British pair settle for silver in European Championships

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The Independent Online

After a week-long battle of eight races, reigning Olympic gold medallists Iain Percy and Andrew Simpson saw the position reversed in the Star class at the European Championships on the Munich Olympic track near Kiel.

The British pair had to be content with silver as the Qingdao runner-up Robert Scheidt of Brazil, with crew Bruno Prada, held on during the final pair of races to take gold, but the British pair would be happy to be returning to world class contention after a disjointed winter of post-Games training.

“We are quite pleased with our performance given that we haven’t sailed the Star boat much since the Olympics and only really started again this week,” said Percy. “And we haven’t seen the gym at all. We are not doing the world championships this year as Andrew is getting married, but we will be back for next year’s world championships in Rio.” Those are Scheidt’s home waters. Britain’s other pair, John Gimson and Ed Greig, was 11th.

There was more disappointment at the Finn Gold Cup at the Vallensbaek Sailing Club in Denmark. In the absence of the reigning gold medallist, Ben Ainslie, there were high hopes for his main rivals, Ed Wright and Giles Scott but, after the double points final race, Scott was fourth and Wright sixth but, demonstrating the depth of talent in the class, Andrew Mills was 10th and Mark Andrews 11th.

Winner was local hero Jonas Hogh-Christensen, from the Olympic silver medallist Zach Railey of the United States and Ivan Kjacovic Gaspic of Croatia.

Ainslie, meanwhile, was sailing Neville Crichton’s 100-foot Alfa Romeo as it knocked nearly 26 hours off the Los Angeles to Honolulu race record, set in 2005 by Hasso Plattner’s Morning Glory, covering the 2,225 miles in five days and 14 hours.