Sailing: Team GB win gold in Weymouth after lack of wind


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The Independent Online

As a lack of wind meant that racing on the final day of the Paralympic sailing in Weymouth had to be abandoned Britain won two medals.

Helena Lucas – the only woman in her 16-strong class - won the 2.4mR one-person keelboat gold while Alexandra Rickham and Niki Birrell won bronze in the SKUD two-person keelboat.

Lucas was in gold medal position for all but one of the 10 races so far and held a nine-point cushion over second-placed Heiko Kroger (GER). So, she was guaranteed at least a silver medal while Rickham and Birrell were also guaranteed at least bronze.

A lack of breeze in Portland Harbour saw racing cancelled, meaning that the overnight positions remained and the medals went to Great Britain.

They are Britain’s first Paralympic sailing medals since the sport joined the full programme at Sydney 2000. They come in addition to the gold won by the British Sonar team of Andy Cassell, Kevin Curtis and Tony Downs when the first Paralympic sailing event took place as a demonstration event at Atlanta 1996.

In Dublin, Michel Desjoyeaux in Foncia won the offshore race from Keil, Germany, by just 31 seconds from Yann Guichard’s Spindrift in the MOD70 trimaran European tour. Just over a minute further astern was Sebastien Josse in Groupe Edmond de Rothschild as very light winds turned the last few miles into a nail-biting crawl.

They were followed by Steve Ravussin in Race for Water and Sidney Gavignet’s Musandam-Sail Oman.