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Australian Sailing Team at the Laser European Championship - Day 4

by Australian Sailing Team 24 May 07:57 BST 20-25 May 2019
Laser European Championship Porto 2019 - Day 4 © Neuza Aires Pereira

It's Day 4 at the 2019 Laser European Championship in Portugal and Australia is firing with Mara Stransky moving up to eighth place in the Laser Radial and Tom Burton streaking away in the Laser.

Stransky finished sixth overall in a smaller but quality fleet at the World Cup in Genoa in late April after making her Medal Race debut. This success followed what the Queensland athlete admits was a lacklustre 2018 season when she got complacent. Now she is in the top ten with the Rio gold and silver medallists and other champions.

"Sailing in such a big fleet can be really punishing, so small mistakes end up as big scores. It's a huge learning curve for all of us, especially the non-Europeans who aren't as often exposed to such fleet sizes," Stransky noted.

Nevertheless, she is happy with her event so far. "I've definitely made quite a few mistakes, but I think most have, and I'm really looking forward to ironing out a few more each day."

Leader, Anne-Marie Random (Rio silver medallist) has got away from her counterparts on 13 points. However, Rio gold medallist Marti Bouwmeester and others are within Stransky's reach. Fellow Australians, Elyse Ainsworth and Zoe Thomson, are 29th and 34th overall. Thomson made a huge leap up the scoreboard following a bullet and a second place.

Tom Burton, Australia's reigning Olympic Laser champion, has left the rest of the Laser field behind after delivering a pair of second places in the first two final's races. He is on 16 points; his nearest rival 16 points behind.

"We were expecting more wind today, but the day started out as usual, with more waiting around before we headed out to much less wind than expected," Burton commented.

"I had another day of good starts and going the right way to end with some more consistent results. It's a good way to start the Gold fleet racing. I'll need a couple more good ones as the breeze keeps building."

Australia's Matt Wearn has been a big mover too, up from ninth to third after fifth and seventh places, picking up at just the right time. Luke Elliott has preserved his sixth place, despite a Black-Flag in Race 7 and 12th in Race 8. Mitch Kennedy is up five places in 11th, in spite of an up and down day, and Finn Alexander is 23rd.

The Laser Europeans conclude in Porto, Portugal, on Saturday local time. Athletes from around the world with Olympic aspirations are taking part.

Australian Sailing Team results:

Laser (162 boats)

Gold Fleet

1st Tom Burton (9) 5,1,3,2,1,2,2 = 16 points
3rd Matt Wearn 4,7,6,2,9,(18),5,7 = 40
6th Luke Elliott 1,10,1,3,10,7,(BFD),12 = 44
11th Mitch Kennedy 5,9,11,8,4,8,9,(17) = 54
23rd Finn Alexander 4,10,8,3,17,(26),21,19 = 82

Laser Radial (120 boats)

Gold Fleet

8th Mara Stransky (28),3,11,12,5,6,8,17 = 62 points
34th Elyse Ainsworth 14,15,17,15,31,36,(38),20 = 148

Silver Fleet

62nd Zoe Thomson 15,35,47,21,15,(BFD),1,2 = 136

View the full results here.

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