Olympic bronze medallist Bryony Shaw won gold at the 2015 RS:X European Championships which drew to a close on Sunday June 27 in Sicily, Italy.

Bryony Shaw wins gold at the 2015 RS:X Europeans.

Bryony Shaw wins gold at the 2015 RS:X Europeans.

Ranked number one in the world, Shaw won the final Medal Race to seal European victory.

The points were so tight that it was a winner takes all Medal Race between Shaw, Polish sailors Malgorzata Bialecka and Zofia Noceti-Klepacka and the Israeli Maayan Davidovich. In 14 knots and perfect planing conditions, Shaw led from the first upwind to the finish, extending her lead throughout to take the European crown.

“The racing has been really close all week, we only had five qualifying races and we had to use the lay day as we lost the first day of racing. We also had no racing on the first day of gold fleet so had three races on the penultimate day with really nice breeze.” said Shaw of the regatta, they sailed five qualifying races before the fleets split, three races were completed on the penultimate day in the gold and silver split.

“Off the start line it was just about getting a lane in the Medal Race, then I stayed between the fleet and the next mark and was in a controlling position round mark one, I just extended from there. I had to keep an eye on both the Polish girls, the Israeli girl was also in the mix, it was just who beat who for the win.

“I am really happy, it is something that has always eluded me, I have finished second a number of times and now all the hard physical and technical work has really paid off,” concluded Shaw, who finished second in 2013.

The men's competition was won by Poland's Pawel Tarnowski, with silver going to Dorian Van Rijsselberge and Bronze to Luis Giard. Tom Squires finished top British sailor in 18th overall, Olympic silver medallist, Nick Dempsey, was not in attendance instead opting for a domestic training session.

Written by: Gael Pawson
Gael Pawson is the editor of Yachts & Yachting Magazine and the founder of Creating Waves. A keen racer, she has sailed all her life, and started writing about the subject whilst studying journalism at university. Dinghies and small keelboats are her first loves, but she has cruised and raced a huge variety of boats in locations across the world.