Hannah Mills and Eilidh McIntyre scooped silver for Great Britain at the 470 class European Championships today.
Welsh sailor Mills and Hayling Island’s McIntyre finished in the runner-up spot after a testing event in San Remo, Italy, plagued with postponements.
Only six races were held over the week-long competition due to either too much or not enough wind.
Mills and McIntyre started today’s double-points medal race for the top ten teams in pole position but with only a very slim lead over second-placed Camille Lecointre and Aloise Retornaz of France.
The weather even caused upsets for the medal race, with the fleet sent out to race only to be told to return home shortly after due to lack of wind.
When racing did finally get under way it was in incredibly fickle breeze. A win for Lecointre and Retornaz in the medal race elevated them to the gold medal position, while fifth for Mills and McIntyre secured them silver.
The Netherlands’ Afrodite Zegers and Lobke Berkhout came home in third.
It was a bittersweet end to the event for Mills and McIntyre, who won the Princess Sofia Trophy regatta in Palma in April, and had been leading in San Remo all week.
“The medal race was a tough race for us,” said Mills, the reigning Olympic champion in the women’s 470.
“It didn’t like we executed what we wanted to do – it felt like we were fighting to do what we wanted but we always had boats in the middle of the pack so we couldn’t quite do that.
“It was a bit frustrating and I made some mistakes. In general it’s just been a long hard week with a lot of waiting around, but we still came away with silver and we’re really happy with that.”
McIntyre added: “We’re pretty gutted to not win overall. We made a few little mistakes which we were punished hard and the French executed a really good race. We both really wanted to be Europeans champions but it just wasn’t our time.”
Fellow Brits Amy Seabright and Anna Carpenter were 19th.
In the men’s event, London 2012 silver medallist Luke Patience and crew Chris Grube finished 14th, while Martin Wrigley and James Taylor were 23rd.
Full results from the regatta can be found here.