Budleigh sailor Cornish sixth at 2018 Finn European Championships in Spain

PUBLISHED: 10:57 18 March 2018 | UPDATED: 10:57 18 March 2018

Ben Cornish on his way to Finn gold in Santander, Spain

Ben Cornish on his way to Finn gold in Santander, Spain

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Budleigh Salterton sailor Ben Cornish finished sixth at the 2018 Finn European Championships held off Cadiz in Spain.

Budleigh Salterton sailor Ben Cornish finished sixth at the 2018 Finn European Championships held off Cadiz in Spain.

The championship should have been raced across 10 races and then two double-points-races, but the weather played a part and it means there were just nine races in all, though one of the races – the eighth – was chalked off after protests and so did not count.

Frustratingly for Ben Cornish – he won that eighth race – having won the previous one too – and, when the next race took off he won that too, enjoying a hat-trick of race wins at the week-long meeting, and it is worth pointing out that no other sailor at the championship managed back-to-back wins – never mind a hat-trick!

Indeed, had the championship been determined from race three of the series then Cornish would have comfortably won the gold medal which eventually went to fellow British sailor Ed Wright.

Ben finished 29th in race one and 31st in race two before dominating the remainder of the championships finishing, seventh, seventh, fourth, first, first and, in the final race – then medal race – he was sixth.

Ben said after the event: “I certainly got into the swing of things after race three, not scoring a race outside of the top 10.

“I guess it leaves me wondering how good my week could have ended without a poor first two races! Howeve,r sailing is a sport which rewards consistency and I really could not afford high scoring races on day one [when he was 29th and 31st in the 91 boat fleet].

“The high scores were a combination of hard to predict wind and also a bit of getting back into the flow of racing with such a huge fleet.

“Managing risk was something myself and coach Matt Howard constantly analyse and it is all about being able to take as little risk as possible, but also put yourself in the correct place to have a chance at a strong scoring race. “

He continued: “Winning the three races on the spin was particularly pleasing as I have never been so dominant in the strong winds.

“Being one of the shorter athletes it makes the physical requirement on windy days very tough.

“I was making clear decisions when it felt like fatigue would have once blurred my thinking.”

So what next, for the 26-year-old. He says: “Next up for me is the Princess Sofia Trophy being raced in Palma Mallorca at the end of the month.

“I will have some much needed rest here in Spain for a week before we concentrate on the build-up to what will be another talent packed fleet.

“I will be leaving Cadiz with plenty of confidence for the season ahead and really believe I have a big result in me at the moment.”

He continued: “Finishing sixth at the Europeans, in what was a really strong field, is something I am proud of. Of course, I would be much happier to be at the top of the podium. That said, credit to my team mate Ed Wright on his second European Title of his career and a really consistent performance throughout a challenging week of racing.”

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