Still teetering at Laser Under-21 Worlds
Published on November 1st, 2019
Split, Croatia (November 1, 2019) – Much like yesterday, everyone was up bright and early for the fifth day at the Laser Under-21 World Championships in hopes of making progress on the race schedule. Sailors were rigging boats before 0700 and race committee left the harbor by 0730 for the 0900 first signal. Golf flag was lowered at 0750 and sailors gathered in the starting area by 0830. Sunny skies and good breeze out of the northeast.
The starting order was changed for today, with the Men’s Blue fleet starting first followed by the Women. These two fleets had only completed one race and getting the Blue fleet caught up with the Men’s Yellow, which had already completed two races, was of primary importance.
Stable winds at eight to ten knots under clear and sunny skies, and the sailors were eager for races, but fortunately weren’t too eager at the start. The Men’s Blue fleet started cleanly on the first attempt, under Uniform flag, at 0905, to sail the outer loop of the trapezoid. The Women started cleanly shortly after, also on the first attempt, on the inner loop.
The Men’s Yellow fleet was eager to race, as well, but with the forecast calling for a fade mid- or late-morning, race committee postponed to allow time for the Blue fleet get around the course. If Yellow started and completed a race, and then the wind died, the two Men’s fleets would be unbalanced again.
All held well for the two fleets on the course. The wind had dropped, but remained stable at six to eight knots. At ~1000, Blue completed the entire course, and the Women were shortened at Mark 2, after two beats and a reach.
The Men’s Yellow fleet was ready to start, to be followed by Men’s Blue and the Women, but wind had decreased to a marginal four to six knots. More problematic was a significant shift to the right with oscillations in excess of ten degrees in either direction. Race committee held the sailors on the water for some time, waiting for stable conditions for a fair race, but it did not come. AP over H sent the sailors to shore at 1130, and racing was called for the day at 1400.
So, where do things stand going into the final day? All fleets have two races each. Reassignment for the Men’s Yellow and Blue fleets has been done. And, if two races are completed tomorrow, and the forecast suggests it will, then we will have a championship.
In the Men’s fleet, Pere Ponseti (ESP) is leading Vishnu Saravanan (IND) by one point, although they have been racing in different fleets. That will change tomorrow with fleet reassignments. They are followed by Under-19 sailors Paul Morvan (FRA) and Juan Pablo Cardozo (ARG). In the Women’s fleet, Karla Savar (CRO) is leading Wiktoria Golebiowski (POL) by one point, followed by Valeria Lomatchenko (RUS) and Karmen Perkovic (CRO).
But the hope is to have at least two more races tomorrow (four are needed for the championship to be valid) and the rankings are likely to change before it’s over. Also, if four races are completed, one discard is allowed. Several sailors in the Men’s fleets have a first or second place finish but are not in the top three. Similarly, two sailors not in the top three in the Women’s fleet have a first or second. A discard will change the rankings.
Two hundred and seventeen sailors representing 45 countries are registered for this six-day event – 146 men from 42 countries sailing Standard rigs and 71 women from 31 countries sailing Radials. To be eligible, sailors must be, or will turn, 17 years old this calendar year, but not 21 years old or older this year.
North American entries include Canadian sailors Clara Gravely, Liam Bruce, Noah Collinson, James Juhasz, and Norman Struthers. Peter McGriff and Lucija Ruzevic are from the US.
Racing is scheduled from October 28 to November 2, 2019.
Source: International Laser Class Association