After coming agonising close in previous editions, two-time Laser World Champion Nick Thompson takes European title in Barcelona as racing drew to a close this weekend.
With the challenging Barcelona breeze, Thompson knew consistency was key to clinch victory on Spanish waters as he posted a string of top ten results to keep himself firmly in the medal mix throughout the week.
“The week has been incredibly tricky. I knew coming into the regatta that Barcelona wasn’t going to be an easy venue and it was going to about the long game and not about necessarily winning one race and then messing up the next one,” explained the 31-year-old.
“It was going to be about putting together a series and coming out on top at the end and it proved to be that way.”
Starting the final day in fifth but with the points crucially close, Thompson was clear of the performance needed in order to fight off his rivals.
He continued: “I was plugging away all the way through the event and went into today [Sunday] with a chance and knew what I had to do.”
And that is exactly what Thompson did. Wrapping up his regatta in style, Thompson claimed the final bullet and with it landed the European crown. He finished eight points clear of Italian Francesco Marrai, while New Zealand’s Andrew McKenzie completed the podium in third.
The Lymington sailor was thrilled to secure his first ever European title, an event which he admitted had always ‘eluded’ him.
“I feel really, really pleased. It’s been one of those events which has eluded me for a long time, I’ve come really close and medalled a few times but never actually managed to win it.
“To finally take the European title means there’s just one thing left – the Olympics.”
With only an Olympic Gold missing from the collection and Tokyo 2020 firmly on his mind, Thompson will head straight out to Japan ready for the Sailing World Cup Gamagori, followed by Enoshima Olympic Week.
Back in Barcelona, teammate Lorenzo Brando Chiavarini posted an impressive 1, 3 on the final day of racing to round off his regatta seventh overall and sixth European. Meanwhile Michael Beckett finished his event 15th, with Jack Wetherell 27th, Elliot Hanson 28th, Jack Cookson 31st and Sam Whaley 63rd.
Over on the Women’s Radial course, Georgina Povall led the British charge ending her week with a race win to finish seventh in her best ever senior European performance. Despite a strong start to the regatta, Alison Young slipped to ninth but will be hoping to make amends in Gamagori later this month. Podium Potential Pathway sailors Ellie Cumpsty and Clementine Thompson finished 44th and 48th respectively.
Full results are available at http://www.europeanslaser2017.com/en/default/races/race-resultsall