Australia claimed silver after losing the Elliott 6-metre final to Spain in a thrilling five-race match at Weymouth and Portland.
The final was decided in a best-of-five match, with the Spanish crew of skipper Tamara Dominguez Echegoyen, Sofia Prieto Puga Toro and Angela Menendez Pumariega winning the last race decisively after the Australian team was forced to take a penalty.
Skipper Olivia Price, Nina Curtis and Lucinda Whitty entered the final in excellent form, having lost just two races in the match race format.
It was tit-for-tat, with Spain taking the first race and Australia bouncing back second.
With winds reaching up to 25 knots leading into the third race, Price and her crew took the positional advantage heading across the start line, only for Spain to find themselves two metres ahead leading into the first mark and using the top mark to strengthen their lead.
Australia looked to have caught hold of a nice break to surprise the Spanish, but tragedy struck for Australia when Price was thrown overboard in the rough conditions.
Curtis and Whitty were left to collect their floundering skipper, leaving Spain with an easy win to take match point into the penultimate race.
But the Australians bounced back in the fourth race to take a comprehensive win and force the final into a decider.
Price says she is happy to go home with a silver medal.
"We really gave it our all and the Spanish sailed really well today," she said.
"We came here for one goal and that was gold.
"Unfortunately we did not reach that. We got one step under.
"So we are still really happy."
Price says she is proud of how her team sailed in the "wild" conditions.
"I did get thrown overboard by a wave," she said.
"It was quite a shock to the system but we really didn't give up.
"We just kept going the whole time."