Britain win Yngling gold

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The Independent Online

The British trio of Sarah Ayton, Sarah Webb and Pippa Wilson secured the Olympic Yngling title in driving wind and rain on today, the first gold to be won at the Games regatta.

The British crew, containing two of the gold medallists from Athens, produced a composed performance to win a medal race showdown for gold with Mandy Mulder, Annemieke Bes and Merrel Witteveen of the Netherlands.

"Words cannot put any kind of meaning on it. Job done," said skipper Ayton, who along with Webb also won Yngling gold four years ago.

Webb said she had been close to tears when their boat was towed close to the main breakwater in front of flag-waving British supporters.

"That's the time that it hit home that we have done something pretty special," she said.

The Dutch team placed fifth on Sunday to claim silver with the Greek trio of Sofia Bekatorou, Sofia Papadopoulou and Virginia Kravarioti winning bronze.

Ayton and Webb triumphed in Athens along with Shirley Robertson, but then split with their former skipper and pipped Robertson's new team to win selection for these Games.

"You cannot describe what Sarah and I have been through for the last four years, and two for Pippa," added Ayton. "It has been incredible."

Heading into the medal race, the Dutch team had won three of the eight races completed in the opening series, while the British women had failed to take the gun but were more consistent with six fourth-place or better finishes.

But Ayton and her team saved their best for last, leading to the first mark and only once relinquishing their lead to the German boat before pulling away for victory.

The British trio finished on 24 points overall, with the Dutch on 33 and the Greeks on 48.