Patience and Willis round off golden hat-trick in Miami

01 February 2015 / 10:32

Luke Patience admitted all the hard work had paid off after he and Elliot Willis boosted Great Britain’s final medal tally at the season-opening sailing World Cup in Miami with a third British gold of the regatta.

The 470 European champions, who only teamed up 11 months ago, had never won an ISAF sailing World Cup medal together.

But they were left toasting a job well done as they joined Giles Scott and Byrony Shaw – both crowned champions the day before – on climbing the top of the medal rostrum.

And Patience, who, alongside Willis, was already guaranteed a podium finish before finishing seventh in the final double points medal race, couldn’t wipe the smile off his face.

“It’s a great place to be.  Man, we’re so happy,” said the 2012 Olympic silver medalist.

“We’ve worked really hard for this regatta.  We’ve been in the boat together for less than a year still and I think everything just felt like it came together nicely this week. 

“We were really hungry for this – what can I say?  It’s pretty cool to be wearing the yellow jerseys for most of the week and finish the job off on the last day.  We’re really chuffed.”

Nick Thompson went into the day with high hopes of a Laser gold medal but a broken kicker block put paid to his challenge, leaving him having to settle for silver.

Despite the disappointment the world bronze medalist could still look at the positives.

“I sailed a pretty solid week and to drop the 12th was pretty good sailing,” he said. “So I am disappointed, but the flipside was that I did sail fantastically. 

"I didn’t really make too many mistakes this week and I feel like my sailing’s coming together.  It’s mixed emotions if I’m honest.”

There was also silver for Ben Saxton and Nicola Groves in the Nacra 17 as they consolidated their position in the final race.

Gold had already been confirmed for Italians Vittorio Bissaro and Silvia Sicouri a day earlier but the British pair protected their second-place finish with a fifth-place finish.

While in the 470 Women’s event, Hannah Mills and Saskia Clark also held on for second after a tight finish on the final race.

Mills and Clark had to finish better than eighth to keep hold of silver, and duly did that after pulling back to sixth in a bunch finish.

Teammates Sophie Weguelin and Eilidh McIntyre were also in action, finishing two places back for seventh overall.

Nick Dempsey just missed out on a medal in fourth despite a solid third-place finish in the medal race of the RS:X men’s event while Dylan Fletcher and Alain Sign and John Pink and Stuart Bithell ended their 49er regatta in fourth and fifth respectively.

Alison Young was sixth in the Laser Radial medal race to finish fifth overall with Charlotte Dobson and Sophie Ainsworth tenth in the 49erFX event.

While Scott rounded off his regatta in style with second in the Finn medal race to extend his overall winning margin to 25 points, with Ed Wright seventh overall.

And in theRS: X Women’s windsurfing race, champion Shaw placed fifth, with Izzy Hamilton picking up the medal race win to finish ninth.

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