Thompson Holds Lead at Laser Worlds
Published on May 15th, 2016
Nuevo Vallarta, Mexico (May 15, 2016) – After four days of qualifications, the 2016 Laser Standard Men’s World Championship now advances the top 56 sailors from the fleet of 112 to vie for the title.
Nick Thompson of Great Britain had another good day, with his 2nd and 4th place increasing his advantage over Jean-Baptiste Bernaz of France to five points, a margin by which Laser Championships can be won or lost. Tomorrow the sailors will be split into gold and silver fleets to begin three days of finals series racing.
Nine-time Laser World Champion and Olympic medalist, Robert Scheidt, moved into third place with two more top-ten results while the previous third place holder, Croatia’s Tonci Stipanovic, scored an 8th and 25th. Stipanovic now has to count a 14th (his previous discard race) but holds on to fourth place overall.
The top-3 sailors at the end of qualification have all, so far, maintained single figure results excluding their discard races. However, a close look at the score cards reveals that several sailors are starting to find the consistency that was missing at the beginning of the championship. These include the best sailor of the day, Wannes Van Laar of Belgium, who posted two second place finishes today to jump five places into fifth overall.
Today’s slightly lighter winds from a more southerly direction provided another mix in the results on this final qualification day. Changes in the wind strength and direction were minimal, between 215 and 230 degrees and 9 to 12 knots during the three hours of racing. However, these variations were enough to keep things interesting for the sailors and proved sufficient to provide significant changes in positions from one race to the next.
With three days of Finals Series racing to come, the sailors are certainly aware that the coming days of will be long and twice as hard, as the world’s top sailors now go head-to-head. Sailing skills need to be at a sailor’s best. Places will be won and lost by a meter or a second. A cool head under the hot sun and maximum concentration will be needed to stay consistent over the upcoming six scheduled races – even more so if the weather changes.
Racing is scheduled daily May 12-18 on the waters of Banderas Bay.
Source: Laser class