Skandia Sail for Gold 2011 - Fitzgibbon and Tesch at the top + Video

Daniel Fitzgibbon and Liesl Tesch in the Skud 18 class in Miami
Skandia Sail for Gold Regatta 2011 Australian Paralympic sailors Fitzgibbon and Tesch were standout performers, in Weymouth, on day one of racing.

Paralympic silver medallist Daniel Fitzgibbon made an excellent start to his campaign as he bids to return to the top of the podium in Weymouth.

The Australian secured Beijing 2008 silver and grabbed gold at last year’s Sail for Gold Regatta alongside then partner Rachel Cox but has since teamed up with Liesl Tesch in the Skud 18 class.

The duo have taken little time to form a formidable partnership however and grabbed bronze at the Miami leg of the ISAF World Cup series in January.

And after collecting finishes of second and first in the first two races of the 2011 Sail for Gold Regatta, the fledgling duo are sitting pretty atop the pile at the London 2012 venue.

'We are pleased with what we managed to do and a first and a second-place finish is a good start and we are firmly in the boat race and we have to keep going from here,' said Fitzgibbon.

'The experience we are getting is great because there are 17 boats out there and a lot of the guys we will hopefully be facing at London 2012 and it is good practice for the Paralympics.

'We have to just take it one race at a time, focus on what we have to do here and now and the rest will fall into place.

'And getting to sail in this big fleet is great training for us to as it is not something we get in Australia.'

Fitzgibbon is the first to admit that he and Tesch are using the week in Weymouth to finalise preparations for the forth-coming World Championships in Perth at the end of the year.

But Fitzgibbon admits it’s also giving him the perfect opportunity to cast an eye over his London 2012 rivals.

'This week is preparation for us because this is preparation for the World Championships and the Worlds are part of our Australian Paralympic selection so this is really important training for us,' he added.

'It is also great to be part of the venue that the Paralympics will be held in and we are getting a buzz from that.

'It is all about trying to understand the waters and the wind patterns and be best prepared for London 2012 as we can.'

Investment specialist Skandia is the principal sponsor of the British sailing team.



Skandia Team GBR website
Skandia Sail for Gold Regatta website