by Craig Heydon
At the 2012 Laser World Championships, Australian Tom Slingsby is a step closer to winning a fifth world title following two consistent races on the penultimate day in Boltenhagen, Germany. The Australian had his lead cut almost in half the day before but bounced back well on Wednesday, finishing with a third and a 10 to open up a 20 point gap over Tonci Stipanovic of Croatia with two races remaining.
Tom Slingsby on day six of the 2012 Laser World Championships in Germany
With two races left to finish off the 2012 World Championship the Australian world number one knows that there is plenty of work still to do.
'Firstly I just need to go out and have a good first race,' said Slingsby. 'Then if that goes well I can keep a eye on Tonci for the second race.
'If we were racing in a normal venue offshore I would say it would be hard for me to lose,' he said. 'However where we are racing, with the shifts off the land and pressure differences, 20 points is nothing in my eyes, it’s still all on for tomorrow.'
The shifty conditions again tested even the best with the seven sailors directly behind Slingsby all finishing at least one race in the 20s.
'Today was a good day with a third and a 10th,' said Slingsby. 'Race one I had a good first beat rounding seventh and pulling up to third. In race two I was lucky to have a really good comeback, I rounded 36th and was able to get some good shifts and pull back to 10th, so a good day.
'It was a day where things weren’t always going to go right for you and it just depended on how much you were able to pull back I think,' he said. 'I was lucky I saved one of my best comebacks for today and hopefully it will be important at the end.'
If Slingsby comes out on top on Thursday it will be a fifth Laser World Championship, and a third straight, for the 27 year old, the perfect build up for the London 2012 Olympic Games.
'To win a fifth world title would be great,' said Slingsby. 'More importantly for me is this could very well be my last Laser worlds. I’ve raced at 11 World Championships and personally I would love to finish with a win.
'But at the moment I’m just thinking about having a good race one tomorrow morning,' he said.
Fellow Australian Tom Burton went into the day third overall but had two tough races, with a 50th and a 30th in the tricky conditions.
The results saw Burton slip from third to sixth but with two races remaining is still only 15 points off the podium,
Ashley Brunning had a better day on the water moving him up to 13th overall and within 12 points of the top 10.
Brunning opened the day with a second before finishing race two in 24th.
Queenslander Ryan Palk is 37th, ahead of James Burman in 45th. Matthew Wearn is the sixth Australian racing in the gold fleet and is currently 53rd.
In the silver fleet Jared West is currently 33rd, while Ki-Raphael Sulkowski is 32nd in the bronze fleet and Klade Hauschildt is 50th.
Full results available here
Australian Sailing Team website
Laser World Championship website