Stuart Bithell and Dylan Fletcher claimed a dramatic win in the Medal Race to secure gold for Great Britain in the Men’s Skiff 49er.
Britain started the Medal Race trailing New Zealand by four points, meaning they had to finish with at least one boat between them to stand a chance of gold.
In a thrilling finish, GB edged out Germany on the run to the line to put the one boat between them and New Zealand that they needed to take gold.
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Bithell and Fletcher started well and held an advantage at the first mark, but the New Zealand pair of Peter Burling and Blair Tuke looked comfortable following the GB duo.
Germany emerged on the scene as the potential spoiler, and they threatened to spoil the party for both boats.
Germany led at the final mark, with GB second and New Zealand third. That would have been enough for the Kiwis to secure gold, but Britain gambled and took a different course to Germany on the run to the finish.
The lead fluctuated between the two crews on the run to the line, and as they headed towards the finish it was too close to call.
Germany carried the greater speed into the finish, but the GB gamble paid off as they crossed the line to win by about half a boat length to pick up gold.
Britian and New Zealand finished the event on 58 points, with gold going to Bithell and Fletcher due to their superior finish in the Medal Race.
New Zealand’s third-placed finish was enough for silver, with Germany rewarded for their endeavour on Sagami Bay with the bronze.
British pair Charlotte Dobson and Saskia Tidey finished out of the medals in the Women’s Skiff 49er FX, as Brazlian stars Martine Grael and Kahena Kunze defended the title they won in Rio.
Dobson and Tidey began the medal race in fifth place and with only an outside shot at a medal. They failed to make any positive headway and came home in seventh, which left them sixth overall.
Brazil finished the Medal Race in third behind Argentina and Norway, but by crossing the line ahead of Netherlands they secured gold. Germany took silver, with the Dutch consoled by a bronze.
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