LORENZO CHIAVARINI claimed his maiden senior major sailing title when he finished top of the European Laser Championships in Portugal.

Chiavarini, a member of the Royal Northern and Clyde Yacht Club in Rhu, was also joined on the Laser Standard podium by two-time world champion, Olympian and team-mate Nick Thompson, who claimed silver ahead of Germany’s Philip Buhl.

Chiavarini, 25, who was leading going into the sixth and final day of the championships in Porto, said: “Fantastic! Over the moon! I still don’t think it has fully sunk in.

“For me it was about taking the week one race at a time, with most of the concentration on my starts and the first beat.

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“I had great speed around the course in all wind conditions which I was very pleased about.

“There was a lot of pressure on me as all the competitors were sailing well – most of them my team mates.”

The event was held a week after the laser class was recommended to be the one-person dinghy equipment for the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris.

Chiavarini’s excitement, unsurprisingly, was shared by his family back home, who were following events at the regatta from Bellanoch Bay in Argyll.

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Mum Sheena told the Advertiser: “We’re so pleased for Lorenzo. Sailing has been a passion for him since he was a small boy, and he hasn’t stopped training for a day since Christmas.”

Next up for Chiavarini and the Laser field is the world championship, taking place in Sakaiminato City in Japan from July 2-9.

And Chiavarini wasn’t the only local sailor enjoying European Championship success as Shandon’s Anna Burnet, and her partner John Gimson, took silver in the Nacra 17 competition on the waters off Portland in Dorset.

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In the 49erFX fleet, also taking place at the Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy, Charlotte Dobson, from Rhu, and her team-mate Saskia Tidey were in medal contention until the final two days of the regatta, when they were caught out by the lighter breeze.

A fourth in the medal race saw the pair, who both went to Rio 2016 but with Tidey representing Ireland, finish as the fifth European crew and seventh overall.

Dobson said: “We didn’t get into the racing quick enough and in a fleet like this you can’t get away with that.”