Slingsby holds down third at European Lasers

The Australian Sailing Team's Tom Slingsby is currently in third place at the 2009 Laser European Championship in Sweden after the regatta's opening six races.

The two-time World Champion fought back from a tough opening race where he finished 24th to win the day's second race to stay within striking distance of leaders Paul Goodison of Great Britain and New Zealand's James Sandall.

“Today I had a bad race and a good race and the way the course is you really have to pick the correct side otherwise you're out the back door with no chance of catching up,” said Slingsby.

“Race one was in about five to six knots and I picked the wrong side and rounded the top mark 35th and was only able to pull back ten boats,” he said.

“The eight to ten knots in race two was a lot better and I rounded the top in ninth and slowly picked off the guys in front to just get the win. So far I'm enjoying the challenge of working on my light air speed which has been a problem for me and I've been able to really work on my weakness in the final few weeks in the lead up to the worlds,” he said.

The European Championship is the final hit out for the Laser fleet before the World Championships in Halifax, Canada, which begin on August 20.

Elsewhere in the fleet Australian Sailing Development Squad member Tom Burton sits in 66th, ahead of fellow ASDS sailos Ryan Hannan in 77th and James Burman in 85th.

The fleet will contest one more day of preliminary races on Thursday before splitting into gold and silver fleets for the finals series.

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

– Craig Heydon

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