Please select your home edition
Product Feature
Solent Cruising Companion
Solent Cruising Companion
Boat Insurance from Noble Marine

Full racing risks
New for old cover

Brits claim pole position in three fleets in World Cup Series Enoshima opener

by British Sailing Team Media 11 Sep 2018 11:21 BST 11-16 September 2018
Dylan Fletcher and Stuart Bithell - World Cup Series Enoshima © Sailing Energy / World Sailing

Britain's 49er sailors shot out of the blocks on the opening day of World Cup Series Enoshima as racing got underway at the Tokyo 2020 sailing venue.

The men's high performance skiff class kicked off six days of action across the ten Olympic classes – and Dylan Fletcher and Stuart Bithell made their intentions clear by streaking to victory in the regatta's very first race.

Fletcher and Bithell followed up with a second and a fourth to end day one in pole position in the 27-strong fleet.

Fellow Brits James Peters and Fynn Sterritt, continuing their rise to form after months of injury-enforced absence, also excelled in the breezy conditions of Enoshima Bay to go into day two in third overall.

The 49er pairings' success was echoed across several fleets: Rio 2016 gold medallist Giles Scott leads the Finn class on his return to action after four months out, while Michael Beckett sits top in the Laser class.

"It's great to see the Brits at the top – it proves our training out here in Enoshima has paid off," said Bithell.

"We've all done a lot of training here so to get out there and get some proper racing was really good. We had some great races and we were working nicely."

Fletcher added: "We've seen the sorts of conditions we had today out here before, and we just seemed sharp and in sync with the shifts. It was nice to be super-competitive and at the front of the fleet all day."

For Peters a solid opening day is a welcome boost as he and Sterritt compete in only their second major regatta since January.

"We're really happy with the day and we have to carry it on into the rest of the regatta," he said. "We can take confidence from the fact that we're starting well, making good decisions and that the boat is moving quickly through the water. As a team it feels like we're clicking."

Scott has not competed in his Finn since April due to other sailing commitments but proved he's not lost any ground on his rivals, finishing the day ahead thanks to a sixth followed by a race win.

"It's great to be back," he said. "It's great to put a solid step forward on day one - to get decent races in early on is really good.

"But the points are close and there's an awfully long way to go. Looking at the forecast it looks like it's going to get trickier as the week progresses."

Beijing 2008 bronze medallist Bryony Shaw is knocking on the door of the women's RS:X podium in fourth overall thanks to a trio of top-five results, while young gun Emma Wilson sits seventh.

Olympic champion Hannah Mills and crew Eilidh McInytre also lie fourth thanks to a race win in the women's 470 opener followed by an eighth.

In the Laser Radial Britain has two sailors in the top ten – Hannah Snellgrove in fifth and Ali Young in seventh.

Charlotte Dobson and Saskia Tidey end day one in fourth in the 49er FX, four places above world and European championship bronze medallists Sophie Weguelin and Sophie Ainsworth.

Nacra 17 duo John Gimson and Anna Burnet also finish the opening day in the top ten, sitting ninth after three races in prime foiling conditions.

Ben Saxton and Nikki Boniface chosen to pull out of the regatta after Boniface picked up an injury.

World Cup Series Enoshima runs until September 16, with medals decided on the last two days of competition.

Follow all the action on the British Sailing Team's Facebook, Twitter and Instagram – and post your messages to the team using the hashtag #rulethewaves. The medal races will be streamed live at

Related Articles

Brits dominate home European Championships
Brace of golds in the 49er and Nacra 17 classes Britain's elite sailors scooped the European gold and silver medals in both the 49er and Nacra 17 classes today in a flurry of success on home waters of Weymouth and Portland. Posted on 20 May
British athletes seek European success
Britain's Laser and Laser Radial sailors will take on the world's best For both classes it will be the first time in 2019 that all the major players will be on the start line, marking the biggest test to date in the run-up to the next Olympics. Posted on 19 May
Volvo 49er, 49erFX, Nacra 17 Europeans day 6
Brits make podium bids on penultimate day Late start, light winds for penultimate day of European Championship. Battle for podium places intensifies as regatta reaches business end. Dylan Fletcher and Stuart Bithell (49er) move up to second in bid for 49er victory Posted on 18 May
Giles Scott claims third Finn class European crown
Rio 2016 gold medallist secured win with a tenth-place finish Olympic champion Giles Scott said he has taken 'another little step towards Tokyo 2020' today after winning the Finn class European Championships for the third time. Posted on 18 May
Volvo 49er, 49erFX, Nacra 17 Europeans day 5
Three counters including race win for Fletcher and Bithell Lighter, shifty winds test sailors on second day of final series racing. John Gimson and Anna Burnet (Nacra 17) slowed by weed in day 5 opener, recover with a third in final race to sit third overall. Posted on 17 May
Volvo 49er, 49erFX, Nacra 17 Europeans day 4
Gimson and Burnet strike John Gimson and Anna Burnet (Nacra 17) go top by a point thanks to a 1, 2, 6. Ben Saxton and Nikki Boniface take a swim while leading Nacra 17 day 4 opener, finish twelfth. Posted on 16 May
Volvo 49er, 49erFX, Nacra 17 Europeans day 3
Peters and Sterritt win the day in Weymouth Final day of qualifying sees gold, silver and bronze fleets decided. 49er duo James Peters and Fynn Sterritt come out firing on day 3; a 1, 2, 3 shoots them up to seventh. Dylan Fletcher and Stuart Bithell hold sixth with second win in ten races. Posted on 15 May
European silver for Mills and McIntyre
At the 470 class European Championships Hannah Mills and Eilidh McIntyre scooped silver for Great Britain at the 470 class European Championships on Tuesday. Posted on 14 May
Volvo 49er, 49erFX, Nacra 17 Europeans, day 1
Champagne conditions for opening day: wind, waves and sun Three races for 49erFX and Nacra 17 fleets, four for 49ers. Nacra 17 pair Ben Saxton and Nikki Boniface open regatta with race win. John Gimson and Anna Burnet (above) lead British Nacra 17 charge in seventh Posted on 13 May
Brits aim to exploit home advantage
49er, 49erFX and Nacra 17 European Championships coming up More than 400 athletes from all over the world will face off for the European Championships crown in the 49er, 49erFX and Nacra 17 classes – three of the fastest and most exciting Olympic classes. Posted on 11 May