Lake sailors wrap up Olympic gold

NATHAN Outteridge has waited four years for redemption. Another 48 hours is not going to worry him.

The Lake Macquarie sailor and his crewmate, Iain Jensen, wrapped up the 49er-class gold medal at the London Olympics on Monday when they secured an unassailable lead heading into Wednesday's final race.

There is a layday on Tuesday.

In their two races on Monday, the childhood mates from Wangi Wangi finished first and third.

They are now so far in front on the cumulative points tally that their nearest rivals, New Zealanders Peter Burling and Blair Tuke, cannot catch them.

That means there will be no repeat of the heartache Outerridge suffered in 2008 when, just a few hundred metres from the victory line, the yacht he was crewing with Ben Austin capsized, leaving them unplaced.

Their performance on Monday came just hours after Gosford's Tom Slingsby clinched Australia's first individual gold medal of the Games, winning the Laser class race.

"It doesn't get much better than that,'' Outerridge said after the race.

"I've been dreaming of this moment ever since Beijing, Tom and I, and who would ever have thought it was going to happen on the same day for us.

"This just makes the perfect fit and we're going to have a good one tonight, that's for sure.''

Outerridge said he and Jensen, who have won the past three world championships together were "pretty pumped'' and looking forward to celebrating with family and friends.

"It's been a little tense all week,'' he said.

"We've still been able to have a few jokes with them here and there, but there hasn't been as much banter as usual.

"But I'm looking forward to celebrating with them this afternoon and tonight.''

Slingsby described himself as ''the happiest guy on the planet''.

His victory secured the the first individual gold medal won by an Australian sailor since a team first competed in an Olympics at the London 1948 Games.

Slingsby, 27, went into the medal race with a commanding 14 points lead over his nearest rival, the Cypriot Pavlos Kontides.

Kontides's silver was his country's first medal at any Olympics.

Five-time world champion Slingsby finished a disappointing 22nd at the Beijing Olympics.

The Outterridge-Jensen triumph follows fellow Novocastrian Angie Bainbridge's silver medal as a heat swimmer in the 4x200m freestyle relay.

Tuesday shapes as a big occasion for Maitland duo Brendan Sexton and Simon Orchard.

Sexton will run in the men's triathlong, while Orchard will play a cruciual final-round hockey match for the Kookaburras against Pakistan, which could decide if Australian reach the quarter-finals.

Merewether's Richie Campbell starred on Monday as Australia's water polo team qualified for the quarters by beating Greece.

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