1. ITV Report

Paralympic sailors win Golds

John Robertson,Hannah Stodel, Stephen Thomas. Photo: RYA
Helena Lucas Credit: RYA
Alexandra Rickham and Niki Birrell Credit: RYA

The final day of racing at the ISAF World Cup event for the Paralympic classes in Weymouth and Portland saw two gold medals and one silver for Britain’s sailors on Friday (8 June), with their Skandia Team GBR teammates having it all to play for in the Olympic classes in Saturday’s medal race deciders.

All 10 Olympic classes and three Paralympic classes were confined to shore on day five of the Skandia Sail for Gold Regatta, with RYA event organisers taking the decision to call off all racing in Weymouth and Portland with strong winds throughout the day.

The SKUD duo and four time world champions Alexandra Rickham and Niki Birrell along with the Sonar team of John Robertson, Hannah Stodel and Steve Thomas both clinched the Gold medal, while Helena Lucas narrowly missed out on a clean swoop for the GBR Paralympic team with a silver in the 2.4mR event.

With Paralympic racing cancelled on the final two days at the 2012 Skandia Sail for Gold Regatta with gusts of up to 40 knots battering the Olympic venue, the GBR boats had their fate decided on the six race series completed in the first three days of the regatta.

Rickham and Birrell have missed out on the Skandia Sail for Gold crown on the past three attempts, to finally clinch the gold medal and their third consecutive ISAF Sailing World Cup title two months prior to the Paralympic Games, Birrell insists it’s the perfect confidence boost.

“It feels fantastic to finish the regatta with a gold medal here in Weymouth and Portland. 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.”