Giles Scott and Bryony Shaw were in no mood to hang around at the Miami leg of the Sailing World Cup, sealing gold medals with a day to spare.
Scott extended his 15-month winning run in style, successfully defending his 2014 Finn title from Miami, winning the first race and finishing fifth in the second on day four.
In the second race Scott’s closest rival Australian Jake Lilley finished deep in the pack, handing the Brit an unassailable 23-point lead.
But if anyone thinks that this means Scott will take it easy in the medal race then the world and European champion has bad news.
“It feels very good to be able to round off the racing and have a 23 point lead and not have a stressful day for the medal race!” 28-year-old Scott said.
“It was a difficult day. We were kind of lucky in that we were on so early so we got the morning breeze. It was very light, very shifty, so to be able to continue the sort of consistency I’ve had all week is great to have done.
“Hopefully I can round the week off well.”
Windsurfer Shaw also amassed an insurmountable lead in the RS:X women’s competition meaning she too defended her title from 2014.
Recording no worse than a fifth-place finish across her 11 races heading into Friday’s penultimate day, the 31-year-old old pumped her way to a second and a fourth in the two light wind races the class managed, and turned her 21-point lead at the start of the day into a 33-point margin by the end of it.
And Shaw admitted her delight at claiming gold with an impressive all-round performance amid some tricky conditions at this season-opening event.
“We’ve had a really mixed week of wind and that has been the lightest so it’s been much more like a game of chess I would say,” she said.
“I’ve been trying to stay in touch with my closest rivals. The wind’s been really tricky with an offshore breeze so we’re really having to play the percentages.
“Considering we’ve had all winds from 25 knots down to five it’s been a really broad-ranging week and I think that’s played to my strengths.
“Every day I’ve been edging that points gap bigger and bigger so I’ve been pleased to start off the year well.
“Miami was a target regatta for me and it’s important to kick-start the year on a high with a view to trying to get medals at the next Olympic Games. It’s important to start winning now and try to keep that momentum going.”
Saturday will see the medal races for the ten Olympic classes, with 14 British boats set to feature in final day action.
It’s a straight showdown between Nick Thompson and Germany Philipp Buhl for the Laser gold. With neither sailor able to finish worse than second and with Thompson just one point ahead going into the double-point race, whoever finishes in front on the water will take the title on Saturday.
Luke Patience and Elliot Willis are assured of their first World Cup medal together, at least a silver, and take a 15-point lead over Australian World champions Mat Belcher and Will Ryan into the men’s 470 finale.
Hannah Mills and Saskia Clark sit in silver medal position going into the 470 Women’s medal race, with Sophie Weguelin and Eilidh McIntyre currently fifth and also able to push into the podium spots.
Ben Saxton and Nicola Groves are looking to hold the silver medal position in the Nacra 17 fleet, although gold is out of their reach.
Both John Pink and Stuart Bithell and Dylan Fletcher and Alain Sign will be hoping to push into the 49er medal positions while Alison Young and Nick Dempsey are into their respective Laser Radial and RS:X men’s finals in fifth position, with Charlotte Dobson and Sophie Ainsworth having made the cut in the 49erFX event in tenth place.
© Sportsbeat 2015