Australia's Tom Slingsby has won his fifth world Laser championship in Boltenhagen, Germany today.
Tom Slingsby - Laser World Championship 2012
The 27-year-old Gosford NSW sailor secured the 2012 World Championship with a race to spare.
The reigning world No.1 had started the day already 20 points ahead of his nearest rival, Croatia's Tonci Stipanovic.
Winds at 14-18 knots were perfect for the Gosford NSW sailor and his second place in the day's first race was a world championship winning performance. .
Finishing ten places ahead of Stipanovi? meant that there was no need for Slingsby to compete in the last race of the series and he was able to get treatment for his injured ankle before the prize giving ceremony in which he received his fifth World Championship title.
This victory is a major boost ahead of the London Olympics, with Slingsby now enter the overwhelming favourite for the Laser Class gold meda to be decided in Weymouth this August. Only one man, Brazil's Robert Scheidt, has won more Laser world titles, eight.
But the Australian has maintained all year this is going to be his last season in the Laser class.
Stipanovic could not be beaten for the silver medal and he too sat out the fourteenth race. Stipanovic's silver is his first medal in a world championship. 'I'm probably even more happy than Tom', says the Croatian who will be sailing for his country at the Olympic Games in Weymouth, like Slingsby.
Andrew Maloney (NZL) pushed hard in the last two races and with a third and a twelfth place managed to beat Maegli Juan (GUA) to the bronze medal.
Australia as a nation fared very well, with three out of the top 15 sailors, (Tom Burton was fifth and Ashley Brunning 13th) with host nation Germany and Sweden with two sailors each.
Tom Slingsby during prizegiving ceremonies - Laser World Championship 2012
Beijing Olympic Laser Gold Paul Goodison (GBR) had a horror regatta with his three Rule 42 kinetics yellow flags and finished in 20th position.
The nations qualified for the last remaining Olympic tickets are the following, subject to ISAF ratification: Portugal, Ireland, Lithuania, Tunisia, Ukraine, Thailand, Czech Republic, Columbia, Venezuela, Malaysia, Trinidad and Tobago and Mexico.