Countdown to Laser World Championship

Published on October 29th, 2013

Almost all of Britain, France, Germany and Italy’s top world ranked sailors will be among the the crack 126 strong fleet gunning for gold when the 2013 Laser Standard Men’s World Championships organised by the Ministry of Sports Affairs and Oman Sail gets underway in Oman on 16 November.

But they will be hard pressed to get past the world’s best four as of the latest ISAF rankings from 21 October 2013 – Australia’s Tom Burton, Croatia’s Tonci Stipanović, Brazil’s Bruno Fontes and Sweden’s Jesper Stalheim – in the star-studded fleet that will feature forty six of the worlds’ top fifty ISAF ranked Laser Standard Men’s sailors including Olympic, world and national champions from 48 countries across Africa, Asia, Europe, Oceania, North, South and Central America.

Australian national champion Burton is world number one going in to this first ever sailing world championship to be held in the Sultanate of Oman having won the gold at this year’s ISAF Sailing World Cup in Hyeres, France and silver at the ISAF Sailing World Cup Palma in Majorca, Spain.

Number two in the world is Croatian Tonci Stipanović who shot up the rankings from 14th to 2nd after winning the ISAF Sailing World Cup Qingdao in China earlier this month. Stipanovic also won gold at the Mediterranean Games in Turkey in June and the Split Olympic Sailing Week in Croatia in March. He was third in Hyeres and 4th in Palma.

Bruno Fontes of Brazil also jumped the rankings from 9th to 3rd after winning the Central & South American Laser Championships Higuerillas in Chile in September. Fontes finished 5th at the ISAF Sailing World Cup Miami and also in Palma. He was 6th in Hyeres.

Sweden’s Jesper Stalheim winner of the recent ISAF Sailing World Cup Test Event in Santander, the ISAF Sailing World Cup Miami and the Laser Europa Cup – Sweden is ranked 4th .

Tipped to be up there with the best is Britain’s Alex Mills Barton whose latest ISAF ranking as of 21 October puts him 12th in the world on six events. But fiercely competitive performances can also be expected from fellow countrymen Nick Thompson ranked 17th, Elliot Hanson 30th, Jack Wetherell 34th, Martin Evans 37rd, Lorenzo Brando Chiavarini 32th, Ben Cornish 50th and Matt Reid 63th who will be fighting equally hard for top spots in the fleet.

Mills Barton’s best results this year have been a fourth at the 2013 ISAF Sailing World Championships Test Event in Santander, Spain in September and a ninth at the ISAF Sailing World Cup Palma in Spain. But team mate Nick Thompson has posted better results in some events this summer with podium third places in Santander and at the Sail for Gold Regatta Weymouth & Portland in Britain in June when Mills Barton finished 10th.

Thompson was fourth at the Laser Standard European Championship in Dun Laoghaire in Ireland in August against Mills Barton’s ninth and cracked a sixth at the recent Semaine Olympique Francaise in La Rochelle, France in October with Mills Barton trailing 27th.

Best results posted by Elliot Hanson have included a 15th at Sail for Gold and a 23rd at Semaine Olympique Francaise in La Rochelle while Jack Wetherell’s best was a 13th at the Laser Europa Cup in Germany in July.

Martin Evans has had a great season with consistently good performances including a 5th at the 2013 ISAF Sailing World Championships Test Event in Santander, an 8th at Sail for Gold, and 11th at the Laser Standard European Championship in Ireland.

Lorenzo Brando Chiavarini’s top results this year have been a 7th at the Laser Europa Cup at Lake Garda in Italy in March and a 14th at Sail for Gold. Ben Cornish clocked 23rd at Sail for Gold and again in Ireland while Matt Reid’s best was a 25th at Kieler Woche in Kiel, Germany in June.

Issa bin Sultan Al Ismaili, championship director and head of the events committee for the 2013 Laser World Championships said Oman looked forward to hosting the event and welcoming one of the best international fleets from around the globe to its shores.

“Together with the Oman Ministry of Sport Affairs, our title sponsor Omantel and our media partners Oman Daily and Oman Observer, we relish this exceptional opportunity to showcase our world class marine industry for competitive and leisure sailing plus a myriad high-end natural and cultural tourist attractions.

“Mussanah Sports City is a dedicated sailing facility purpose built to Olympic standards with good steady winds, warm water and ideal sailing conditions while Oman itself is a top ranked tourism destination offering a rare mix of magnificent deserts, mountains and seas complemented by a treasured heritage that ensures authentically rich experiences.

“We can thank these champion sailors for honouring us by coming to Oman as their presence will help inspire and develop the sailing talent of our Omani youth and ultimately assist us with creating a lasting sailing legacy in the country,” said Al Ismaili.
Visit to keep updated with the latest news and information on the Laser World Championships in Oman.

Note to Editors:
Oman Sail is a national initiative established in 2008 that uses the power of sport to contribute to the development of the Omani people. The equal opportunity project runs sailing programmes for thousands of young Omani men and women, inspiring a new generation to discover sailing. It encompasses a national sailing squad and high achieving inshore and offshore racing teams, all of which benefit from world-class coaching and whose ultimate objective is to win an Olympic medal for Oman. The programme has pledged to teach 70,000 Omani children to sail by 2020 at eight sailing schools, three of which are already operational. The goal is to rekindle Oman’s maritime heritage while raising the country’s regional and international profile as a high-end tourist and foreign investment destination, through competitive sailing at home and abroad. Oman Sail seeks to instil confidence and to teach valuable, transferable life skills to a generation of Omanis.

Report by Daphne Morgan Barnicoat, Global PR Manager

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