Britons launch comeback bid on sailing day three

Experienced crew recover to fifth in Sonar contest but Australians still well out in front as Paralympic competition continues. 14 Sep 2016
Great Britain Sonar team - Rio 2016

Great Britain Sonar team - Rio 2016

ⒸWorld Sailing

Great Britain’s two-time three-person keelboat (Sonar) world champions finally announced their arrival out on Guanabara Bay on day three of the Para sailing competition.

Experienced trio John Robertson, Hannah Stodel and Steve Thomas are at their fourth Paralympic Games but the first two days had not gone to plan for the 2015 world champions.

Three bullets from three races on Wednesday (14 September) was a tonic that was desperately needed to boost their chances, giving them the performance of the day.

However they still have a lot of work to do, sitting in fifth place on 23 points.

Out in front are Australia’s Colin Harrison, Russell Boaden and Jonathan Harris who posted two second places and a discarded seventh for the day to leave the team on 12 points.

They are followed in second by 2016 world champions Alphonsus Doerr, Hugh Freund and Bradley Kendell (USA) who rocketed up from seventh place with a 2,3,3 to finish on 18 points.

Thomas said: “The debrief from last night was mainly to believe, which then allowed us to follow our plan. So believe and then execute with a positive mind-set. We love the medium to strong breeze and we have been working on a few techniques with our new coach, which are working.”

Another outstanding performance of the day came courtesy of defending two-person keelboat (SKUD18) Paralympic champions, Australia’s Daniel Fitzgibbon and Liesl Tesch, who day by day eek out more of a lead on their rivals.

But the competition remains open in the one-person keelboat (2.4 Norlin OD) as the positions continue to trade as the discard comes in to play for all three fleets.

For a more detailed report and results in full, visit