Please select your home edition
Edition
SailX 728x90

Laser Class – Australia's strength a Slingsby legacy

by Rob Kothe & the Sail-World Team on 10 Oct 2013
Tom Slingsby (AUS) competing in the Men’s One Person Dinghy (Laser) event in The London 2012 Olympic Sailing Competition. Craig Heydon
These days he might be better known as the America's Cup Oracle Team USA Oracle strategist, who worked so well with newbie tactician Ben Ainslie to guide them to an incredible victory in San Francisco.

But the long term legacy left on the Australian sailing scene by Australia`s six time Laser World Champion and Olympic Gold Medallist Tom Slingsby has been a dramatic strengthening in Australia’s presence in the Laser class, ahead of the 2016 Rio Olympics. Over the last five years a succession of young Laser sailors benefited hugely by being paort of the Australian Lase squad.


Australia's Tom Burton has been ranked number one on the ISAF World Rankings for the last year and behind him Ryan Palk is third ranked, Matt Wearn number five and Ashley Brunning number six.


The 2013 Laser World Championship in Oman is looming. A top ten ranking is a funding landmark for many Rio aspirants.

We caught up today with Ashley Brunning, at the French Olympic Regatta in La Rochelle France, before the first race of an important regatta.


‘I have been in Europe for seven and a half months now. It has been a very long season, but time on the water has been a key factor for me. I am drawing to a close here before going home to Australia, which of course I am extremely happy about.

‘So I will have a short break before the very important Laser Worlds coming up in a month, in Oman, so this is the last regatta we can do in preparation for the world championships. It has been a good season so far.


‘I finished tenth at the Euros which has been the last big regatta I did. Just got to keep working at it and hopefully I can repeat that result but a little better at the worlds.

‘I have been trying to do a lot of regattas this year and it is the year after the Olympics so it is a good time to do as much experience sailing as you possibly can.


‘The competition here in La Rochelle is very good. The favourite is probably Jesper Stalheim from Sweden, who is second ranked in the world behind Tom, (he and I have been training a lot together in recent times). Jean Baptiste Bernaz is here, he is currently fourth. Phillip Buhl, the German and European Champion for example, Nick Heiner who was second at Sail for Gold in Weymouth. Nick Thompson is coming back strongly with a fourth at the Europeans and Rutger van Schaardenburg is right on the pace too.

‘The quality at this regatta is very high and for us all it’s a perfect lead into the worlds.’

We will follow Ash's progress over the coming days with interest. We talked to Tom Burton, Ryan Palk and Matt Wearns earlier in the season.

With Michael 'Blackers' Blackburn guiding them as he did Tom Slingsby before them, Australia is currently the strongest Laser sailing nation.

Now with the next America's Cup in 2015 or 2017, will the date be fixed into 2017 so that Slingsby has time and energy for a tilt at Rio 2016 in the Finn class?

Today we also talked to Britisher Giles Scott, who many consider might have been the best Finn class sailor of the last eight years, determine to grab the Gold Medal that twice went before to his nemesis Ben Ainslie.

But that is a story for tomorrow.

Zhik Yachting 660x82Barz Optics - Melanin LensesNorth Technology - Southern Spars

Related Articles

Two young members of the Team Tilt squad selected for the Rio Olympics
Sebastien and Lucien have been racing the 49er together for two years. They have quickly progressed up the ranks Some very encouraging results over the last few months combined with a place becoming available and the Swiss Olympic ‘Newcomer Rule’ mean that Sebastien Schneiter and Lucien Cujean will be heading to Rio this summer to represent their country at the Olympic Games.
Posted on 24 Jun
My Road to Rio - Part 4 - Chilean siblings
Run a Google search of parallel and it gives you the noun, a person or thing that is similar or analogous to another. Run a Google search of parallel and it gives you the noun, a person or thing that is similar or analogous to another. This description could not be more accurate for two Chilean sailing teams who draw distinct similarities in their game of life.
Posted on 22 Jun
Rio 2016 - Australian Sailing's gender imbalance queried in Parliament
An MP has questioned the gender imbalance in the Australian Sailing team for the 2016 Olympics and Paralympics in Rio The gender imbalance in the Australian Sailing team selected for the 2016 Olympics and Paralympics in Rio de Janeiro was queried in the Victorian State Parliament on Tuesday. Victoria, Australia, is the host state for the Final of the 2016 World Sailing Cup in December.
Posted on 22 Jun
Australian Gold medalist says bystanders watched armed robbery in Rio
Liesl Tesch recounts being robbed along with coach Sarah Ross on Sunday morning Liesl Tesch, a six time Olympian, along with coach Sarah Ross, was robbed at gunpoint on Sunday morning local time, in Rio de Janeiro in the third incident in a month involving sailors and firearms. 'As we passed the back of the bus stop over the road from our house, two people jumped out from behind/beside the bus stop in front of me.'
Posted on 20 Jun
My Best Olympic Race – Dorian van Rijsselberge
Reaching an accomplishment can take a matter of days, months or even years but many know what it takes. Reaching an accomplishment can take a matter of days, months or even years but many know what it takes. Tying your shoe laces for the first time as a young child is an achievement, playing your first note on a guitar, getting those grades to get into college or delivering a knockout presentation to seal a deal. We’ve all been there.
Posted on 20 Jun
Rio's financial woes before Olympic Games
First it was Zika, and as if that was not big enough of an issue. First it was Zika, and as if that was not big enough of an issue. Then there were the super-bugs that have infected the beaches and also the water courses where Rowing, Triathlon, Sailing and other sports will be held. Before that there was the impeachment of the President, Dilma Rousseff, adding more politics to the equation.
Posted on 19 Jun
Throwback Thursday - Rome 1960, a right Royal regatta
Rome 1960 was the first time ever the Olympic Games was televised around the world Rome 1960 was the first time ever the Olympic Games was televised around the world, arguably the first step on the road to becoming the global mega event we will see in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil in just 50 days’ time.
Posted on 17 Jun
Road to Rio – Lucas talks about soccer and the upcoming Olympic Games
Lucas Calabrese was taking time out from sailing in the Men’s 470 at the 2015 Aquece Rio Test Event in Rio De Janeiro Lucas Calabrese was taking time out from sailing in the Men’s 470 at the 2015 Aquece Rio Test Event in Rio De Janeiro to reflect on his own sporting campaign and to look ahead at what is yet to come.
Posted on 15 Jun
Rio 2016 - Australian Olympic selection petition reaches 600 already
An online petition has been launched on Change.org to support for the nomination of an Australian crew in the 49erFX An online petition has been launched on Change.org to show support for the nomination of an Australian crew in the 49erFX event at the 2016 Olympic Sailing Regatta in Rio de Janeiro. Tess Lloyd and Caitlin Elks qualified as 9th ranked crew for the 2016 Olympics when they finished in 11th place in the 2014 ISAf World Championships in Santander Spain in the Women's Skiff event.
Posted on 15 Jun
Rio 2016 - Double Olympic medallist on the delights of Guanabara Bay
Olympic Gold and Bronze medallist Bruce Kendall updates on the 2016 Olympic venue at Guanabara Bay. Olympic Gold and Bronze medallist, and now a windsurfer coach, Bruce Kendall has made several trips to the 2016 Olympic venue at Guanabara Bay. He updates on the pollution issue which is clearly not going to be resolved in a couple of months, and also shares his views on the venue from a sailing competition perspective.
Posted on 14 Jun