Sailing Team’s Michael Beckett has scored his best ever performance at senior
level, winning the silver medal at a breezy Laser European Championships in
23, from Solva in Pembrokeshire, put on an impressive show of consistency
over the six-day regatta, only finishing outside of the top ten three times
in 11 races.
promising sailor ended up just one point behind regatta winner Pavlos
Kontides of Cyprus and three ahead of third-placed Jesper Stalheim from
exhausted from the last few days racing that this really hasn’t sunk in,”
Beckett said. “I have a silver medal, my first ever senior medal, from the
Europeans and I can’t believe it.
the result I’ve been training for years for, I just couldn’t picture it
actually happening. I knew all week I had some good pace, I wasn’t
necessarily the best in the fleet so I was just trying to stay consistent and
it really paid off on the last day when the leaders started to struggle.”
Beckett, pictured above, said his European success has given him a timely boost ahead of the Sailing
World Championships in Aarhus, Denmark, in August.
“This is a
massive lift for my confidence so once I’ve had time to rest I’ll be looking
closely at what else I can achieve this year,” he added.
result sets the bar pretty high for what I could achieve in Aarhus. I know
the place is an immensely tricky venue with conditions that won't come
naturally me, but right now I'm more motivated than ever to work past that in
the next few months training, to try and develop my sailing so I could
potentially win a medal there too.”
Jack Wetherell, 24, came home ninth thanks to a string of top ten race
“It was a
great week, although I now feel exhausted!” Wetherell said. “I had really
good upwind speed which helped me a lot from some difficult positions just
after the start gun.”
defending European champion and Rio 2016 Olympian Nick Thompson had to settle
for 15th after a tough week of mixed results.
“This was a
tricky event for me – too many little mistakes cost me any chance in the
event early on and I never came back,” said Thompson, 32, from Lymington,
however, delighted to see Micky and Jack knock in some fantastic results
again showing the depth within the squad.”
finished 34th in the gold fleet, while Jack Cookson was 44th
and Daniel Whitely 52nd in the 117-boat fleet.
Laser Radial competition, two-time Olympian Ali Young came home in seventh.
Despite her disappointment, Young vowed to come back stronger when the
international fleet converges in Marseille, France, for the World Cup Series
final in three weeks.
a pretty disappointing week at the Euros,” said Young, 30, from
Wolverhampton. “Elements of my racing have been amateur but I've got a good
support team and I am confident I can get the rest of my season back on
Georgina Povall and Clementine Thompson finished 25th and 38th,
while fellow Brit Hannah Snellgrove was 34th.
results from the regatta can be found here.