Britain's Chris Draper and Simon Hiscocks have won a silver medal at the 2004 49er world championship in Athens

RYA Team GBR sailors Chris Draper and Simon Hiscocks have won a silver medal at the 2004 49er world championship in Athens.

Going into the final day of the championship yesterday, Draper and Hiscocks were placed fifth overall and were going to have to sail a great day to move up the scoreboard, however, with three races predicted and the points so close, there was still everything to play for in the light breezes forecast.

The 2002 world champions Iker Martinez and Xabier Fernandez of Spain had already established a considerable lead, and a fifth and a twelfth in the first two races of the day, was enough to see them secure the world title with a race to spare.

However, the battle was still on for the remaining podium positions and a nine-six-ten score line was enough to see Draper and Hiscocks take the silver medal by four points from Marcus Baur and Max Groy of Germany. This result has established Draper and Hiscocks as one of the most consistent 49er teams, having medalled at the last three world championships.

A delighted Draper commented: “We are really pleased with this result, especially as we did not think that we sailed our best. The event was a really tough one, with the wind providing a really unstable racecourse making it hard to know which way to go. Some sailors, like Martinez and Fernandez, did a great job of reading these shifts and this showed in the results.

“We have certainly learnt a lot from this event, which is what we needed to do, and we have a number of things that we will be working on between now and Spa Regatta, which will be our next event.”

Fellow Team GBR sailors Stevie Morrison and Ben Rhodes sailed a great regatta but struggled slightly in the conditions on the final day to drop them to ninth overall. However, this relatively young pairing will be pleased to have won a number of races in this championship that consists of the best 49er sailors in the world. The new pairing of Alister Richardson and Alex Tobutt finished in fifteenth place overall.

RYA Olympic Manager Stephen Park added: “Chris and Simon did as well as they could today. The Spaniards had to make a big mistake to lose their lead and this didn’t happen, however, they will be pleased to have medalled for the third consecutive year. Stevie and Ben struggled with today’s conditions and they will be slightly disappointed, however a ninth place at this level is still a great performance.”

With their Olympic place already guaranteed, Draper and Hiscocks will be spending a considerable time in Athens between now and the Olympic Games in the hope of repeating this performance in the summer.

Overall Results

1, Iker Martinez/Xabier Fernandez, ESP (4,1,1,3,1,6,(20),2,1,4,1,5,12,(DNC)) 41 pts

2, Chris Draper/Simon Hiscocks, GBR (1,2,4,7,4,3,(14),9,(23),8,4,9,6,10) 67 pts

3, Marcus Baur/Max Groy, GER (5,5,1,3,10,9,4,1,4,(15),11,3,15,(17)) 71 pts

Other GBR

9, Stevie Morrison/Ben Rhodes (2,6,5,5,1,2,1,15,10,20,12,(23),(23),14) 93 pts

15, Alister Richardson/Alex Tobutt (9,4,9,4,10,4,(19),4,16,11,16,4,14,(19)) 105 pts