Tom Burton hits the lead at Laser Europeans

Tom Burton, Australia’s Laser Olympic gold medalist from the 2016 Rio Games, is in familiar territory at the top of the leaderboard after mastering the light and tricky conditions on Day 3 of the 2019 Laser European Championship in Porto, Portugal.

Burton is hitting his stride, sailing well across the varied conditions offered at the Europeans. He has also mastered the game of patience that was needed on this latest day of racing.

“A bit of a long one today with two or so hours waiting again this morning as the fog disappeared. Then we headed out to a pretty soft breeze. It looked to maybe want to build, but it never eventuated, so we had two tricky races again in some light stuff,” the World No. 2 said.

Burton got off the starts well, “I was feeling pretty quick. I was able to race at the front of the fleet all day.”

The NSW athlete is aware he cannot rest on his laurels, commenting: “Tomorrow it all starts again, as the points are super tight. With three fleets and Gold fleet racing, the points are much easier to accumulate.”

Mitch Kennedy was the other big mover in the Australian Sailing Squad, his fourth and eighth results lifting him up from 22nd to 16th overall, keeping him in the mix. Matt Wearn remained stable in ninth place, starting well with a ninth in Race 5, but dropping to 18th in Race 6.

“Not only was it light, but there was a big swell. In the first race I recovered from a poor start to sneak back into the top ten. “The second race I did the opposite. I had a good first upwind, but fell backwards quickly,” he said. “I’m happy to be going into the final series tomorrow, where I’m looking forward to some tight racing.”

Luke Elliott has dropped from leading the series down to sixth place, courtesy of not bad 10th and seventh places, showing just how tight racing is. On this close points table though, it is still anyone’s event to win.

“It was a tougher day; the current was really strong and the wind really light,” Elliott remarked. “I made some good comebacks though, to keep my nose clean through qualifying. Now the regatta kind of starts again, with the finals starting tomorrow.”

Finn Alexander grappled with the conditions, unable to finish better than 17th, but tomorrow is another day and he is still within the top 25 in 21st place.

– Australian Sailing Team

Laser (162 boats)

1st: Tom Burton (AUS) (9) 5 1 3 2 1 – 12 points
2nd: Lorenzo Chiavarini (GBR) (13) 1 3 4 4 4 – 16 pts
3rd: Elliot Hanson (GBR) 5 1 5 (21) 4 5 – 20 pts

6th Luke Elliott – 1,10,1,3,(10),7 = 22
9th Matt Wearn – 4,7,6,2,9,(18) = 28
16th Mitch Kennedy – 5,9,(11),8,4,8, = 34
21st Finn Alexander – 4,(10),8,3,17,(26) = 42

Laser Radial (120 boats)

1st: Anne-Marie Rindom (DEN) 2 (3) 1 1 3 2 – 9 pts
2nd: Tuula Tenkanen (FIN) 16 (18) 1 1 2 1 – 21 pts
3rd: Marit Bouwmeester (NED) 3 11 (14) 8 3 1 – 26 pts

10th Mara Stransky – (28),3,11,12,5,6 = 35 points
37th Elyse Ainworth – 14,15,17,15,31,(36) = 92
63rd Zoe Thompson – 15,35,47,21,15,(BFD) = 133

Full results are available here.

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