RHU Olympic sailing hopefuls Anna Burnet and Charlotte Dobson were among the medals as the world’s elite gathered in Germany for the popular Kiel Week sailing regatta.

Burnet and her partner John Gimson took silver in the Nacra 17 category, while Dobson partnered Saskia Tidey to bronze in the 49erFX division.

Current Nacra 17 world champions Gimson and Burnet have been training in mainland Europe, but had their first taste of racing since taking that title in February after Covid-19 put virtually all sport on hold around the world.

“We really enjoyed being back on the racecourse and it’s great to finish on the podium,” said 27-year-old Burnet.

“There are a lot of positives from the week for us and it’s nice to have more clarity on what we need to improve going forward.

READ MORE: Helensburgh area's sailors retain Team GB places for 2021 Olympic Games

“The organisers of Kiel Week did a fantastic job to host such a big regatta safely and we are really hopeful that this can set the precedent for future competitions.”

For Dobson and Tidey, who also last tasted competition at the world championships in Australia in February, there was a similar level of excitement at the chance to simply go racing again after lockdown.

Dobson, 34, said afterwards: “It’s been a great reminder of how much we love racing and why we get up in the morning and train so hard.

“After a long time away from the fleet we came into the regatta with no expectations, but with perhaps a bit of apprehension as to whether the rest of the fleet might have made a leap during lockdown.

“We are pleased with third and that our key racing skills were still solid but we know we left a lot of points on the racecourse, so it provides a great line in the sand as to where we are and where our focus should be over the coming months.”

READ MORE: Waiting till 2021 no problem to Rhu sailor Charlotte Dobson

Burnet and Dobson – and the third local sailor in Team GB’s Olympic ranks, Luke Patience – are steadily stepping up the pace of their preparations for the rescheduled Games in Tokyo, which will be held from July 23 to August 8 next year after the global coronavirus crisis persuaded the International Olympic Committee to agree to a 12-month postponement of the event.

“Back in the game,” exclaimed Dobson’s 49erFX partner Tidey.

“It was a last-minute decision to make the dash to race at Kiel but it was a really good opportunity to check in with some of the top international fleet after three months of sailing at home in the UK.”

The British contingent’s medal haul from the Kiel event was completed by Elliot Hanson and Michael Beckett, who won silver and bronze respectively in the ILCA7 category, formerly known as Laser Standard.

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