DORSET-based Stuart Bithell and Charlotte Dobson go into today's World Cup Series Final races looking to win gold medals.  

The duo are competing in Santander, Spain, where podium spots will be settled in the medal races this weekend. 

Bithell, who resides in Portland, and 49er team-mate Dylan Fletcher are poised in the bronze medal position, but with the top four boats capable of golden glory, racing will come down to the wire.

Rising stars James Peters and Fynn Sterritt will start tomorrow’s medal race in pole position, just a point ahead of Polish pair Lukasz Przybytek-Pawel Kolodzinski, as they held onto their overnight lead.

Meanwhile, Weymouth-based Dobson and her team-mate Saskia Tidey, the overnight leaders, were edged off the top spot in the 49er FX class after Brazilians Soffiati Grael-Kunze clinched the final bullet.

The pair will start tomorrow’s proceedings three points from first place as they prepare for a fierce battle for the gold medal. Kate Macgregor-Sophie Ainsworth will join their teammates in the medal race, wrapping up their opening series in fourth.

Nacra pairings John Gimson-Anna Burnet and Tom Phipps-Nikki Boniface swapped positions in the day’s racing to see Gimson-Burnet a point ahead of their teammates going into the medal race. With Spaniards Erasun-Rijnsoever 18-points ahead, gold would be a tough, but not impossible, task for Gimson-Burnet.

Gimson admits their focus has been on foiling in past month, describing the week’s event as a ‘baptism of fire’ stepping back into the Nacra 17 short course racing.

Looking ahead to tomorrow’s race, Burnet commented: “I imagine it’s going to be close on points. I think the Spanish pair have a bit of a jump on, so there will be a battle for second. We’ll just go into it and try and win the race and do whatever we need to do to secure the medal.”

Also making the multi-hull medal race cut are Ben Saxton-Katie Dabson, Chris Rashley-Laura Marimon Giovannetti and Rupert White-Kirstie Urwin in fifth, seventh and ninth respectively, making it five British boats on the 10-boat start-line. 

Emma Wilson and Izzy Hamilton both booked their berths in Saturday’s Women’s RS:X medal race, qualifying in seventh and ninth respectively. Meanwhile Tom Squires’ 3,2,4 in the day’s proceedings sees the windsurfer advance to sixth. A strong medal race performance could see Squires still in with a shot at the bronze medal.

Saturday will be an equally crucial day for the Laser, Laser Radial, Finn and 470 Men’s and Women’s fleets with two more races per class to decide the line-up for Sunday’s final medal races.

Continuing their form at their first event together, Hannah Mills and Eilidh McIntyre extend their lead at the top of Women’s 470 fleet, and will start tomorrow 8-points clear of their nearest rivals. After facing a starting penalty in the first race, Amy Seabright and Anna Carpenter slip to fifth, although with only 3-points separating third to fifth it is still everything to play for.

The British Finn squad continue to assert their authority at the front of the fleet, as Ben Cornish leapfrogs teammate Ed Wright to take the lead overnight. Wright is poised in the bronze medal spot, while Henry Wetherell is fifth.

Nick Thompson’s first race win of the event advances him to fifth as he will be looking to consolidate his medal chances in the final two fleet races. Teammate Michael Beckett is eighth and will look to remain in the top-10 ready for Sunday’s medal race. 

Martin Wrigley and James Taylor sit fifth overnight, meanwhile Laser Radial sailor Georgina Povall is 18th heading into Saturday’s final day of fleet racing.