Park content with Britain’s sailors as season nears end

16 September 2013 / 18:55

Stephen Park believes Britain’s sailors are well placed as the first year of the Olympic cycle towards the Rio 2016 Games slowly comes to a close.

The latest regatta involving Britain’s sailors saw nine medals garnered in seven events at the test event for the 2014 ISAF Sailing World Championships.

Luke Patience and Joe Glanfield and Hannah Mills and Saskia Clark were the pick of the bunch in Santander with gold in the 470 men’s and women’s fleets respectively.

Bryony Shaw took silver in the women’s RS:X while Ben Saxton and Hannah Diamond toasted the same colour in the Nacra 17, a new class for Rio 2016.

Rupert White and Nikki Boniface finished just behind them as part of five British bronze medallists in Santander, Nick Dempsey also third in the men’s RS:X.

Sophie Weguelin and Eilidh McIntyre in the women’s 470, Chloe Martin in the Laser Radial and Nick Thompson in the Laser all also claimed bronze.

The nine-medal haul in Santander certainly bodes well with Park confirming his sailors’ view that the conditions in Spain are similar to those in Brazil.

And, with the 2013 season nearing its conclusion, British Sailing team manager Park has no complaints with the progress being made less than three years out from Rio.

“We’ve just got a few World Championships left, but our performance has been pretty good in this first year of the cycle,” said Park.

“We’ve seen a lot of our young sailors making some really good progress, we’ve hit all our funding targets with UK Sport, which of course is very important for us.

“But most important is seeing the progress of a number of sailor and of course setting ourselves up well for year two of the cycle.

“The conditions in Santander would be best described as changeable. There’s also quite a lot of tide.

“The tide can get up to in excess of one and a half knots at times particularly on the medal race course. 

“It’s going to be quite tricky but certainly some of those conditions and challenges are challenges we’ll face in Rio in 2016.”

© Sportsbeat 2013