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Silver for Saxton and Boniface in Genoa

Written by 20th April 2019 Featured-post, World Cup Series

Ben Saxton and Nikki Boniface scooped a silver medal for Great Britain in the Nacra 17 class at World Cup Series Genoa today.

The duo went into the double points scoring finale in pole position – but with only seven races completed over the week due to lack of wind, the top of the table was incredibly close.

Saxton and Boniface started the medal race strongly, managing the light, fickle breeze well while keeping gold medal rivals Iker Martinez and Olga Maslivets of Spain within reach.

Ben Saxton and Nikki Boniface in action in Genoa.

Ben Saxton and Nikki Boniface in action in Genoa. ©JESUS RENEDO/SAILING ENERGY/WORLD SAILING

At the halfway mark of the race the pair were fifth, while Martinez and Maslivets were second, but a tricky second upwind leg saw Saxton and Boniface slip down the rankings while their Spanish rivals moved up to lead the race.

By the time the teams crossed the finish line Martinez and Maslivets were in second, while the British pair came home in sixth.

The points gap was enough to hand the Spaniards the gold, with Saxton and Boniface taking silver just one point off the top spot.

The result will put the Brits in good stead for the next major regatta of the season – the European Championships on home waters of Weymouth and Portland in May.

Nikki Boniface and Ben Saxton pick up their silver medals.

Nikki Boniface and Ben Saxton pick up their silver medals. ©TOMAS MOYA/SAILING ENERGY/WORLD SAILING

“We are gutted to have lost the lead after having it all week but we are really pleased with how we have sailed in challenging conditions,” said Boniface, 25, from Polegate, East Sussex.

“We came here with areas to work on and we’ve really progressed this week so we look forward to the European Championships in Weymouth next month.”

James Peters and Fynn Sterritt were Britain’s only other medal hopes of the day, as they started the 49er medal race in third overall.

A good start put them in gold medal-winning position early on but they too fell foul of Genoa’s unpredictable light winds and came home ninth to finish fifth overall.

The regatta concludes tomorrow with medal races for the men’s and women’s 470, Laser, Laser Radial and Finn classes.

Watch the racing live on the British Sailing Team website from 9am BST.

For results and images visit the 2019 World Cup Series Genoa website here.