Sailor Saxton can be proud of Rio 2016 effort

Ben Saxton and Nicola Groves in Rio / Picture by Sailing Energy - World Sailing
Ben Saxton and Nicola Groves in Rio / Picture by Sailing Energy - World Sailing
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Ben Saxton and Nicola Groves were left reflecting on an ‘awesome Olympic experience’ after finishing their Rio Nacra 17 campaign in ninth spot.

The pair went into the double points medal race knowing a podium finish was a long shot and so it proved as they crossed the line ninth in the race to confirm the same position in overall standings.

This was the first Games the Nacra 17 has been contested at and also Itchenor Sailing Club member Saxton and Groves Games’ debut and the whole experience has left them wanting more.

Saxton said: “You need to be able to nail every single day, we said that coming in to the event, and we tried it.

“Nic and I went out with the approach to try to attack the Games, we started off the event really well and then didn’t manage to close it out. But we’ve done ourselves proud, plus we’ve had fun. The Olympics are awesome.”

Groves added: “We had a bit of a rocky road on the last couple of days and unfortunately that put us out of the medal positions. But it’s our first Olympics and there have been a lot of learning experiences so we’ll see what we can do from here.

“The whole Olympic experience is like nothing you’ve ever experienced before, so I think you can take so much out of that and onto whatever you decide to do next.”

The Nacra 17 was won by 54-year-old two-time Tornado class Olympic medallist, Santiago Lange with Cecilia Carranza Saroli (ARG), with Jason Waterhouse and Lisa Darmanin (AUS) taking silver and Thomas Zajac and Tanja Frank (AUT) bronze.

Itchenor’s other sailing Olympian, Sophie Ainsworth, also missed out on a medal in the 49erFX class, sailing with Charlotte Dobson.

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