British sailor Saskia Clark says the Japanese team are giving her and partner Hannah Mills a run for their money
SASKIA Clark insists she is taking nothing for granted despite being in pole position for gold at the Weymouth and Portland International Regatta.
The 31-year-old, alongside 470 women’s partner Hannah Mills, fought back from a difficult start in yesterday’s racing, discarding a tenth-place finish, to bounce back and finish on a high with a fourth.
This means the duo head into Friday’s medal race in first place, a position they have occupied from start to finish after winning the first two races of the regatta.
But after seeing nearest challengers Japan close the gap to just one point after two third-place finishes, Clark is not about to count her chickens with it all coming down to just one more race.
“It was really tough out there and the breeze built throughout the day and there was a really confusing swirling wind and it was hard to be safe really,” she said,
“Unfortunately we messed it up and capsized when we were third in the first race but managed to come back and finish fourth in the second which was good.
“We are pleased with sailing our in windy stuff and matching the windy weather specialists but it was just a shame we couldn’t quite finish it off in the first race.
“And unfortunately for us the Japanese had two good races and they have managed to chip away at our lead and are now right up there with us.
“We have had a good cushion all week but we have lost that now but going into medal race you want to be in with a shout and we certainly our and our confidence is high so we need to keep going and finish the job.”
With the regatta doubling up as the London 2012 test event, Clark’s time spent on the Olympic waters are invaluable as she works towards the Greatest Show on Earth.
And despite sitting pretty at the top of the pile heading into the medal race, Clark’s admits it is equally important to get a feel for what the Games will be like in a little under 11-months time.
“We definitely set our target high this regatta and wanted to do well as we could but we also wanted to make sure we were learning about venue and the wind and things ahead of next year,” she added.
“It has also been great that me and Hannah have been able to put ourselves under pressure and we are still learning all we can
“All has gone well and hopefully we can walk away with the result and the end of it too.”
Investment specialist Skandia is the principal sponsor of the British sailing team. For more information go to www.skandiateamgbr.com