Australia’s two top-ranked Laser sailors, Tom Burton and Matt Wearn, have fed off each other’s skills to secure healthy results on a fine day for the Australian Sailing Team at the Laser European Championships at La Rochelle in France.
Wearn - second overall on countback after four races to New Zealand’s Sam Meech - and Burton, whose two 2’s moved him up to fourth, have been joined in the 160-boat fleet’s top 10 by Aussie teammates Luke Elliott, in ninth, and Mitch Kennedy, in 10th place.
Coach Michael Blackburn said the competition between Burton and Wearn was reminiscent of their tussle at the Australian Laser Championships early this year, where Wearn pipped Burton to win the title.
Wearn said he enjoyed the steady 19-24-knot westerly breeze on Day 2 at La Rochelle.
“I’ve managed to start the regatta off well with a 2nd and three 1st places,” he said.
“I had a good battle with TB today in both races. There’s still plenty of racing left though, so I am just looking to keep the consistency up.”
Burton thrived in the battle with his countryman.
“It was a nice tough day against Matt in blue fleet today,” the Rio gold medallist said.
“I managed to be at the front for a lot of it but let it slip away twice today. But after a tough Day 1, with a 4 and BFD, it was nice to get two keepers today to keep me in the hunt.
“The points will become much easier to accumulate in gold fleet, so it’s a game of trying to really minimise the damage in the qualifying series. I’ll have to stay on my toes, carrying the BFD from Day 1.”
Elliott grabbed a bullet in his group in Race 3, while Kennedy has scored two 2’s so far.
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