ANNIE Lush insisted Poole’s Match Racing team had gained valuable experience for the Olympics – despite a frustrating regatta in France.

The Games medal contenders finished fourth at the World Cup event in Hyeres after strong wind heavily disrupted their campaign.

Lush, together with fellow Poole-born colleagues Lucy and Kate Macgregor, is building towards representing Team GB this summer.

Their most recent attempt to add to their impressive CVs ended in disappointment as the conditions in France meant the medal places at last week’s event were decided on percentage wins.

But Lush is confident the experience will stand the team in good stead for the upcoming Olympics.

The 32-year-old told the Daily Echo: “It was a bit frustrating but, on the other hand, there were some good lessons.

“There were quite a lot of breakdowns on the boats and lots of waiting around and lots of different race management things that went on. They were not necessarily good but were good practice for things that might occur at the Olympics.

“We had a crazy schedule which meant we were on and off and finished the last race of one day at about 8.30pm, having been down at the boat since 7am. Having to keep turning on and off was good practice. It was quite tricky because each time we went out the conditions had completely changed.

“It doesn’t really get much tougher than that in terms of working out how to deal with that and how to make sure we are hitting the water ready to go.”

Daily Echo columnist Lush added: “For a lot of the week, there was too much wind to sail.

“They had quite a big format, with a round-robin involving all 17 teams.

“Unfortunately, the way the format worked out for our team meant we got to do most of our round-robin racing but did not get to finish it or do any knockout stages or finals because of the conditions.

“We finished fourth but we did one less race than everyone else due to a breakdown on our boat. Had we been able to do that match, depending on who had won or lost, we could have got a silver. It was a bit disappointing because we couldn’t really finish our regatta.”

• Readers can continue to follow the progress of the Match Race Girls via their At The Helm diary, published every Saturday in the Daily Echo’s Going for Gold Olympics section.