Continuity, depth, and teamwork

Published on October 14th, 2020

While most of the boats and boards used in the Olympics lack one design class activity in North America, the Laser was born in the continent and continues to enjoy massive participation.

While that kind of local competition helped elevate Charlie Buckingham (USA) and Sarah Douglas (CAN) to sixth place finishes at the 2020 Laser/Laser Radial European Championship, what Britain accomplished shows they are at another level.

Team GB’s Elliot Hanson, who will represent the country at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, dedicated his Laser class European Championship victory to teammates Michael Beckett and Lorenzo Chiavarini as the trio took the top three positions in a historic result for Britain.

Beckett’s silver was his second in three years, and it is the third time in four years that a British sailor has taken the European title – 2015 and 2016 World Champion Nick Thompson won in 2017, while Chiavarini took the top spot last year.

Thompson, now retired from Olympic campaigning, is helping Team GB remain dominant as a coach for the country.

Hanson described standing on the podium next to his teammates, who all came through the UK Sport and Sport England-funded British Youth Sailing programme, as “a special moment.”

“To lock out the podium with two guys I’ve been best mates with since we were 11 years old is something really special, and something I will hold on to for a long time,” said the 26-year-old.

“To have all three of us on the steps speaks volumes about the strength and depth of our squad. (While) it’s really pleasing to win it myself this year, if you’d have asked me if I’d give up winning the event so that all three of us could be on the podium I’d have taken it. I wouldn’t have cared which one of us won.”

Having continuity, depth, and teamwork… wins!

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