It makes sense that both Australia and New Zealand would have outstanding sailors and they dominated the 2019 Laser Standard World Championship off Sakaiminiati City (JPN), taking not just the medals, but the top four places!
Rio 2016 Olympic Champion Tom Burton won a tight battle with countryman Matthew Wearn and Kiwis George Gautrey and Rio bronze winner Sam Meech, with net point totals of 59-63-69-72.
In the 12-race format where the two worst finishes are dropped, Burton was brilliant from the start, placing in the top eight seven times in the first nine races, including seven finishes in the top five! So, without even winning a race, he had a healthy 18-point lead heading into the final racing days, and won with conservative finishes of 13th, 14th and 51st (dropped) in his final three races.
Wearn had five top-three finishes, including three wins, but was sunk by not-so-good placings of 13-18-19-30 in his four worst races. He, Gautrey and Meech were close going into the final race, but their placings of 5-9-12 confirmed their 2-3-4 finishing order.
Wearn and Meech each had three wins to lead the field, with Britain’s Eliot Hansen winning twice.
The win for Burton was his first world title in this class, to go along with his Olympic title in 2016. He now owns a complete set of Worlds medals, after his silvers in 2014 and 2017 and a bronze back in 2015. Wearn won his second consecutive Laser Worlds silver. Summaries:
World Sailing Laser Standard World Championship
Sakaiminiati (JPN) ~ 2-9 May 2019
(Full results here)
Final Standings: 1. Tom Burton (AUS), 59 net points; 2. Matthew Wearn (AUS), 63; 3. George Gautrey (NZL), 69; 4. Sam Meech (NZL), 72; 5. Nick Thompson (GBR), 73; 6. Jean-Baptiste Bernaz (FRA), 78; 7. Elliot Hansen (GBR), 92; 8. Lorenzo Chiavarini (GBR), 92. Also in the top 25: 11. Charlie Buckingham (USA), 105.