Jack Cookson won his first major international regatta today, taking gold in the Laser fleet at the iconic Kiel Week regatta to lead a trio of medals for Britain.
The 22-year-old from Broadmayne in Dorset rounded off the regatta two places ahead of Bangor’s Dan Whiteley, 21, while in the 49er fleet James Peters and Fynn Sterritt also picked up bronze following a sensational come-back.
After a shaky start to the event where he finished the regatta opener in the bottom half of the 60-boat Laser fleet, Cookson went on to record three podium finishes in the 10-race series, and only finished outside the top ten once.
He went into the final double-points medal race with a comfortable ten-point lead on closest rival Wilhelm Kark of Sweden, and sealed victory by crossing the line in fourth.
“I’m feeling pretty chuffed,” Cookson said. “I sailed a consistent series especially on the final day of fleet racing in light, shifty conditions. I had a tough start to the week with a 36 in race one but sailed very steadily for the rest of the series allowing me to gain a ten-point buffer going into the medal race.
“It feels great winning overall – it means a lot as the last two years I have suffered food poisoning and catastrophic boat breakages which meant I couldn’t finish the events. I’ve never liked sailing in Kiel but clearly finally it’s all come together for a fantastic way to finish the summer season.”
“I’m happy to come away with third place,” added Whiteley. “Going into the medal race I was a fair few points off second but the three boats behind were all close, so this was the best outcome I could have hoped for.”
James Peters and Fynn Sterritt bounced back to claim bronze after jumping ten places up the leaderboard in the final two days.
A win in the medal race secured bronze for the pair, who last month claimed the silver medal at the 49er European Championships in Weymouth and Portland.
They finished behind New Zealand’s Logan Dunning Beck and Oscar Gunn, and Lukasz Przybytek and Pawel Kolodzinski of Poland.
“We’re really happy to win another medal in such a hot fleet,” said Peters. “We should never take that for granted and take confidence from it going forwards. Ultimately we came here to stay race ready and race against the best before heading to Tokyo later this summer and Kiel has delivered on that with perfect wind and super tight racing.”
Daisy Collingridge, the sole British Sailing Team representative in the Laser Radial fleet, finished ninth overall.
Full results from the regatta can be found here.
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