Mills and Clark close in on sailing gold ahead of 470 medal race

Hannah Mills and Saskia Clark will pick up Team GB’s third sailing medal of the Games after finishing top of the 470 class opening series at Marina Da Gloria.

With a 20 point lead over defending champions Jo Aleh and Polly Powrie of New Zealand, the British pair need only finish without penalty in tomorrow’s medal race to secure the crown.

A victory for the Brits would bring the team’s second gold in two days, after Giles Scott won the Finn class today, while Nick Dempsey won RS:X silver earlier in the week.

Mills and Clark enjoyed another consistent day on the water as they closed in on gold, finishing third, second and third in their three races.

And having settled for silver behind the Kiwis after leading at the same stage in London four years ago, the Brits admitted they would be taking no chances in tomorrow’s medal race.

“Obviously we don’t want to be total clowns on the water tomorrow and get round the race course in good shape,” said Clark

“I think we managed to keep a lid on that all week and today was a great example of that.

“As each race went past, we were focused on that race, nothing was won or lost.”

Mills added: “We just need to be solid and get round the course tomorrow and that will do

“You know how it’s going as the day goes on but you try not to let it affect you too much.

“We knew that if we beat all our main rivals in that last race we would be guaranteed the gold. That obviously goes to your head a little bit, especially when the wind started to die and it started to get a bit more wacky.

“Tensions were high for sure at points but we’re absolutely shocked and stunned, and so relieved.

“I don’t think it’s sunk in yet and I don’t think it will until we’ve got the medal and it’s there around my neck.”

Men’s 470 pair Luke Patience and Chris Grube were also in action at the Marina, impressing with fourth, third and fourth place finishes in their three races to finish sixth overall and book a spot in tomorrow’s medal race.

The 49er and 49er FX classes also finished their opening series today, with Dylan Fletcher and Alain Sign progressing in fourth, and 49er FX pair Charlotte Dobson and Sophie Ainsworth in seventh.

Meanwhile, Alison Young won the medal race to finish eighth in the Laser Radial class and Nick Thompson placed sixth in the Laser class after an eighth place in the medal race.