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G4S Sailors sail for Gold

Ben Ainslie and Nick Dempsey led GBR’s nine medal haul at the Skandia Sail for Gold World Cup Regatta in June, and G4S sponsored 49ers Stevie Morrison and Ben Rhodes came away with bronze

Stevie Morrison and Ben Rhodes secured their second straight World Cup podium finish and ended as top British boat in the 49er class. They defended their overnight position of third with a third place in the ten-boat medal race to earn a second consecutive Skandia Sail for Gold Regatta bronze. The medal secures their spot at the 2011 Weymouth and Portland International Regatta – the official test event for the London 2012 Sailing competition, which will run from 29 July – 11 August at the Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy.

“A bronze medal here feels great , it’s a really good achievement and to have five British boats in the top ten as well just shows that the 49er squad is alive and kicking and something to be reckoned with,” said Morrison.

“It’s been a really stressful week – starting your event with a disqualification is never a good thing - but we’ve delivered something at the end of it. But I’m a bit bored with bronze medals, we quite fancy one of Nathan’s [Outteridge] gold medals but we’ve got a year to work on catching him up!”

Ben Ainslie and Nick Dempsey sealed victories in the Finn and RS:X windsurfing events on the final day of racing at the Skandia Sail for Gold Regatta on Saturday (11 June), with further podium glory for British sailors in the 470 women’s, 49er and women’s match racing events taking the GBR medal tally to nine from their home World Cup regatta.

It was Olympic Champion Paul Goodison who kicked off the Skandia Team GBR medal haul on this final day of competition at the 2012 sailing venue. In bronze medal position heading into the day, assured of a podium spot but with gold a possibility, Goodison took an aggressive stance at the start, and tried to impose a penalty on the series leader, Tom Slingsby of Australia.

G4S 4teen sailor Juan Maegli started off the event sailing well, but dropped in the standings after some unsuccessful races during the week. He finished the event in 40th place in the Laser class.

“It’s been a really tough week for everyone, and a pretty physical week with predominantly moderate to strong winds and some fairly long days,” said RYA Olympic Manager Stephen Park.

“Lots of the sailors have been looking over their shoulders for their fellow Brits, particularly as this event was the key event in terms of selecting the team for the Olympic Test Event.

“It’s great to see so many people win medals, and also to be able to have so many strong top ten performers in every single Olympic and Paralympic event. Our Paralympic sailors did particularly well yesterday, and winning medals sets them up well for the IFDS Worlds next month.”

“For the moment, you’d have to say we’re on track,” Park continued. “Measured by the number of countries that are winning gold medals, clearly the world of Olympic sailing continues to get more and more competitive, it’s getting harder to stay on top and the margins are getting smaller and smaller.

“But at the moment, we’re hanging in there and it’s great we’ve got a squad of so many world class sailors.”

Skandia Team GBR’s final medal standings at the Skandia Sail for Gold Regatta

Gold (3)

Ben Ainslie (Finn)
Nick Dempsey (RS:X Men)
John Robertson, Hannah Stodel and Steve Thomas (Sonar)

Silver (4)

Lucy Macgregor, Annie Lush and Kate Macgregor (Women’s Match Racing)
Alexandra Rickham and Niki Birrell (SKUD)
Hannah Mills and Saskia Clark (470 Women)
Giles Scott (Finn)

Bronze (2)

Paul Goodison (Laser)
Stevie Morrison and Ben Rhodes (49er)