Laser Men’s World Championship 2013 - Two top tens for Australia

Tom Burton (R) and Matthew Wearn (L)
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The 2013 Laser Men’s World Championship finished up in Oman last night with two top ten finishes for the Australian Sailing team after Tom Burton (NSW) finished ninth and Matthew Wearn (WA) tenth.

The Championship was won by five time Olympians and double Olympic champion Brazilian Robert Scheidt, who won his ninth World Champion title, while Pavlos Kontides from Cyprus came second and German Philipp Buhl third.

Western Australian Matthew Wearn achieved a personal best and finished for the first time in the top 10 of a major Laser World Championship. With this result, the eighteen-year-old ISAF world ranked number seven, continued his run of strong results in 2013, which sees him qualify for the Australian Sailing Team.

Wearn went into the final race as the best placed Australian in eighth with fellow Australian Sailing Team member Tom Burton on his heels:

'Day seven of worlds was another long day. We waited in shore until after lunch where we went out and waited some more for the wind to come in. The wind never stabilised but the race committee were keen to get a race in so they started us anyway with five minutes till the last signal could be made', Wearn described the last day of the World Championship

'I had a terrible race in the very tricky conditions along with a lot of the top sailors. But I did enough to keep my top ten position and finished 10th. I have now qualified for the Australian Sailing Team, which is great and thanks to everyone for all their support through out the week', he said at the conclusion of the event.

After a week of ups and downs for the ISAF world number one ranked Tom Burton was reflective of his week of racing:

'It’s been a bit mixed results-wise for me. I came here wanting to win, I had been in contention to win every regatta I competed at this year and I had high hopes that this would be the same. Unfortunately, it didn’t go the way I planned', he said.

'It has been nearly six months since I raced at full competition level and it showed a little with some of the mistakes I was making although it was a really tricky event', he added.

'My expectations and goals were to at least beat what I did last year which was fifth position. I wasn’t far off in the end but in reality I was well off the pace of the leaders. The top six were at a different level and seemed to do everything right.'

'On a positive note, I strive to reach that level. In the Laser fleet it doesn’t take much for the top guys to look really good. I know I can repeat what I was doing this year and that was being in contention to win at most events.'

And about the immediate future Burton said: 'We now head straight to the ISAF Sailing World Cup - Melbourne, which is a pretty short turn around. The racing is always close with the Australian guys so I am sure it will be another tight battle. My goal is to get back into winning ways and there’s no better time to start than next week. Holding onto No1 World Ranking will be on the cards for this year and I will need to perform some more consistently good results. '

The race week in Oman saw a mixed bag of results for the Australian Sailing Team and Squad with challenging changes offering everything from light winds, big shifts and stormy conditions.

Australian Sailing Squad (ASS) members Ashley Brunning (NSW, ISAF World Ranking #8) finished 30th, Ryan Palk (QLD, ISAF World Ranking #5) 57th and Jared West (QLD, ISAF World Ranking #15) came 59th. Luke Elliott from the ASS Youth Bridging Program finished 56th.

The other Australians who competed in Oman were Victorian Jeremy O’Connell who came first in the silver fleet. 2013 Under 21 World and European Champion Mitchell Kennedy (QLD) finished eighth in the silver fleet.
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