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19 September 2009, 04:26 pm
Spain Score World Cup Double In Men's 470 And 49er Events
Spain's Onan Barreiros and Aaron Sarmiento
Onan Barreiros and Aaron Sarmiento won Spain's third World Cup title in the Men's 470 event

Skandia Sail For Gold Regatta 2009
Weymouth & Portland, Great Britain

Gold medals went to Australia and Great Britain as the 49er and Men's 470 titles were decided at the Skandia Sail For Gold Regatta, but it was Spain who claimed the overall World Cup titles in both events.
Nic Asher and Elliot Willis won Great Britain's second gold medal of the 2009 Skandia Sail for Gold Regatta when they won the Men's 470 class at Weymouth and Portland this afternoon. And there was a second medal in the class for Team Skandia GBR as Luke Patience and Stuart Bithell took silver. Bronze went to the Spanish crew of Onan Barreiros and Aaron Sarmiento, who came third in the Medal Race to keep Mathew Belcher and Malcolm Page (AUS) off the podium by a single point, in the process securing themselves the title of 2008-2009 ISAF Sailing World Cup winners.

Asher and Willis went into today's Medal Race neck and neck with Australia's Mathew Belcher and Malcolm Page - who had led the fleet from the start of the regatta.

The Brits knew finishing ahead of the Aussies would give them a strong chance of winning gold. The Australian pair got away from the start line well, but were then called back for making an early start.

Asher and Willis went on to finish eighth - which was enough for them to take the gold medal.

Asher said, "We were pretty confident and it turned out well for us in the end. We've sailed really well together and the conditions have been great all week.

"Everything has been great on shore and it couldn't really have been any better."

Willis added, "We're very happy. It's good to win at your home venue.

"We didn't sail well at the World Championships, we just made some bad decisions. We made this a bit of a target for ourselves after that."

Patience and Bithell, who secure silver by finishing as runners-up to the Dutch crew of Steven Le Fevre and Steven Krol in the Medal Race, were also pleased with their performance, which came hot on the heals of their silver at the World Championships. The pair have only been sailing together for a month. "We just kept our nose clear around the course," said Patience. "We just tried to be conservative and consolidate our position. We didn't really make any mistakes we let the others do that."

Bithell added, "It was a tense race. We had quite a lot to lose going into it."

After the disappointments of Belcher and Page dropping out the 470 medals after they went OCS (early start) in the Medal Race, another Australian crew did have something to celebrate today, when Nathan Outteridge and Iain Jensen collected gold in the 49er class. The pair, who won the World Championships in July, dominated the regatta and had built up such a substantial lead that they had won before the Medal Race. Brothers Federico Alonso and Arturo Alonso (ESP) were also celebrating as they finished in eighth place overall to secure Spain's third ISAF Sailing World Cup title of the day.

Another sibling pair, Italian brothers Pietro Sibello and Gianfranco Sibello came third in the Medal Race to take silver in the regatta, while fourth was good enough to ensure France's Emmanuel Dyen and Stéphane Christidis won bronze. Iker Martinez and Xabier Fernandez (ESP) won the Medal Race.

Outteridge said, "It's the first time we've sailed here and we've had a really good week here. The conditions have been quite good for us. We'll be back here plenty more times before the Games. Hopefully we'll be back to get some more medals next year."

ISAF Sailing World Cup

The ISAF Sailing World Cup 2008-2009 consists of the following events:

16-21 Dec 2008 - Sail Melbourne The Asia Pacific Regatta, Melbourne, Australia
25-31 Jan 2009 - US SAILING's Rolex Miami OCR, Miami, USA
4-10 April 2009 - Trofeo SAR Princess Sofia MAPFRE, Palma, Spain
18-24 April 2009 - Semaine Olympique Francaise, Hyeres, France
27-31 May 2009 - Delta Lloyd Regatta, Medemblik, Netherlands
20-28 June 2009 - Kieler Woche, Kiel, Germany
14-19 Sept 2009 - Skandia Sail for Gold Regatta, Weymouth, Great Britain

Find out more about the ISAF Sailing World Cup, including the World Cup Standings, more on the seven events, the scoring system and the Notice of Series at www.sailing.org/isafsailingworldcup.

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