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Crucial medals for Team GB's 49er and 49erFX pairs in France




Double delight for skiff crews ahead of Paris 2024


There was double European delight for the British Sailing Team in a series of statement performances just weeks out from the Olympic Games. 

In some of the final major competitions before the Olympic regatta, the continent’s best gathered in the 49er and 49er FX classes at La Grande-Motte and the mixed 470 at Cannes, both just up the coast from Marseille. 

The Team GB pairing of James Peters and Fynn Sterritt were crowned European champions in the 49er class. 

The duo made major changes on the back of finishing 10th at the World Championships earlier in the year, rewarded handsomely with a consistent series to claim victory.

They won three of the first five races and despite being displaced by British Sailing Team colleagues and world fourth placers James Grummett and Rhos Hawes on day two, soon stretched clear of European rivals. 

Uruguay’s Hernan Umpierre and Fernando Dizz finished top of the standings with all nations able to take part in the wider international regatta, but Peters and Sterritt were top European crew by a margin of eight points. Grummett and Hawes finished in 14th place overall. 

"It felt at times that an Olympic medal was a bit of a pipe dream. We were telling everyone we were medal contenders but we weren't at that standard," said Peters.

"We knew it was possible but we've just proven we are going to be contenders in Marseille.

"It's not just this result, but how we were sailing. We've made changes and people will look at us now and see we've made a big jump. 

"It's massive for our confidence. We've needed this badly, this is our first major medal since July 2022 and our best result this cycle.

"We've produced a career best performance when it mattered most, so we're really happy."

In the 49er FX competition for women, there was a landmark European bronze medal for Marseille-bound Saskia Tidey and Freya Black.

A pronounced drop in wind strength at the midway point made for a topsy-turvy regatta but Tidey and Black were one of the crews to adapt best to changing conditions.

They climbed three places from sixth with a superb penultimate day of racing, heading into the medal race in a medal position and managing to hold that for a place on the podium.

The medal is a significant boost to the pair’s campaign with Tidey set for a third Olympic appearance and Black preparing for a debut on the big stage. 

There were encouraging performances in Cannes, too, with Martin Wrigley and Bettine Harris missing out on the European rostrum by just ten points. 

They finished fifth in the mixed 470 class with the selected pairing of Chris Grube and Vita Heathcote missing out on the medal race in 16th.

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Will Carson