Olympic bronze medallist Bryony Shaw won gold at the RS:X European Championships which drew to a close on Sunday (27 June) in Sicily, Italy.
The world number one ranked-Shaw won the final Medal Race to seal European victory.
The points were so tight that it was a winner takes all Medal Race between Shaw, Polish sailors Malgorzata Bialecka and Zofia Noceti-Klepacka and the Israeli Maayan Davidovich. In 14 knots and perfect planing conditions, Shaw led from the first upwind to the finish, extending her lead throughout to take the European crown.
“The racing has been really close all week, we only had five qualifying races and we had to use the lay day as we lost the first day of racing. We also had no racing on the first day of gold fleet so had three races on the penultimate day with really nice breeze.” said Shaw of the regatta, they sailed five qualifying races before the fleets split, three races were completed on the penultimate day in the gold and silver split.
“Off the start line it was just about getting a lane in the Medal Race, then I stayed between the fleet and the next mark and was in a controlling position round mark one, I just extended from there. I had to keep an eye on both the Polish girls, the Israeli girl was also in the mix, it was just who beat who for the win.
“I am really happy, it is something that has always eluded me, I have finished second a number of times and now all the hard physical and technical work has really paid off,” concluded Shaw, who finished second in 2013.
Isobel Hamilton missed qualification for the Medal Race by just one point, however, went on to win her final race to finish tenth European (11th overall) and was happy with her final place, “I really struggled on the first day of racing in the light winds, but I was quite consistent for the rest of the week.
“I was annoyed that I missed the medal race, especially by such a small margin, however winning this race has really made up for it, there was a chance that I could really fall down the results list but I didn’t. I’ve finished better than last year as well!” concluded Hamilton.
Meanwhile, British Sailing Team Podium squad sailors were also in action, Imogen Sills finished 31st, Noelle Finch 36th, and Saskia Sills 46th in the Women’s fleet. British Youth sailor Emma Wilson rounded-off her first senior regatta in 24th.
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