Giles Scott regained his European crown on Saturday in Greece but the Olympic champion insists the real target remains Tokyo 2020.
The 31-year-old sailor has been juggling his time between Finn class individual sailing and the Americas Cup campaign with Sir Ben Ainslie’s team.
But this week in Athens, on the same Olympic waters from 2004, Scott was a man on a mission in these European Championships.
And in the medal race on Saturday he was engaged in a head to head battle with Hungary’s Zsombor Berecz for the crown.
Scott ended up dead last in the final race but held Berecz to second last and that was enough for Scott to secure the title
Andy Maloney from New Zealand won the medal race to finish second overall, while Berecz, the reigning world champion, won bronze.
Scott won two of the week-long event’s nine races, and only finished outside of the podium on three occasions.
The victory adds to Scott’s European titles in 2011 and 2014 and is all the more impressive given he juggles his Olympic campaign with Sir Ben Ainslie’s America’s Cup challenge. “It’s amazing to win my third European title, I’m really happy,” said Scott from Huntingdon in Cambridgeshire. “The medal race entailed Zsombor and I going at it a little bit – we had a bit of a match race which was good fun. Fortunately I managed to get the better of him. “Ultimately though it’s about what happens in just over a year in Tokyo. Every event we do and all the training we do is building towards that. This is very much one little step along that journey to Tokyo.” Scott’s win makes it a British victory for the second year running after Ed Wright took the 2018 title. Defending champion Wright, from Bournemouth, finished the regatta in tenth while fellow Brit Henry Wetherell came home 28th. Meanwhile in Weymouth, the penultimate day of racing in the Volvo 49er, 49erFX and Nacra 17 European Championships was full of drama. After a late start due to the weather, Dylan Fletcher and Stuart Bithell in the 49-er, moved up to second overall while James Peters and Fynn Sterritt sit fourth. Ben Saxton and Nikki Boniface are up to second in Nacra 17 with John Grimson and Anna Burnet third. While it was a tougher day for Charlotte Dobson and Saskia Tidey in 49erFX who slide to seventh with all the medal races set for tomorrow. Sportsbeat 2019