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20 Feb 2018 6:38
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  •   Home > News > Sports > Sailing

    Kiwi third in European Laser Champs

    New Zealand sailor Andrew McKenzie has earned a podium finish in this year's European Laser Championships, finishing third.

    New Zealand sailor Andrew McKenzie has earned a podium finish in this year's European Laser Championships in Barcelona.

    The 22-year-old McKenzie finished third in the competition after a solid final day of racing, jumping up from fifth place.

    Briton Nick Thompson, who took out last year's world laser title in Mexico, won the event with 53 points - eight points clear of Italian star Francesco Marrai in second place and nine points clear of McKenzie.

    Recently-crowned world champion Pavlos Kontides finished fourth, while world No.1 Philipp Buhl was sixth, and Olympic silver-medallist Tonci Stipanovic ninth.

    Kiwi Tom Saunders, meanwhile, finished 23rd with 160 points.

    McKenzie said he was chuffed to take home the bronze.

    "The laser class is always super competitive and this fleet had all the top European sailors," Auckland-based McKenzie said.

    "To beat some of the guys who've been at the top end of the class for a number of years shows that I'm doing something right.

    "The points were really tight both in front and behind, so it was nice to execute two good races - I just kept it simple and didn't take too many big risks."

    Both McKenzie and Saunders now head to regattas in Japan, before returning home to New Zealand for the summer season of racing.


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