Silver safe for 470 Girls but eyes are on gold

Saskia Clark and Hannah Mills, 470 class

Saskia Clark and Hannah Mills, 470 class

First published in Weymouth and Portland Sailing Olympics and Paralympics 2012 News

WEYMOUTH’S 470 Girls have already secured at least silver medal for Great Britain but their eyes are firmly fixed on gold.

Team GB contenders Hannah Mills and Saskia Clark are on level points with their New Zealand rivals going into tomorrow’sfinal medal showdown.

Like the their counterparts in the 470 Men’s fleet, Mills and Clark are so far ahead of the rest of the fleet, they are guaranteed either silver or gold, unless by the slightest of chances they get disqualified.

Helm Mills, 25, and crew Clark, 32, managed to claw themselves back to an equal footing from being 10 points behind after yesterday’s penultimate fleet race.

Mills, of Rodwell , said: “To have done that today and have guaranteed ourselves a medal is just insane.”

The duo came eighth and second in yesterday’s two races, while their New Zealand rivals Jo Aleh and Olivia Powrie came second and 18th, leaving both teams on 33 points overall with the Kiwis top the leaderboard.

Clark, 32, said: “In the first race we got off to a good start but a wind shift meant everyone got back into it and the Kiwis got a 10 point jump on us.

“But we managed to get our heads back on in the second race, we used similar tactics but it came good for us that time.”

Clark, who represented Team GB at the Beijing 2008 Games, with helm Christina Bassadone and finished sixth, said their success so far felt ‘awesome’.

The Weymouth duo only teamed up 18 months ago after Clark's former helm – double Olympic medallist Sarah Ayton – retired from sailing to concentrate on motherhood.

Clark, who grew up in Essex but has lived for several years in Wyke Regis with her Olympian boyfriend Paul Goodison , said: “It’s been a rollercoaster of four years, after Beijing it’s not at all how I thought it would plan out.

“I’m really proud of the team Hannah and I have built, with the help of coach Joe Glanfield.

“I know we’re not done yet but whatever the outcome I’ll be proud of that.”

The stage is now set for a straight fight for glory on the Nothe spectator course tomorrow.

Clark added: “We want to win, – we definitely want to win.

“We’re going to enjoy watching the boys do their race and see what we can learn from that.

“We’ve got this far, we want to close it out.

“Both us and the Kiwis have had similar days this week – we’ve been up and down with the Kiwis every day.

“We wanted to go into the medal race with a real chance of gold – we’ve got that chance.”

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