Burnet and Gimson are top of the world

John Gimson and Anna Burnet staked their claim for Tokyo supremacy after being crowned Nacra 17 world champions on Australian waters.

The duo – who were named in Team GB’s sailing squad for this summer’s Olympic Games back in January – were one of two British medallists on Saturday, with 49er FX pair Charlotte Dobson and Saskia Tidey claiming silver in Geelong.

And, after coming second in the Ready Steady Tokyo test event in Enoshima last year, Gimson was lost for words as he and Burnet hit form at the perfect time ahead of July.

“I’m a bit speechless to be honest,” said the 36-year-old.

“We had to go out and win the final race to give ourselves a chance and in the end all the cards just fell in to place for us.”

Burnet added: “The points were tight, and we were just looking at the team in front and the team behind us.

“We did what we could and won the race and just had to sit and wait to see where the Aussies crossed the line.

“When they finally crossed someone shouted over to us that we had won, and that was that.”

Trailing by 16 points to Nathan and Haylee Outteridge heading into the final double-points medal race, Gimson and Burnet streaked to victory and watched as the Australian boat could only manage a seventh-place finish, confirming that gold would be theirs.

In the 49erFX, Dobson and Tidey recorded a series of top-three finishes throughout the week’s racing to set up a straight shootout between themselves and Spanish pair Tamara Echegoyen and Paula Barcelo for top spot.

And though an unfortunate capsize handed gold to their rivals, Dobson believes that there were plenty of positives to take from their performance.

“First reaction is we are a little disappointed we couldn’t have taken it to the Spanish a little better in the medal race. But on the whole, we have sailed a really good regatta,” she said.

“What’s really encouraging for us is the day we separated ourselves from the fleet was on a sub-max power day which has been our real weakness.

“It’s something we have been focusing on and it’s a real highlight to see our improvement in those conditions. But today, it was close but no cigar.”

Elsewhere, Dylan Fletcher and Stu Bithell were eighth overall in the 49er. Sportsbeat 2020