Medal Presentations at the 2012 Paralympic Sailing Competition
Photograph:David Staley / IFDS
No racing was possible on the final day of sailing at the London 2012 Paralympic Sailing Competition meaning that the results from the day prior confirmed the silver and bronze medals in the SKUD 18.
A gripping three way battle had been on-going all week and with no final day racing Jen French and JP Creignou (USA) pick up silver medals whilst Alexandra Rickham and Niki Birrell (GBR) had to settle for bronze.
Of the tight competition all week French said, "It makes the regatta more fun when it's tight at the top. Everybody said Weymouth and Portland would have strong winds but we got the lot. All credit to the Australians for their superb sailing. A lot of it has to do with consistency. Our lowest place in the series was fifth - we can't complain about that. Every day on the water is a learning day."
The medals ceremony was held at 6pm local time overlooking Weymouth harbour.
Australia's Dan Fitzgibbon and Liesl Tesch had won SKUD18 gold on the penultimate day of racing at the Paralympic Sailing Competition with a race to spare.
With a six point leading heading into the final race the Australians are discarding their worst finish of third from Race 4. And with only race wins and second place finishes on the scoreboard after their discard they could not be beaten on 14 points.
Fitzgibbon and Tesch revelled in the stronger breezes on what was to be the final day of racing on the Wednesday. They left their rivals in their wake in the first race, leading at every mark to record their fourth victory of the series so far.
John Mcroberts and Stacie Louttit (CAN) led off the start line and crossed ahead of the fleet on the first upwind leg but had to give way to the Australians while rounding the first mark. As the Canadian challenge faded during the race, dropping them to sixth at the finish, the Americans powered through to take second. The British duo had the most work to do to lift themselves from sixth at the first mark to third at the finish.
The second race of the day was sailed in lower winds of around 12 knots, conditions that clearly suited the Italian crew of Marco Gualandris and Marta Zanetti (ITA) who shot off the start line into a lead they held to the finish.
Behind them, the Australians and Brits slugged it out on the first two legs of the course for second place before the British pair faded away, eventually finishing fifth. Unable to catch the Italians, Fitzgibbon and Tesch had only to keep a cover on French and Creignou who had climbed up to third.
SKUD 18 Paralympic Medallists
1. Dan Fitzgibbon & Liesl Tesch (AUS) - 14pts
2. Jen French & JP Creignou (USA) - 20pts
3. Alex Rickham & Niki Birrell (GBR) - 22pts