Podium spots highlights progress for McIntyre and Weguelin

Sophie Weguelin and Eilidh McIntyre
Sophie Weguelin and Eilidh McIntyre
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EILIDH McINTYRE and Sophie Weguelin secured a bronze for Great Britain at the 470 European Championships in Aarhus, Denmark last week.

The duo, ranked 10th in the world, finished fifth overall in the Olympic Classes Sailing Championship, won by New Zealand’s Olympic champions Jo Aleh and Olivia Powrie.

The British pair were the third-ranked European crew at the Danish venue, while Slovenia’s Tina Mrak and Veronika Macarol secured the European Championship title.

The British duo, who finished fifth at the recent Weymouth & Portland Sailing World Cup event, rounded off their week with a fourth place in the final double-points medal race, held amid light winds on Saturday, to seal the European bronze.

Hayling Island sailor McIntyre believes the result is a sign of progress for the pair, who narrowly missed out on selection for the Olympic test event in Rio later this year, and believes it offers a strong platform as they bid for Olympic selection at Rio 2016.

‘I personally feel like we’ve been sailing well for the most part,’ said McIntyre, 21.

‘We had a really good first day. We then got our priorities wrong on day two and on day three we made a number of unforced errors.

‘But it’s good in a sense that the things which went wrong are things which are easy to fix.’

McIntyre’s helm Weguelin had mixed emotions but is confident the duo are capable of improving further.

‘It is really cool to come away with a Europeans medal,’ said Weguelin.

‘But it is also just a little bit frustrating right now as we know it could have been better.

‘We didn’t come here to come third.

‘We made a few errors which ultimately made the difference – there were a few boat-handling mistakes, we hit a boat in one of the races so had to take penalty turns which lost us seven places.

‘But we’ve shown great boat speed this week and have made some really great progress on our starts, so those are some positives to take away from the event in terms of our sailing, as well as the bronze medal.’

– LINDSEY BELL