HELENSBURGH sailor Charlotte Dobson described her first Olympic Games as a “magical experience” after ending her Rio 2016 49erFX campaign in eighth overall alongside Sophie Ainsworth on Thursday.

The Brits had gone into the final double-points medal race unable to finish on the podium, and they then saw their hopes of ending the Games with final-race victory scuppered by a penalty on the start line and a mid-race capsize.

The 49erFX was a new class for Rio and it delivered some of the most exciting racing of the Games, none more so than the thrilling downwind sprint to the finish that ultimately saw Brazil’s Martine Grael and Kahena Kunze grab gold ahead of Alex Maloney and Molly Meech by a mere two seconds.

The home favourites edging the title also confirmed Britain’s status as the top-performing sailing nation for the fourth time in five Olympics.

Despite their disappointment, Dobson and Ainsworth were delighted to have been part of that team.

Dobson said: “I really believe it has been a magical experience, from start to finish, way more than I expected it to be and it’s amazing to be part of such a strong, supportive GB team. It’s been really nice to share in all the success and hopefully one day that might be us.

“There is some really, really good racing we have had where everything has come together. Our racing has gone really well and that makes me feel like we can mix it in towards the medals.”

Ainsworth added: “We had some fantastic racing so we can hold on to that, there are some positives to take home.”