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Tough conditions as Para Sailing Worlds reaches the halfway stage

on 30-11-2015 11:41

The Para Sailing World Championships reached its halfway stage amid breezy conditions in Melbourne, Australia, on Monday (30 November), with the British Sailing Team poised in two podium positions with three days of racing to go.

The Sonar trio of John Robertson, Steve Thomas and Hannah Stodel, and Paralympic bronze medallists Alexandra Rickham and Niki Birrell are both in silver medal position after six races, with Megan Pascoe and Paralympic Champion Helena Lucas tied on points in fifth and sixth places respectively in the 2.4mR fleet. 

The wind built from 15 to 20 knots across Port Phillip Bay on Monday, giving rise to challenging conditions with a number of boats suffering equipment damage. 

Two-time World Champions Robertson, Stodel and Thomas revelled in the 18-boat Sonar fleet, picking up a race win and a third to see them into second overall at the halfway stage. 

“It was very lively, blowing kangaroos off chains!” John Robertson

“It was very lively, blowing kangaroos off chains!” joked Robertson. 

“It was an awesome day really. Quite shifty to start with and then it just ramped up and ramped up more and more. It was quite exciting.” 

“Steve and Hannah were superb, as ever,” continued the Sunderland sailor of his teammates. “We had some pretty good starts, got off the line well and got round the course really well. 

“It’s a big fleet with really tough racing and it’s super close. Everyone is getting to the top mark in one big lump. 

“Generally everyone is there together so it’s just about keeping it super consistent, which we’ve been trying to do and it seems to be going alright at the moment, just fingers crossed and keep doing what we’re doing. Knocking off a few bullets would be quite handy I think.”

Elsewhere in the Sonar fleet, Craig Wood, Steve Palmer and Liam Cattermole are 11th overall. 

Alexandra Rickham and Niki Birrell struggled on Monday due to issues with Rickham’s canting seat, and picked up a fourth and a seventh from their two races. They’re second overall with the host’s Paralympic champions Dan Fitzgibbon and Liesl Tesch leading the series after six races. 

In the 2.4mR fleet, London 2012 gold medallist Helena Lucas advanced to sixth overall, now able to discard her false-start disqualification from the first day of competition, while Megan Pascoe is just ahead on countback in fifth overall. Will Street is poised 18th. 

For full results, visit http://www.topyacht.net.au/results/2015/paraworlds/ 

For news and British Sailing Team updates visit us at www.britishsailingteam.com  on Facebook or on Twitter @BritishSailing 

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