Pic: Richard Langdon/Skandia Team GBR
Shaw Takes the Heat to Clinch European Bronze
Olympic bronze medal-winning windsurfer Bryony Shaw kept a cool head in the Israeli heat to take bronze at the RS:X European Championships in Tel Aviv on Saturday (20 June).
Although she had a solid start to the week-long regatta, the 26-year-old was left with some work to do to secure a podium spot after a ‘bad day’ on Thursday – the windiest day of the event – saw her dip outside of the top three positions.
But the Tunbridge Wells resident showed trademark resilience to pull herself back into contention in the penultimate two fleet races, with a seventh in Saturday’s medal race enough to clinch her the bronze, behind Marina Alabau and Blanca Manchon who took gold and silver for Spain.
“I’m really pleased, even though I didn’t race very well in the medal race today,” Shaw admitted.
“My muscles tightened and I let the Italian girl go on the second upwind leg, but I managed to come out of it alright!”
Skandia Team GBR’s Shaw, who was chasing a medal at these Championships in preparation for a World Championship title bid on home waters in Weymouth in September, described the event as both a ‘learner and a counter’ towards her goals for this first year of the new Olympic cycle.
“For me I’m happy that it’s job done here, but also has shown that I have a lot still to work on in preparation for the Worlds. It’s been a lot hotter, a lot wavier and just different conditions to what we will be focussing on for Weymouth.
“It’s also been a lot more of a physical event that at the Olympic Games,” Shaw continued. “We’ve had just enough wind to get racing every day, so had none of the waiting around and delays that we had at the Games, plus the heat was pretty severe.
“It’s certainly highlighted the need for to improve my fitness, but I’m really happy to be making the progress I am so far in this first year after the Games.”
Elsewhere in the women’s fleet, youth sailors Izzy Hamilton and Sophie Bailey finished 23rd and 25th respectively, with Kirsten O’Callaghan in 29th.
In the men’s fleet, Skandia Team GBR development squad duo Elliot Carney and Richard Hamilton finished 30th and 33rd, with youth sailor Ali Masters – making his international debut on the 9.5 sq m men’s rig, finishing in a respectable 31st.
Masters will revert to the smaller 8.5 sq m youth rig when he competes for RYA Volvo Team GBR at the Volvo Youth Sailing ISAF World Championships in Buzios, Brazil, next month.
For all the latest news on Skandia Team GBR’s sailors in action around the world visit www.skandiateamgbr.com