Harken Derm

Tom Slingsby: In search of a cause

Published on June 5th, 2018

Tom Slingsby is Australian sailing royalty. Five-time Laser World Champion. World Sailor of the Year. Olympic Gold Medalist. America’s Cup winner. But now Slingsby is a man in search of a cause.

The 33-year-old, who was a vital member of Oracle Team USA’s 2013 America’s Cup victory and 2017 defeat, had hoped to lead an Australian challenge toward the 2021 Cup. But after having been unable to raise the exorbitant funds required, is contemplating his next move.

A return to the Olympic Games? Maybe…

Slingsby recently re-acquainted himself with Olympic class sailing when he joined Australia’s Finn squad for a training camp at Lake Garda in Italy last month. Sufficiently inspired, he will take the first big step towards any potential Tokyo 2020 Olympics renaissance by contesting next month’s Sailing World Championships.

Slingsby will compete independently of the Australian team but officials will be keeping a keen eye on his progress and Australian Sailing’s performance director Iain Murray welcomed his participation two years out from the Tokyo Games.

“We’re encouraging him to participate,” said Murray. “We’ve got him in the team and we’re funding some of his sailing, and he just did a training session in Lake Garda with the Finn guys.

“He’s going to the World Championships and I think it’s a little bit of ‘see how I go’. And even if he doesn’t carry on, just having him in the team and his drive and focus is a really nice thing.”

Slingsby spent some of the summer training with Finn sailor Jake Lilley, who finished 8th at the Rio Olympics, placing second to Lilley in November’s Sail Melbourne regatta. That was despite being underweight for the traditional heavyweight class, in which all three Rio medallists were nudging 100kg.

Slingsby will get a good test at the 2018 Sailing World Championships on August 2-12 in Aarhus, Denmark. Aside from hosting World titles for all 10 Olympic events, this is the first big qualification event for the Olympic Games in Tokyo 2020.

Hopefully he has added to the 88kg he was reported to be last month. As the 2018 Worlds is the highlight event for every serious campaigner, being underweight could make for a long week.

Source: Yahoo Sports

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