GB claimed a glut of silverware on the final day of European Championship action in Weymouth, as first Ben Saxton and Nikki Boniface, and then Dylan Fletcher and Stuart Bithell topped the podium in a pair of British one-twos.
Former world champion Saxton sailed to a thrilling triumph alongside Boniface in the Nacra 17, with John Gimson and Anna Burnet close behind to claim silver, while Fletcher and Bithell were crowned ahead of compatriots James Peters and Fynn Sterritt after 49er racing was cancelled for the day due to a lack of wind.
And Saxton couldn’t hide his delight as he and Boniface turned their pre-race second place into first during the medal contest, capping a fine week for GB in the waters.
“We went into that final race wanting to come back as European champions and we did it,” he said.
“It feels great. We sailed really well this week and have been consistent in all conditions. We turned it on when it really counted.”
Boniface added: “We’re really excited to have won and so happy to have closed the week on a high.”
And despite not getting the chance to assert their dominance at the London 2012 sailing venue against New Zealanders Pete Burling and Blair Tuke, Fletcher hailed he and his partner’s efforts to put themselves in the best possible position after what had been a busy schedule of late.
“We’re very happy with how we sailed, especially given our preparation for the event,” he said.
“We came here straight from competing in Sail GP in San Francisco and we were really warmed up for this regatta.”
And Bithell echoed Fletcher's sentiments, continuing: “It was a bit deflating that we couldn’t fight with the Kiwi lads in the medal race but at the end of the day, we’re the European champions and we’re stoked about that.”
The quartet of podiums was the perfect way to round off a glorious week for GB’s sailersafter Olympic champion Giles Scott took gold in the Finn class over in Athens, while Charlotte Dobson and Saskia Tidey raced well throughout as they claimed fifth among European crews in the 49erFX.