Tom SLINGSBY (AUS) wrapped up victory at the ISAF Grade C1 Laser European Championship as the wind filled in for the final day of racing in Hyères, France. Two bullets on the last day lifted Paul GOODISON (GBR) up to second and top European, making him Laser European Champion for the third year in succession.
The sea breeze finally arrived in Hyères on Friday for the end of a regatta otherwise dominated by light winds. The first race of the day began in seven knots, with world #1 GOODISON
posting his second consecutive bullet to put the pressure on SLINGSBY
, who could only cross the line in 21st. However the Aussie world #2 was let off the hook by his closest challengers Nick THOMPSON
(GBR) and Michael LEIGH
(CAN), who could only finish 31st and 14th respectively. In the final race another finish in the 30s put paid to any medal hopes for THOMPSON
, whilst GOODISON
again found the winning formula. However this time SLINGSBY
responded, crossing the line in third to take overall victory by 11 points. LEIGH
came in 15th to place third overall.
|Paul GOODISON, European
Champion for the third year
© Tomek Ignatowicz
Victory in Hyères for SLINGSBY
comes as little surprise given the record of the 22 year old at the Semaine Olympique Française, held at the same venue. Over the past three seasons, SLINGSBY
has picked up two gold medals and one silver and now victory at the Europeans could well give the current world #2 the crucial boost in his Rankings points to knock GOODISON
, long-time leader of the Laser ISAF World Sailing Rankings, off the top spot.
'I'm delighted but relieved at the same time, as it's been an incredibly frustrating week,' explained GOODISON, whose three bullets in a row from the final three races in stronger breeze hauled him up the leaderboard and into the European Champion-winning position..
'I'm the heaviest I've ever been in preparation for what we expect to be a windy event in Cascais, so not really geared up for the light winds we've had - but to come back after such a bad start and to have won my third European title in a row is great for the confidence ahead of the Worlds so I'm really, really pleased.'
In the Laser Youth Europeans, Philipp BUHL (GER) had a great final day to claim the title ahead of Igor LISOVENKO (RUS) and Emil CEDERGARDH (SWE).
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