Laser Worlds: Kontides owns day but Thompson owns lead
Published on May 16th, 2016
Nuevo Vallarta, Mexico (May 16, 2016) – With qualifying complete at the Laser Standard Men’s World Championship, the top 56 sailors advanced to the final three days of racing for the title.
Challenging conditions today as the wind went from 9 knots at the start of the day’s first race, to 20 knots during the second. Only two of the top-ten sailors avoided adding a discard race to their score line.
Nick Thompson of Great Britain remains on top of the leader board, but the day belonged to the 2012 Olympic silver medalist Pavlos Kontides of Cyprus who mastered the widest range of conditions seen so far in this championship. Starting near the pin in today’s first race in 9 knots of wind, Kontides quickly got clear and was able to cross the fleet early and pick his way up the beat to round fifth.
A very happy Kontides said, “As the wind started to increase it went right and I was able to get through to first place on the second windward leg. In the second race I went middle right and hiked hard as the wind increased to over 18 knots. I rounded the first mark with Philipp Buhl and we had a great race in the full planing conditions. I passed Philipp near the end of the reach, extended a little downwind then I had to work hard to keep him behind on the second upwind leg.”
Championship leader, Nick Thompson, also chose the pin in the first race, a tactic that nearly backfired as he struggled to keep clear of the pin boat anchor line. That small delay meant that he did not have the same advantage as Kontides and had to hold the left side longer. But as soon as Thompson was clear to tack he could sail his own race up the middle.
Tompson’s 7th in that race was a championship saver for him as he tried the pin again for the second race but could not tack across the fleet this time. Thompson rounded the first mark in the twenties and in the stronger wind could only recover to 18th by the finish.
Thompson keeps his overall lead since his two nearest rivals, Jean-Baptiste Bernard of France and Robert Scheidt of Brazil, each had a bad ninth race, scoring a 22nd and 25th respectively. Unlike Thompson they each posted a single figure 6th and 5th to keep themselves in reach of the lead.
With four scheduled races to go, at this point it’s still anyone’s regatta to win. Racing continues tomorrow with the forecast calling for another spectacular day in Riviera Nayarit, Mexico.
Racing is scheduled daily May 12-18 on the waters of Banderas Bay.
Source: Laser class