BRITISH sailors insist their World Cup experiences will stand them in good stead for the major events of the season, as they endured a frustrating final day of competition in Hyeres.

Having secured two medals in the 49er and 49erFX events on Saturday, the British Sailing Team had contenders and medal chances in four out of the five medal races on the closing day of this second round of the World Cup series.

But they narrowly missed out in each of them to finish fourth in the Laser, Laser Radial, Finn and 470 Women’s events.

However, with European Championship honours up for grabs in some classes as early as next week, the Hyeres regatta served as a useful warm-up for the season ahead and the chance to fine tune ahead of those key competitions.

The Finn class is one of those to be hosting its Europeans off the back of the World Cup event, along the coast in Marseilles, and both Ed Wright and Ben Cornish are keen to improve on their respective fourth and eighth places this week.

Wright, a former World Champion in the men’s heavyweight class, went into the final day wearing the red third place bib, but a start-line penalty quickly put him on the back foot in the battle for bronze.

Cornish, who ended up finishing eighth overall, was also looking ahead to his European Championship challenge.

He said: “We’ve got some good points taken from the week and we’ve definitely got some areas addressed which I think we can have some effect with before we get into Marseilles next week at the Europeans.

“We’re not far off the right place so a few little tidy-ups and I think we’ll be there or thereabouts.”

Amy Seabright and Anna Carpenter will also aim to learn some World Cup lessons, as they prepare for the 470 European Championships in Monaco.

The young talents went into the final race in a tight battle for the silver and bronze medals, with gold already gone to the Dutch duo of Afrodite Zegers and Annaloes van Veen, but they were disappointed to finish 10th in the medal race and slip out of the podium positions to fourth.

“We went in with a chance to get silver and have come out fourth, which is really, really disappointing. But we still had a good week – we were in there in the battle for medals so, even though the medal race didn’t go as we wanted it to, we’re still quite positive going into our Europeans,” Carpenter said.

“We had good speed this week, so that’s a good boost going into the Europeans and there are lots of little learning points from the racing this week that we can take.”

Laser and Laser Radial world champions, Nick Thompson and Alison Young, both started the final day of the event in fourth place, and found themselves with little opportunity amid the light winds to break through into the medal positions.

Young was pragmatic about her medal race display, where she finished seventh, and pointed to mistakes earlier in the regatta.

She said: “My performance on the water has been a bit hit-and-miss at times.

“In the medal race I could have been faster and I could have made better decisions, but ultimately I made bigger mistakes earlier in the week that cost me more.

“But we’ve highlighted some things that have moved forward,” the two-time Olympian continued.

“There’s some technique stuff that we’ve been working on in training and there were some big opportunities to correct some of the mistakes I’ve been making in the last couple of regattas.”


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