The Australian Sailing Team's two-time Laser World Champion Tom Slingsby has made a strong start to the 2009 European Championship and currently sits in third place after two days of racing.
The opening day in Borstahusen, Sweden, greeted sailors with a five knot breeze which built throughout the day to 12 knots. Slingsby had a great start to the regatta with a fifth and first placings from the opening two races.
Day two was light and tricky with a number of black flags throughout the fleet which Slingsby avoided to have a 21st and fifth to be in third place after four races, just a point behind leaders Paul Goodison of Great Britain and Javier Hernandez of Spain.
The Laser European Championship is the final tune up opportunity for the fleet before the 2009 World Championship in Halifax, Canada, beginning on August 20.
“I arrived in Europe two weeks ago to Lake Garda where I did a 10 day training camp in preparation for the Europeans and more importantly the World Championship in another two weeks,” said Slingsby.
“I'm using the Europeans purely as training for the Worlds and So far my prep for the Worlds is starting to ramp up,” he said. “Obviously I haven't been performing my best so far this year so I am playing a bit of catch up to be ready in time for the Worlds, but I'm sure I can be ready when it counts.”
“Obviously I'm hoping to make it three wins in a row at this year's World Championship but this will definitely be my hardest one because of my six months break, however if a few things go my way I'm sure I can be in the mix come the last day.”
Fellow Australian Tom Burton is in 53rd, having a great race three which saw him storm home to finish in sixth place.
Australians James Burman and Ryan Hannan are in 67th and 68th respectively with Hannan finishing a strong 12th in race three.
The regatta continues in Sweden on Wednesday with another two races with light conditions expected
For more information go to www.australiansailingteam.com.au.