With Paralympic racing cancelled on the final two days at the 2012 Skandia Sail for Gold Regatta, the sixth of seven ISAF Sailing World Cup Regattas, the SKUD18 and Sonar World Cup Standings are confirmed.
Alexandra Rickham and Niki Birrell (GBR) sealed the top spot in the SKUD18 whilst Udo Hessels, Marcel Van de Veen and Mischa Rossen (NED) have clinched the Sonar honours.
The 2.4mR will be settled at the final ISAF Sailing World Cup Regatta, Kieler-Woche, from 16-20 June whilst the SKUD18 and Sonar will not feature at the regatta.
Great Britain’s Rickham and Birrell took gold in Weymouth, Great Britain which leapfrogged them above Dan Fitzgibbon and Liesl Tesch (AUS) in the Standings. The Australians had a narrow one point lead coming into Sail for Gold but their bronze medal performance in Weymouth wasn’t enough for them to hold on.
Rickham and Birrell’s victory hands them their third consecutive ISAF Sailing World Cup title whilst for the second year running the Australians finish as runners up. Canada’s John McRoberts and Stacie Louttit complete the podium.
Despite their success Birrell isn’t getting carried away ahead of the London 2012 Paralympic Sailing Competition, “We know there is one more big event to come for us. The last four or five years have all been about winning the Paralympics in a few week’s time. There is very little we can do between now and then, but we’re going to train hard for three months. There are still gains we can make. We did not sail perfectly this week by any means.”
Hessels, Van de Veen and Rossen have been consistent performers in the Sonar finishing on the podium at three of four World Cup regattas they have sailed in. Taking 75 points out of a possible 80 was enough for the Dutch trio to take their first World Cup title and their second World Cup medal after they finished third in 2009-10.
Rounding off the top three in the Sonar is Bruno Jourdren, Eric Flageul, and Nicolas Vimont Vicary (FRA) in second and Norway’s Aleksander Wang-Hansen, Per Eugen Kristiansen and Marie Solberg in third.
The 2.4mR has featured in every ISAF Sailing World Cup Regatta this year and after six regattas Helena Lucas (GBR) tops the Standings on 91 points. Megan Pascoe (GBR) sits second on 83 points followed by Thierry Schmitter (NED), third on 78 points.
Kieler-Woche is on the horizon where the final 2.4mR Standings will be decided ahead of London 2012.