Sil­ver sur­prise for sailor El­liot

Macclesfield Express - - SEARCH - SAIL­ING LUKE BAKER

EL­LIOT Han­son sur­prised even him­self by clinch­ing sil­ver at the Sail­ing World Cup in Wey­mouth but now has his eyes firmly on the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games af­ter prov­ing he can hold his own against the world’s best.

Fol­low­ing a week of light winds caus­ing a heav­ily re­duced race sched­ule, Sun­day fi­nally saw stiffer breezes at the Wey­mouth & Port­land Na­tional Sail­ing Academy and Han­son took full ad­van­tage in the Laser class.

Ly­ing third head­ing into Sun­day’s medal race, worth dou­ble points, the Mac­cles­field man sailed supremely to take third po­si­tion and jump up to sec­ond over­all in the fi­nal reck­on­ing be­hind only Olympic-bound Brit Nick Thomp­son.

It was the first World Cup medal of Han­son’s young ca­reer and he claims he couldn’t even dream of beat­ing the 37-strong fleet to climb the podium when the week be­gan.

“I was work­ing on process goals this week which will stand me in good stead for the next four years and the Olympic cy­cle,” he ex­plained.

“I was sail­ing well so I thought I could make the medal race [con­tested by the top ten sailors on the fi­nal day] if I had a good week but to get a sil­ver medal is a bit out of my ex­pec­ta­tions to be hon­est!

“It’s a high-qual­ity fleet here and a lot of them are headed to the Olympics, so to beat them is re­ally good.

“I showed I can com­pete with the best in the world and I’m look­ing for­ward to the next few years.

“I’ve strug­gled at some of the big events this year, so to fi­nally put it to­gether this week has been awe­some.”

Win­ning a medal was even more spe­cial for Han­son as he got climb the podium along­side his good friend and train­ing part­ner Thomp­son.

When rac­ing on the wa­ter, the two are ri­vals but with the fi­nal ma­jor com­pe­ti­tion be­fore the Rio 2016 Olympic Games in Au­gust now com­pleted, Han­son will be as­sist­ing his fel­low Brit’s fi­nal prepa­ra­tions for Rio.

“My­self and Nick are train­ing partners and good mates as well,” he added.

“He’s brought me on heaps, so in that re­spect it’s awe­some, but even off the wa­ter we get on so well that it makes the feel­ing even more spe­cial.

“I’ve got one fi­nal trip to Rio with Nick – I think it’s my tenth trip out there with him! I’m look­ing for­ward to fin­ish­ing off my du­ties with him and then fo­cus­ing on my own goals head­ing into the next four years to­wards Tokyo.”

The Sail­ing World Cup Wey­mouth and Port­land was held at the Wey­mouth and Port­land Na­tional Sail­ing Academy from 6-12 June.

The Na­tional Lot­tery­funded Bri­tish Sail­ing Team is proudly sup­ported by of­fi­cial partners Volvo Car UK, Zhik and Peters & May.

Fol­low the team’s lat­est news and up­dates at british­sail­ingteam.com or on Twit­ter @Bri­tishSail­ing.

●● El­liot Han­son in ac­tion at the Sail­ing World Cup in Wey­mouth

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