Sailor Saxton begins quest for Olympic Games medal

ASHWELL’S Ben Saxton has made a strong start to his four-year campaign to win gold at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio.

The 22-year-old has been competing at international sailing events for more than 10 years. He is now sailing the new Nacra 17 catamaran with his sailing partner Hannah Diamond, aged 23.

The pair are charging up the world rankings, despite only sailing together for a few months and are now ranked seventh in the world by ISAF, the International Sailing Federation.

Saxton and Diamond began 2013 with a training camp in southern Spain, before travelling to Palma, Mallorca for their first Sailing World Cup event at Easter, where they finished 13th overall in an international fleet.

Last week they competed in their second World Cup event at Hyeres, in France, finishing fourth overall and missing out on a medal by only two points after 16 races against competitors from 14 countries.

Saxton said: “We’re delighted with the progress we’re making, but it was disappointing to finish fourth, so close to the medals.”