Displaying items by tag: Saskia Tidey
Saskia Tidey’s enthusiasm for racing the 49erFX to Olympic level is such that after she’d exhausted every possibility of finding a sailing partner towards Tokyo 2020 within Ireland, she had to cast the net towards the UK, and linked up with Charlotte Dobson.
Dobson had finished 8th in the 2016 Rio Olympiad sailing with Sophie Ainsworth. Ironically, Charlotte Dobson is also an “outsider”, as she’s from Helensburgh on Scotland’s Firth of Clyde, and went to university in Edinburgh. But whatever their background, and whatever the national colours they’re now sailing under, their first major international debut at the Hyeres championship – after just four months training together – was an immediate breathrough, as they took the Bronze Medal.
By any standards it was a remarkable achievement, after just four months of shared training it was phenomenal, and Saskia Tidey of the Royal Irish Yacht Club is clear winner of our “Sailor of the Month (Olympic)” Award for April 2017.
In the Laser Radial fleet Howth Yacht Club sailor Aoife Hopkins has placed 40th after the first day of the live medal races in Hyères, France writes Nathaniel Ogden. Showing a consistent mid-fleet performance throughout the week, Hopkins has placed ahead of fellow Irish sailor Aisling Keller of Lough Derg Yacht Club, who finished in 42nd today after a similarly consistent week in the middle of the pack. These are important results for the young Irish sailors in an early Olympic preparation event. As Aoife says, "I wasn't looking for a result at this regatta as its near my Leaving Cert but my process goal was to improve my starts. I've made massive progress on them and am getting a good start in most races now. So it's been successful all round."
The success story of the week came from the women's 49erFX fleet when RIYC sailor Saskia Tidey and helm Charlotte Dobson came in 3rd overall, winning a bronze medal in the 20 boat fleet. Having only sailed together for team GBR for 4 months, the young pair have proven to be major contenders in this year's Sailing World Cup, and will be ones to watch during the quadrennial leading up to Tokyo 2020, which will be Tidey's second Olympics in the 49erFX, but first crewing with Dobson.
NYC's Finn Lynch is sitting in 32nd place, out of 60 boats, in the men's Laser class after the first day of live medal racing at Hyères, as NE winds continued to hover around 10 knots.
Seven medals were confirmed today (Saturday) at Sailing's World Cup Series in Hyères, France.
In the first of two live Medal Race days, France's southern coast was blessed with glorious sunshine. Coupled with an 11-13 knot breeze from the west, the day was virtually perfect.
The skiffs, windsurfers, multihulls, foiling kiteboarders and the Para World Sailing 2.4 Norlin OD concluded racing.
As the Medal Races played out, there was also fighting for the top ten positions in the one person and two person dinghies ahead of Sunday's live final day of racing.
Spain's 49er team, Diego Botin and Iago Lopez, had the luxury of knowing that whatever happened in the Medal Race the gold medal was theirs. With an unassailable overnight lead, even with the double points on offer in the final race, they could not be beaten.
Reflecting on the impressive win, skipper Botin said, "It's been a really good week for us. We hope every time we come in to a Championship that we will be in with a chance at the end of the regatta and this time around we were really surprised that we were top with a day to spare.”
Digging deeper to find their secret to success, Botin confirmed a simple fact of sport, "It was a lot of things. But it really came down to yesterday when we sailed well and everyone else didn't.”
Holding on to silver was Dylan Fletcher-Scott and Stu Bithell (GBR) who finished third in the Medal Race. The bronze medal went to Sweden's Carl Sylvan and Marcus Anjemark who just needed to stay ahead of nearest rivals Yago and Klaus Lange (ARG) which they did with ease as the Argentinean brothers fell to the back of the fleet finishing tenth.
In the 49erFX, Rio 2016 golden girls, Martine Grael and Kahena Kunze (BRA) have done it again as they claim another Medal Race and 2017 World Cup Series win. Backing up the gold they took in Miami, USA in Round One, the Brazilian girls were just too good for the fleet.
"We have nailed the year now with Miami and now Hyères,” said a smiling Grael, "but we have to keep our feet on the ground as we know there will be big competition ahead.”
One of those big competition's is the Final in Santander, Spain this coming June. So, could it be a clean sweep? "It would be awesome,” said Grael, "let's see what happens. The FX is a tough competition.”
Germany's Victoria Jurczok and Anika Lorenz win silver and the new 2017 pairing of Charlotte Dobson and Saskia Tidey (GBR) claim their first World Cup Series medal with a bronze.
Whatever Grael and Kunze can do, France's Louis Giard can do too. Just like the Brazilian FX sailors, the French windsurfer has also added the Hyères title to the Round One Miami gold.
Despite a nervy start, Giard has slowly but surely climbed the ladder to the top of the podium racing better and better throughout the regatta, as he explains, "It's another win for me after Miami. It wasn't an easy week of racing and I had to improve my level throughout the week. I did that so I am happy.”
One sailor in the Men's RS:X not happy is Mateo Sanz Lanz (SUI). While Giard started slow and gained confidence, Sanz Lanz seemingly did the opposite. With a tenth place finish in the double point Medal Race, Sanz Lanz missed out on the medals altogether allowing Piotr Myszka (POL) to take silver and Kiran Badloe (NED) to sneak in to take bronze.
Taking the Women's RS:X gold was Poland's Zofia Noceti-Klepacka. It has been a mixed bag of results from the Polish windsurfer, but in the end a string of high finishes throughout the week was enough to claim the title, "Today I enjoyed the racing. It was stable conditions and great planing. Compare that to yesterday when it was very hard.
"Overall though I have sailed consistent. If you think I haven't won a race but I have won gold. It was all about consistency.”
That consistency equated to a 23-point win over second placed Yunxiu Lu (CHN) who takes silver and a 32-point margin over third placed, and bronze medallist, Noga Geller (ISR).
If you are going to win a gold medal, you may as well win it with a first place in the Medal Race. That is what Fernando Echavarri and Tara Pacheco (ESP) did in the Nacra 17.
For the Spanish team it seems that Hyères has been a collection of puzzle pieces fitting to make one golden picture, as Echavarri explains, "It's a good prize for a lot of things coming together. We are enjoying our sailing and have a solid base. We are putting everything we have learned in the last two years together and it is working well.”
French medal hopefuls Moana Vaireaux and Manon Audinet secured silver when they finished ahead of Lin Ea Cenholt and Christian Peter Lubeck (DEN). That meant the Danes had to settle for the bronze medal.
It would seem that the mechanical issue that kept Damien Seguin (FRA) out of day four action was well and truly fixed. The impressive Frenchman returned to action in style to claim all three bullets on offer and close out the 2.4 Norlin OD series.
Summing up the regatta Seguin said, "We had ten beautiful races, especially today with an east wind and big waves. I'm happy because I love this place.”
Seguin's love has increased even more with a 17-point gap back to nearest rival Antonio Squizzato (ITA) in second. Xavier Dagault (FRA) claimed the bronze medal with 30 points.
If Seguin loves Hyères, just imagine how Nico Parlier (FRA) feels. The Frenchman has won all but one race in the Formula Foiling Kiteboarding, including the final three Medal Races.
Despite the dominance, Parlier still felt it was closer than the results suggest, "It's been tough with really close racing. I've been really dialled in with my equipment though and had the wind I like so I am really happy with everything.”
Parlier's compatriot, training partner and friend, Axel Mazella (FRA), has always been one step behind, but still secured the silver with room to spare ahead of Monaco's Maxime Nocher.
Australia's Mat Belcher and Will Ryan will have a Hyères gold medal around their neck in the Men's 470 no matter where they finish in the final Medal Race. With two bullets from two races, they opened up a 24-point lead to second placed Carl-Fredrik Fock and Marcus Dackhammar (SWE).
In the Women's 470, Afrodite Zegers and Annaloes van Veen (NED) and Linda Fahrni and Maja Siegenthaler (SUI) have been neck and neck all week. Not anymore. The Dutch team took two bullets compared to a tenth and 11th from the Swiss. Zegers and van Veen now hold a 19-point advantage.
With a 1-2 finish on day five, Alican Kayner (TUR) remains top of the Finn fleet going in to Sunday's live Medal Race. Nicholas Heiner (NED) holds second and Ed Wright (GBR) third.
Six points separate the top two in the fight for Laser gold. Italy's Francesco Marrai is the current leader on 53 points from a 2-9 day, bettering second placed Cypriot Pavlos Kontides who scored a 2-11. Australia's Matt Wearn is in third.
Evi van Acker (BEL) has secured at least a silver medal ahead of the final Medal Race in the Laser Radial. Fighting the Belgian all the way will be second placed Tuula Tenkanen (FIN) who is 12 points behind.
Racing continues on Sunday 30 April at 12:05 local time as the final five Olympic classes race in the second and final day of Live Medal Races.
Royal Irish Yacht Club's Saskia Tidey and Charlotte Dobson continued to deliver top results on day three at Hyeres, France today writes Nathaniel Ogden. The pair, competing for team GBR in the 49erFX fleet, are placing 3rd overall after a long day’s racing. The RIYC crew and her helm had a fantastic round–up, placing in the top 10 in every race (excluding an 11th place discard) and taking home two impressive first place finishes for the second day in a row.
Tidey and Dobson are going into the fourth day with hopes of maintaining their medal position, for the live medal races on Saturday & Sunday, and closing the gap between Germany’s Victoria Jurczok in 2nd, and Brazil’s Martine Soffiatti Grael, currently in 1st place.
A much better day for the National Yacht Club’s Finn Lynch saw him rise to 28th position in the men’s Laser fleet. Taking home a 7th and a 10th out of 6 races throughout the day, he was unlucky to have been given a Black Flag Disqualification in the final race. But with two top 10 finishes in the 60-strong fleet, he has shown how a new day can mean all the difference, as conditions continue to hover around 7-13 knots.
In the women’s Laser Radial fleet Aisling Keller continued to maintain her mid fleet position, finishing day 3 at Hyeres in 32nd overall. Lough Derg’s Aoife Hopkins is placing 44th as the second regatta of the 2017 World Cup Series reached its midpoint.
Nicholas Heiner's (NED) consistency in the Finn is equalling success at Sailing's World Cup Series in Hyères, France.
Out of the 534 racers from 52 nations, racing across the ten Olympic events, Foiling Formula Kiteboarding and 2.4 Norlin OD, Heiner has been one of the most reliable performers with a string of top five finishes to lead in the Finn.
Racing in a 7-13 knot breeze that took some time to fill in, the second regatta of the 2017 World Cup Series reached its mid-point and the battle to make Saturday and Sunday's live Medal Races is on.
In only his third Finn regatta, Heiner had another consistent day of racing to take the lead in a fleet packed full of experienced racers.
Although he's a fresh face in the Finn, the Dutchman is no stranger to competitive racing. He is a former Laser World Champion and used to racing in competitive fleets. Moving into a new boat can always be challenging for a sailor but Heiner has thrived in the Finn after making the crossover.
From Thursday's racing, he picked up a second and a fifth and made all the right calls on a challenging day. "The wind was coming in and falling out all the time, but when we finally started it really kicked in to around 12 knots. Close to the start though I made a quick call to change the sail from the light wind to the medium heavy and I think that paid off well for me.”
Heiner is staying conservative in his racing, ensuring he has good boat handling and technique amongst the experienced pack. The natural, talented fearless sailor that sailed his way to an emphatic Laser world title in 2014 is yet to come out in Heiner. But for now, he is happy with his progress, "At moments, I think I saw some pressure coming and maybe tacked a bit early when I could have taken more risks. The idea is to keep it really conservative and stay with the pack right now.”
Fabian Pic (FRA) and Ben Cornish (GBR) trail Heiner by nine points with Alican Kaynar (TUR) a further point back. There is plenty still to play for with four fleet races and Sunday's Medal Race to follow. Kaynar is targeting Heiner and will be aiming to climb up the leaderboard, "I think Nicholas extended his points lead today but we are still close. I just have to keep in contention and then attack in the last races.
"Today Nicholas sailed very conservatively I think and always caught the good shifts. He had good down winds today as well so he was always there at the front.”
Damien Seguin (FRA) continues on the path to glory in the 2.4 Norlin OD. The Rio 2016 and Athens 2004 Paralympic gold medallist has won all but one race this week and is firmly in control to win another title in Hyères. "I don't know how many times I have won here,” laughed Seguin, "but I have been sailing in Hyères for a long time. I think I was 21 when I first sailed a Tornado here.”
Seguin has won six titles in Hyères and is in line to make that seven. But with new sailors in the fleet, Seguin is preparing for the upcoming Para World Sailing Championships in Kiel, Germany.
"It's a smaller fleet but we have some new people which is great. One from Guatemala and two younger people, so it's great to have some new guys to race against.
"It's great practice for me for the Worlds. There aren't so many events in 2.4 so if I need to practice I prefer to do it against good competitors. And there are good competitors here.”
French sailors Xavier Dagault and Bruno Jourdren follow Seguin with four races remaining.
The sail of the day goes to Germany's Victoria Jurczok and Anika Lorenz who took all three wins in the 49erFX. That perfect performance moves the German team up in to silver medal position. They will need to continue that winning form though if they are to overhaul Martine Grael and Kahena Kunze (BRA) who are 10 points ahead.
Great Britain's Dylan Fletcher-Scott and Stu Bithell edged ahead in the 49er with a 1-8-4. Those results give the Britons a slender two-point advantage over Spain's Diego Botin and Iago Lopez.
Rio 2016 silver medallists Mat Belcher and Will Ryan (AUS) have cut the gap at the top of the leaderboard to one point behind the Rio 2016 bronze medal winning Greeks, Panagiotis Mantis and Pavlos Kagialis who currently occupy top spot in the Men's 470. Mantis and Kagialis had to discard a 27th place before picking up a bullet in race two as they came under pressure from the Aussies who took a second and third for the day.
The Women's 470 leaders mimicked the men's with a discard in the first race and a bullet in the second. Dutch racers Afrodite Zegers and Annaloes van Veen discard their 16th and as a result are now tied on 15 points with Switzerland's Linda Fahrni and Maja Siegenthaler. Silvia Mas Depares and Patricia Cantero Reina (ESP) are three points back in third.
Swiss windsurfer Mateo Sanz Lanz remains top of the Men's RS:X despite slipping outside of the top five in a race for the first time. Thanks to his consistency so far in Hyères, Sanz Lanz could discard his 23rd place to hold a six-point lead over Israel's Shahar Zubari and a 20-point lead over France's Louis Giard.
Zofia Noceti-Klepacka (POL) leapfrogged overnight Women's RS:X leader Noga Geller (ISR), opening up a 10-point cushion to lead the fleet. Brazil's Patricia Freitas continues to climb the leaderboard and now sits in third with a day three score card which included a bullet, second and discarded 23rd.
In a day of catch up for the Laser fleet it was Australia's Matt Wearn who came out on top with a bullet, second and fourth place from three races. With the schedule back on track it will be Wearn's job to keep second placed Pavlos Kontides (CYP), third placed Francesco Marrai (ITA) and the rest of a strong dinghy fleet at bay.
Despite a black flag in the final race of the day, Hungary's Maria Erdi heads the Laser Radial fleet, but only just. The young Olympian will need to be careful there are no more slip ups if she wants to end the regatta with a medal. Waiting for any possible slip is Evi Van Acker (BEL) just one point behind in second.
Home support will be aimed toward the Nacra 17 fleet as Moana Vaireaux and Manon Audinet (FRA) are tied at the top with Spain's Fernando Echavarri and Tara Pacheco on 23 points. Lin Ea Cenholt and Christian Peter Lubeck are in third on 28.
As the breeze died later on in the evening, the Kitesurfers were unable to hit the water but they will resume tomorrow for their finals.
Racing resumes at 11:00 local time on Friday 28 April. The forecast shows big breeze and the RS:X, 49er, Nacra 17 and Kitesurfers will be aiming to grab a spot in the Medal Race.
Live Medal Races will be shown on the World Sailing YouTube Channel on Saturday 29 and Sunday 30 April, bringing the penultimate event before the Santander Final to a close.
Royal Irish Yacht Club's Saskia Tidey and helm Charlotte Dobson had an outstanding second day of racing at Hyères this afternoon, bagging two firsts and one second position out of six races (with one discard) in the 49erFX fleet writes Nathaniel Ogden. Finishing the day in second place overall, the pair are in a strong position going into day three, and with stronger winds forecast it will be interesting to see if they can maintain their impressive standing as conditions change!
Finn Lynch of the National Yacht Club had another mixed day in the men’s Laser class as light winds continued into day two at Hyères. A 13th place finish was sadly brought down by two disappointing results later in the day. Holding down a respectable 41st place overall at day’s end, the young NYC sailor will be looking forward to a change in conditions, forecast now to fill in on the third day of the Sailing World Cup.
Tokyo 2020 hopeful Aisling Keller from Lough Derg YC ended the day in 31st place overall following a solid set of mid fleet results in the women’s Laser Radial fleet. Two impressive results in the first and last races were unfortunately brought down by two poorer finishes in the 2nd and 3rd of the day for Aoife Hopkins of Howth Yacht Club. Currently taking time out from studying for the Leaving Certificate, the Dubliner finished up in 39th overall, as light winds prevailed.
If day one was about 'Laying down a marker' then day two is about settling down to the job at hand as the discard comes in to play for every fleet. A grey, overcast morning welcomed the sailors from the ten Olympic classes as well as Open Kiteboarding and the 2.4 Norlin OD, a Para World Sailing event, to the boat park with an expected morning breeze of 7-12 knots from the west.
Afrodite Zegers and Anneloes van Veen (NED) were unstoppable on day two of Sailing's World Cup Series in Hyères, France, winning both Women's 470 races in convincing style.
Out of the 534 competitors from 52 nations racing across ten Olympic events, Open Kiteboarding and 2.4 Norlin OD, the Dutch team were the standout performers.
Following a brief morning postponement due to a wait for the wind, the 470 fleets got out for a 12:30 start, sailing in a westerly 10-15 knot breeze.
Zegers and van Veen were unrelenting, sailing their way to two convincingly victories to leapfrog Switzerland's Linda Fahrni and Maja Siegenthaler into first place.
The Dutch duo are on a hot streak in the Women's 470, winning gold at the opening 2017 World Cup Series event in Miami, USA before securing the Trofeo Princesa Sofia title in March.
They were agonisingly close to claiming a medal at Rio 2016, missing out by a single point and as their rivals have gone onto new ventures or taken time out of the boat, Zegers and van Veen were quick to get straight back into action.
"We already knew we wanted to continue as a team,” explained van Veen. "It was an easy choice to carry on.
"Since the beginning of the year at the World Cup in Miami we have made a lot of improvements, we still know there is a lot of work to be done but we feel like great improvements have been made.”
Zegers and van Veen got off to a strong start in both of their races and when compared to their rivals they were simply faster as van Veen explained, "We had good boat speed in the first race and from there we just tried to defend the lead and stay in front of the fleet which we did well.
"In the second race, we had a really good start from the pin and got the lead straight from that. We just played the shifts then.”
A familiar battle is developing in the Men's 470 with Rio 2016 silver and bronze medallists separated by small margins. Greece's Panagiotis Mantis and Pavlos Kagialis were made to settle for bronze at Rio 2016, beaten to silver by Mat Belcher and Will Ryan (AUS).
The tables have turned, for now, in Hyères as the Greek team hold the lead on five points to the Australia's seven. Both crews posted identical results on day two, recording a first and a third but the Greek team had a better opening day with a race win and a fifth to take the lead.
On the rivalry with the Australians, Kagialis said, "It is always nice to race against people like Mat and Will as they are top athletes. When the level is higher you try more and you push more so it's nice.
"It makes the sport better.
"Our goal is always to get a medal. You do your best in the regatta and if you are up there near the end you then get to choose which medal you can push for. It's still early though, we have three days of racing before we get to that point.”
An interesting battle is developing in the Nacra 17 as the top three continue to fight for supremacy.
Five points separate Moana Vaireaux and Manon Audinet (FRA), Fernando Echavarri and Tara Pacheco (ESP) and Lin Ea Cenholt and Christian Peter Lubeck (DEN). The trio shared the day's race wins and have put some points between themselves and fourth place.
"We had good starts and took the right side so it was a good day for us,” said Lubeck who had a steady day with a 1-(8)-2 scoreline. Ea Cenholt added, "We had an offshore tricky wind but we succeeded in what was important for us, to be at near the top of the fleet at the top mark.”
From a three-way fight to a three-way tie, Great Britain's Dylan Fletcher-Scott and Stu Bithell, Argentina's Yago and Klaus Lange and Spain's Diego Botin and Iago Lopez are all locked on 16-points apiece in the 49er.
The trio scored a good set of 'keepers' on the second day, discarding their worst race which for all three was race one.
Martine Grael and Kahena Kunze (BRA) had another consistent day to consolidate their lead. Charlotte Dobson and Saskia Tidey (GBR) shone the brightest, however, winning a pair of races and claiming a fifth. As a result, they move into second place ahead of Victoria Jurczok and Anika Lorenz (GER).
Six further races were conducted in the Foiling Formula Kiteboarding and the perfect records held by Axel Mazella (FRA) and Nicolas Parlier (FRA) were crushed in the opening race of the day. Mazella finished second in the blue fleet and Parlier third in yellow.
That was, however, just one blip on the record as they got back to winning ways immediately after, taking the remaining five victories in their respective fleets. They are tied on 10 points at the top with Maxime Nocher (MON) following nine points behind.
From two Finn races, a 5-4 from Ben Cornish (GBR) and a 4-2 from Nicholas Heiner (NED) sees the pair tied at the top on ten points. The day's race victories went the way of Jorge Zarif (BRA) who is 11th overall and the sixth placed Ed Wright (GBR).
Finland's Tuula Tenkanen is making her first competitive appearance back in the Laser Radial after finishing fifth at Rio 2016. Any cobwebs were blown off on the opening day as she won the opening race. A mid-fleet finish followed but Tenkanen was back on form on Wednesday, winning another race. She leads on ten points, two ahead of Belgium's Evi Van Acker. Maria Erdi (HUN) and Viktorija Andrulyte (LTU) are tied for third on 13 points.
Damien Seguin (FRA) and Xavier Dagault (FRA) shared the 2.4 Norlin OD race wins. Seguin, the Rio 2016 and Athens 2004 Paralympic gold medallist leads the 12-boat fleet on three points and is trailed by Dagault and Bruno Jourdren (FRA).
As the day progressed in Hyères, the breeze began to decrease meaning the Laser and RS:X fleets could only complete one race in a challenging, fickle afternoon session.
Shahar Zubari (ISR) took the men's race win and moves to second overall, one point behind Mateo Sanz Lanz (SUI) who consolidated first place with a third. Overnight Women's RS:X leader Noga Geller (ISR) remains in control following a third. Zofia Noceti-Klepacka (POL) pulled within one point of the Israeli with a second. The single race win went the way of Patricia Freitas (BRA).
Sam Meech (NZL) moved from 11th to fourth overall as he took the single Laser race win. Pavlos Kontides (CYP) retains his lead by discarding his 14th. Nick Thompson (GBR) follows and Francesco Marrai (ITA) is in third.
Racing continues Thursday 26 April at 11:00 local time. Live Medal Races will be shown on the World Sailing YouTube Channel on Saturday 29 and Sunday 30 April, bringing the penultimate event before the Santander Final to a close.
Olympian Saskia Tidey – just back from racing at Miami Olympic Classes Regatta – gave an intensive weekend's coaching. Tidey, now the team GBR 49erFX crewmate of Charlotte Dobson, kept the pace up relentlessly over the the two days and crews made noticeable improvements.
The fleet spent almost five hours on the water on the second day in an amazing, sunny force 3-5.
The training weekend is part of an Irish RS class initiative to breathe new life into dinghy sailing. All Ireland champion Alex Barry of Cork, an RS champion, told Afloat.ie that 'friendships through sailing is key to the future of dinghy classes'. Read more here.
RS 200 Training Weekend Photos
Britain's sailors concluded their first World Cup regatta of the 2020 cycle with a six-medal haul as the Sailing World Cup Miami drew to a close on Biscayne Bay on Sunday (29 January) but Irish 49erfx Olympian Saskia Tidey who has switched to campaign for Team GB for Tokyo 2020 was not part of the medal winners. Tidey, from Dun Laoghaire and her new skipper Charlotte Dobson ended up 11th from 16 and overhauled by British rivals Kate MacGregor and Sophie Ainsworth in ninth.
Dun Laoghaire's Finn Lynch, Ireland's sole entry at the first World Cup of 2017, concluded that 'big tactical mistakes in a World Cup fleet don't end well'. The National Yacht Club Laser ace, who became Ireland's youngest ever Olympic helmsman aged 20 in Rio, finished Miami World Cup in 34th position. In the last five races he had four results in top 20 and one race with a yellow flag at the start. The Carlow native says he is 'pretty disappointed' but knows 'for sure my sights can be set a lot higher for the rest of the season'.
Gold for Dylan Fletcher-Stuart Bithell (49er) and a British 1-2 in the Nacra 17 event from Ben Saxton-Nicola Groves and Tom Phipps-Nikki Boniface on Saturday were topped up with two further silver medals and a bronze from Sunday's second day of medal racing.
Lorenzo Chiavarini captured the first British medal of the final day in the Laser class, leapfrogging compatriot and two-time World Champion Nick Thompson to the third step of the podium.
Ben Cornish started the Finn medal race in silver medal position, and had his work cut out defending it during a testing medal race in shifty wind conditions.
In a nail-biting 470 Women's medal race - the final race of the regatta - Sophie Weguelin-Eilidh McIntyre so nearly made it a third gold for the British Sailing Team, but were edged out by Dutch duo Afrodite Zegers-Annaloes van Veen just before the finish.
Top three by class:
1. Afrodite Zegers / Anneloes van Veen, NED, 26 points
2. Sophie Weguelin / Eillidh McIntyre, GBR, 29
3. Silva Mas Depares / Paula Barcelo Martin, ESP, 39
1. Stuart McNay / David Hughes, USA, 56
2. Tetsuya Isozaki / Akira Takayanagi, JPN, 60
3. Panagiotis Mantis / Pavlos Kagialis, GRE, 68
1. Louis Giard, FRA, 36
2. Pierre le Coq, FRA, 75
3. Mateo Sanz Lanz, SUI, 78
1. Yunxiu Lu, CHN, 44
2. Marina Alabau Neira, ESP, 56
3. Manjia Zheng, CHN, 74
1. Jean Baptiste Bernaz, FRA, 70
2. Pavlos Kontides, CYP, 125
3. Lorenzo Brando Chiavarini, GBR, 134
1. Vasileia Karachaliou, GRE, 28
2. Evi van Acker, BEL, 46
3. Mathilde de Kerangat, FRA, 69
1. Jorge Zarif, BRA, 23
2. Ben Cornish, GBR, 51
3. Anders Pedersen, NOR, 55
1. Dylan Fletcher-Scott, GBR, 60
2. Benjamin Bildstein, AUT, 79
3. Diego Botin le Chever, Iago Lopez Marra, ESP, 91
1. Martine Soffiatti Grael, BRA, 35
2. Ragna Agerup, NOR, 56
3. Victoria Travascio, ARG, 69
1. Ben Saxton / Nicola Groves, GBR, 39
2. Tom Phipps / Nicola Boniface, GBR, 50
3. Nico Delle - Karth / Laura Schofegger, AUT, 66
The first stop of World Sailing's 2017 World Cup Series, the first on the road to Tokyo 2020, sees just one Irish entry from over 450 competitors across the ten Olympic classes from Regatta Park at Coconut Grove, Miami from 24 – 29 January.
Carlow's Finn Lynch will compete in the mens Laser class, a fleet that looks strong with the close training group of Rio 2016 silver medallist Tonci Stipanovic (CRO), 2016 Sailing World Cup Final winner Pavlos Kontides (CYP) and Ireland's youngest Olympic helmsman Lynch not only taking on each other, but fierce competitors like Germany's Philipp Buhl who has won multiple Sailing World Cup titles and 2015 and 2016 Laser world champion, Nick Thompson (GBR).
Also racing is Saskia Tidey, the Irish 49erfx sailor from Rio 2016 who is now sailing for Team GB for Tokyo 2020. The Dun Laoghaire sailor will make her Tema GB debut with Charlotte Dobson on Biscayne Bay.
Miami welcomes back five of the 2016 edition winners as well as 2016 Sailing World Cup Final champions while sailing 'legend' Robert Scheidt changes the One Person Dinghy for the Two Person Skiff.
The Irish RS200 class association has announced Olympian Saskia Tidey has agreed to coach the Irish fleet for an ISA-supported class training weekend on Feb 4/5 at the Royal St George Yacht Club in Dun Laoghaire. Saskia competed for Ireland in the 49-er FX class in Rio and narrowly missed out on the Medal Race. Just recently, as reported on Afloat.ie HERE she has made the 'difficult' decision, with dual passports, to pursue a full time career with the GBR Olympic squad, with a target of qualifying for Tokyo 2020.
The Coaching weekend is open to all RS200 sailors and owners (of all standards) and will hopefully appeal to both seasoned campaigners from the established RS200 clubs up and down the country and perhaps also some newcomers from Cork where up to 8 new RS200s have arrived over the winter, with the Irish RS200 class association left searching for any available second hand boats in Ireland and the UK. The Cork Harbour interest has been helped in no small measure by encouragement from ISA All-Ireland Champion Alex Barry, see Afloat.ie report HERE. Indeed it seems apt that the RS200 Irish National Championships will take place at RCYC as part of Dinghyfest, June 30-July 2.
Further details on the Irish RS200 scene on www.RSIreland.com and the celebrated RS Crews Union Facebook page, where you can also keep up to date with the vibrant RS400 scene. Irish RS regional events incorporate all 3 RS fleets; Feva, 200 and 400, although larger fleets in all 3 for the respective National Championships will generally be held separately.
Saskia will focus on downwind boat-handling and technique. Here’s hoping for good weather this early in the season. We expect the shelter of the Harbour could yet prove invaluable.
See attached poster for event details and contact to register interest.
The move comes after the retirement of Tidey’s 49erFX skiff partner Andrea Brewster following last summer’s Rio games, where they finished 12th in the debut Olympic event for their class.
Tidey, who qualifies for British citizenship through her father, indicated that Ireland’s concentration on the Laser Radial and 420 classes prompted her to make the change.
“There wasn’t an option here in Ireland in the 49er FX with another girl who had the experience to sail at the same level … to be competitive and win a medal in 2020,” said Tidey, who is already training with her new partner, Rio top-10-placed Charlotte Dobson.
However, changing national representation in competition may not be smooth sailing for 23-year-old Tidey.
World Sailing rules dictate that three years must pass before sailing for one country and competing under another’s flag.
That means the soonest Tidey could compete for Britain at a world championship is 2019, unless the World Sailing Board makes an exemption in agreement with the relevant Member National Authorities.
The Olympic Sailing Competition rose to a dramatic crescendo, with the home nation winning a gold medal in the Women's Skiff by the most ridiculously small margin, just two seconds. Silver would have been great, but gold for Brazil has set off a party that will last for days. Ireland's Andrea Brewster and Saskia Tidey finished 12th overall from 20 at their first Olympics.
After no wind the previous afternoon, the final day delivered perfect 14-knot breezes for the finale. The four Medal Races kept the crowds on Flamengo Beach entertained all afternoon. It started with an ever-shifting battle for silver and bronze in the
Women's Skiff – 49erFX
The crowd on Flamengo Beach went wild as Martine Grael and Kahena Kunze (BRA) won gold by just two seconds from Alex Maloney and Molly Meech (NZL) in a nailbiting final run to the finish. New Zealand took silver and bronze went to Denmark's Jena Hansen and Katja Salskov-Iversen. The team to miss out on a medal from the four-way battle was the Spanish crew of Tamara Echegoyen and Berta Betanzos.
With the wind blowing 12 to 15 knots, New Zealand launched off the left-hand end of the start line, Brazil got away cleanly from the middle while Denmark and Spain made messy starts on the right. Maloney and Meech got into a good lead on the first lap but led Brazil by just 13 seconds at the halfway stage of the three-lap race. At the bottom gate, the Kiwis chose the right-hand side and Brazil broke off to the left in search of something different. When they came back together again at the top of the course, Brazil's alternative tactics had given them a ten-second lead.
Down the run to the finish the Kiwis attacked hard and made up ground on the Brazilians, but somehow Grael and Kunze held on to get across the line just two seconds ahead.
After five-time Olympic medallist Robert Scheidt just missed out on a sixth medal in the Laser, finishing an agonising fourth, it was critical that the Brazilian 49erFX team came away with something from the final race of Rio 2016. To come away with gold has sent their home nation into ecstasy. When Grael and Kunze won gold at the Olympic Test Event a year ago, the Brazilian media went wild. But one can only imagine how big this will go now that they have become Olympic Champions.
Grael's victory continues a great family tradition, her father Torben having won five Olympic medals for Brazil. Torben was watching from a coach boat and was one of the first to congratulate his daughter. Martine said, "To receive the medals here in Rio with all our friends and family is indescribable. But I didn't think about the fact the Brazilian sailing team had no medals. I was just focused on the race, nothing else.”
Kunze said, "Before starting the Medal Race we hugged each other and said, 'Let's give our best and no matter what the result it's going to be fine.' We were already happy to be among the first four teams, that was already an excellent result. And it's incredible to compete at home with these amazing fans. We hope to influence more girls to compete in sailing and to make our sport grow.”
Maloney and Meech so nearly made it a Kiwi double in the Skiff classes after Pete Burling and Blair Tuke had won gold in the Men's 49er. But any disappointment at missing 49erFX gold was swiftly cast aside as the Kiwi girls celebrated taking the silver. "It's an amazing evening for the Brazilian girls,” said Maloney. "I think the next couple of weeks will be pretty special for them.
With her brother Sam winning bronze two days earlier in the Laser Men's division, it's a double celebration for the Meech family. "I've really enjoyed it and it's been an amazing week,” said Molly. "We've sailed really well and were really happy with the way things have gone this week. The Olympics has been an amazing experience. It's awesome to have all the support back home and everyone getting up early to watch us race, it's really cool. The whole of the New Zealand sailing team has been working really hard for the last four years and I think that it's all paid off for everyone. It's amazing to be part of the team.”
Hansen and Salskov-Iversen beat the Spanish in the battle for bronze. The 49erFX was expected to deliver some of the most exciting and unpredictable racing at Rio 2016, but no one could have imagined that the gold would come down to the last two seconds.