Shaw gunning for future success after European near-miss

06 July 2014 / 12:43

Great Britain’s Bryony Shaw remains defiant she can secure some major success on the water this year after the windsurfer narrowly missed out on a podium place at the RS:X European Championships.

Shaw, ranked second in the world, finished fourth at the six-day regatta and missed out on the medals by just three points in the first major event of the season, held in Cesme, Turkey.

France’s Charline Picon finished first to defend her European title as Spain’s Marina Alabau Neira was second and Poland’s Zofia Noceti-Klepacka claimed the final spot on the podium.

A bad second day of racing for the 2008 Olympic bronze medallist, during which she finished 20th and received a starting penalty, had her playing catch up to the leaders.

And when racing was abandoned on Friday, the penultimate day, due to excessive wind speeds and big seas an opportunity to close the gap passed.

Shaw went on to finish fourth in Saturday’s ten-sailor medal race and despite just missing out on the podium the 31-year-old admitted she took a lot of encouragement from her performances.

“I started well but a bad second day with a 20th and an OCS [starting penalty] dropped me out of the top three,” said Shaw. 

“With only one day of gold fleet racing since then after Wednesday’s lay day and yesterday’s abandonment, it was difficult to break back into the medal spots.

“More racing in gold fleet would have been nice but the race officer made the call not to go yesterday which was a shame, especially as I feel like I’ve been sailing really well in the windier stuff.”

Shaw wasn’t the only British sailor in action as Izzy Hamilton ended her regatta with a 13th-place finish, while in the men’s fleet Connor Bainbridge finished ninth for his best ever European result.

The luck may not have been with Shaw on this occasion but she insist given the conditions expected at the other two major events this season – the Olympic Test Event and the Sailing World Championships – she will be right in the hunt.

“This has been the first of three major events this season, with the Rio Test Event and the Santander Worlds still to come,” she added.

“My board speed has been really good, and I’m confident with my fitness for the lighter and more varied and conditions that we might expect for the next two events.  

“That could be a challenge for some of the other girls but I feel that’s a strength of mine to take forward towards Santander.”

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