ISAF Sailing World Cup Series 2011 - Wright and Pascoe at the top

Ed Wright (Finn)- ISAF Sailing World Cup series 2011
© Richard Langdon/Skandia Team GBR
Kieler Woche 2011, the final ISAF Sailing World Cup regatta, is being held between 18 and 26 June in Kiel, Germany.

British sailors Ed Wright and Megan Pascoe ensured a golden finale to the series on Thursday (22 June), winning their respective classes at the seventh leg of the series in Kiel, Germany.

Finn class World Champion Wright, and Pascoe, who is a world bronze medallist in the 2.4mR Paralympic class, were the sole Skandia Team GBR representatives at the Kiel Week regatta.

Wright secured a narrow victory over Frenchman Jonathan Lobert in the heavyweight dinghy event, while Pascoe picked up her first regatta victory of the year to claim gold by one point over the host’s Heiko Kroeger.

Wright’s Kiel gold sees him leapfrog teammate Giles Scott to see him take silver in the overall World Cup series standings, while Pascoe’s taste of victory will no doubt offer a timely confidence boost ahead of the IFDS Disabled Sailing Combined World Championships, which kick off in Weymouth and Portland in just over a week’s time.

Skandia Team GBR’s sailors are firmly in front in the World Cup series standings, with Great Britain winning a total of 50 medals across the seven-event world tour – 20 of them gold – and claiming 11 overall series podium positions.

Britain’s Finn sailors have proved a dominant force in this year’s World Cup, and take a clean sweep of the World Cup series podium finishes. Ben Ainslie takes the overall series title with the help of four regatta golds and a silver from the five events he’s contested, with Ed Wright claiming silver and Giles Scott bronze.

Series victories also went Britain’s way in two of the Paralympic classes, with gold for Alexandra Rickham and Niki Birrell in the SKUD class, and also for John Robertson, Hannah Stodel and Steve Thomas in the three person Sonar class.

Megan Pascoe (2.4mR) - ISAF Sailing World Cup series 2011
© Richard Langdon/Skandia Team GBR

World Cup series silvers also go to Pascoe in the 2.4mR, and windsurfer Nick Dempsey in the RS:X class while Skandia Team GBR’s sailors claimed bronze medals through Helena Lucas (2.4mR), Penny Clark and Katrina Hughes (470 Women), Stevie Morrison and Ben Rhodes (49er) and Nick Thompson (Laser).

'It’s great to see Ed Wright and Megan Pascoe at the top of the podium in Kiel, and to see Great Britain at the top of the series standings after what’s been a strong team performance across the classes this year,' said RYA Olympic Manager Stephen Park, who while applauding the British performance in the World Cup series, also acknowledged that there was work still be done by ISAF to ensure that the World Cup series, having now completed its third year, continued to grow and flourish for future years.

'The current structure of the World Cup series and the differing priorities for nations in terms of winning World Cup medals versus world ranking points versus World Championship or even Olympic medals means that not all of the sailors choose to compete at all of the World Cup events, so the standings aren’t necessarily truly representative of the world’s best sailors at any given time,' Park explained.

'It’s encouraging that ISAF seems to have recognised this and is moving towards a more focussed ranking system for the 2012 programme, and to a more extensive worldwide circuit from 2013 which will hopefully result in seeing the World Cup rankings becoming a true reflection of form and the circuit moving from strength to strength.'

Overall ISAF Sailing World Cup series medallists:
Gold
Ben Ainslie (Finn)
Alexandra Rickham & Niki Birrell (SKUD)
John Robertson-Hannah Stodel-Steve Thomas (Sonar)

Silver
Megan Pascoe (2.4mR)
Ed Wright (Finn)
Nick Dempsey (RS:X Men)

Bronze
Helena Lucas (2.4mR)
Penny Clark & Katrina Hughes (470 Women)
Stevie Morrison & Ben Rhodes (49er)
Giles Scott (Finn)
Nick Thompson (Laser)

Top 5 National World Cup standings (no. of World Cup regatta medals by G,S,B,Total)
1. Great Britain (20,16,14,50)
2. France (10,12,4,26)
3. Australia (9,9,8,26)
4. Netherlands (8,3,8,19)
5. USA (6,4,9,19)

British Skandia Team website