Dorset's Olympic medal winners
- Credit: Nick Dempsey/RYA
So how did Team Dorset do at the Tokyo Olympics this year? Our strongest medal hopes were battling for success on the waters of Enoshima Yacht Harbour where we had a strong showing from Dorset's sailors. Many are based near the Weymouth & Portland National Sailing Academy, host of the sailing events in the 2012 Olympics and a venue which offers world class training facilities.
Hannah Mills MBE and Eilidh McIntyre are ecstatic to bring home gold in the Women’s 470 class. This adds to Mill’s silver at the 2012 Olympics in her home waters off Weymouth, and gold in Rio 2016, both won with her long-term sailing partner Saskia Clark. The Tokyo 2020 gold for 33-year-old Mills and 27-year-old McIntyre, who she teamed up with in early 2017, makes Mills the most successful female sailor in Olympic history.
Dylan Fletcher competed in the Men’s 49er with 2012 Olympic silver medallist Stuart Bithell, who like Fletcher lives in Portland. In one of the most exciting Olympics sailing finals ever seen, they beat their rivals by a distance of just centimetres to win gold, with New Zealand taking silver, and Germany bronze, with Fletcher declaring that it was a ‘dream come true’.
Fletcher’s fiancée, 35-year-old Charlotte Dobson competed with Saskia Tidey in the Women’s 49erFX event, they came sixth. An improvement on Dobson’s eighth placing at Rio 2016 (with her then crew-mate Sophie Ainsworth) and Tidey’s, who represented Ireland at Rio 2016 in the 49erFX, 12th placement. With the Olympics done and dusted, Dobson and Fletcher now have their sights firmly focussed on their wedding in Dorset this summer and a proper celebration with friends and family.
Alison Young, who is based in Portland, made her Olympic debut in 2012 in the Women’s Laser Radial Class finishing fifth. One of the favourites to land a medal in Rio 2016 her preparations were hampered by a broken ankle, sustained just eight weeks prior to competition getting underway. Five years on, the 34-year-old had high hopes to come home with a medal from Tokyo but finished 10th....but still within the top ten of an Olympic field.
Our final medal winner was in the windsurfing with 22-year-old Emma Wilson from Christchurch, whose mother Penny Wilson (née Way), competed for Team GB in the windsurfing events at the 1992 and 1996 Olympic Games. These were Emma’s first Olympics and she was thrilled to achieve a bronze in the Women’s RS:X.