Please select your home edition
Melges IC37 2019 Leaderboard
Product Feature
Zhik Hydrobase Super Thermals
Zhik Hydrobase Super Thermals
Boat Insurance from Noble Marine

Full racing risks
New for old cover

British Sailing Team at Ready Steady Tokyo - Day 5

by British Sailing Team 21 Aug 2019 12:45 BST 17-22 August 2019
John Gimson & Anna Burnet (Silver), Ben Saxton & Nikki Boniface (Bronze) at Ready Steady Tokyo © Sailing Energy / World Sailing

Great Britain's sailors today scooped four medals on the first day of medal racing at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games test event in Enoshima, Japan.

Dubbed Ready Steady Tokyo, the test event held one year out from the Games has long been regarded as an indicator for Olympic success and Great Britain shone taking two silvers and two bronze medals.

Against the world's best sailors, John Gimson and Anna Burnet claimed silver in the Nacra 17 class and were joined on the podium by team mates Ben Saxton and Nikki Boniface who took bronze.

Rio 2016 Olympian Dylan Fletcher and London 2012 silver medallist Stuart Bithell took silver in the 49er class while Charlotte Dobson and Saskia Tidey claimed bronze in the 49erFX.

Heading in to the final race of the Nacra 17 Gimson and Burnet sat second with Saxton and Boniface fifth overall, and that's how they stood until the final run.

Gimson and Burnet felt the pressure with a penalty turn and Saxton and Boniface had work to do as the finish line approached. Over taking some boats and crossing in sixth meant Saxton and Boniface had secured bronze, not that they knew.

"We weren't sure we had medalled on the water so to come in and find out we had is amazing. We were trying to work it out on the last downwind.

"We knew we had to get in front of as many boats as possible so pushed as hard as we could but still didn't think we had done enough to medal. Obviously we can't count as well as we thought we could," chuckled Boniface, 26, from Polegate, East Sussex.

Finishing ninth in the medal race was enough to give Gimson and Burnet silver and with it a release.

"I'm just trying to get over the stress of it all," said Burnet, 26, from Shandon, Scotland. "It was such a stressful medal race. We had a penalty which didn't help. But when I think about it and it all sinks in I'm sure I'll be very happy to take a silver medal from the Tokyo 2020 test event."

Sitting in third going in to the medal race, Fletcher and Scott had silver in their sights. The Rio 2016 champions, New Zealand's Peter Burling and Blair Tuke, were safe in gold medal position so their biggest threat was Poland's Przybytek and Kolodzinski.

Their position was helped by a Polish mistake at the start line which put them to the back of the fleet. With Fletcher and Bithell free to run their own race, they crossed in third and with it secured the silver medal.

"We are stoked to win a medal at the test event. Overall we were a little disappointed with how we sailed and on day three we knew it's not how we usually sail and there is plenty more left. But we were happy to finish off the week strong and when the pressure was on we performed and moved up to silver." said Fletcher, 31, from Thames Dutton, Surrey.

With a slender one-point lead in the 49erFX, Dobson and Tidey had the Rio 2016 Olympic champions, Brazil's Martine Grael and Kahena Kunze breathing down their necks.

The Brazilians showed their strength to finish ahead of the British pair and took gold. Dobson and Tidey were then pipped to the silver medal by Norway's Helene Naess and Marie Ronningen who dominated the medal race and won on a points countback.

"We're pretty happy to be up on the podium especially in these conditions. Obviously we are quite disappointed not to come away with gold but there is time enough for that. We are happy with where we are right now," said Tidey, 25, from Portland, Dorset.

Windsurfers Emma Wilson and Tom Squires just missed out on a medal with 20-year-old Wilson finishing fourth in the women's fleet and Squires fifth in the men's.

Attention now turns to tomorrow's medal races where Olympic champions Giles Scott and Hannah Mills will fight for more medals to add to the British haul.

Scott currently sits third with the gold out of reach as Hungary's Berecz Zsombar has secured top spot with a race to spare. Mills and partner Eilidh McIntyre are just one point off top in the women's 470 and will look to add gold to the world championship they won in Enoshima last week.

Racing runs until Thursday August 22. Full results from the test event can be found here.

Follow the British Sailing Team at

Related Articles

Brits at RS:X Windsurfing Worlds day 2
Emma Wilson has another steady day Second day of the Worlds finishes with men's fleets splitting in to gold and silver. Women's fleet continue as one. All fleets complete scheduled three races. Posted today at 11:10 am
Brits at Laser Radial Women's Championship day 4
Young in touching distance of podium at halfway stage Radials manage to sail three races after poor conditions over the first three days. Southerly 18-20 knot wind for first two races dropping to 16 knots for the third and final race of the day. Posted today at 11:09 am
Brits at RS:X Windsurfing Worlds day 1
Emma Wilson second in Sorrento Small delay before racing gets under way on the first day of the Worlds. All fleets complete the scheduled three races. Steady 11-16 knot wind from the south for all fleets. Posted on 25 Feb
Brits at Laser Radial Women's Championship day 3
Ali Young continues to climb up Long wait on shore as storm hits Sandringham. Only one completed race late in the day. Southerly wind at 18-20 knots when racing got under way. Posted on 25 Feb
RYA unveils plans to reinvigorate junior racing
Placing more emphasis on regional and club racing The revamped British Youth Sailing programme will see the current system of U16 national and zone squads replaced with Regional Training Groups (RTGs) from autumn 2020. Posted on 25 Feb
Brits at Laser Radial Women's Championship day 2
Ali Young climbs despite more light wind frustration Another frustrating day of light unpredictable wind. Only one race completed as wind too unstable. Ali Young finished sixth in her race. Young now up to 20th overall in the 110-boat fleet. Posted on 24 Feb
Brits at Laser Radial Women's Championship day 1
Light winds and slow starts in Sandringham Ali Young only Brit in 110-boat fleet. Light six knot wind before wind began to swing wildly. Only one race completed out of a possible two. Boats split across two fleets. Posted on 23 Feb
Brits target historic titles
As Southern Hemisphere season concludes Tokyo 2020 windsurfers Emma Wilson and Tom Squires will aim to make their mark on the last ever Olympic class world championships before the discipline switches to foiling. Posted on 21 Feb
British Team to be out in force at RYA Dinghy Show
Reigning Olympic champion Hannah Mills will be among the stars at the show The British Sailing Team will be out in force at the RYA Dinghy Show in association with Yachts & Yachting - led by the athletes picked to represent Team GB at Tokyo 2020. Posted on 21 Feb
British team at ILCA Laser Standard Worlds overall
Hanson holds head high after challenging worlds British Laser sailor Elliot Hanson said he would walk away with his head held high from the Laser world championships in Sandringham, Melbourne, after narrowly missing out on bronze. Posted on 16 Feb