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Saxton and Boniface add to medal count in Marseille

Written by 9th June 2018 Featured-post, World Cup Series

Nacra 17 world champion Ben Saxton and new crew Nikki Boniface made it three medals in three events as they scooped the bronze medal at the World Cup Series final in Marseille.

The British Sailing Team pair went into the double points-scoring medal race in fifth overall but managed to jump onto the podium with a strong performance in Marseille’s fickle breeze.

A fourth place in the medal race saw them complete the podium behind Italy’s Ruggero Tita and Caterina Banti in first and compatriots Vittorio Bissaro and Maelle Frascari in second.

Ben Saxton and Nikki Boniface

Ben Saxton and Nikki Boniface (right) take to the podium. © Tomas Moya/Sailing Energy/World Sailing

While Saxton and Boniface were celebrating there was heartbreak for team mates John Gimson and Anna Burnet who’s tenth in the medal race saw them slip from the runner-up spot to fifth overall.

Chris Rashley and Laura Marimon completed the British Sailing Team line up in seventh overall.

It’s the third time Saxton and Boniface have finished up on the podium since teaming up for the Princess Sofia Trophy regatta in Palma when Saxton’s regular crew Katie Dabson picked up a knee injury.

They went on to win silver in Palma then added another silver to their tally at the Hyeres round of the World Cup Series before deciding to make their partnership official for a shot at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.

Saxton said the result was an important step towards their season goal of winning the Sailing World Championships in Aarhus, Denmark, in August.

Ben Saxton and Nikki Boniface

Ben Saxton and Nikki Boniface in action. © Pedro Martinez/Sailing Energy/World Sailing

“We went into the medal race in fifth overall but for most of the week we’d been second or third, so to come away with bronze feels a little like we pinched it and a little like we earned it,” Saxton said.

“The next big one for us is the Europeans, and then it’s on to the World Championships.”

A string of dominant results over the regatta had seen Gimson and Burnet go into the medal race in second, 13 points behind Tita and Banti.

However, the Medemblik Regatta bronze medallists got caught out on the start line, and despite spirited attempts at a mid-race comeback never fully recovered.

“We’re really happy with the way we raced this regatta and the progress we’re making,” Burnet said.

“Obviously it’s a shame to miss the podium after such a solid week but the medal race was a tough one and it doesn’t always go your way.”

Kieran Martin-Holmes rounded off his week in Marseille with victory in the men’s RS:X medal race to finish in seventh overall.

Meanwhile, in the women’s RS:X three-time, 19-year-old youth world champion Emma Wilson finished sixth overall with a ninth in the medal race.

Tomorrow will see current women’s 470 class leaders Hannah Mills and Eilidh McIntyre attempt to defend their World Cup Series final title.