Mills and McIntyre clinch World Championship title
Sailing

Mills and McIntyre clinch World Championship title

09 August 2019 / 10:48

Hannah Mills and Eilidh McIntyre were relieved to be crowned 470 class world champions as their Olympic preparations hit new heights.

The duo clinched top spot on the podium, defeating home favourites and 2018 champions Ai Kondo Yoshida and Miho Yoshioka by three points in the Tokyo 2020 sailing venue in Japan.

Mills is the reigning Olympic champion in the 470 class, having won gold alongside Saskia Clark, but joined forces with McIntyre in 2017 after Clark retired.

It is the first time the duo have won a World Championship title together, after claiming silver in 2017 and bronze in 2018.

The British pair went into the double-points medal race with a one-point buffer over the Japanese team and despite being at the rear of the fleet at one stage, Mills and McIntyre battled to finish seventh and secure the world title.

Mills was delighted to be able to rectify previous mistakes and execute their plan to perfection to triumph in Enoshima.

“It’s amazing and such a relief to come out on top,” said the 31-year-old.

“I couldn’t be happier or prouder to do it alongside Eilidh. What a week it’s been.

“We have had a lot of medal races where we have messed up through things we have done, but today we wanted to go out and sail our own race.

“If we lose because someone sails better than us then ok, but we didn’t want to lose because of something we have done.

“We managed to execute our plan, but it was totally nail-biting for us in the boat.”

McIntyre, meanwhile believed the duo merited their gold medal – a feat they have pursued since first teaming up.

“We have been chasing a World Championship gold for so long,” McIntyre added.

“We have taken a silver, then a bronze last year and every time we feel like we just didn’t execute well enough and have thrown it away.

“It feels so good to now have a gold and to feel like I deserve that gold 470 sticker on our sail.”

In the men’s 470, Olympians Luke Patience and Chris Grube finished their Championships in seventh place.

Sportsbeat 2019