by Craig Heydon
On day two of the 2012 Laser World Championships, Tom Slingsby continues to lead the way at the top of the ladder. The four-time World Champion finished Saturday’s two races with a first and a fourth and has been joined in the top three by fellow Australian Tom Burton.
Tom Slingsby crossing the line in Germany.
Slingsby currently sits on three points, with Burton tied with second placed Tonci Stipanovic three points further behind as light conditions continued to challenge the sailors in Germany.
'Day two was another good day for me with a one and a four,' said Slingsby. 'We had more light, shifty, winds again and I’m just trying to not have a big score.
'In race one I had a good start and rounded sixth and by the end of the first lap I had the lead and held off fellow Aussie Tom Burton to win,' he said. 'In race two I rounded sixth again, I sailed well to catch up to the leaders but unfortunately for me there were three very good guys ahead who never gave me a chance to overtake so I settled for a fourth.'
Slingsby said that sailing consistently would be key to having success at the 2012 Laser World Championships in Boltenhagen, northern Germany.
'If it stays this light and shifty there will be some big scores, it’s inevitable I think,' said Slingsby. 'I know I’ll have a few bad ones but I have to make sure I can get back to a good score. In the light winds with the shifts like here, you need to be smart and also have a bit of luck.
'I’m enjoying sailing in different conditions, last week in Hyeres it was windy, this week it’s light, it’s great practice for the Games,' he said.
The London 2012 Olympic Games are just around the corner for Slingsby and the 27-year-old sees this event as being important for building momentum into the main event.
'It’s all about confidence,' he said. 'I want to go into the Games with no weaknesses, light wind, strong wind, it doesn’t matter. I feel very confident in the light wind and strong wind so from here it’s about an all-round improvement.'
Fellow Australian Sailing Team member Tom Burton started the day sixth overall and sailed consistently well in both of the day’s races with a pair of seconds moving him up the leader board.
The Sydney-based sailor finished ninth at last year’s Perth 2011 ISAF Sailing World Championships and in 2012 has consistently been at the front of the Laser fleet, finishing third recently in Spain and sixth in France.
Burton has shown to be strong in a range of conditions with light winds prevalent at the ISAF Sailing World Cup in Spain in April before the breeze picked right up last week in France.
Ashley Brunning sits just six points outside the top 10 in 14th overall, following a seventh and a 39th on Saturday.
Just behind him is Ryan Palk in 18th overall with the Queenslander finishing sixth in race one and 19th in race two.
James Burman has moved up to 34th, having his best race of the regatta so far on Saturday afternoon with a second, with Matthew Wearn having a better day two, a 12th and a 14th, to be 87th.
Jared West is 124th, ahead of Ki-Raphael Sulkowski in 133rd and Klade Hauschildt in 142nd.
Australian Sailing Team website
Laser World Championship website