Mills and McIntyre help Britain lead the way in sailing's Princess Sofia Trophy

Mills and McIntyre help Britain lead the way in sailing's Princess Sofia Trophy

06 April 2019 / 16:22
Olympic champion Hannah Mills and partner Eilidh McIntyre helped Great Britain top the regatta medal table with a boatful of honours in sailing's Princess Sofia Trophy.


Mills and McIntyre’s partnership is still less than two years in the making after the former bagged Olympic gold at Rio 2016 but the two were undoubtedly up to the task with victory in the medal race in Palma.

They weren’t British Sailing’s only champions of the day with Dylan Fletcher and Stuart Bithell prevailing in the 49er fleet while Olympic champion Giles Scott secured silver in the Finn class.

Another Olympian in Nick Thompson found himself on the podium, as did Elliot Hanson, Luke Patience and Chris Grube, John Gimson and Anna Burnet, as well as Charlotte Dobson and Saskia Tidey.

Gold for Mills and McIntyre was the result of superb consistency, sealing victory with a win in the medal race amidst testing conditions in Mallorca.

The pair finished outside the top five just twice in 11 races, with this win an important step on the road to their Tokyo 2020 title defence.

"It's been an amazing week. It's been a really long week, we've had all sorts of conditions and the racing has been super-tough,” said Mills.

“We had a really big fleet here all on one start line so every race you had to put your best foot forward and get a result.

“It was about consistency and we managed to do that. I've never won here in Palma and I'm really, really happy to come away with the win this week."

While Mills and McIntyre had to strike late to realise their fate, Fletcher and Bithell already knew theirs have amassed an unassailable lead before a medal race that was cancelled due to bad weather.

The British pair were dominant through the regatta, getting the better of the likes of the Rio 2016 Olympic champions from New Zealand en route to nine top five-finishes in the week.

Meanwhile, Rio gold medallist Giles Scott insists he can take plenty of positives from his week – despite coming agonisingly close to glory in the Finn class.

Victory in the medal race wasn’t quite enough with Andy Maloney crossing the line early enough to bag gold, though the Brit couldn’t be too disappointed having won four of the 11 races in the regatta.

“I had a good race, sailed reasonably well, won the race but couldn’t get far enough away from Andy so it’s second overall for the week for me,” he said.

“Generally I’ll take a lot of positives from this event – I sailed really well towards the back end of the week and I’m pleased with how I’m going.

“It’s just unfortunate that I couldn’t wrap it up with the win.”

Britain dominated the waters when it came to medal races, with Hanson winning his Laser effort to secure silver overall, with teammate and Olympian from three years ago, Thompson, just behind in third.

Bronze was also the order of the day for Patience, silver medallist in London, and Chris Grube in the men’s 470, while the Nacra 17 fleet of Gimson and Burnet found themselves on the podium.

And a fourth bronze and eighth medal in all went the way of Dobson and Tidey, despite their 49erFX medal race being abandoned.

Sportsbeat 2019

Pic: Sailing Energy/Trofeo Princesa Sofia Iberostar