Hannah Mills and Eilidh McIntyre won silver at the World Cup Series final today following an epic battle with French rivals Camille Lecointre and Aloise Retornaz.
Mills, the reigning Olympic champion, and crew McIntyre led women’s 470 fleet for the entirety of the week-long regatta in Marseille, France, the sailing venue for the Paris 2024 Olympics.
They headed into Sunday’s final medal race – a double points battle for the top ten teams – expecting a fight for gold with France’s Camille Lecointre and Aloise Retornaz.
With one point splitting the two teams but a healthy 21-point gap to third placed Silvia Mas Depares and Patricia Cantero Reina of Spain, it was a simple case of whichever team beat the other would take the top spot.
With light winds plaguing the waters off Marseille, the women’s 470 fleet was forced to wait more than two hours in the hope of being able to race.
When the action did get underway moments before the cut-off time, defending champions Mills and McIntyre launched into an intense match race with their French rivals.
A better start for Lecointre and Retornaz saw them get an early jump on the British duo, and despite throwing everything they had at their adversaries they couldn’t pass them over the two-lap race.
It is the pair’s third consecutive medal this year, having taken the top spot at the Princess Sofia Trophy regatta in Mallorca in April and silver at the 470 class European Championships in San Reimo, Italy, in May.
Last week they were named in a 17-strong team to represent Great Britain at the Tokyo 2020 test event which takes place this summer in Enoshima from August 15 to 22.
Mills and McIntyre’s Marseille success follows on from two British silver medals won on Saturday by RS:X windsurfer Saskia Sills and Nacra 17 pair John Gimson and Anna Burnet.
The British Sailing Team will next be in action at Kiel Week in Kiel, Germany, from June 22 to 30, before attention turns to the 470 and Laser World Championships plus the Tokyo 2020 test event, all in Japan.
For the latest British Sailing Team news, follow our Facebook, Twitter and Instagram social media channels.