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Page last updated at 16:34 GMT, Saturday, 19 September 2009 17:34 UK

Star pair lead GB Weymouth haul

Iain Percy (top) and Andrew Simpson
Percy and Simpson won the Star European Championship in July

By Rob Hodgetts
BBC Sport in Weymouth

Britain won two golds, four silvers and a bronze on the final day of the Sail for Gold regatta in Weymouth.

Olympic Star champions Iain Percy and Andrew Simpson were awarded gold after light winds cancelled the final medal race in their class early on Saturday.

Nic Asher and Elliott Willis clinched 470 gold after their last race was able to go ahead in the afternoon breeze.

Luke Patience and Stuart Bithell (470), Lucy Macgregor's matchracers, Ed Wright (Finn) and Bryony Shaw all won silvers.

Pippa Wilson and Saskia Clark completed the haul with bronze in the women's 470.

Percy and Simpson led by 13 points going into Saturday's deciding medal race, but the fresh winds of earlier in the week gave way to calm and the British duo were awarded the victory when the medal races for the top 10 in the Star, Finn and both men's and women's windsurfing classes were cancelled early on.

"It's a shame not to race today but it's the right decision by the organisers," said the 33-year-old Percy, who also won gold in the Finn in Sydney. "We all want to get out there and race but we don't want to ruin a great week with a bit of a charade."

Bart [Simpson] was on fire all week as always, tactically downwind, which is his area

Iain Percy

The Britons scored three wins and a second among their eight qualifying races to beat Swedish pair Fredrik Loof and Johan Tilander.

"We sailed pretty well," added Percy. "We haven't trained much this year at all but I guess it's a bit of a hangover from all the training we did for the Olympics.

"We made a couple of mistakes and amazingly they're the things I'm annoyed about now rather than doing well. They were real schoolboy errors that cost us serious points but that's what practice does - it just makes the bread and butter easier.

"Bart [Simpson] was on fire all week as always, tactically downwind, which is his area, picking up places and upwind I was just getting us into good positions so we're pretty pleased."

Asher and Willis, the 2008 world champions, began the day tied in the lead on 20 points with Australians Mathew Belcher and Malcolm Page.

But their rivals were ruled to have crossed the start line early in the medal race, relegating them to the back of the field, and clearing the British path to gold.

"Up the first beat it was quite tense," said Asher. "We got to the top mark and the Australians, who were one place in front us, got pulled out because they were over the line. But we had to make sure we were far enough up on the guys behind us on points. It all worked out OK in the end."

Patience and Bithell, who only teamed up together last month and went on to win world championship silver, pipped the Spanish crew on the line to grab second and a silver medal.

"I'm absolutely over the moon," said 23-year-old Scotsman Patience. "We came here with the intention of coming away with a medal. We firmly did that so definitely pleased."

Bryony Shaw
Shaw is aiming for gold at the London 2012 Olympics

The third British crew in the 470 final was that of double Olympic silver medallist Nick Rogers and new crew Pom Green, who finished seventh overall.

Windsurfer Shaw, a bronze medallist in Beijing, ended eight points behind Spaniard Blanca Manchon and admitted it was a confidence boost after finishing sixth at the recent world championships, also in Weymouth.

"It's a shame I didn't medal there so it was a case of bouncing back from that and trying to build my confidence and I've done that," said Shaw, 26.

Wright, who had already secured the overall World Cup title, trailed the Croatian world number one Ivan Kljakovic Gaspic by nine points, while fellow Briton Giles Scott ended sixth and Andrew Mills ninth.

"The second day I really lost the event," said Wright. "They were really my conditions but I was capsizing all over the place. It's a shame."

Macgregor, Annie Lush and Ally Martin won the first race in the women's Elliott 6m matchracing final, the class that replaces the Yngling for 2012. But Renee Groeneveld's trio took the next two races to clinch gold.

"It's only the second World Cup event in the Elliott and this was a big week for us to prove ourselves on the international stage," said Macgregor. "We're delighted with the result but actually today we're frustrated with our sailing."

Wilson and Clark held onto their third spot overnight with third in the women's 470 medal race, while fellow Britons Penny Clark and Katrina Hughes finished 10th.

The top British crew in the 49er class was Chris Draper and Peter Greenhalgh in fourth, behind runaway winners Nathan Outteridge and Iain Jensen of Australia. Fellow Britons Paul Brotherton and Mark Asquith came fifth with Stevie Morrison and Ben Rhodes seventh.

In the Laser class, Olympic, World and European champion Paul Goodison was unable to improve on his fifth position going into Saturday's medal race, which was eventually also cancelled as the afternoon breeze died.

Countryman Nick Thompson, who won the World Cup series, came seventh, with Australian Tom Slingsby having secured the title before the final race.

Britain's Charlotte Dobson finished seventh in the women's Laser Radial, while Richard Hamilton was handed eighth place after the men's RS:X windsurfing final was cancelled.



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see also
Stars assemble for 2012 warm-up
14 Sep 09 |  Sailing
Regatta at Olympic sailing venue
14 Sep 09 |  Dorset
Dempsey takes windsurfing crown
10 Sep 09 |  Sailing
British 49er pair clinch silver
19 Jul 09 |  Sailing
British pair win 470 world silver
29 Aug 09 |  Sailing
Goodison wins first World title
27 Aug 09 |  Sailing
GB Yngling women breeze to gold
17 Aug 08 |  Sailing


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