Sunderland sailor John Robertson crowned champion at the Para Sailing World Championships

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Sunderland sailor John Robertson and his British Sonar trio have been crowned champions at the Para Sailing World Championships in Australia.

Robertson, and team-mates Hannah Stodel and Steve Thomas, claimed gold in Melbourne closing out a hard-fought victory in the Sonar class.

In the one final race to be staged on Port Phillip Bay, the trio did enough to edge victory by a single point over Australia’s series leaders Colin Harrison, Jonathan Harris and Russell Boaden

“It feels just amazing,” said a delighted helm Robertson.

“We’ve missed out a few times over the last few years.

“This year’s been a lot of hard work to try and make big gains.

“Our goal this year was to win the Worlds so to have it there for real is just superb.”

The trio’s last World Championship medal – a bronze – came three years ago, and with their eyes on selection to a fourth Paralympic Games at Rio next year, the victory in Melbourne has provided a timely confidence boost.

The trio faced an anxious wait after racing for final confirmation of their result, with the Australians seeking to overturn a jury decision from earlier in the week.

But it ultimately proved unsuccessful, and the British team was able to finally celebrate their success.

The Paralympic Classes competitors will remain in Melbourne for the ISAF Sailing World Cup regatta, which kicks off on Wednesday (9 December).

Elsewhere in the Sonar fleet, Craig Wood, Steve Palmer and Liam Cattermole finished 12th overall.