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Brimful of Asher

PUBLISHED: 08:00 20 June 2008 | UPDATED: 20:39 05 July 2010

THERE was a stunning double for Carlton Colville sailing ace Nic Asher this week, as he and crew Elliot Willis followed up their victory in the World Championships by taking the European Sailing Championships crown for the 470 Olympic Class.

THERE was a stunning double for Carlton Colville sailing ace Nic Asher this week, as he and crew Elliot Willis followed up their victory in the World Championships by taking the European Sailing Championships crown for the 470 Olympic Class.

Asher and Willis therefore became the third British team to claim both World and European Championship victories in a year, thanks to their triumph at the 470 European Championships in Riva del Garda, Italy, on Saturday.

And there was a special homecoming party in Lowestoft this week as 23-year-old Asher toasted success in celebrating Willis' 25th birthday on Monday.

The Skandia Team GBR duo finished second overall at the Open event - which incorporated men, women and mixed crews from across the globe - as they finished behind Nathan Wilmot and Malcolm Page. But as they were Australian competitors, they weren't eligible for the European title - which Asher and Willis collected.

Asher and Willis couldn't quite do enough to overcome Wilmot and Page and claim the overall victory in the final 10-boat showdown, but their fifth place in the medal race was enough to hand them the European crown.

But despite this, the pair will still not be competing at the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games, because they only achieved second place in the Olympic trials earlier this year.

Asher and Willis will have to wait until London 2012 for their chance to shine,but RYA Olympic manager Stephen Park said: “This is a fantastic result for Nic and Elliot, and proves what a wealth of talent we have in the 470 class in Britain right now, and as we head toward our home Games in 2012.

“Nic and Elliot didn't have the best of times during the Olympic selection process last year, suffering injuries, however they have shown great strength of character, while at the same time also making such an impact during what's effectively the first year of their campaign to be Team GB Olympic Team members in four year's time.”

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