Thompson and Martin scoop bronze in Split

14 June 2014 / 17:38

Olympic sailing hopefuls Nick Thompson and Chloe Martin braved the Croatian sun to each claim a bronze medal at the Laser and Laser Radial European Championships in Split.

The medals are the first for each sailor at a senior European Championship level, though Thompson is a three-time World Championship medallist.

In hot conditions there was no wind on Saturday, which prompted an abandonment of the planned three-race final day and handed the duo their medals on the results of Friday’s standings.

Martin, 23, continues to go from strength to strength after her first World Cup podium finish at Palma in April but she insisted the medal in Split came as a shock.

“It’s incredible,” she said. “I wasn’t quite expecting it if I’m honest, but my coach Hugh [Styles] believed I could do it so that really helped push me on.  It was a tricky week but you just had to keep sailing your best.  

“It’s been really hot out here so being fair-skinned it was tough and I was sun-creamed up to the max. 

“On the racing front it was just about trying to keep a cool head, and keeping your head out of the boat. 

“There were lots of changes happening on the racecourse so you have to be looking out and have your wits about you to anticipate those changes and be in the right place to take advantage of them.

“It’s definitely a great confidence boost for the rest of the season to know that I can be up there at the front of the fleet, but there’s lots still to work on.”

Thompson, who finished level with Netherlands’ Rutger van Schaardenburg but had to settle for bronze on countback, was satisfied with his efforts.

“It’s really good to be back on the podium,” he said.

“We’ve had a tricky week with a real mix of conditions which made it interesting, although a little frustrating for the past couple of days with the wind not playing ball.  

“It would have been nice to have had the chance to race for the win today, but it proved impossible.”

© Sportsbeat 2014