Aussies struggling at Laser Worlds

It was a tough day at the office for the Australian sailors at the 2009 Laser World Championship in Halifax, Canada.

After two days off the water, firstly due to heavy winds from Hurricane Bill and then because of a lack of wind, the entire fleet was keen to get back into racing and make up for lost time with three races run during the course of the day.

With the 164 competitors split into gold, silver and bronze fleets, reigning Laser World Champion Tom Slingsby, and Australian Sailing Development Squad members Ashley Brunning and James Burman took on the gold fleet on the penultimate day of racing.

Slingsby is the best placed Australian in 21st and finished with a 20th, 31st and 28th after Tuesday's three races.

Brunning had an especially tough day and slipped from sixth overall to 26th, with a 33rd, 42nd and 44th placing while James Burman is in 48th.

“It was a difficult day for the Aussie boys in the gold fleet today,” said Australian Laser coach Michael Blackburn. “We had a light and building breeze that favoured one side of the course and then the other during the day.”

“Unfortunately, a lot of the time Tom, Ashley and James were on the wrong side of significant shifts which put them well back at the top mark. It was frustrating for them playing catch-up for much of the day, but we've got more wind forecast tomorrow, so there's a chance to let the frustration out,” he said.

The silver fleet features four Australians with Tom Burton the best placed in 20 th position. He's followed by Ryan Hannan in 38 th, Todd Hughes in 47 th and Jake Flintoff in 54 th.

Ben Gunther is 16 th in the bronze fleet, ahead of Sean Bly in 22 nd Ashley Lloyd in 36 th.

For more information go to www.australiansailingteam.com.au.

– Craig Heydon 

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