Yachting Boating World: Team GB’s Paralympic rowing team make history at Rio 2016 after taking three golds and one bronze – their best medal haul yet.
Rachel Morris, who only switched from hand cycling to rowing in 2013, was the first of the team to secure a gold medal.
She beat China’s Lili Wang and Moran Samuel from Israel, to win the arms-shoulders women’s single scull boat.
Morris, who trains at Guildford Rowing Club in Surrey, has previously won gold in the cycling at Beijing 2008 and bronze at London 2012.
Meanwhile in the equivalent men’s event, Tom Aggar took bronze. The 32-year-old made history during Beijing 2008 when he took gold in the first-ever arms-shoulders men’s single scull.
The four-times World Champion is the longest-serving member of the GB Rowing Team para-rowing squad having made his debut in 2007.
Aggar came third in the race after a fierce battle with China’s Huang Cheng. The Ukraine’s Roman Polianskyi took gold and Australian Eric Horrie secured silver.
“I am so pleased to have made that cut and to have got on the podium,” said Aggar.
“The event has moved on hugely since Beijing and it’s an amazing feeling. We did a lot of rehearsals of having to race three times here and I knew I had the fitness so being in the repechage didn’t faze me,” he noted.
World Silver medallists Lauren Rowles and Laurence Whiteley clearly showed why the gold was theirs after blasting from the blocks in the final of the trunk-and-arms mixed double sculls.
The pair beat the world record in their heat and dominated the final to take the top podium spot.
“I don’t think I can sum up the emotions,” said Whiteley, who only partnered with Rowles in 2015 after a two-and-a-half-year search.
“Two and a half years of thinking every day that it would be alright in the end. There were days when I could have walked away some days but for the end prize to be Paralympic gold, I would have done it again in a heartbeat,” he said.
Rowles added: “We beat the world record in the heat and we had confidence that we would do well but every crew out here is incredible so you know that you are not going to win it by miles. We have been putting in hours and hours and it’s so good.”
Meanwhile, Grace Clough, Daniel Brown, Pamela Relph, James Fox and cox Oliver James retained GB’s Paralympic crown in the mixed coxed four.
Making their mark from the start, the team was leading comfortably half way through the race, with clear water by the finish. They won in a time of 3:17.170.
Yachting Boating World: Giles Scott just has to complete the medal race on Tuesday to officially win Team GB’s fourth successive Olympic title in the Finn, after three straights from Sir Ben Ainslie.
The four-time world champion’s eighth and a second in the last two outings of his qualifying series gives him an unassailable lead going into the medal race on 16 August.
Scott, 29, said reaching this stage has been emotional.
“I know what it meant to me because of the way it made me feel towards the latter stages of that final race. I just found myself welling up, getting tingles as it slowly dawned on me what I had done,” he said.
“I wouldn’t put myself down as the emotional sort but I had a little cry to myself, which I’d like to think I don’t do that often. Just the emotions that kind of end up coming out of you in that situation, you can’t really prepare yourself for. It was amazing,” he continued.
“If you had have asked me would I have won the Olympic Games before the medal race in Rio, I would have said absolutely not just because of the venue it is,” noted Scott.
“But the racing we have had this week; I have managed to sail more consistently than everybody else at the top of the fleet. It has just landed me in this brilliant situation where I’ve got the points gap I need before the medal race and it’s such a privileged situation to be in,” he said.
Scott was congratulated by three time Finn Olympic gold medallist, Sir Ben Ainslie.
Yachting Boating World: Joe Clarke is the first British athlete to ever take gold in the men’s K1 canoe slalom.
He had been third fastest in his semi-final, but his quick run meant that Slovakia’s Peter Kauzer and Jiri Prskavec of the Czech Republic were left with silver and bronze respectively.
The win makes Clarke the first British athlete to claim a medal in the event since Campbell Walsh picked up silver back at Athens 2004.
Speaking following the race, Clarke said: “I went out on that final run, laid it all on the line, put my all out there and that was enough to come away with the Olympic gold medal”.
“When I crossed the line and knew I had a bronze I was absolutely ecstatic. It got even better when that upgraded to a silver and then upgraded to a gold,” continued the gold medallist.
“Joe Clarke, Olympic Champion. Joe Clarke, Olympic Champion! It was what I went to bed dreaming about last night and what I’ve dreamed of for so many years,” he said.
“To wake up this morning thinking this is actually the finals of the Olympics and I could come away being the Olympic champion is just like wow,” continued the canoeist.
“For sure I’ve had some luck and you need a bit of luck in this sport to excel and that has come today. I don’t know what I did to deserve that but I obviously did something right along the way,” said a delighted Clarke.
Prior to his gold medal win, Clarke had taken silver in the men’s K1 event at the 2014 World Cup 5, his first senior international medal.
At the 2015 World Championships at Lee Valley, he was part of the bronze medal winning K1 men’s team.
He was selected to represent Team GB after winning the men’s K1 event at the 2015 Canoe Slalom Olympic Selection.
Yachting Boating World: The Clipper Round the World Race fleet will return to where it all started this Saturday, when the yachts sail past Tower Bridge and back to St Katharine Docks.
The 12 70-foot ocean racers will parade up the River Thames, much to the delight of the thousands of Clipper fans who are expected to turn out for the event.
The crew will return in spectacular style and pageantry, including live commentary, big screens and a main stage, ready to host the final celebrations of this tenth edition race.
Following emotional reunions with proud family members and friends, the winners will then take to the podium for their much deserved prizes.
Schedule of Parade of Sail on 30 July.
- 0719 Fleet arrives at the QE2 Bridge at Dartford.
- 0900 Fleet passes the Millennium Dome.
- 0912 Fleet passes Greenwich Observatory.
- 0930 Fleet passes Canary Wharf Pier.
- 0945 Feet is scheduled to arrive at Tower Bridge. The yachts will sail under its iconic archway before sailing back out again.
- 1035 Teams will sail into St Katharine Docks in groups of four in reverse overall standing order.
- 1250 The winning team is expected to sail into St Katharine Docks.
- 1300 Prize giving on the main stage.
Yachting Boating World: Five women have set a new world record after becoming the first ever all-female crew to row the Atlantic Ocean from west to east.
The team set the record on 26 July at 0549 UTC when they crossed the line at Bishop Rock Lighthouse near the Isles of Scilly.
They rowed the 3,000 mile journey in 48 days, 13 hours, 49 minutes and 9 seconds.
The crew left New York on 7 June. Skipper Guin Batten, Molly Brown, Alex Holt, Mary Sutherland and Gilly Mara have now landed at Falmouth, Cornwall.
Molly Brown has also set her own record – at 20-years-old, the oceanographer student is now the youngest woman to have rowed the Atlantic Ocean.
26 July Five women are about to enter the record books after a 3,000 mile journey rowing across the Atlantic.
The crew of the Liberty of Essex are expected to reach the Bishop Rock Lighthouse near the Isles of Scilly on 26 July.
They are scheduled to arrive at their destination – Falmouth – sometime between 8 and 11am on 27 July.
The women started their journey from New York on 7 June.
On board are 49-year-old Guin Batten, who won a silver medal at the 2000 Sydney Olympics, and 20-year-old oceanographer university student Molly Brown, who will become the youngest woman to have rowed the Atlantic.
Making up the rest of the crew are Alex Holt, a 26-year-old water-ski and snow ski instructor, 34-year-old Gilly Mara, one of the fastest ultra-kayakers in the UK who came into the sport after breaking her neck in a climbing accident, and offshore sailor and racer Mary Sutherland, 36, who has several Fastnet and Atlantic crossings under her belt.
Assisting the crew on-shore is ocean rower Charlie Pitcher. His company, Rannoch Adventures, built and supplied the rowing boat. Pitcher was also responsible for placing the advert looking for crew to undertake the challenge.
He appointed Guin Batten as the skipper. The rest of the crew were selected over “Hell weekend”.
YBW talked to the crew as they neared the end of their world record attempt.
How were you selected to take part in the record attempt?
Final selection for the Rannoch Women’s Challenge crew comprised 26 hours of a mixture of power testing, a six-hour endurance task, an undefined overnight trek, a ‘sleep-where-you-can’, a pre-dawn 30 minute row and a panel interview. This was done all with the aim to ‘see’ the real personalities and team interactions shine through. All the while, Louise Carey (rower and SAS Are You Tough Enough contender) and Polly Gough (rower, sailor and medic) looked on watching every move, and listening to every word.
Did you all get along immediately or did you have to work to become a crew?
It has most definitely been something that the crew have worked on once final selection was made at the beginning of the year. Training and preparation has also included specific team building coaching to help them on their way.
Yachting Boating World: The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge gave their support to Sir Ben Ainslie’s Land Rover BAR team as they took podium position in Portsmouth on 23-24 July.
Sir Ben Ainslie’s team put on an incredible performance on both Saturday and Sunday and did enough to hold off USA Team Oracle from the top of the leader board.
Land Rover BAR won three of the six races in Portsmouth, with Oracle Team USA taking two and Groupama Team France taking one.
Speaking after the win, skipper Sir Ben said: “It was a real team work day, these boats are really hard to handle on such a short course. The guys did an incredible job with the boat handling and that’s what really got us out of some of those tough situations.”
He continued: “Full credit to the team and everyone back at the Camber at the base, we’ve got a hundred odd people there, designing and building boats and components for the Cup next year, and I think it’s a big moment for them as well to know that we can go out and win these events.”
Trimmer Nick Hutton, added: “It was awesome to win at home, it’s obviously the key event of our year. It is like Wembley for us.”
“The big picture is we have taken the lead in the World Series, for us as a new team it’s fantastic to go up against the established teams like Oracle, Artemis and Team New Zealand. It’s great moving forward into the future,” he stressed.
Grinder Freddie Carr said the win was an important step.
“We are in a massive phase of our Cup campaign at the moment, going into Bermuda next year and the lift this gives to everyone at the base – it’s huge,” he stressed.
“We are putting a real line in the sand for where our sailing team is at and our test boats are going really well. We are front-footing it right now it’s a great time for us,” continued Carr.
Land Rover BAR are now series’ leaders, with just one point separating them from Jimmy Spithill and his team.
There are just two events left in 2016. The next will take place in Toulon, France on 8-11 September.
Motorboat & Yachting: The Venture Cup 2016 has been called off just three weeks before it was supposed to start.
The round-Ireland race, which was planned to start on June 12, would have seen teams starting in Cork and finishing in Dublin seven days later after a 1,000nm dash around the Emerald Isle.
A statement from the race organisers says: “Delivering an event of this scale was always going to present challenges, but we felt we had the team and support to make it happen.
“However, we began suffering acute cash-flow problems at the end of March. Regardless of the funding commitment to the overall event, without positive cash-flow we were being strangled.”
Only last month it was announced that Cougar Powerboats had made a late entry into the race with former world champions Steve Curtis and Richard Carr making up the team.
This setback is the latest in a host of funding and organisational issues that have hounded the race. Back in the 2014 the original race from London to Monte Carlo was sideswiped by a late decision by the RYA to refuse approval.
Last year the race was delayed once more after funding from an Irish backer prompted the event to be hosted in Ireland.
Practical Boat Owner: In 2016, the Solitaire du Figaro race will stopover in Cowes on the Isle of Wight for the first time in the event’s 47-year history.
Up to 40 sailors are expected to be on the starting line, for the race that will cover 1,525nm between four European host venues – Deauville, Isle of Wight – Cowes, Paimpol and La Rochelle. A close coastal route looks set to present new challenges for the solo skippers in 2016.
The Solitaire du Figaro is claimed to be one of the world’s toughest sailing competitions, the ‘world championships of solo offshore racing’, with the course taking just over a month to complete. The race pushes competitors to the edges of their physical and mental limits.
Estimated £1.8million boost
For the first time in race history, in 2016 the Solitaire du Figaro will stopover on the Isle of Wight. Following the success of the last UK stopover in Torbay, the Isle of Wight would hope to see 20,000 visitors pass through the Solitaire du Figaro race village over five days.
The Solitaire du Figaro had a hugely positive economic impact on Torbay in 2015, injecting roughly £1.8million into the seaside town.
The event will bring not only a professional sailing race to the pontoons of Cowes Yacht Haven, but a bustling race village to Cowes Town. Free and open from 22nd to 26th June, the Race Village will offer five days of fun family entertainment in Cowes, including food markets, a drinks bar, live music in the Race Village and try sailing for all on the Solent – courtesy of the official event charity UKSA. Plus a host of interactive stands and activities and an education program focused on coastal conservation and the environment for local children.
Starting Leg 1 from Deauville, the fleet will race the longest 510-mile leg across the channel, around the south of the Island to Lands end, before heading east along the UK south coast towards the finish line in Cowes – a maritime town famous for its unique sailing waters.
The Solitaire du Figaro Race Village will offer five days of fun family entertainment in Cowes, including food markets, a drinks bar, live music in the Race Village and try sailing for all on the Solent. Alongside the racing and live entertainment, there will be a host of interactive stands and activities to entertain the public.
Expected to arrive on the Isle of Wight around the 22 June, the Solitaire du Figaro will stay in the UK until Sunday 26 June, when the fleet will set sail on Leg 2 (475nm) to Paimpol in Brittany.
Leg 2 will take skippers back along the south coast of England and around the iconic Wolf Rock. From there, they will cross back into French waters to a mark off of Penmarc’h, sending the fleet north along the coast of Brittany past Ushant and through the infamous Raz de Seine.
From Paimpol, the fleet will race 410nm to La Rochelle, back through the Raz and cutting across the fickle waters of the Bay of Biscay. To end the 2016 Solitaire du Figaro, competitors will race a final 160nm around Île de Ré, an island linked to La Rochelle by an impressive bridge, and the small fishing island of Île d’Yeu. A short but tricky route, the tired skippers will be careful to avoid fish farms, trawlers and the wind shadows of the Islands.
Pratical Boat Owner: Eight sailors named as first athletes on the British teamsheet for the Rio 2016 Olympics. The British Olympic Association (BOA) today announced the names of the first athletes to officially join Team GB for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.
A total of eight athletes have been selected across six of the 10 Olympic sailing events.
World Champion Giles Scott’s is the first name to appear on the Rio teamsheet, with the 28-year-old, unbeaten in almost two years, set to make his Olympic debut in the Finn class.
London 2012 silver medallists Hannah Mills and Saskia Clark are paired together again in the 470 Women’s class while Luke Patience, who also won silver three years ago, teams up with two-time World Champion Elliot Willis in the 470 Men’s event.
Bryony Shaw, who became Britain’s first female Olympic medal-winning windsurfer with bronze at Beijing 2008, is set to contest her third Olympic Games next year in the RS:X Women’s event.
London 2012 Olympian Alison Young returns in the Laser Radial while 2015 Laser World Champion Nick Thompson earns his first Olympic appearance to round off the first wave of sailing selections for Rio.
British sailors have established a proud tradition of excellence in Olympic competition, having won 55 medals – including 26 golds – since sailing made its debut at Paris 1900 with Team GB topping the overall Olympic sailing medal table.
The selected sailors are:
- Giles Scott: Finn (Men’s One Person Dinghy Heavy)
- Nick Thompson: Laser (Men’s One Person Dinghy)
- Alison Young: Laser Radial (Women’s One Person Dinghy)
- Luke Patience and Elliot Willis: 470 Men (Men’s Two Person Dinghy)
- Hannah Mills and Saskia Clark: 470 Women (Women’s Two Person Dinghy)
- Bryony Shaw: RS:X Women (Women’s Windsurfer)
Mark England, Team GB’s Chef de Mission for Rio 2016, said: ‘The selection of the first Team GB athletes is a landmark moment on our journey to next year’s Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.
‘The eight athletes named today include Olympic medallists and World Champions, all of whom have earned their place in the 6 boat classes. As one of our most successful medal winning sports it is a fitting that Sailing kick-off our Rio 2016 team announcements.
‘This is the start of the creation of what is likely to be a 350 strong Team GB in 2016. Our focus is on great preparation, great support and great performance and, if we get that right, we will have delivered an environment that will allow the athletes to perform to the best of their ability.’
Team GB is calling on the nation to Bring on the Great in the run-up to Rio 2016 – and at the Games themselves – as our athletes gets ready to compete at the world’s greatest sports event.
Fans can show their support by sending in their good luck messages on TeamGB.com and joining the new Team GB Club. These messages will be displayed on flags which will be given to the athletes travelling to Rio as well as featuring on Bahia Bands, a traditional Brazilian good luck bracelet, which fans will be able to buy later this year.
Yachting & Boating World: British Olympic sailors Hannah Mills and Saskia Clark were mugged at knifepoint as they returned from training session to their hotel in Rio in Brazil.
Olympic sailors Hannah Mills and Saskia Clark were mugged at knifepoint in Rio as they returned to their hotel from a training session. The pair, who are currently in Brazil for a training camp ahead of the 2016 Olympics, posted a message on their Facebook page following the ordeal on Wednesday.
“Our delightful walk back from the from the sailing club to the hotel turned fairly nasty when two guys wielding seven inch knives ran at us, pushed us around and grabbed everything we had. Along with the things that were actually worth something, the most annoying thing right now is our lycra we were sailing in got taken, unbelievable! Anyway, we made it back to the hotel slightly shaken but all ok, looking forward to what tomorrow brings.”
Mills, 26 and Clark, 35, who compete in the women’s 470 class, won silver at the London 2012 Olympic Games and recently took home the bronze in this year’s World Championships.