Alexandra Rickham & Niki Birrell win Skud gold in Charlotte

Niki Birrell
Birrell started sailing with Rickham in November 2007

British pair Alexandra Rickham and Niki Birrell clinched gold in the Skud 18 class at the IFDS Paralympic Sailing World Championships in Charlotte.

Their fourth place in Sunday's final race was enough to hold off Americans Jennifer French and Jean-Paul Creignou.

Fellow Britons John Robertson, Hannah Stodel and Steve Thomas slipped to Sonar bronze after finishing 10th in the final race of their competition.

And compatriot Helena Lucas was fourth in the 2.4mR category.

Rickham and Birrell stayed clear of the field on a hard day's racing on Saturday and the cushion they had built up proved enough as they held on to win by two points despite French and Creignou's win in the event's final race.

Robertson, Stodel and Thomas had begun the final day in second overall but were overtaken in the standings by the French boat of Bruno Joudren, Eric Flageul and Nicolas Vimont-Vicary.

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