British Yngling girls finish fourth at worlds 10/7/06

The Yngling World Championships drew to a close this weekend in La Rochelle, France, with Athens Olympic gold medallists Sarah Ayton and Sarah Webb with Victoria Rawlinson knocked off the podium at the 11th hour.

The Skandia Team GBR trio led the women’s fleet at the halfway stage of the six-day Championship, but couldn’t maintain their early form following Thursday’s layday, posting a 23,16 in the first two races on Friday before recovering to take a second in the third and final race of the day.

It saw them slip into the bronze medal position – tied on points with the second placed Spanish boat – heading into Saturday’s final race, with the girls five points off the German series leaders and with just a six point lead over America’s defending World Champions Sally Barkow, Carrie Howe and Debbie Capozzi in fourth.

Saturday’s final race, however, saw bitter disappointment for the Skandia Team GBR girls, who, through a disqualification, were pushed out of the medals at the last gasp, with Spaniards Azon, Azon and Pisonero claiming gold and their second Yngling world title on countback over Germany’s Schuemann, Kappen and Hoeptner.

Ayton, Webb and Rawlinson had their first competitive outing as a new team in January this year at the Rolex Miami Olympic Classes Regatta. They claimed bronze, and have medalled at each of the subsequent Olympic Classes Regattas they’ve competed in at Palma, Hyeres and Holland.

Meanwhile, Shirley Robertson’s team of Annie Lush and Lucy Macgregor – helmed by American Nancy Haberland during Robertson’s maternity leave – finished 18th overall at Yngling Worlds, posting three top five results across the ten races. Development squad trio Gemma Farrell, Rachel Howe and Rachel Larman were 30th.