Laser and 49er gold medals for Australia at Weymouth

The Australian Sailing Team has won Gold in a dominant display in the 49er and Laser classes at the Sail for Gold Regatta in Weymouth, England.

The heavy winds which had been present on the water all week were nowhere to be seen on Saturday, leaving the fleets stuck on shore for a number of hours and resulting in the cancellation of a number of medal races.

Australia's 49er crew Nathan Outteridge and Iain Jensen and Laser sailor Tom Slingsby only had to start their medal races to take victory with Outteridge and Jensen finishing seventh while Slingsby's race was cancelled due to a lack of wind.

“All we had to do was get around the course in once piece and we came home in seventh which capped off a great regatta,” said Outteridge.

“We got a good puff on the last downwind which allowed us to make up a couple of places, we were sort of in the race the whole time but we hit the bottom mark the first time around and had to do a 360 degree turn and once you do that in this fleet you're sort of at the back straight away so it was a bit tough after that,” he said.

“It was really light out there today, we thought it would build but it sat at four to six knots the whole race,” said Outteridge.

The pair finished the regatta with a 26 point lead over second place, an impressive result in a strong fleet including a number of Olympic medallists and World Champions.

While the 49ers were able to complete their final race the Laser fleet had a frustrating day, first being postponed at 10am before finally being abandoned just before 4pm.

“It was a bit unfortunate not to race today but winning is winning so I'll take whatever I can get,” said Slingsby.

“I've loved it here over the last week, loved the venue and loved the conditions, I'm really looking forward to the 2012 Games.”

Slingsby's ended the regatta on 10 points, an incredible 25 points clear of second place, winning five races along the way.

In the 470 men's fleet Australians Mathew Belcher and Malcolm Page were unfortunate to be judged to have crossed the start line early and were awarded maximum points, seeing them drop from a tie for first to fourth position, just a point off third and six off the Gold medal.

The RS:X women's fleet was another class to fall victim to the light breeze with their medal race being called off earlier in the day with Australia's Jessica Crisp finishing the regatta in fifth position.

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

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