A huge grin from the five times Laser world champion, Australian Tom Slingsby as he came ashore after races nine and 10 of the London 2012 Olympic Laser regatta.
Tom Slingsby (AUS) competing in the Men’s One Person Dinghy (Laser) event in The London 2012 Olympic Sailing Competition.
Two wins today, a dominating display on an ocean course, Slingsby goes into Sunday’s Medal race, 14 points clear of the Cypriot Pavlos Kontides, with Sweden’s Rasmus Myrgren and Croatian Tonci Stipanovic both more than 20 points back.
Slingsby finished the ten race series with three wins in a row and only needs to finish in the top seven in the Medal Race on Sunday to win Gold.
He explains ‘Yesterday’s second race was the major turning point. On paper it really shouldn’t be any real race but for me personally I just felt that the regatta just wasn't going my way. The race before I had a 15 then just to me it felt like I was slipping a bit and when I got out and won that race I was pretty emotional.
‘I felt that I had really turned a corner. It showed today. I was super confident and I knew I was going to be pretty hard to beat in those conditions and I proved it.
‘Today I did everything I could do. Two firsts. Pavlos had some really good comebacks today but I can’t control him so I did what I could do.’[
There are still challenges ahead, Slingsby does best on sea courses and recognises that.
He said ‘The Nothe is the course where I had my worst result this week so I know how hard it is and I am not going to get complacent at all. I know that if you get a bad start it is so hard to come back and so I am just going to look at all the points and the scenarios and figure out what I have to do.
Medal Races can be difficult as Slingsby explains ‘Everyone is looking for points and if you are behind then they are going to probably sit on you and cover you and not let you pass. I had races where I have finished last in the medal race before and it can easily happen and so I am just going to really concentrate on making sure it doesn’t. ‘
Asked what an Olympic Gold would mean.
‘My lead means that I can win silver but I didn't come here for silver so until I lock that race away I am not happy at all.
‘But if I win Gold, it will be a huge relief. This has been a long journey for me. Almost 12 years of having the Olympic dream. ‘