She may have missed out on the podium spots at the RS:X Windsurfing World Championships by the narrowest of margins, but Beijing bronze medallist Bryony Shaw drew huge confidence from her best ever World Championship finish as the event came to a close in Kerteminde, Denmark, on Saturday (4 September).
Shaw, who picked up a bronze on the 2012 waters at the Skandia Sail for Gold Regatta last month, ended her Worlds campaign in a personal best of fourth place, tied on points with French rival Charlene Picon after the medal race but missing out on bronze due to Picon’s higher placing in the 10-boat finale.
It was a fight to the finish for Shaw, who went into Saturday’s final in fifth place but vying with four other girls for a shot at the podium spots. In a testing race in which both shifting winds and seaweed on the course area played a part, the Skandia Team GBR sailor came through to finish third, but Picon placed just ahead of her to claim the bronze with silver going to Italy’s four-time Olympic medallist Alessandra Sensini and the world title to Shaw’s Spanish training partner Blanca Manchon.
“It’s a bit frustrating to have come so close,” Shaw admitted, “but it’s still my best ever result at a World Championship so it’s really pleasing from that point of view and I’ll take a lot of confidence from the way I’ve been sailing this week.
“I’ve climbed the board every day and that was a good feeling.”
“Everyone’s here at these World Championships, it’s been a great fleet, and to have beaten a couple of former World Champions in Marina [Alabau] and Zofia [Klepacka] shows that I’m in good company.
“My coach Dom Tidey had a lot of belief in me, probably more than I had in myself at the start of the week, but that grew throughout the week,” the 27-year-old continued.
“It was a really mixed bag weather-wise so it was great to be tested in the all-round conditions and pitch where I am against the other girls. I’ve been the most consistent and had the lowest discard out of everyone this week so it’s great to know that it’s not fundamentals that I have to work on, just small things here and there.
“I think it just comes down to me being relaxed and confident and a case of me growing up a bit as a sailor – not doubting or over-analysing everything but staying happy and relaxed.”