Storms disrupt Laser Radial Worlds
Published on February 25th, 2020
Melbourne, Australia (February 25, 2020) – As light winds impact the schedule at the ILCA Laser Radial World Championship, day three did not any better. With three races planned to complete the qualifying stage, once again it was only a one race day.
Two attempts were made to get Yellow Fleet started shortly after 2pm but a series of rolling thunderstorms, accompanied by lightning, forced the sailors to hurry back to the Sandringham Yacht Club before the course became dangerous.
There was a long wait onshore, but with an urgency to get races on the board, the AP flag came down at 5pm as a strong southerly had filled in behind the thunderstorms and was blowing a solid 22 knots.
Yellow Fleet was put into sequence at 5:55pm and got a clear start at 6pm, with the Blue fleet following five minutes later, and finally the men’s fleet was got under way. With big waves building and the wind staying above 20 knots, it was a day when experience was on display.
The Yellow Fleet race was won by Rio Olympic silver medallist Annaliese Murphy (IRE) who was in an ebullient mood. “The waves were awesome, everyone was having so much fun downwind. Upwind, not so much,” she laughed.
Rio Olympic Champion Marit Bouwmeester won Blue fleet, ahead of defending World Champion Anne-Marie Rindom (DEN) who moves to the top of the leaderboard, one point ahead of Bouwmeester, as a result. She commented that the day was not so much physically tiring as mentally exhausting: “You had to turn yourself on-off all the time and keep yourself 100% ready to go all day.”
Overnight leader Maud Jayet (SUI) finished sixth today, to now hold third overall. “It was a pretty good day,” she said. “But I’m so glad I changed to my super suit (her thicker wetsuit).”
Qualifying will continue tomorrow, with at least one more race needed to complete the stage. The first discard comes into effect after four races, and that could shake up the leaderboard considerably.
The earliest sailors can be split into Gold and Silver fleets is the following day, the penultimate day of the regatta. Once qualifying is complete, the top 53 boats advance to gold fleet. If possible, three races will be sailed on each of the three remaining days.
Sarah Douglas (6th) got 8th today and leads a Canadian contingent that includes Coralie Vittecoq (51st), Clara Gravely (78th), and Maura Dewey (84th).
Five sailors represent the USA with the event as the final stage of the nation’s selection series. Charlotte Rose (31st) punched back today, posting a fourth to tighten the scores now between Erika Reineke (18th) and Paige Railey (27th). Reineke now leads selection but only one point separates the three sailors.
While not an Olympic event, competition is still fierce in the men’s Radial, especially among those who hope to progress to the Standard fleet next year – and among the older fraternity, who are looking towards the Australian and World Laser Masters regattas, to be sailed across the bay in Geelong in late March.
Daniil Krutskikh of Russia placed second in the big waves today, to extend his lead to 15 points over Australian Michael Compton. Nik Pletikos of Slovenia is third. The race was won by Australian Zac Littlewood, who could move into the top three tomorrow if he is able to drop his 25th place from the opening day.
The racing schedule is from February 23 to 28.
Day Three Results:
Women (Top 10 of 105; 3 races)
1 Anne-Marie RINDOM (DEN) 6
2 Marit BOUWMEESTER (NED) 7
3 Maud JAYET (SUI) 9
4 Emma PLASSCHAERT (BEL) 14
5 Manami DOI (JPN) 17
6 Sarah DOUGLAS (CAN) 21
7 Vasileia KARACHALIOU (GRE) 22
8 Line FLEM HØST (NOR) 26
9 Agata BARWINSKA (POL) 26
10 Pernelle MICHON (FRA) 27
Men (Top 10 of 66; 3 races)
1 Daniil KRUTSKIKH (RUS) 2
2 Michael COMPTON (AUS) 5
3 Nik PLETIKOS (SLO) 17
4 Jordan MAKIN (AUS) 18
5 Daniel COSTANDI (AUS) 20
6 Rhett GOWANS (AUS) 21
7 Caleb ARMIT (NZL) 23
8 Brody RILEY (AUS) 26
9 Zac WEST (AUS) 27
10 Zac LITTLEWOOD (AUS) 30
Source: Roger McMillan/Laser 2020 Media