Three Australian sailors hold places in the top 20 after the first day of finals racing at the Laser European Championships in France, with Matt Wearn keeping pole position amid a thrilling wrestle with New Zealand’s Olympic bronze medallist Sam Meech.
Mitch Kennedy is 13th overall and Luke Elliott 18th, but most interest is focused on Wearn and Meech, who are separated by a single net point at the front of gold fleet. The pair each sailed a discard in Race 7 in light to moderate winds on Thursday night (AEST), but Meech grabbed a bullet in Race 8 and Wearn a 3 to leave the Australian on 10 points and Meech on 11, seven clear of third-placed Swede Jesper Stalheim.
"It's been three good days of sailing, it's been quite nice breeze and I enjoy it when it's a bit windier," Wearn told EurILCA.
"We know how to put that to use and get some good results on the board.
"I grew up sailing in Fremantle in nearly 20 knots everyday, so it comes a little bit more naturally than the light air, so I make the most of it when I get that chance.
"There's obviously a lot more people that are fast - they're obviously the best at the sport - so it's going to be harder to start, harder to get lanes off the start and things like that. It's always more competitive and you've got to push that little bit harder. It's now time to turn it up a few notches."
Tom Burton’s two BFDs seem an insurmountable debt to repay and he is 26th, with Finn Alexander seven positions further back.
The title will be decided across four scheduled races over the next two days.
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