Please select your home edition
Barton Marine 2019 728x90

British Teams at 49er, 49erFX and Nacra 17 World Championships - Overall

by British Sailing Team 15 Feb 15:09 GMT 10-15 February 2020
John Gimson and Anna Burnet - 49er, 49er FX & Nacra 17 World Championship 2020, final day © Jesus Renedo / Sailing Energy

Britain's sailors claimed two world championships medals in Geelong, Australia, with John Gimson and Anna Burnet crowned 2020 Nacra 17 world champions.

Gimson and Burnet's gold medal capped an astonishing final day of racing for the multihull sailors before 49erFX duo Charlotte Dobson and Saskia Tidey added a silver medal to the British haul.

Heading into the final double points medal race, Gimson and Burnet had to overcome a 16-point deficit to leaders Nathan and Haylee Outteridge of Australia, but could also have fallen out of the medals altogether.

But with the two-time Olympic medallist caught up in a battle with rivals Jason Waterhouse and Lisa Darmanin, Gimson and Burnet took full advantage and streaked ahead to win the medal race.

All the pair could do then was sit and wait to see where both Australian teams would cross the line. And with their rivals back in the pack in seventh and ninth, the championship was theirs by a single point.

Gimson, 36, from Congleton, Cheshire, said: "I'm a bit speechless to be honest. We had to go out and win the final race to give ourselves a chance and in the end all the cards just fell in to place for us."

"The points were tight and we were just looking at the team in front and the team behind us," said Burnet, 26, from Shandon, Scotland. "We did what we could and won the race and just had to sit and wait to see where the Aussies crossed the line. When they finally crossed someone shouted over to us that we had won, and that was that."

Things could have been different for the pair when in the penultimate race of the championships a broken tiller extension just moments before the start meant a quick fix and an alternative sailing technique. But cool heads and strong sailing kept them within a shot of a medal going into the final race, and the rest is history.

The win caps an incredible few weeks for the pair as they became the latest additions to Team GB for the Tokyo 202 Olympic Games following an intense selection battle with compatriots Ben Saxton and Nikki Boniface.

In the 49erFX, Dobson and Tidey were a model of consistency throughout the week with a string of top three finishes.

The only team that could stay with the British pair were Spain's Tamara Echegoyen and Paula Barcelo and with a 40-point gap back to bronze it was a straight medal race shoot-out between the top two.

Unfortunately, an untimely error and a capsize meant the gold medal had slipped to the advantage of the Spanish, but they were safe in the knowledge a silver world championship medal was theirs no matter what.

"First reaction is we are a little disappointed we couldn't have taken it to the Spanish a little better in the medal race. But on the whole we have sailed a really good regatta," said Dobson.

"What's really encouraging for us is the day we separated ourselves from the fleet was on a sub-max power day which has been our real weakness. It's something we have been focusing on and it's a real highlight to see our improvement in those conditions. But today, it was close but no cigar."

2019 World Championships bronze medallists Dylan Fletcher and Stu Bithell finished their regatta in eighth place after coming home in third in the final medal race.

Bithell, 33, Rochdale, Greater Manchester, said: "It's not our finest hour to be honest. We are doing some things really well which is promising, but there is no question we have work to do in the coming months to prepare for the Olympics. We will leave Geelong with fire in a belly and some clear areas of focus."

Bithell and helm Fletcher are also confirmed in Team GB for the Tokyo 2020 Games alongside Gimson and Burnet, and Dobson and Tidey.

Across Port Philip the British Laser sailors are in action with the final day of racing tomorrow. Elliot Hanson leads the British charge sitting in fourth overall with three races scheduled.

Joining Hanson in the gold fleet are Michael Beckett who sits 11th, former world champion Nick Thompson in 14th and European champion Lorenzo Chiavarini in 25th

Results can be found here. Follow the British Sailing Team at

Related Articles

Junior level meteorology with Simon Rowell
All things weather as part of Project #SailFromHome British Sailing Team meteorologist Simon Rowell chats all things weather as part of Project #SailFromHome. Posted on 31 Mar
The #MondayMotivation Show episode 1
Bumps in the Road Episode 1 of the #MondayMotivation Show, entitled Bumps in the Road. London 2012 silver medallist Luke Patience and world top-10 RS:X windsurfer Saskia Sills discuss how to overcome diversity on and off the race course. Posted on 30 Mar
Project #SailFromHome launched
To support young racers during the period of self-isolation British Youth Sailing has joined forces with the British Sailing Team to launch Project #SailFromHome – a programme of remote learning to unite and inspire young racing sailors over the coming months. Posted on 28 Mar
British Sailing Team welcomes Tokyo postponement
Olympic Games delayed to 2021 in light of the coronavirus pandemic The British Sailing Team welcomes the news of the postponement of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games in light of the coronavirus pandemic. Posted on 24 Mar
Mills and McIntyre to defend 470 world title
Brits go into battle against the world's best Hannah Mills and Eilidh McIntyre will look to defend their 470 class world title as they go into battle against the world's best just four months out from Tokyo 2020. Posted on 12 Mar
GBR Tokyo 2020 sailors inspire next generation
During the RYA Dinghy Show at Alexandra Palace The stars of the upcoming Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games had the opportunity to come face to face with the next generation of sailors last weekend at the RYA Dinghy Show in association with Yachts & Yachting. Posted on 3 Mar
Brits at RS:X Windsurfing Worlds overall
Top ten finishes for Emma Wilson and Tom Squires Emma Wilson and Tom Squires can count themselves among the planet's best Olympic class windsurfers after both posted top ten finishes at the RS:X World Championships. Posted on 29 Feb
Elliot Hanson completes Team GB's Tokyo line-up
Selection comes after he finished fifth at the recent Laser Worlds Elite sailor Elliot Hanson will make his Olympic debut at Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games representing Team GB in the Laser dinghy class, the British Olympic Association (BOA) announced today. Posted on 29 Feb
RYA unveils mixed match race crew rules
Teams must have at least one female sailor As part of an ongoing reform of RYA Match Racing to promote diversity and equal opportunities, crews entering the Summer Match Race events as well as the new Under 19 Championships must have at least one female sailor among the team. Posted on 29 Feb
Brits at RS:X Windsurfing Worlds day 4
All on for Emma Wilson as event reaches climax Emma Wilson endures tough day in Sorrento to hold fourth in women's fleet going into Saturday's medal race. Tom Squires ninth going into men's fleet medal race, recording race win on penultimate day. Posted on 28 Feb