Endurance test at Laser Masters Worlds
Published on September 10th, 2018
Dun Laoghaire, Ireland (September 10, 2018) – The second day of the Laser Masters World Championships added two more races in a shifting breeze that gusted from ten to over 20 knots at times.
Australia’s Brett Beyer continued to dominate the Standard rig Master class in a bid to defend his 2017 title, showing no loss of his opening day form as he sailed in clear air ahead of his nearest challengers in the 60-boat class.
Elsewhere in the 302-strong event, the Grand Masters class proved that age is no barrier to Sailing’s naughty-step with no fewer than 14 Black Flag disqualifications after the opening race of the day required five general recalls with racing delayed more than an hour.
The fleet is also grappling with the biggest Spring tides of the year with a strong ebb flow adding to the challenge of the fresh to strong winds.
Despite receiving one of the Black Flag disqualifications, Sweden’s Tomas Nordqvist remains atop the Grand Master class after the weighty penalty was dropped when the discard came into play.
Amongst the Great Grand Masters, two wins for Germany’s Wolfgang Gerz keeps him ahead of Australia’s Mark Bathwaite by two points. And two wins for Canada’s Gord Welsh sees him ahead on tie-break with Spain’s Leandro Rosado for the Laser Standard apprentice class.
Australia’s Scott Leith added two further wins in the Radial Master class while in the Grand Masters, Britain’s Stephen Cockerill leads this 57-strong division by five points after a mixed day afloat.
“It was a pretty tough day out there,” Cockerill admitted afterwards. “If you played the middle it was deadly. I rounded the first mark in 40th place and it was a fight to get back up the fleet (eventually to 16th for the first race). The plan for the regatta has to be at the top mark in the top few boats.”
Marking his debut year in the Grand Master division, Cockerill went on to score his third win of the series in the second race of the day and remains ahead of Australia’s James Mitchell.
After two days of 20 knot westerly winds, tomorrow’s forecast offers the prospect of another testing day ahead of the scheduled layday on September 12. Ironically, the conditions are expected to ease off for the day before building steadily towards a gale by the final day of the event.
The field of men and women, 302 entries from 25 countries, is spread across five divisions plus Standard and Radial rigs and is grouped by age ranges: Apprentice age 35 and over; Master age 45 and over; Grand-Master age 55 and over; Great Grand-master age 65 and over; Legend age 75 and over.
Racing will be held from September 9th to 15th with a layday on the 12th.
Source: David G. Kelly