Australia's Tom Slingsby reaffirmed his position as the world's best Laser sailor after he claimed his fifth Laser World Championship title in Boltenhagen, Germany.
"This could be my last Laser World Championship and it's great to finish it so well,"
said Slingsby. "I sailed my best this week in conditions that I traditionally haven't done well in, so to win it like this feels really good. This is my fifth Laser world title but it's my first in light conditions which is really satisfying."
"Hopefully this win sends the message that I'm definitely no light wind pushover,"
he said. "Heading into the Games I know that I still need to improve and that I still have work to do. The rest of the fleet is going to be trying to topple me so I've got to be on my game and keep pushing."
Going into the final day Slingsby held a comfortable 20 point lead over Tonci Stipanovic (CRO) in second place and with 14-18 knots of wind the conditions were ideal for the defending World Champion.
Finishing ten places ahead of Stipanovic meant that there was no need for Slingsby to compete in the last race of the series and he was able to get his injured ankle looked after before the prize giving ceremony where he will receive his fifth World Championship title.
Stipanovic was also able to sit out the fourteenth race due to his 24 point lead over Juan Maegli from Guatemala after the first twelve races. Stipanovic's silver is his first medal in a world championship. "I'm probably even more happy than Tom",
says the Croatian who will be sailing for his country at the Olympic Games in Weymouth, like Slingsby.
Andrew Maloney (NZL) gave everything in the last two races and with a third and a twelfth place managed to beat Maegli Juan (GUA) to the bronze medal.
New Zealand as nation fared well, with three out of the top 15 sailors hailing from there, followed by hosting nation Germany and Sweden with two sailors each.
Olympic gold medallist Paul Goodison (GBR) did not seem able to recover from his three yellow flags and finished in 20th position. He was able to use this world championship to test the waters for the Olympics and try out some different techniques before the Games in Weymouth. Andrew Murdoch who will be representing New Zealand at the Olympic Games did not have a particularly successful regatta series and finished in 24th place but managed a win in the last race of the gold fleet.
The nations qualified for the last remaining Olympic tickets are the following, subject to ISAF ratification: Portugal, Ireland, Lithuania, Tunisia, Ukraine, Thailand, Czech Republic, Columbia, Venezuela, Malaysia, Trinidad and Tobago and Mexico.
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