Highlights Sailing: World Championships


Two years out from the Rio 2016 Olympics, BBC Sport meets some of the sailors charged with stepping into the shoes of the likes of four-time Olympic champion Sir Ben Ainslie.

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Every four years sailing's elite converge in the World Championship


for all the Olympic Classics. It is just two years since the next games


and Santander's read about mantic coast is where 2000 of the worlds


best sailors have gathered. World champions will be crowned in all ten


Olympic disciplines and success here is white or for anyone hoping for


medals in the 2016 Rio games. -- vital. For 12 glorious years Great


Britain ruled the waves in Olympic sailing but at London 2012 that


Dynasty suffered the indignity of losing its crown on home waters.


Many of the old guard have moved on and Team GB has fresh faces hoping


to write their own history. And it is here in Santander at the world


sailing Championships that we will see whether re-gaining pole position


is a reality or fantasy for Team GB. I have been joined by two former


stall wards of that great British Olympic team, to discuss where the


team is and who we can expect to shine. Iain Percy has two Olympic


gold medals and a silver on his sailing CB. Paul Goodison won gold


in 2008 in the laser. So there is plenty of Olympic bling in the room.


With two years to go until Rio you can look at Santander and think it


is not important, but when you speak to the sailors it seems crucial. It


is one of the best competition is one of the best think people


therefore take it seriously. Everyone tries to be on their games


so it is a real form guide. In that sense you know if you are doing well


at this event you are a player and if you're not you have work to do.


It is the start for the British sailors of the selection trials for


that one Coveted Place at the games, and it is also about funding, there


is pressure not just in terms of being the world champion but the


next two years. But I think that is a good pressure. You put yourself


under pressure to perform which is exactly how the Olympics is. I guess


it is a good test stop to ultimately we will lose people as well as


select them. It is sad but part of the process. There were ten


different disciplines at the Olympics but only one vote per class


from each country can go to the games, so the competition to be


selected can be cut-throat. The Finn has been raised at the summer


Olympics since 1952 -- raced, but it is still a purist favourite, Compper


and tough. I have always said it is my favourite boat. On a windy day


you are literally on a surfboard. On another day you are on a technical


board, trying to maximise performance of the sails and mast,


and it is pretty brutal. People say the hardest bit is beating the boat


itself because you need to be so strong. If you don't have that


physicality, it beats you. Thanks to the likes of Iain Percy and the most


successful Olympic sailor ever, Sir Ben -- Sir Ben Ainslie, this medal


has been in British hands since 2000. And there is a young man in


Santander who was good enough for gold at London 2012 had he not lived


in the shadow of Sir Ben Ainslie. Now at these World Championships


Giles Scott is looking to confirm his credentials for Rio. Why do you


think you are so good at sailing, particularly in the Finn? I don't


know, I can't say I have thought about it much. I suppose physically


I am suited pretty well to it. It is a natural fit for me in that way.


Other than that, I have worked pretty hard at it over the last five


years. I suppose sailing is a little like gambling in a way. You are


managing risk the whole time. Over the years I have developed a skill


at managing risk slightly better. I know I am doing something right at


the moment and I will try to continue to do that. Although Ben


Ainslie made the headlines, Giles Rankine plays in the London


selection trials and narrowly missed being selected himself -- ran him


close in the selection trials. What have you learned from Ben Ainslie?


In a lot of ways I was very fortunate to race against him so


closely. From that, I picked up and learned a great deal, just from the


ways he ran campaigns, to the attitude he took to sailing. There


was a great deal I have learned from him. Maybe I taught a few things, I


don't know! You are a firm favourite for the World Championships, how


does that affect you? I am just going to embrace it, I think. I


think you need to do that if you want to continue winning streak. Do


you have a weakness? I don't know. I try not to think about my weaknesses


a few days out from all World Championships! Giles Scott is


probably our only dead cert in the British team, you could put your


mortgage on him winning. For sure he has been the one performer, pretty


much, at a regatta he goes to, he is winning and close to winning --


every regatta. In Rio in the pre-Olympics he won every race which


is something to behold. Talk about his attitude. He doesn't get fazed.


He always puts on a good show. In sailor you need to be -- sailing you


need to perform through many conditions and fight back from tough


races. He has that mentality, he just keeps pushing. I know him well


and when he goes into a vent he goes on to win, then he comes home and I


think he does a good job of switching off am playing golf,


stepping away. Maybe that is what gives him the intensity when he is


at a regatta to perform, which he has done so well this year. What is


he like on a golf course, is he like Ben Ainslie, as to win everything?


He might want to win but he doesn't! LAUGHTER. He is amusing on the golf


course. The fact that he is six foot six makes him look amusing and his


swing is worse than mine. Giles is out of the blocks fast and


right from the off he sets the pace in the Finn class. In the first race


of the regatta he beats both the silver and bronze 2012 medallists.


It set the trend which sees him when the first five races and answered. I


have had a pretty good day, came away with three firsts, which I am


happy with. We had 25 knots for the first two races, then for the last


one and it got as low as maybe three knots as the wind began to die


completely. It switched through 180 degrees so it made for very


difficult racing. In contrast to the vintage Finn,


there is a radical new lightweight catamaran, the Nacra 17, the latest


addition to the Olympic fleet. It is a controversial new development.


Mixed six sailing and high-speed knife edge action, and it is


rattling a few experienced sailors. It is fast. Right on the edge.


Terrifying. Out of control. Exciting. Paying. Yellow dangerous.


It is a wicked boat but it can be dangerous at times. Hannah has been


on crutches twice, I think. There are lots of combinations in


the Nacra 17 people are sailing with buoy helms and girl helms like we


are, and both boats go just as fast. We are racing really had out on the


water. We have big competition with the French and Australians, they can


be really competitive. We have three or four British boats that could


definitely be up there on their days so it is wide open, one of the


classes any number of boats could win. When we jumped into the boat on


a windy day, it is fast and scary -- when we jump into it. We have to


work completely together, if one of us doesn't trust or commit


completely to the other one it will have a spectacular capsize or an


injury. The Nacra 17 is new for Rio, a major step up. In a way it is the


most exciting boat in the repertoire now. It is amazing for me to see a


mixed crew competing together. I never thought it would happen, and


it seems to be working. Surprising that a lot of the crews have stayed


together longer than we would have thought initially. Wide EU say that?


We always thought it wouldn't quite work spending your time on the road


with your sailing partner. Why? He is digging himself a whole! LAUGHTER


. Jot don't judge everyone by your own values! They are professional


athletes. If you mention that to the crews out there it will be the last


thing they would think about because they spend seven much time together.


It is a good boat, and catamaran is back in the Olympics, I always


thought that was an important part of our sport. Are you surprised by


how hard they are finding it to sails got -- sail, lots of crashes


and cap signed capsizing and a lot of injuries. You are coming off and


hitting hard things that speed and that is never good for your body.


Windsurfing has been an Olympic sport since 1984, but that RS:X


didn't become the boat of choice until Beijing 2008. Britain has two


medal hopes in this class and both Bryony Shaw and Nick Dempsey will


hope for strong performances in Santander to secure their place in


the British team. Bryony and Nick both represented their country at


London 2012, but with contrasting results. I challenged Nick to a


quick nine holes during a brief quiet moment before he left a


Santander. Just to there? Yes. Not very far, is it? It is not. What is


your top tip? Keep your eye on the ball, head still. Well... More of a


hockey swing, I think. That's all right. Beat that!


Can't catch that right. LAUGHTER. There can't be that much more to get


better, the incremental improvements are tiny, and they? You would think


so. Certainly they are starting to... I have this nailed, but when


someone else comes along and they update and change something, a few


people have done that this year, and it has been really hard adapting to


new techniques, but techniques that are definitely better and proven to


be faster. How are you in the bunker, is it your speciality? This


is more like gravel, but normally I am pretty good. It is Weymouth


gravel. Yes. We are not on form, are we? What is wrong with that? Oh... .


This is just a practice hold. You took time away, was it as a prize


when you came back and saw whether Barr was? Yes it was a surprise. In


the past I have been able to have a couple of months off and come back


on board and be competitive again, maybe not the best, but... Never


before have I come off the board and back on and gone, oh, wow, OK. I


need to really think about this, I need to do this properly. Is it an


age thing do you think? That is the question I ask myself. LAUGHTER. You


forgot I used to be competitive, Nick. Oh! Cracked under pressure.


Excuse me, I will just come in. You have still got it. I can beat and


non-golfer, yes. LAUGHTER. That is all I have got. You have no fun food


in the house. Rice cakes, fruit, fruit tea, it is just... It is


boring, isn't it? Decaffeinated tea. How many years have you been


eating rice cakes? Not enough, I would say. I have done too many


years of eating cakes! The 2012 Olympics marked the high point in an


already illustrious career. Nick sailed a superb series to win a


silver medal in front of a rapturous crowd. Because Weymouth was such a


perfect ending, I always remember you running up and grabbing Thomas,


it was such a great moment, it just felt it was your place and your


time. I wondered how much thought it required to come back, and why, I


suppose. It was hard to come back. I found myself needing destruction in


life. Yellow mac -- distractions. LAUGHTER. Sadly, just after the


games, Nick and his wife split up and his two small children now live


several hours away. Most people imagine the life of a windsurfer,


you are hanging out on the beach and occasionally you go to the gym, but


just perhaps described your life. It is... A reasonable amount of


windsurfing, reasonable amount of training at the gym, on the bike,


fitness staff, a ridiculous amount of travelling, and a lot of people


pulling on my time constantly. You have this windsurfing life, I have


my two boys, a girlfriend, it is kind of... It is always just a


balance. Generally my time off is with the boys. I wouldn't call it


relaxing time, I would call it good times, but certainly not relaxing.


But it is I suppose my happiest. How important is the result in


Santander? I need to do very well, you have to be top three to stay on


the top level of funding, which is a must to live, so I think I will be


in reasonable shape, and I think I will be racing somewhere near the


front. But it is going to be tough. It is quite tough to watch him, we


all know pretty well he is not necessarily in the best place. No,


it is a tough time for him. But maybe the windsurfing can be a


release, something he can focus on. I guess channel his energy into.


Let's hope he can step it up and get a good result in Santander, because


I think it is really important for his confidence, and with his hopes


for a medal in Rio. The first half of the World Championships throws up


unpredictable conditions and Nick struggles to make anything like


winning form. In every race I was doing OK and each time came unstuck


at windward mark. So not the best day. Certainly probably lost any


chance of winning. Bryony Shaw is Britain's best female windsurfer and


knows how it feels to stand on an Olympic podium. I had a quick chat


with her at her parents house to find out how her build-up to the


World Championships in Santander was going. I need to step up and make


sure my mindset is there. I think we have done a fantastic preparation,


so it is those fine details at the end of the day. My miniature goal is


on my mindset and making sure I am focused and fired up for that event.


How do you do that? LAUGHTER. Well... I think it is about routine,


it is about balance, it will be a long regatta. So very much trying to


make sure I am enjoying the racing and being happy Bryony on the water.


And then... You know, being able to... Yes, see my boyfriend and my


friends, and make sure that is not too much of a distraction, and


hopefully it is... Happy Bryony will be successful Bryony. LAUGHTER.


Bryony Shaw was tipped for a medal in London and it all didn't quite


work out. She is another one I am surprised by how motivated she is,


to go again and right the wrongs. I think she is one of those people who


almost had a hangover from her medal before. Certainly for me, after the


Olympics in 2000, it came a little easy, won the gold there and you


somehow I believe it comes from talent alone -- somehow believe. I


am not saying she didn't put in work, you have two, but I think she


has woken up from that and realised you can leave no stone unturned, you


have to do everything you can. I saw her recently, she looks back in


great shape physically and she is definitely a medal contender for us.


You learn a lot when it doesn't work out. I remember in Atlanta finishing


fourth, I just had a different perspective on life and sailing


after that. Motivations. A hell of a motivation. It has changed me


massively as a person. Maybe I am more boring, I think, but I would


not go into a competition of that importance, to me and my team,


knowing I could have done more. She is loving her life at the moment,


she has a new boyfriend, she is so excited about life and loving her


windsurfing. It sounds great. LAUGHTER. When she is in frame of


mind she is almost unstoppable, isn't she? She thrives off her own


self-confidence and at the moment she is smiling, beaming, so I think


she will do well in Santander. Midway through the World


Championships, we join Bryony at her prerace morning ritual. This is a


way to get me into a better, less panicky morning, I guess, so I feel


like I have enough time to get everything that needs to be done


done. It is something new to be integrated, but hopefully I buy into


it and it is really helping my racing. Briny is expected to do well


here and is obviously feeling the pressure. I had a windy day


yesterday, and just a couple of mistakes cream creeping in, and


every mistake -- mistakes creeping in. I will try to keep a clear head


and chip away points where I can. I have been working on everything


physically and mentally, so it is all work in progress. Is ongoing,


and mental strength is always ongoing. I am potentially going for


my third Olympic Games now, and all the highs and lows of going through


all of that. The 470 is a tactical two-handed


Dinky, and at the last Olympics Britain one two silver medals in the


class -- Dinky. Hannah Mills and Saskia Clark won the women's medal,


and Luke Patience and Stuart Biffle took the men's. I met up with Luke


Patience in a sunny Weymouth. He is confident at the next Olympics he


will upgrade silver to gold. I remember I spent two weeks in front


of the TV watching the 96 Olympics, just a possessed, and Ira member the


feeling I would have watching these athletes go up on the podium, or


not, you know? The raw emotion you would see as they were in tears or


joy -- of joy or sadness. That was me hoped, done. I was like, that is


what I'm doing with my life. Quite a young team, this. We have had some


of the old guard leave us, Ben Ainslie has gone, Iain Percy has


gone, and do Simpson tragically died last year, Paul Goodison has gone --


and resumes on. These are some long-time gold medallists who have


gone -- Andrew Simpson. We are a young bunch which is cool, bringing


youth and enthusiasm into it. Am quite an energetic highly strong


lad. I do well to sail with a partner who is quite grounded,


calm, logical and predictable, maybe you could say. Because I am the


opposite. Just five months ago, Luke teamed up with two-time world


champion Elliot with -- Elliot Willis. Santander will be a proving


ground for the pairing. Away from sailing, road biking clears my mind.


It is the few habits that clears space, away from the whole circus


and the scene. I enjoy the technical aspect of it a lot, things like


power pedals. A chance to look down at some numbers. I see a different


way of technically switching off, but also, I guess, it applies to the


sailing as well, a very strong technical aspect, I guess I am


mildly OCD about it. Nick and I, despite being different characters,


have always been good mates. We complement each other quite well,


especially in the boat. There are moments when the tempo needs to be


brought up, and he is good at that. There are other points, critical


parts where the tempo needs to be settled, and I think that is where I


come in. We are still a way out from the Olympics, but at the moment it


looks like we are in a head-to-head battle with the Australians. What


are we thinking, go at this one? Probably a bit risky for falling. I


have slid down this piece of rock before, I will not lie to you. My


fingers are still tingling at the thought. LAUGHTER. He has an amazing


ability to bring out the best in people he works with. I have never


known anybody who operates, we talk about a note blame culture but Luke


lives that -- no blame culture. If anything happens in the environment


which is not perfect, use all about, let's move on. That is such a


refreshing place to be. All the gear on. I like climbing because it


scares me. Life is to secure sometimes. I want to get some


concentration here. Easy, lovely hold there. I have spent my whole


life in the sea, surfing, windsurfing and sailing. I am good


at sailing about fast, simple as that, having that feel and


understanding of what the boat once at any given moment -- sailing a


boat fast. I pride myself on being good at that. I know that can sound


arrogant, but it is not. At the end of the day, you have to be aware of


your strengths as much as your weaknesses. If you don't know what


you are good at, then I don't know what place you have in sport. Brazil


gold medal, Rio 2016, is the goal, it is absolutely the goal. When you


ask me in two years how confident I am of a gold medal, in the first


race of the and pics, I will say "I am completely confident". -- first


race of the Olympics. I remember interviewing Luke before 2012, and


being quite surprised by his confidence, and just watching him in


the film, his confidence, if anything, has grown. It is a brush


of fresh air. -- breath of fresh air. Luke is the different one in


the team, he craves the attention, he loves the media and being the


centre of attention. I guess you cannot knock it, and that enthusiasm


and confidence helps drive their results. He must have realised over


the years that going in and telling people how to do well helped him do


well. A lot of us feel that puts more pressure on but it takes it off


him which is important. They will need something extra to beat the


Aussies. Matt Belcher is the most consistent manner in sailing. Was it


12 months they were unbeaten with a new pairing? That for me is amazing.


Looking at Luke, they have started a new pairing as well, and they are


there and there about already. That confidence Luke has means he will


not be daunted by it. He will just keep pushing on their own programme,


go in, and I have every confidence they would be as good as they can be


on the day and if that is good enough to win, then they will. Like


others in the British team, Luke and Elliott are finding the northern


Spanish conditions tricky to read. We have had an up-and-down regatta


with regards to wind. It has been wacky racing. So far we have pulled


out a few consistent results, we are in a confident position and have


avoided protests and redraft crane. Really, the end of qualifying


signifies the halfway stage. The real racing begins after that. We


have had a great first few races, and nice platform to springboard us


into the business end of the regatta -- a nice platform. Britain has also


got great depth and talent in the women's 470 fleet. Saskia Clark


disappointed with her Beijing games results but teamed up with the very


young but talented helm Hannah Mills for the 2012 Olympics. They


performed so well that with two days to go, they had already secured a


silver medal. In the final race, they had to fight it out with the


Kiwis for the gold medal. I was just gutted. I really believed


we could win and I believed we were good enough. And just one tiny


mistake of the start line, that was game over, and I just felt really


responsible, you know? I knew how much everyone had put in, our


coaches and support staff, my family, obviously, and I just felt


gutted. Winning a silver medal is absolutely amazing, but we had one


that already two days earlier and had got over that. For us it was all


about the gold medal and any competitive person will know it is


all about winning, so it was an emotional time for sure.


On the eve of the first race, Saskia is determined that their combined


skills can reverse the trend. There must be pressure to nail this, to


get a result here. We are definitely bored of coming second!


Hannah will only be happy with a gold medal, she has that steely


determination. Tell me a bit about Hannah. She is this mixture of fun,


energy and excitement and then she has this will of steel. What is she


like when she badly delayed the pressure is really on? She has had


an amazing career from a young age, some real pressure of events and is


cool as a cucumber when she needs to be. She kind of controls me a little


bit, actually. I get very excited. On paper, the 470 women are very


similar to Luke and Elliott, just missed out on the gold in the last


games. Two years on, how do you think they are shaping up? I have a


lot of confidence in them, they are both very talented. It is a nice


balance, Saskia has that maturity and experience to keep calm under


pressure and Hannah is clearly a real talent. Physically, they are


the right size, especially for a lighter crack, no one can get much


smaller than Hannah, she is tiny. So I am confident for them in Santander


but particularly Rio. The women's 470 racing is proving to be very


close. Halfway, Hannah and Saskia are in third place, just ahead of


their archrivals the Kiwis. We have seven races left so we are hoping to


win them all, I guess, but we would probably take just being aborigine


well. We just want to be in the medal race with the chance of a


medal, hopefully a gold medal. -- take just being aborigine.


medal, hopefully a gold medal. -- take just being aborigine --


average. The man who has the job of managing the team is Stephen Park,


and he has presided over the team's rise to be, at one stage, the best


in the world. You have lost many of your dead


certs, people you could have relied on to deliver when they had to. How


has that changed your thinking towards Rio? In terms of those


bankers that you think you have going into this time, I think at the


moment, we would be confident enough to say we have got more of those


going into Rio, at this stage, emerging than we did at this stage


going into London. Albeit, their names are not as well-known as Ben


Ainslie and Iain Percy, Shelley Robertson. It is difficult to talk


about medal hauls, but talk about in context of this event, what you're


looking for, hoping for and perhaps what is realistic version mark at


the end of the day, we have a target to win four medals, so there is no


shying away from that. I have no doubt it is more competitive ban it


has ever been so as a result of that, it is harder to be confident


about who will win in any given class. There are only a few classes


where there are any sailors from any country that are able to get that


consistency, and right now, there are probably only too, that is the


thin and the 470 men, and in the 470, it is our Australian


colleagues. In 2012, we were not top of the medal table. We won more


medals than anyone else but at the table counts gold medals first, so


Australia are currently top of the medal table. And it irritates me


that we are not, you know, the top nation at the moment. It grinds, and


it does on a number of our sailors and that is what gets you up in the


morning, get you motivated to make sure you are going to go out


tomorrow and make them sure it is going to be different next time. The


49er is the mono hull speedster of the Olympic fleet. It has


electrifying pace, but with twin trapezes, it is challenging to say.


Britain has only won bronze and one silver medal in this class but there


are no several British crews at the top of the world rankings. I got


into sailing when I was about 11 years old. We used to live near


London... Actually, it is not really London, I tell people that who don't


live in London, it was Kingston. Mum and dad were both ballet dancers and


I think their genes are being flexible and powerful have helped,


it is useful around the 49er. Sailing on little lakes and ponds


helps out, you pick up a lot of knowledge on the feel of what is


going to happen next. When I started sailing with Alain, it was a good


mix. He is from the sea and we have been sailing together for eight


years now and we know what the other person is about to do, so we don't


have to say as much in the boat, it is inherent, we know what we are


doing. Dylan is a fiery person, I think you need that in the team, and


I am quite quiet, so we gel quite well together. I think if we both


had two nutcases in the boat, it wouldn't work, you would bang your


heads together. We are aiming for a medal, a medal would be good, we


have never got one at World Championships, but we won't really


be happy unless we win. From the outside, one of the classes that is


hardest to call is the 49er. There seems to be a real depth but perhaps


no real winner there yet. You look at the results and you see Dylan is


almost at the top performer with Alain. They seem to do really well


when it comes to the end of the week and the race and on the smaller


courses, their boat handling is a bit better than the others and they


seem to perform under the pressure on the final day. Dylan and Alain


are confident they can perform, but things in Santander are proving


light and tricky and did their first two races, they get too shocking


results. We haven't had many days tougher than that. Unfortunately, we


started a little bit early in the first race, so we got a


disqualification and in the second race, we were going for the line and


were sort of fighting our way through and it is pretty hard work


with 40 49ers on a short course. Over the course of the series,


hopefully we can fight our way back. Unfortunately, things go from bad to


worse. Dylan and Alain go on to pick up a 41st and 42nd, didn't qualify


for the medal race and up 54th overall.


The all-female 49er fracture is another new class to the Olympics


and, just its big brother, it brings twin sailing into the event. In the


qualifying stages of the regatta, Charlotte Dobson and Soviet threat


has shamed their male team words -- Sophie have shamed their male


team-mates. We couldn't be happier, we have had managed to have for


really good races, going into qualifying in second and it is a big


difference to this time last year. We didn't even qualify for goal


fleet, so to be second, we are pretty happy with. My boyfriend


sails of 49er and he is having an absolute disaster. Dylan sailing the


49er, I have learned a huge amount from him. And Sophie's boyfriend is


in the nigra, so between the two of them, they have taught us a lot.


Nobili, it is the other way around. I have a lot on physically, I pulled


the kite up and down and Charlotte hangs around at the back pushing the


stick. It goes quiet in the race, she can't breathe at all, working


her little heart out and I am sort of sitting there, shouting


encouragement as much as I can. Every day after racing, Charlotte


and Sophie trek back to the team house to endure a bone numbing


treatment. I am not sure why I do this, all I want to do is get out.


The icepack fleshes the lactic acid from their systems but also gives


them a chance to reflect on the dynamics of their partnership. When


was our must fight? You forgot our anniversary. We haven't really had a


rough ride. -- haven't really had a fight. When we first started sailing


together, we thought we were really similar and then you get in a boat


and you think, you get that competitiveness and you go separate


ways, so I tend to get quite fiery and Sophie gets a bit quieter, kind


of thing. What we have found works quite well is if anyone is getting


particularly grumpy, you just offer them some food. Most things are


solved by this. New for Rio, the 49er FX, it is great to see more


women. A big fan of that. I think it has been a good addition to the


line-up. I think it is a good class, it is exciting, it is the one that


people want to watch. You look at the slower boat, like the Finn, we


agree they are amazing bows to sail and race but it doesn't have the


visual impact of the 49er. People want to see both going fast, people


capsizing, falling in. The boats are quite fast, quite frightening and


quite a handful for the girls. You will see them at the moment,


swimming around a little thing and you will see them in the physio room


getting patched back-up. Are they too soft, need to toughen up? I


wouldn't say that, seeing what they lived in the gym, they are quite up,


but when you hit a wire at 20 knots, it is going to do some damage. The


laser is the ultimate one design single-handed dinghy, the world's


most popular sailing boat. Britain has an medalled in this class since


Beijing. Nick Thompson has his sights set on a medal in Rio and is


hoping to prove himself in Santander.


Nick, nearly halfway through, it has looked really challenging all week


but you are in good shape. Yes, so far the idea has been to get into


goal fleet and not make any mistakes like last year. You are at the top,


world-class, but you haven't gone to the Olympic Games. It was always


going to be closed between Paul and myself up to the last games and he


managed to pick me in the selections. I know straight away the


focus would turn to the Rio Games and that has been my goal for a


while so although it is frustrating to not go to the Olympics, I have


learned a lot from the experience campaigning to so many. Leak always


seems to me to perform under is not on and maybe sometimes in the key


events, part of the trials Championships, he doesn't always


deliver the goods. I think it will be interesting. Ben performs better


under pressure than in a relaxed competition, he always steps up and


others, I would like to think me and Paul and yourself, are the same and


there are some people who don't like the pressure and to win at the


highest level, you need to be go out at least with your normal game and


like Ben, you can raise it. Nick got off to a brilliant start, winning


the first race. He continued to sail consistently throughout the regatta


and has qualified for the medal race in second, poised for the podium


and, if the stars aligned, the top step.


In Olympic sailing, every event concludes with a medal race final,


where only the top ten boats qualified. Crews carry their points


from the previous results but the medal race counts double. This is


where the colour of the medal is decided and they are staged right


next to the shoreside grandstand, a great view but often makes for a


tricky sailing. On the day of the laser medal race, the conditions in


Santander are stronger and gusty, conditions that suit Nick. He needs


to beat the Australian Tom Burton and be within two places up the


Dutchman Nicolas Hyner to be in contention. Halfway up the first leg


and he has the Dutchman tucked away, a great start. With two legs of the


course to sail, Nick is lying in silver medal position, pushing hard


to secure that second place. But by the final mark, the Dutchman has got


past and a sailing away. Gold is heading to the Netherlands. Nick is


fighting for silver against a new rival, the Australian. Giving it


everything, Nick sticks the nose of his boat into a wave and nearly


wipes out. He loses grip on the silver and comes home to take


bronze. I felt the one last run, it was all


to play for and it didn't quite work out. It was a tricky downwind, where


we are racing is really chopped up water so it is difficult to get the


boat going well downwind and I had a nasty nosedive and threw away a few


places, which is disappointing. I know you came here wanting to win


and lay your marker down and you so nearly did. Yes, really frustrating


week. It has been challenging, a real mix-up conditions but to come


away with third is good. But it was the gold I was after, for sure.


At her first big regatta since recovering from illness, Allie Young


secures a respectable ninth place in the women's laser relay. On the day


of the women's race, Brierley is ten spots off the podium, but is still


confident about her chances. Briony shawl with a great start. Briony has


a great start, powering to the left line of the course. These are tough


conditions for RS:X sailing, it really is difficult to read.


Approaching the first weather mark, she is fighting for first place with


the Chinese and Italian sailors. Hold on here and Briony will take


bronze. Terrific performance but that is a disaster for Bryony Shaw


she misses her mark, stalls out and loses a couple of places. By my


reckoning, and officially, she is now out of the medal positions. Just


frustrating trying to find the speed and I found it today and it is all a


bit late and then just mistakes creeping in, like just missing the


windward mark when I am... I don't know, just silly amateur and the


men's 470 medal race, barring disaster, the Australians Mat


Belcher and will Ryan have the gold medal, but Luke and Elliott have an


outside chance of winning bronze. We still have a chance today, ten


points behind in fourth place, they will go out to win the race and


hopefully one or two of the other competitors will mess it up and they


will have a chance of winning a bronze medal. Here comes the men's


470 final. And there is the British pair are blue patients and Elliott


Willis. -- of Luke Patients. The British bear whether the lead pair


going reasonably well -- the British pair going reasonably well.


Great Britain doing a good job. Where is Australia? A very risky


move by Great Britain, right ahead of another boat coming up ahead of


Australia. They now go downwind on the final leg. Looks as though this


is going to be victory for Spain. Behind them, six points manoeuvring


and any one of them could get second place Spanish victory. Great Britain


cross in second place. The Australians will take the gold


medal. Luke and Elliott finished the medal race second but out of the


medals. To stand on the podium was always


going to be a long shot, there was a lot to do. It is frustrating


finishing fourth, we have had a great year and have been on the


podium a few times and no one likes coming forth but, in the same


breath, after five months of the boat together, we have to stay


philosophical and we are right at the front of the fleet, challenging


at the very top end in a short space of time together, so it stings a bit


right there but that is what the next two years are about, to get the


Olympic Games and rectify these things.


In the medal race for the new Nacra 17 class, Britain has two boats in


the final. Both Andrew Walsh and Lucy MacGregor and Pippa Wilson are


out of medal contention, so a good medal result is the target of the


start line. At the first stop mark of the Swiss league and head right.


The Argentinians are second and head left. The British boats are involved


in a collision with France. The French boat receives the judges'


penalty but paper and John are left stationary. It takes them a few


minutes to get back on track, hoist the kite and get back downwind.


Tough and exciting, challenging to sail, this is modern Olympic


sailing. The Kiwis and Argentina are locked in the silver medal


position. French confirm gold, Argentina takes over. The Kiwis just


pipped the Australians are malign but need a boat between them -- on


the line. GB couple MacGregor and Walsh and in a creditable seventh. A


lot about Scott and very good start and found the breeze on the first


beat and got away, but the rest of the pack was swapping places that


right and centre, a couple of big crashes. It was a good Nacra final


race. To keep the momentum through the week has been tough and I think


we have done a good job about and the regatta on such a high, with a 7


second first and a better race today, we have to be proud about.


And the men's RS:X windsurfing, Nick Dempsey has made it through to the


medal race. Gold has gone but he is philosophical about what lies ahead.


There isn't any pressure on me, I am in sixth place, I have a bit of a


proper behind and in front, so it is a nice attacking place to be -- a


buffer. I can sail a relatively free race. The race for the medals is a


real tussle in strong, gusting winds and a sea that is bouncing off the


harbour wall. Nick finishes fifth and fifth overall. He misses the


podium but reaches his pre-event ambition. It is disappointing,


because I enjoy winning and I do it to win, but the reality is I came


here to try and finish top five and I did, so that is good and means I


am on target and the areas I didn't perform in our very easily sorted


out, so it is, I suppose, a good end to quite a tough week.


Saskia and Hannah are in bronze medal position going into the final


day. I guess we are a bit disappointed that we are not close


to first and second, so we can really properly take the fight to


win the regatta, but just happy to be in with a shout of a medal. And


the race is under way. In light, shifting conditions, Hannah and


Saskia start clean and immediately had the right hand side of the


course. It is a gamble that pays off, the wind shifts to the right,


take some of the third of the first mark and they have the Austrians in


rage. Great Britain have moved up into second place behind the lead


Austrian pair. Hannah Mills and Saskia Clerk were in bronze medal


position before this medal race, so they will be pleased. By the next


upwind leg, they are duelling for the lead. There is very little


between them, this is a great race. Can Austria attack ahead? Great


drama, this is a key moment. The wind has shifted left, giving the


advantage to Austria. But only a length separate them for the lead.


Kerb round the mark at the top of the cause and downwind on the final


leg, Austria and Great Britain. Great Britain doing everything they


can in their power, and they between them have put in a lead over the


rest but New Zealand could be clawing them is cells way back into


the silver medal position. -- clawing themselves back. Coming down


towards the finishing line and the final manoeuvres. Gary? Australia is


in good shape. Great move by Great Britain, keep the fight going, back


into the centre, it is the only thing they can do, I like their


feistiness. It is going to be a gold medal for Austria, they are coming


up to past the line and they are the winners of the race. Second placed


the Great Britain. Overall, they will take the bronze medal but what


a terrific effort from Hannah Mills and Saskia.


I know you came here to win, but to deliver in the medal race and come


away with a podium position, you must take something from that we


definitely do. We have moved forward to the end of the week and to top it


off and claimed the bronze medal is wicked. The British pair of John and


Stewart make it into the 49er final but are out of the medals. And away


they go. Gold is already claimed by New Zealand, but behind them is a


closely contested race where positions change every few seconds.


The lead changes five times and the silver medal is decided in the


closing seconds of the race. The Austrians going through in second


place ahead of Great Britain. The British pair finished the medal race


third, giving them sixth overall. Per day, happy. Best outcome for us.


For the week, it is another story but we are happy today. In the new


women's 49er FX class, Charlotte and Sophie have made it through to the


medal race but the magical form they showed early in the regatta has


drifted, finishing seventh overall. With the like we can achieve more


than we have, we have more to give. It gives you something to go home,


work on, reflect and move forward. Giles Scott has done what he


intended in Santander. He came here and dominated the Finn fleet, making


him the man to beat. But he is not the only Brit in the medal zone. Ed


Wright has performed brilliantly and has the chance to win a bronze medal


with a good performance in the final race. Going into the medal race, he


must avoid disqualification -- Giles must avoid disqualification to win


the gold. At the first mark, he is lying comfortable in second place.


At this point, Ed Wright is in last place and firmly out of medal


contention. On the second upwind leg, Giles


drops a place but is still winning goal. Ed Wright, however, sails as


sensational legs to climb from last into fourth place, putting him in


bronze medal position. Giles still has the gold in the bag but Ed


Wright has two byte of France. Whoever crosses the line first wins


the bronze. -- has to fight off. Ed keeps the Frenchman at bay, crosses


in third and wins the bronze medal. Gold, though, is safely in the hands


of Giles Scott. It is a big milestone. I don't know, I try to


stay very realistic and the fact is my big goal is in two years' time.


But this is a very big step towards that and I am kind of looking


forward to the next couple of years. It has been a great season and I


couldn't think of a better way to round it off than with a world


title, some, really happy. One gold and three bronzes puts


Britain fourth on the medal table. What does Sparky take from that? We


came with the aim of winning for medals and to qualify the country


for the Olympics in all ten of the offence, and we have managed that,


just. I think a number of the sailors will go home a little bit


disappointed, partly because the competition continues to increase,


gets tougher and tougher every event, but also because we set such


high standards and everybody coming into the team is expecting to medal,


so when you finish fourth or fifth, you are going home disappointed. So


there will be disappointed sailors but at the end of the day, the key


goals, for medals, qualifying in all ten events for Rio, those boxes are


ticked, so as a team we have to be content with that. For ten years,


British sailing was unstoppable. Winning was expected and more often


than not, delivered. But it appears that we can no longer assume the


glory days are ours by right. Here in Santander, the fresh faces has


shown glimpses of brilliance. And with the time, Team GB has the


experience to get through this transitional period. You can't hide


from it, though, there is a lot of work to do. But with two years of


preparation ahead, the road to Rio for Team GB is still very much under




Two years out from the Rio 2016 Olympics, BBC Sport meets some of the sailors charged with stepping into the shoes of the likes of four-time Olympic champion Sir Ben Ainslie. Ainslie announced his retirement from Olympic sailing in the wake of his victory at London 2012 and September's World Championships in Santander could unearth the next batch of talent.

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