Australian Sailing Team member Ashley Brunning has finished seventh at the 2012 Laser European Championship in Hourtin, France.
Brunning was at the front of the fleet all week, challenging eventual winner Philipp Buhl of Germany for the overall lead for a number of days before some misfortune on the final two days saw the Australian slip down the leader board. The Sydney based Laser sailor has been recovering from a back injury with his seventh place in France a strong result after spending some time out of the boat. “I didn’t race in Weymouth or Kiel last month due to my recurring back injury which kept me off my feet,” said Brunning.
“I started training a week before Europeans in Sweden and I found that my motivation was so high that it offset my lack of preparation. Good mental preparation was important and I would need it in a high scoring regatta.
“The Europeans were sailed on a lake with the top mark often only a couple of hundred metres from the shore which made for tricky sailing and consistency paid off,” he said. “I went tit-for-tat with Germany’s Philipp Buhl all week but unfortunately in the finals I had a black flag and a second yellow flag. Despite such a consistent series I wasn't able to finish strongly.
Brunning is now looking forward to heading home to continue to work on his back before getting back into racing in Australia later in the year. “It’s been a tough year and I’m looking forward to a long break, some rehabilitation and finding ways to make my back more dependable for the season down under and of course in 2013,” said Brunning.
Fellow Australian Ryan Palk finished the week 12th overall to finish off his 2012 European season. The Queenslander had a steady week in France with a number of top 10 finishes in a range of conditions.
In the Laser Radial fleet Ashley Stoddart finished the week 47th overall.
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