EASTBOURNE’S Oli Greber admitted to going through almost every emotion on the final day of the ISAF Youth Sailing World Championships in Cyprus – but the overriding one was elation as he and James Henson clinched bronze.
Crew Greber and helm Henson took to the water in Limassol for the 13th and last time with one foot on the podium in the SL16 fleet and firmly planted both on the rostrum but not without drama.
Greber feared the worst moments after a poor start to the final race. However, the 17-year-old and Henson valiantly recovered during nervy affairs off the Cypriot coast to post a seventh-place finish.
That saw them finish two points ahead of Kim Vidal and Antonio Carlos Lopes Neto, the Brazilians settling for fourth, with Greber bursting with every feeling – but excitement the most.
“It’s such an incredible feeling to finish third at the ISAF Youth Worlds, the best feeling ever,” said Greber, who attends Sussex Downs College.
“We thought we had lost it off the start line, but we managed to bring it back and we are so relieved – so happy, I can’t quite believe it.
“It was one of the tensest races ever; we knew all we had to do was beat the Brazilians.
“We tried to get them at the start, but they managed to slip through and take the lead.
“But we just kept thinking hopefully we will get a chance to get back in the game and we did, on the final downwind we took a different route and it paid off.”
While Henson and Greber were left toasting bronze, New Zealand pair Isaac McHardie and Micah Wilkinson didn’t even contest the final race with gold assured.
Australian duo Paul Darmanin and Lucy Copeland claimed silver, ten points ahead of the Brits, and Greber admitted it was an honour to represent his country in Cyprus.
“The event in general was a lot more than we expected, the atmosphere was amazing and we were just glad that we had the honour of competing,” added Greber, a member of Pevensey Bay Sailing Club.
“Representing GB was an honour and we signed off our career together on a high. We’ve had such a good year racing together and worked really hard for this so we are pleased that we got the result.”
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