SASKIA Clark is pleased with how her Olympic sailing preparations are progressing despite a testing time at the latest regatta.

The 28-year-old Mersea sailor, together with skipper Christina Bassadone, had a frustrating start, but recovered to make an encouraging finish to the Semaine Olympique Francaise event in Hyéres in France.

They secured a second-placing in the medal race lifting them into sixth place overall in the women's 470 Class.

Clark and Bassadone, who have been selected to represent Great Britain in the sailing class at the Beijing Olympics in August, have been at a Skandia Team GBR team-building excercise in North Wales this week.

Clark said: "We have made some definite inroads to our equipment choices and technique for China and planned on using these during racing in Hyéres.

"It is often a windy regatta so although we are optimising equipment for the light wind (expected at the Olympic sailing venue in Qingdao), it is also important to make sure it works and will survive in some wind - just in case we experience the edge of a typhoon in China.

"Day one was reasonably windy and looked like it was going to be a solid start to the regatta with two third places - which was our goal for Hyéres.

"However, within 400 metres of the finish, our mast snapped, putting us on the back foot from the beginning and that evening was spent rigging up a new mast and it took us a few days to get up to speed with it.

"The final two days of the regatta were light winds, though, so it was great to get the opportunity to race with our developments in these conditions and overall we are very pleased with the way things are moving."