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Giles Scott claims third Finn class European crown in Athens

by British Sailing Team Media 18 May 17:35 BST 13-18 May 2019
Giles Scott - 2019 Finn Open European Championship © Robert Deaves

Olympic champion Giles Scott said he has taken 'another little step towards Tokyo 2020' today after winning the Finn class European Championships for the third time.

The Rio 2016 gold medallist secured overall victory with a tenth-place finish in the final race of the regatta, held on the 2004 Olympic waters of Athens, Greece.

His only rival going into the double-points medal race was second-placed Zsombor Berecz and with a healthy 15-point lead on the Hungarian, Scott only needed to finish within seven places to guarantee gold.

A light-winds battle ensued between the pair as Scott tried to ensure his only threat finished was kept within his reach.

Scott finished the ten-boat medal race last but with Berecz only able to cross the line one place ahead in ninth, victory was assured.

Andy Maloney from New Zealand won the medal race to finish second overall, while Berecz, the reigning world champion, won bronze.

Scott, 31, won two of the week-long event's nine races, and only finished outside of the podium on three occasions.

The victory adds to Scott's European titles in 2011 and 2014, and is all the more impressive given he juggles his Olympic campaign with Sir Ben Ainslie's America's Cup challenge.

"It's amazing to win my third European title, I'm really happy," said Scott from Huntingdon in Cambridgeshire.

"The medal race entailed Zsombor and I going at it a little bit we had a bit of a match race which was good fun. Fortunately I managed to get the better of him.

"Ultimately though it's about what happens in just over a year in Tokyo. Every event we do and all the training we do is building towards that. This is very much one little step along that journey to Tokyo."

Scott's win makes it a British victory for the second year running after Ed Wright took the 2018 title.

Defending champion Wright, from Bournemouth, finished the regatta in 10th while fellow Brit Henry Wetherell came home 28th.

Full results from the regatta can be found here.

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