Andy Cassell, Brian Harding and RYA Team GBR sailor Ed Suckling have won a silver medal at the disabled worlds

Andy Cassell from Cowes, sailing with Brian Harding and RYA Team GBR sailor Ed Suckling, finished second in the last race of the 2001 IFDS World Disabled Sailing Championships in Tampa Bay, Florida yesterday to take the silver medal.

The final race took place in 8-10 knots of breeze and saw the British team take a good start at the starboard end of the line, forcing Kroker of Germany to tack off. However, the right-hand side of the course was the favoured side, and Cassell rounded the windward mark in sixth place, which would mean they would forfeit the silver for a bronze medal. Not one to give up easily, the British team worked hard downwind and gained three places to round the next mark just behind the Germans. The battle for silver and bronze medals continued with the Germans entering into a tacking duel with the Brits and, although they lost a little distance, they pulled up again on the second downwind leg and managed to overtake the Germans on the inside. The British team then extended their lead over the remainder of the course to finish in second place and win a well-deserved silver medal.

Brian Harding commented: “when we reached the first mark in sixth position we were all thinking that we had some work to do to keep hold of the silver medal, but we felt that we had enough downwind speed to catch up with the Germans by the end of the race. Thankfully we did and we are really pleased to have won the silver medal.”

On the 2.4mR course the 2000 Paralympic Gold medallist, Heiko Kroeger of Germany, didn’t even need to sail the final race, but he went out and won the gold medal in true style, recording his ninth race win of the championships and remained undefeated in all races.

RYA Team GBR sailor Andrew Millband, sailed well up the first beat, and showed excellent boat speed downwind to finish with his best result of the championships so far, a second place, behind Kroeger of Germany. This superb result pulled him up into seventh position overall in his first international event in the 2.4mR. Team mate Allan Smith completed the championship with a eighth place to put him in 10th position overall.

George Barker, RYA coach, commented: “This result is an encouraging start to Andrew’s campaign, he has showed potential all the way through the championships, and a seventh place overall is a really good result considering this is his first international event in the class.”

Overall Results (after day 5, 9 races, 1 discard)

Sonar Class

1, B. Mackie, B. MacDonald, P. Tingley CAN (1,2,1,1,(OCS),1,1,1,DNC) 24 pts

2, A. Cassell, B. Harding, E. Suckling GBR (5,6,2,2,6,(8),6,4,2) 31 pts

3, J. Kroker, D. Steigal, P. Reichl GER (3,3,7,7,1,3,(DSQ),6,3) 33 pts


1, H. Kroeger GER ((1),1,1,1,1,1,1,1,1) 8 pts

2, T. Brown USA (6,4,3,4,2,2,5,2,(OCS)) 28 pts

3, B. Erikstad NOR (2,5,(DNF),3,9,4,4,3,6) 36 pts

Team GBR results

7, A. Millband (5,12,4,7,4,13,(OCS),8,2) 55 pts

10, A. Smith (8,(11),2,8,7,8,9,11,8) 61 pts