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Congratuations to Dylan Fletcher and Alain Sign Congratuations to Dylan Fletcher and Alain Sign

From Yachts and Yachting website

Britain’s 49er sailing coach Harvey Hillary says he is buoyed by his squad’s dominant display at the World Championship in Freeport, Bahamas, even though Skandia Team GBR’s crews ended the regatta on Saturday empty-handed.

There was no silverware this time round for the British crews, who’ve won medals at the past eight 49er World Championships – but with five of the top ten positions at the regatta occupied by Skandia Team GBR, the Brits have cemented their place as a potent force on the international 49er scene.

Development squad duo Dylan Fletcher and Alain Sign proved the surprise package of the six-day regatta, upgrading their impressive 13th at the 2009 Worlds, to a fifth place this time around, and as the top British boat in the fiercely competitive seven-boat Skandia Team GBR 49er squad.

“Dylan and Alain were the stand-out team of this regatta for me,” Hillary said of his young charges.

“Everyone thought their 13th last year was a good result, but they’ve surpassed that and have really been superb this week. The first two days of the finals series in particular threw up some really difficult conditions but they proved the best performers on those two days, and have posted a great set of results.”

The world title was won by the Spanish pairing of Iker Martinez and Xabier Fernandez, with Australia’s defending champions Nathan Outteridge and Iain Jensen settling for silver, and bronze going to the Italian brothers Pietro and Gianfranco Sibello.

After a difficult start to the regatta, Chris Draper, Athens bronze medallist, and Peter Greenhalgh clawed their way back into contention to finish sixth overall with Beijing duo Stevie Morrison and Ben Rhodes in seventh.

Hillary also paid tribute to the eighth-placed John Pink and Rick Peacock, the 2009 silver medallists, who “have reassured their position as key contenders in the fleet”, while Paul Brotherton and Mark Asquith completed the top ten in tenth overall.

“It’s disappointing for us that we didn’t come away with a medal, but we certainly did a lot of things right this week,” Hillary surmised.

“We’ve had an intense year with two World Championships in six months and changes to our equipment, so to have five boats which are very quick around the racecourse and which are in a position to be medalling is a great position to be in, and something which no other nation has.”

Overall Results: (top 3 and British teams)

1. Iker Martinez-Xabier Fernandez, ESP, (57pts)
2. Nathan Outteridge-Iain Jensen, AUS, (84pts)
3. Pietro Sibello-Gianfranco Sibello, ITA (96pts)
GBR
5. Dylan Fletcher-Alain Sign (106pts)
6. Chris Draper-Peter Greenhalgh (108pts)
7. Stevie Morrison-Ben Rhodes (111pts)
8. John Pink-Rick Peacock (111pts)
10. Paul Brotherton-Mark Asquith (138pts)
19. Dave Evans-Ed Powys (161pts)
28. Richard Mason-Tom Peel (122pts, silver fleet)

By Jerelyn Biehl 10 Jan 2010 06:44
By Jerelyn Biehl 10 Jan 2010 06:44

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