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British Sailing Team at Hempel World Cup Series Enoshima - Day 5

by British Sailing Team 31 Aug 2019 15:10 BST 25 August - 1 September 2019
James Peters and Fynn Sterritt - Hempel World Cup Series Enoshima, Day 5 © Pedro Martinez / Sailing Energy / World Sailing

Britain's sailors collected two Hempel World Cup Series medals as James Peters and Fynn Sterritt defended their 49er title while Ben Saxton and Nikki Boniface collected Nacra 17 silver.

On the waters of Enoshima, Japan, home of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic sailing regatta, 49er sailors Peters and Sterritt staged a remarkable turnaround to take gold in the skiff class.

Starting the day in fifth overall, the pair needed a lot of pieces to fall in to place if they were to retain their World Cup Series Enoshima title.

"We really wanted to defend our title from last year," said Sterritt, 30, from Kingussie, Scotland. "Going into the medal race it didn't look like we were going to do it, even though it was mathematically possible.

"It takes a lot to pull these kind of things off when there are so many boats involved to stand a chance. The stars aligned and we'll take it. Unbelievably happy and this is probably one of the best moments of my sailing career so far."

Stars aligning for the pair included a second-place finish in the medal race and a capsize by the German team of Tim Fischer and Fabian Graf when they were comfortably in control of the race and the gold medal.

"We were going quick upwind and in the waves and all the people that needed to be badly did badly, so we went from fifth overall to first in the medal race which is a sick feeling," said Peters, 26, from Hayling Island, Hampshire.

"The regatta was cut short quite a bit. We only had seven races so we didn't have that much of an opportunity to work our way through during the regatta, but got the opportunity today which was sick. We're super happy."

For Ben Saxton and Nikki Boniface a Nacra 17 silver medal is their second medal in a week on the waters of Enoshima following a bronze in the Olympic Test Event.

"We're really happy, it's been a long month here in Japan with two events but we are happy to come out with a second medal," said Boniface, 26, from Eastbourne, East Sussex. "Obviously we would like a gold but we are happy with how we sailed. It was a short regatta so we knew it was going to be tight, but we're happy with how it ended."

The pair were leading in to the final day but with a fifth-place finish and Quentin Delapierre and Manon Audinet winning the medal race, the gold went to the French team.

"I'm really happy with the way we sailed in the fleet racing. I think we obliterated that, especially if you take it without a discard we were a league clear of everyone else," said Saxton, 29, from, Cambridge.

"We actually sailed quite well today but on a short course like we had you live or die by your first decision and we left ourselves with a bit to do. We had to comeback, we did that well to save the second, but overall I am happy with how we sailed."

Team mates John Gimson and Anna Burnet finished the medal race in sixth and fifth overall.

Windsurfers Emma Wilson and Tom Squires both finished their regattas in fifth overall backing up their fourth-place performances from the Olympic Test Event.

Medal racing will continue tomorrow and will feature two-time Olympian Ali Young who sits third overall in the Laser Radial following a win in the final race of the day.

Young will be joined by Hannah Snellgrove who sits seventh while Rio 2016 representative Nick Thompson will feature in the Laser medal race sitting ninth overall.

Full results from the event can be found here.

Follow the British Sailing Team at britishsailingteam.com

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