German dominating Laser Worlds
Published on February 13th, 2020
Sandringham, Australia (February 13, 2020) – Clear blue skies offered a challenging wind from the south-east for the final day of qualifying at the 2020 Laser Standard Men’s World Championship.
In contrast to the previous day’s black flags and general recalls, the fleets got away cleanly whenever they came under starter’s orders, with all six races of the qualifying series having now been completed.
The 124 competitors will now be split into Gold, Silver, and Bronze for the remaining three days of the championship, meaning the top 40 placed sailors will advance and vie for the title.
Philipp Buhl (GER) leads at the half-way mark after another superb display of Laser sailing. After posting a fourth in the first race of the championship, the German (above) has now recorded five consecutive bullets to go into Gold Fleet with a remarkable 5 points after discarding his worst result.
“Sometimes it just happens,” said Buhl on his performance. “The shifts played into my hands. You either had the shift or you didn’t and all day I did. I’m very happy with the way I’m sailing, but now we go into Gold Fleet and it all changes.”
Buhl is closely followed by Frenchman Jean-Baptiste Bernaz, who added a fourth win to his scorecard today, along with a fourth place, to be four points behind. Rio Olympic silver medalist Tonci Stipanovic (CRO) also had a race win and holds third overall on 12 points.
Ranked world number one, Australian Matt Wearn is putting together a solid regatta and is in fourth place, 10 points behind Buhl. He got caught on the wrong side of some shifts today and was 11th in the final race, but can discard that and go into Gold Fleet in good shape.
“There were persistent shifts on the first beat and I just couldn’t get to them,” he explained.
Unfortunately, the forecast tomorrow for the first day of Gold Fleet sailing is not encouraging. There is likely to be little wind with thunderstorms and rain showers expected to sweep across the course area. Rain is expected to continue for the following day but the wind should be stronger and from the south.
Day Three Results (Top 10 of 124; 6 races, 1 discard)
1. Philipp BUHL (GER) 6 pts.
2. Jean Baptiste BERNAZ (FRA) 8 pts.
3. Tonci STIPANOVIC (CRO) 12 pts.
4. Matt WEARN (AUS) 16 pts.
5. Luke ELLIOTT (AUS) 17 pts.
6. Filip JURIŠIC (CRO) 18 pts.
7. Michael BECKETT (GBR) 18 pts.
8. Sam MEECH (NZL) 21 pts.
9. Thomas SAUNDERS (NZL) 21 pts.
10. Rutger VAN SCHAARDENBURG (NED) 21 pts.
In total, 124 boats from 43 countries will compete February 11 to 16 in which the field will be split into three fleets for six qualifying races before another six races, weather permitting, of Gold, Silver and Bronze fleets.
Olympic Trials: The Worlds will finalize selection for the USA Tokyo 2020 Team in the Men’s One Person Dinghy event. Charlie Buckingham, who has an 18 point lead in selection standings over Chris Barnard, stumbled today with a 15-17 to slip down to 30th overall while Barnard moved up to 25th. However, Buckingham remains in the lead for selection.
Source: Roger McMillan/Laser 2020