Shaw shines on Sailing World Championships' opening weekend

13 September 2014 / 21:01

Windsurfer Bryony Shaw succeeded with her case of damage limitation at the ISAF Sailing World Championships as a British berth in the Laser class for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games was all but secured in Santander.

Wind conditions proved testing for every fleet scheduled to race on the Spanish coast with the RS:X, Laser and Laser Radial classes all disrupted but Shaw rode it out to record finishes of fifth, 11th and first.

That places her third overall with France’s Charline Picon leading the way after two wins and a fourth while British teammate Izzy Hamilton is seventh after a sixth, a second and a seventh.

Nick Dempsey got his defence of the men’s world windsurfing title off to a steady start, finishing fifth and sixth in the only two races the RS:X men’s fleet could complete to sit 11th overall.

Training partner Tom Squires is three places behind in 14th while the Laser and Laser Radial classes were forced into a long wait to try and complete their scheduled two races.

After general recalls, race abandonments and testing conditions, the races were completed and four British sailors made the cut for the top 49 boats through to the Laser gold fleet.

That should be good enough to secure Britain a berth in the class at Rio 2016 once racing is completed, with Nick Thompson, Lorenzo Chiavarini, Elliot Hanson and Martin Evans the four to progress.

In the Laser Radial four British boats also have qualified for the 60-boat gold fleet – this time Chloe Martin, Hannah Snellgrove, Olympian Alison Young and Georgina Povall succeeding.

And Shaw said: “It was really tricky out there – the wind was up and then it was down and it was shifting 30 degrees so it was about trying to minimise that damage.

“To get that race win at the end just kind of showed that I had a bit more of a handle on things.  It was so important to have fine positioning and I was always slightly off in the first two races and then I managed to really nail it in the last one, so I was really pleased.”

© Sportsbeat 2014