Spanish World Champions Iker Martinez and Xabier Fernandez triumphed in a tight finish in Grimstad, Norway at the 49er European Championship.

Spanish World Champions Iker Martinez and Xabier Fernandez triumphed in a tight finish in Grimstad, Norway at the 49er European Championship.

A strong breeze on the last day saw Team GBR sailors Chris Draper and Simon Hiscocks score two firsts but that was only good for silver behind Martinez and Fernandez who finished two points ahead. Christoffer Sundby and Frode Bovim of Norway, who were leading going into the final day, slid into bronze medal position after suffering a bad pair of closing performances.

Draper commented, “After a nasty day yesterday, we did well today and proved that we can sail well under pressure. We didn’t get much time to do any further training between the worlds and this event, but we are working well as a team and are certainly pleased to walk away with the silver medal. The level of competition here has been no weaker than the worlds, and it has been good to race against some of the past Olympic medallists this week.” Draper and Hiscocks now have their sights set on the Olympic Test Event in Athens later on this month.

RYA Olympic Manager Stephen Park commented, “This is a good result and I am pleased for Chris and Simon. As a new partnership, with just over three months as a team, they have moved on very quickly and have shown themselves to be the best of our strong 49er squad. With second places at the worlds and the Europeans, they will be looking to closely evaluate their performance to-date and use this as the basis of the coming winter’s training period.”

Fellow RYA Team GBR sailors Alister Richardson and Peter Greenhalgh also sailed a good final day, scoring a fifth and a fourth place to move them up into eighth place overall, with team mates Paul Brotherton and Mark Asquith finishing in 12th place.

Overall Results
1 Iker Martinez/Xabier Fernandez, ESP, 27 pts
2 Chris Draper/Simon Hiscocks, GBR, 29 pts
3 Christoffer Sundby/Frode Bovim, NOR, 36 pts

For full results click here