Windsurfers Nick Dempsey and Izzy Hamilton aided the British Sailing Team’s solid opening day of World Cup racing in Weymouth and Portland on Wednesday, taking an early lead in the men’s and women’s RS:X events.
Hamilton proclaimed it to be her ‘best first day at a World Cup so far’ as two second places and a sixth saw her edge the lead by just one point over teammate and two-time Olympian Bryony Shaw at the end of the first day in the women’s windsurfing fleet.
With the RS:X European Championships coming up the week after this ISAF Sailing World Cup Weymouth and Portland, Hamilton is using this week’s competition as a springboard.
“This week is a really good training opportunity for us, because we go to our Europeans pretty much the day after the event finishes so it’s a bit of a warm-up regatta for that. Lots of goals and lots of learning points!” Hamilton concluded.
In the men’s windsurfing fleet, two-time Olympic medallist Nick Dempsey is also in pole position, with his Podium Potential squad training partner Tom Squires hot on his heels on equal points in second place.
The London 2012 silver medallist and his young apprentice shared one race win and a second place apiece, with Dempsey also scoring a second to Squires’ fifth to nudge him ahead on countback.
Nick Thompson was happy with his opening day’s efforts in the Laser class, where a second place and a third sit him in overall second place, two points behind New Zealand’s Andy Maloney.
For Lymington’s Thompson – a four-time World Championship medallist – a winning performance at a home World Cup is a tempting target, but he has his eyes on other prizes in the coming weeks.
Giles Scott was frustrated to end his second race of the day in 12th after opening his event with an emphatic race win.
The World Champion fell foul of a big wind shift in the unusual north-easterly wind conditions across Weymouth Bay and Portland Harbour.
Olympic silver medallists Hannah Mills and Saskia Clark did enjoy a consistent day, picking up two second places in the 470 Women’s fleet to see them end their opening day in overall second.
“We had a really good day today. It was really tricky, so to come off the water with two seconds is a really solid day and we will take that any day,” Clark reflected.
Mills and Clark are hoping their strong start will continue this week, so they can add to their podium finishes at the Miami World Cup and the Princess Sofia Trophy earlier this year.
Dylan Fletcher-Alain Sign sailed ‘smart and fast’ to end their opening day in overall third place in the 49er class, with John Pink-Stuart Bithell in fifth, while Luke Patience-Elliot Willis are poised fourth in the 470 Men’s event with 5,9 on their opening day’s scorecard amid the shifty conditions.
Alison Young is fourth after two races in the Laser Radial event, John Gimson-Hannah Diamond are fourth in the Nacra 17 with Lucy Macgregor-Dave Evans ninth, and Podium Potential sailors Vicky Payne-Steph Orton are 16th in the 49erFX event.
Helena Lucas and the Sonar trio of John Robertson lead their respective 2.4mR and Sonar Paralympic classes after two races apiece on day one, while Alexandra Rickham-Niki Birrell are in second, on equal points with the Italian series leaders, after two races in the SKUD.
The ISAF Sailing World Cup Weymouth and Portland is part of UK Sport’s #EveryRoadtoRio events series, which will feature over 30 world class sports events the length and breadth of the UK, with over 900,000 tickets available to the British public to support their athletes.
Racing continues today, with the Paralympic Classes concluding on Saturday 13 June and the final ten boat medal races for the Olympic Classes on Sunday 14 June.