John makes a splash at regatta

John Robertson, Hannah Stodel and Steve Thomas, Sonar.??The Skandia Sail for Gold Regatta, 6th to 11th of June 2011.??Skandia Team GBR image.??For further information please contact team.media@rya.org.uk. ??� Copyright Skandia Team GBR. Image copyright free for editorial use. This image may not be used for any other purpose without the express prior written permission of the RYA. For full copyright and contact information please see http://media.skandiateamgbr.com/fotoweb/conditions.fwx?

John Robertson, Hannah Stodel and Steve Thomas, Sonar.??The Skandia Sail for Gold Regatta, 6th to 11th of June 2011.??Skandia Team GBR image.??For further information please contact team.media@rya.org.uk. ??� Copyright Skandia Team GBR. Image copyright free for editorial use. This image may not be used for any other purpose without the express prior written permission of the RYA. For full copyright and contact information please see http://media.skandiateamgbr.com/fotoweb/conditions.fwx?

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JOHN Robertson is a Sunderland sportsman at the top of his game.

The 39-year-old Paralympian was part of the British team which picked up its first medals of the Skandia Sail for Gold regatta, in Weymouth and Portland.

John, who served in the RAF, severely damaged his spine in a motorbike accident in 1994.

In spite of posting their worst day’s results, John and his crew – which included Hannah Stodel and Steve Thomas – had done enough earlier in the week to secure gold in the three-person Sonar class.

They beat the reigning world champions from the Netherlands into second.

“It’s been a tough week – a very tough day, but we hung in there and came away with a gold,” said a relieved Hannah.

“To do well here puts us on a good footing for the World Championships next month, and it’s proved that all that training beforehand has really, really paid off.

“We’ve definitely got some stuff still to work on.

“We’ve got a new boat coming and a few things hidden, but we’ll definitely be firing for the Worlds.”