Golden finale for Portland sailors

STRIKING GOLD: Alison Young

STRIKING GOLD: Alison Young

First published in London Olympics 2012 - Latest News by

VICTORIOUS Portland sailors Ali Young and Giles Scott brought home the golds on the final day of racing at the Skandia Sail for Gold Regatta.

Their wins in the Laser Radial and Finn dinghy classes helped bring Britain's overall medal tally to 11 across 13 classes at the last World Cup regatta before the Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Hundreds of spectators flocked to the Weymouth & Portland National Sailing Academy to watch the final double-points medal races and prize-giving ceremonies.

Portland’s 470 men Luke Patience and Stuart Bithell brought home silver, as did Finn world champion Ben Ainslie.

While Star sailors Iain Percy and Sherborne’s Andrew Simpson, Weymouth’s 470 women Hannah Mills and Saskia Clark, Weymouth’s 49er team of Dylan Fletcher and Alain Sign and windsurfer Nick Dempsey, also from the town, all claimed bronze.

This added to Skandia Team GBR’s two golds and a silver secured from the Paralympic classes on Friday.

After a week of tumultuous weather, the sun finally came out and the wind moderated to a perfect 15 knots for the opening races, building to a fresh 20-22 knots for the final medals.

The action took place on two courses, one inside the harbour and the other under the Olympic spectator site on the Nothe.

Young, 24, who earned her Team GB call-up just four weeks ago, claimed the first medal of the day and was feeling ‘pretty epic’ with her first World Cup series gold.

She said: “It was close on points between the top three and just a case of executing a good performance in the medal race.

“It felt pretty sweet going down the final run and knowing that if I kept the flappy bit of the boat in the right place I’d take gold.

“I’m looking forward to celebrating then focusing on the build up to the Games.”

But the big race of the day was the Finn class, in which Scott, 24, took on world champion Ainslie and claimed gold in emphatic style.

Fortuneswell’s Scott said: “It feels good – a bit of an interesting medal race to be honest. It was quite nice to be able to pull through and win it.

“Ben had a bit of a mishap and capsized, which allowed me to focus on winning the race. I’ve had consistent firsts and seconds all weeks so I couldn’t really hope for much more, obviously being able to end the week winning the medal race is a nice feeling.”

Patience and Bithell were ‘happy’ with their silver after a tightly fought contest with world champions Matthew Belcher and Malcolm Page of Australia.

Patience, 25, said: “That will do for now.”

World champions Mills and Clark had a ‘disastrous’ start to their 470 medal race when their tiller extension fell off.

Helm Mills, 25, said: “We had to put that back on before we could start so we were on the back foot a little bit but we held it together and didn’t get too wound up and sailed our race as best we could.

“We’re pleased with bronze. We’ve got a lot of work to do going into the Games.”

Weymouth’s Fletcher and Sign said it felt ‘amazing’ to secure their first ever podium finish in the ISAF World Cup circuit with bronze in the 49er class, finishing just two points in front of Olympic representatives Stevie Morrison and Ben Rhodes.

Dempsey sealed the bronze medal in the RS:X men’s windsurfing event, while Weymouth’s Laser sailor Paul Goodison was fourth and windsurfer Bryony Shaw eighth after suffering kit failure earlier in the week.

The women’s match racing trio of Lucy Macgregor, Annie Lush and Kate Macgregor lost their quarter-final bout with the Aussie trio skippered by Olivia Price, the eventual gold medallists, and finish fifth overall.

* For full regatta results, visit the website skandiasailfor goldregatta.co.uk

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