Change of pace at Laser Men’s Worlds
Published on July 7th, 2019
Sakaiminato City, Japan (July 7, 2019) – After three days of qualifiers, today marked the first day of the final series at the 2019 ILCA Laser Standard Men’s Worlds. With the top sailors now all grouped in the Gold Fleet, the battle of the worlds best will now unfold.
Today’s conditions were challenging and it showed on the score sheet with some sailors near top of the standings posting high scores. Winds were light, 6-8 knots from the northeast, and a residual 5-foot swell from the past few days of wind added to the testing conditions.
In the first Gold Fleet race, two boats were over the line early including Pavlos Kontides from Cyprus, a score which he now keeps until a second discard race comes into effect.
Russian sailor, Segei Komissarov, got off the line cleanly and then led at every mark to take the win. Second went to Mitchell Kennedy from Australia, posting his best finish of the event so far. Kennedy was followed closely by Argentina’s Francisco Guaragna, who had a nice second upwind leg to move into striking range of the leaders. But Komissarov showed excellent speed on the final run to pull away from the fleet by the finish.
In the Silver Fleet, after several Black Flag recalls, Gianmarco Planchestainer of Italy showed excellent form to finish first, while Yang Yang from China won the Bronze Fleet race.
The wind built slightly to around 9 knots for the start of the day’s second Gold Fleet race. With 15-degree shifts, staying in phase and limiting risks were the keys to success. Ireland’s Finn Lynch did both these things perfectly, finding himself near the front of the fleet at the first weather mark, just behind Tom Burton, the current Olympic gold medalist from Australia.
Burton and Lynch battled down the first run, but on the second weather leg Lynch played the shifts better to pull into the lead at the top mark. Down the run, Lynch managed to extend his lead and then cruised on to win with a comfortable lead.
Burton held on for second while Guaragna again showed excellent light wind speed to post another solid third place finish. In the end, Guragna won the day with his two third place finishes and moved up the standing from 37th yesterday to 19th overall today.
More importantly, this move puts Argentina in a good position to capture one of the available spot to compete in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. By agreement with the International Olympic Committee, this event will be used as a country qualifying event, with five berths to the 2020 Games up for grabs.
At present, Sweden looks to be in a solid position to qualify with Jesper Stalheim moving into third place overall today. Russia is also on track to qualify with Komissarov sitting in seventh place. Hungary and Belgium are currently holding the forth and fifth spots, but with four more races to go, anything can happen.
The championship continues tomorrow with two more final series races scheduled.
Day Four Results (Top 10 of 156; 8 races; 1 discard)
1. Tom Burton AUS 27 pts
2. Sam Meech NZL 33 pts
3. Jesper Stalheim SWE 37 pts
4. Philipp Buhl GER 40 pts
5. Jean-Baptiste Bernaz FRA 44 pts
6. Matthew Wearn AUS 45 pts
7. Sergei Komissarov RUS 45 pts
8. Elliot Hanson GBR 53 pts
9. Nick Thompson GBR 53 pts
10. Mitchell Kennedy AUS 55 pts
The 2019 Laser Standard Rig World Championship has attracted a 159 entries for the 12 race series on July 4-9 in Sakaiminato City, Japan. With 57 countries represented, this is a mandatory boat charter event though sailors bring their own rigging. Seventeen entries are from North America: Canada (6), Mexico (1), Trinidad and Tobago (1), and USA (9).
This event is also being used by many countries to determine their athlete for this event at Tokyo 2020 Olympics. For the USA procedure, click here.