Robertson’s Rio Paralympics sailing medal dream over

Sailors Steve Thomas (from left), Hannah Stodel and John Robertson have missed out on a medal at the Rio Paralympics
Sailors Steve Thomas (from left), Hannah Stodel and John Robertson have missed out on a medal at the Rio Paralympics
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Wearside sailor John Robertson’s hopes of a Rio Paralympics medal are over.

The British Sonar team, also featuring Hannah Stodel and Steve Thomas, finished eighth and 10th in Friday’s races on the Escola Naval course to keave them in ninth position overall.

With 17 points separating them and the Canadian boat in third, and only 14 boats in the fleet, even if the best-case scenario did unfold for the Brits in the 11th and final race of the regatta tomorrow, they still couldn’t overhaul the bronze medal boat.

The Australian boat, skippered by Colin Harrison who with fellow crewmate Russell Boaden won Sonar bronze at Beijing 2008, clinched gold with teammate Jonathan Harris with a race to spare.

But after another day when Rio’s trademark shifts tested sailors to the max, pragmatic Stodel, who was bidding to claim Paralympic silverware with her teammates at the fourth time of asking, conceded it was not going to be.

She said: “We will keep fighting. We’ve only got one more race so we want to go out with a bang. Unfortunately for us, it is just not going to be. Rio delivered its full on craziness today, it wasn’t our day and it’s looking like it’s just not meant to be.

“It was true Rio out there; tide, pressure, shifts, 20 degrees shifts off the start, not on the right side of it, sometimes you get it and sometimes you don’t.

“Luck was not on our side for this regatta.”

On Australia taking the overall victory before the final race has been sailed, claiming seven first or second placed from the 10 races so far, Stodel added: “They have sailed a blinder, it’s been unreal racing and they have done a fantastic job.

“We’ve done the best we can and given everything we’ve got and we just want go out on a high and just ultimately enjoy the race.”

The warning signal for tomorrow’s final Sonar race will be 4pm.

To follow the team’s fortunes at Rio 2016 visit www.rya.org.uk/Rio2016