World number one windsurfer Bryony Shaw has sealed a hat-trick of Sailing World Cup Miami titles, with Paralympic champion Helena Lucas also claiming victory at the season-opening regatta.
Double Olympic medallist Nick Dempsey made it a third podium finish for the British Sailing Team with silver in the men’s RS:X windsurfing event, while there were near misses across a number of classes as the regatta drew to a close on Biscayne Bay after six days of testing and varied conditions.
Lucas, the first and so far only athlete officially selected for ParalympicsGB for Rio 2016, opened up the British medal tally following a dominant display in the 2.4mR class.
Counting seven race wins from the ten race series, the Southampton sailor claimed her first Miami World Cup victory, with silver in 2014 her previous best at the Florida venue.
While this was Lucas’s first Miami victory, the Beijing bronze medallist Bryony Shaw came in to the event having been unbeaten at the last two editions.
She sailed a steady regatta series to take the yellow jersey into Saturday’s final ten-boat medal race, with an 11 point buffer over her nearest rival, the Netherlands’ Lilian De Geus.
The 32-year-old’s medal race got off to a shaky start, with De Geus looking like she’d wrested gold from the Briton after the first lap. But Shaw sailed an impressive second upwind leg to pull back from eighth in the race to her final medal race position of third, and with the Dutch sailor behind her in fourth, she sealed her third consecutive Miami crown and her third event victory in as many months.
Nick Dempsey made it a doubly successful weekend for Britain’s windsurfers, winning the final race to elevate himself from his overnight position of third into the silver medal position behind Olympic champion Dorian van Rijsselberge.
John Pink and Stuart Bithell didn’t quite have the World Championship warm up they were hoping for in the 49er class. Heading into the final day in bronze medal position, they slipped to fourth overall in a hugely shifty medal race in which they were forced to take penalty turns after infringing the Portuguese boat.
James Peters and Fynn Sterritt also came close to the podium spots, finishing just behind Pink and Bithell in fifth place.
Alison Young, returning to action following a short injury lay-off, improved to fourth overall following the Laser Radial medal race, with Sonar World Champions John Robertson, Hannah Stodel and Steve Thomas also concluding their regatta in fourth.
Lucy Macgregor and Dave Evans were fourth in the Nacra 17 event, with Ben Saxton and Nicola Groves winning the multihull medal race to finish behind their compatriots in sixth.
Full regatta results are available at www.sailing.org/worldcup