The Australian Sailing Team’s Matt Wearn has captured his second major title of the season, closing out the 2018 European Championship at La Rochelle in France in emphatic style overnight (AEST).
Wearn battled through a tense week-long tussle with New Zealand Rio Olympics bronze medallist Sam Meech and Cyprus’ World Champion Pavlos Kontides, emerging victorious with a first placing in the last race of the regatta.
Last month Wearn defeated an equally strong fleet to secure the Trofeo Princesa Sofia at Palma in Spain.
“This means a lot to me," the World No.4 said.
"I seem to be able to do well and win some of the smaller events, but to get this win at such a major event certainly feels great. It proves that I am doing something right in all aspects of training and that I am on the right track.
“The worlds in Aarhus are obviously the major goal of the year, but this goes a long way personally to prove to myself that I have what it takes to win come August.
"I certainly wouldn’t have been able to have such a solid regatta in these testing conditions if it weren’t for the on going support and training from everyone at the AST and WAIS.”
Australia’s reigning Olympic gold medallist Tom Burton was hampered by two BFDs early in the regatta, but sailed with typical focus to end up a fine 5th, just two points behind bronze medallist Kontides.
Fellow squad members Mitch Kennedy (12th) and Luke Elliott (17th) showed encouraging consistency to finish near the head of the 160-boat fleet. Rising star Finn Alexander grabbed a 3 in the final race to come 22nd overall, completing an excellent week for the Team under coach Michael Blackburn and assistant Tristan Brown.
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