Racing canned in Weymouth
After a rather brisk night with a depression hovering over central England bringing gale force wins to Weymouth Bay and Portland, so these didn't abate fast enough over the course of today and shortly before 1500 local racing was canned for the day at Skandia Sail for Gold. After 1500 conditions of course dropped and they would have been sailable.
Today was supposed to have seen the concluding races for the Paralympic classes so yesterday's results are now the final results.
Multiple World Champions, Skandia Team GBR's Alexandra Rickham and Niki Birrell ended up demolishing the opposition in the Skud 18, with five consecutive bullets in the last races leaving them five points clear of Canada's John McRoberts and Stacie Louttit.
Rickham and Birrell previously missed out on the Skandia Sail for Gold title on the past three attempts. “It feels fantastic to finish the regatta with a gold medal here in Weymouth and Portland," said Rickham. "We came here wanting to win this event and we have done, so that’s great! Obviously we want to win the Paralympics in September so the overall result here wasn’t as important as the Games, buts it’s a great boost to have won.
“We had a similar situation in Hyeres with a similar forecast at the end of the week and we didn't get to go racing. We were in silver position then and that was very frustrating so when we saw the forecast for the end of this week, me and Alex made it our absolute top priority to be leading by Wednesday night because we thought this might happen."
The Brits also scored victory in the Sonars with John Robertson/Hannah Stodel/Steve Thomas finishing two points ahead of the Dutch team of Udo Hessels/Mischa Rossen/Marcel van de Veen.
“I was quite disappointed actually that racing got cancelled, it would've been good to get more practice in before the Games,” said Thomas. “We had an average start to the regatta but we improved on the second day and we wanted to continue with that through the week. It was a pretty tough competition, all the guys who were competing are going to be here at the Games, it was a strong fleet, everyone sailed well.”
In the 2.4mR, the Netherlands' Thierry Schmitter came out on top, but only on countback from Britain's Helena Lucas - these two four points clear of Damien Seguin.
Lucas commented: “I’m obviously happy with the silver medal but at the same time a little frustrated as I was so close to the gold. I was in fourth in the last race on Wednesday which would have given me the gold but at the last minute I was piped over the line when the boat from Norway caught a good wave – it was so close and so frustrating as I kind of knew it was the last race of the regatta. But it’s still good to medal and obviously its September that counts! This week has given me the opportunity to test all my kit in pretty much all the wind conditions which is a big tick of the box!”
Conditions are more sailable for tomorrow's medal races albeit still 13-16 knots and gusting into the high teens.
The start times tomorrow are:
10:00 Laser (harbour)
10:40 470 Men (Nothe)
11:20 Laser Radial (harbour)
12:00 470 Women (Nothe)
12:40 49er (Harbour)
13:20 RS:X Women (Nothe)
13:50 Star (Harbour)
14:30 RS:X Men (Nothe)
15:00 Finn (Harbour)