Australia has reminded the world it remains a major power in sailing after Olympic gold medallist Tom Burton took out the Laser class title at the World Cup Series in Miami, adding to the victory by Olympic silver medallists, Nacra 17 pair Jason Waterhouse and Lisa Darmanin, the previous day.
Australian Sailing sent a small nine-person team to the US but results were outstanding, with Burton’s sparring partner in the Laser, Matt Wearn, recovering from a slow start to the regatta to roar into fifth place – including winning the medal race - in the powerful 70-boat fleet.
Burton sealed his win before the 10-boat medal race on Sunday (Monday morning AEDT) but was faced with adversity when he broke the start and was recalled. He returned strongly to finish ninth and confirm the gold medal by 17 points from Germany’s Philipp Buhl. Great Britain’s Nick Thompson was a further point back and New Zealand’s Olympic bronze medallist Sam Meech came fourth, two points in front of Wearn.
“It’s been a tough week and I’m stoked to win here in Miami - especially before the medal race,” Burton said.
“I set a small goal for the medal race and didn’t really execute that at all well, so that’s a mistake learnt today and luckily I was in the position to be able to do that.”
Burton said he was looking forward to some rest and recovery, though “not so much the long flight home”.
Burton’s win followed Australia’s exceptional outcome in the Nacra 17, where Waterhouse and Darmanin sailed with remarkable consistency to dominate Rio gold medal-winning crew Santiago Lange and Cecilia Carranza-Saroli of Argentina by 23 points.
Australian Sailing Team members next in action are 49er crews David Gilmour and Joel Turner, and brothers Sam and Will Phillips - as well as recent Youth World Championship bronze medallists Jasmin Galbraith and Chloe Fisher in the 49erFX - who are among a group of Australian representatives at the Oceanbridge New Zealand Sailing Regatta, which starts on Friday.
Tom Burton – 4, (34), 2, 7, 6, 6, 1, 6, 1, 18 – 1st
Matt Wearn – 27, 11, 9, (28), 3, 9, 9, 5, 4, 2 – 5th
Finn Alexander – 26, 17, 51, 53, 37, 46, 37, 36 (54) – 42nd
Waterhouse/Darmanin – 1, 4, (12), 1, 1, 1, 3, 2, 1, 1 – 1st
Rietman/White – 14, 17, 15, 7, 17, 12, 12, 11, (18) – 18th
Bryant/Wilmot – 13, 8, 12, 6, 12, 13, (22) – 12th
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