Ed Wright believes he is producing some of the best sailing of his career after helping the British Sailing Team to three Finn medals at the European Championships in Marseille.
Wright took silver after finishing behind only home favourite Jonathan Lobert, while a thrilling final race also saw Ben Cornish take third and join his fellow Brit on the podium.
But it was an impressive first day that really aided Wright’s cause, taking first place in three of the four opening races, all before triumphing in the winner-takes-all final being trialled in this event.
That wasn’t the only British success in France, with Henry Wetherell finishing sixth overall to take the Under-23 crown at his first Europeans in the class.
And for Wright, this is the start of what he hopes can be a season to remember on the water.
“A medal here is really exciting because it's my first event back," said Wright. "I'm sailing probably better than I have done ever at the moment.
“I'm fast upwind and downwind in all conditions and that's really exciting. The winter paid off.
“My biggest goal was just to medal, so halfway through the [final] race I decided to cover Anders [Pedersen] and let Cornish and Lobert get away and do whatever they needed to do, I just needed to be top three. But I managed to end up with the silver medal luckily.
“The reason for that is so I can be in a good position for the Worlds later on in the year, with less pressure.
“It could be potentially quite a tricky regatta at the Worlds, so I wanted to be quite relaxed in that environment, so it all worked, and what a wonderful day's sailing!”
While this is not the first time Wright has stepped on the podium, the French experience was an unfamiliar one for Cornish.
A bronze in Marseille was his first in the European Championships, with the Exmouth sailor delighted his work could result in a medal around his neck.
And with the World Championships coming up before the year is out, there was hardly a better time for Cornish to make his mark on the European waters.
He said: “It’s a good day, that! I came here with the intention of trying to win a medal and as it plays out I have done, so that’s obviously a really good result.
“It’s nice to be going away from the first big event of the season with a bronze.
“The British fleet is particularly strong and seem to be dominating on the world series which is good, and I think everyone constantly raising the bar means we keep moving through and there are young guys coming through punching in to the top ten as well, which is great to see.”
At the RS:X Windsurfing European Championships, held at the same Marseille venue, the British Sailing Team’s Tom Squires took fifth overall, also registering his maiden international race win, while Izzy Hamilton finished as the seventh best European.
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