns blazing to take a clean sweep of race wins and the 2014 Sail for Gold title.
On her victory, Pascoe said: “It has been a long hard week with really short, intense racing with three of us battling it out at the top of the fleet – so you never really knew if you were going to be first or third but it’s a great way to round everything off with two bullets.”
A third and second from yesterday left Lucas in the silver medal position.
The British Sailing Team trio, who trained in Weymouth and Portland, added nothing but race wins to their scorecard this week to clinch their fourth consecutive Sail for Gold crown.
RS:X 8.5 Bryony Shaw gave a masterclass in windsurfing this week as the world number two concluded her regatta with an unblemished scorecard.
The Beijing Olympic bronze medallist was in scintillating form from the outset, finishing 18 points ahead of Spain’s Blanca Manchon in second and Izzy Hamilton in third.
Shaw said: “WPNSA is a fantastic venue for the sailing – the Olympic Games proved that – and the facilities here are still second to none so for any visiting teams it is a great place to come and train, and get settled before starting competition.
“Hopefully the Sail for Gold Regatta will continue to grow, deliver and be bigger and better next year.”
49erFX The 49erFX class was the last to complete their three theatre style medal races yesterday, with Dutch competitors Annemiek Bekkering and Annette Duetz showing their boat-handling skills in the lively women’s skiff racing to post 3-5-3 for their efforts and claim event honours.
Having posted top- five finishes across the 17 races completed, the pair finished 16 points in front of British sailors Kate Mac-gregor and Katrina Best in second, while Weymouth’s Charlotte Dobson and Sophie Ainsworth concluded their regatta in third.
Finn & 470 Having clinched the Finn and 470 titles on the penultimate day of racing, Portland’s Giles Scott and Luke Patience and Elliot Willis made sure of their Sail for Gold crowns in the spectacular conditions with medal race wins in their respective fleets.
Andrew Mills, competing in his last competitive regatta for the British Sailing Team after announcing his retirement, sealed Finn silver with Mark Andrews taking bronze, whilst Sophie Weguelin and Eilidh McIntyre took the women’s 470 crown.
n With just over two years to go until the Rio 2016 Games, the British Sailing Team has announced its selected team for the first Olympic Test Event to be held this summer on Guanabara Bay (August 2-9).
British Sailing Team selections for the 2014 Rio Olympic Test Event:
Finn: Giles Scott, Ed Wright
RS:X Men: Nick Dempsey, Tom Squires
RS:X Women: Bryony Shaw, Izzy Hamilton
470 Men: Luke Patience/Elliot Willis, Mike Wood/David Kohler
49er: Dylan Fletcher/Alain Sign, John Pink/Stuart Bithell
49erFX: Charlotte Dobson/Sophie Ainsworth Frances Peters/Nicola Groves
Nacra 17: Ben Saxton/Hannah Diamond Lucy Macgregor/Andrew Walsh
Laser: Nick Thompson, TBC – Elliot Hanson or Alex Mills Barton
Laser Radial: Two sailors will be selected immediately prior to the Test Event from: Alison Young, Chloe Martin or Hannah Snellgrove.