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More gold awaits Australia in sailing

Nathan Outteridge (right) and Iain Jensen have assured themselves the gold medal in the men's 49er.
Nathan Outteridge (right) and Iain Jensen have assured themselves the gold medal in the men's 49er. Getty Images Sport - Clive Mason

YO ho ho and a bottle of rum - the pirates' toast for victory on the high seas sits well with Aussie sailor Tom Slingsby.

Slingsby has ended Australia's gold medal drought since the opening night of the Games by winning the Laser class and doing it in style - in total control.

After beginning the race with a 14-point lead, Slingsby stalked his only threat, Pavlos Kontides, throughout the race and choked the life out of the Cypriot's slim hope of gold by keeping him pinned at the back of the fleet, making sure he could not break free.

In doing so, the 27-year-old Gosford boy erased his demons from Beijing, where he also entered the Olympics as a raging favourite but finished 22nd.

This time it went to script as he made the water of Weymouth his own, totally dominating the event with four wins and three seconds from the 10 fleet races.

"Winning the Olympics is a dream," Slingsby said.

"It is the pinnacle of the sport and right now I am the happiest man on the planet. This is the best feeling in the world.

"I worked for 12 years to get to here and I put everything I had into it.

"Last time I put in so much hard work and came away with nothing, and this time I put in more work and look at me now."

As for celebrating his win, Slingsby said he planned to down a few rums in the pub.

There should be more celebrations on the horizon for Australia.

The crew of Nathan Outteridge and Iain Jensen have an unassailable lead in the 49er skiff class heading into today's medal race, and Australia also leads the men's 470 class and is unbeaten in women's match racing.

Slingsby said there would be no better feeling than beating the British.

"They usually get a few more medals than us, but in the past we've had a few more golds. I reckon we'll beat them in the medals table," he said.

Team GB has one sailing gold medal so far.

It was won by Ben Ainslie in the Finn class.

Topics:  iain jensen london olympics nathan outteridge sailing


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