It’s a wrap at Laser Radial Worlds
Published on February 28th, 2020
Melbourne, Australia (February 28, 2020) – It may have been a case of “saved by the wind” for Rio Olympic champion, Marit Bouwmeester. The three-time world champion led by 24 points over night but saw her margin trimmed to just two points after the first race of the final day of the 2020 ILCA Laser Radial World Championship.
A big wind shift caught a number of the top sailors out, and Bouwmeester, who received a yellow flag (penalty turns), finished 29th. This became her second “drop” but brought into play a 24th from yesterday. When asked why she was penalized she said, “Too much rocking. I was thinking ‘I deserve a yellow flag’ and I got one.”
Gold fleet went into sequence again, still with the chance of two more races, but the wind continued to die and back to the south-east. At 3pm, the deadline for racing to start on the final day, the AP over A was flown and a relieved Dutch woman made her way back to the clubhouse.
Bouwmeester, who was famous for always training on her own, has recently joined three other women in the Dutch squad and all four finished in the top 10. Maxime Jonkers was second, just two points behind, while Daphne van der Vaart was seventh and Mirthe Akkerman was 10th. Norwegian Line Flem Host took third and defending champion Anne-Marie Rindom, who became ill during the event, was fourth.
Asked how she felt when the flags went up to indicate no further racing was possible, Marit Bouwemeester replied, “It’s incredible. Today I didn’t manage the first race well and I knew I had to be ready to go again. But it’s great to be on top again (after finishing second last year).
“We just started training together and the level of training is so high, they are pushing me every day. This is really a team effort.” The result has given Bouwmeester a welcome boost ahead of the Tokyo Olympics, where she will now be favorite to defend her gold medal.
It has been a frustrating week for sailors and organizers alike. The regatta was scheduled to deliver two races per day for six days. On the first two days, only one race was possible owing to light and shifty winds. On the third day, sailors were sent ashore when a thunderstorm struck, before returning at 5pm to sail the only race of the day. Day four was cold and wet, with strong winds almost at the limit for safe sailing, but organizers managed to get three races started for the women and two for the men.
Yesterday was the only day of the regatta when conditions could be described as ideal for sailing, with winds around 15 knots.
Today started promisingly, but the sailors failed to behave. It took eight start sequences to get the three fleets away for the first time. Silver Fleet had 14 sailors disqualified in that race for being over the line, while in the men’s division, six were caught out.
When the wind began to die and back to the south, the championship was over for everyone. Some, like Bouwmeester, were relieved. Others saw their chance of Olympic selection crushed as they could no longer move up into the top 10 or beat a rival for their country’s place at the Games.
Sarah Douglas (26th) held her own in the standings after a 12th today but is the only Canadian to qualify for the gold flight ahead of Maura Dewey, Clara Gravely, and Coralie Vittecoq.
Five sailors represent the USA with the event as the final stage of the nation’s selection series. Paige Railey emerged victorious over fellow US Sailing Team athletes to win a spot on Team USA for the Tokyo 2020 Games. The top three ended today with Erika Reineke slipping to 26th after a 24th place finish. Railey finished 9th to move ahead of the others into 14th overall. Charlotte Rose used her second throwout on a 48th place finish in today’s race to end the regatta in 36th overall.
After taking some well deserved time off, the Radial athletes will compete next at the 51st Trofeo SAR Princesa Sofia Regatta. The event will begin on March 30th in Palma de Mallorca, Spain.
Russian star Daniil Krutskikh maintained his record of top 10 scores today in the men’s division, to win the regatta, using a throwout in today’s race with a 22nd. He finished with 22 points, bettering the second place finisher, Michael Compton, by 20 points. Nik Pletikos (SLO) rounded out the podium by winning today’s race.
The racing schedule was February 23 to 28.
Day Seven, Final Results:
Women (Top 10 of 105; 10 races, 2 discards)
1 Marit BOUWMEESTER (NED) 42
2 Maxime JONKER (NED) 44
3 Line FLEM HØST (NOR) 45
4 Anne-Marie RINDOM (DEN) 57
5 Magdalena KWASNA (POL) 58
6 Josefin OLSSON (SWE) 60
7 Daphne VAN DER VAART (NED) 67
8 Manami DOI (JPN) 67
9 Emma PLASSCHAERT (BEL) 69
10 Mirthe AKKERMAN (NED) 71
Men (Top 10 of 66; 9 races, 1 discard)
1 Daniil KRUTSKIKH (RUS) 22
2 Michael COMPTON (AUS) 42
3 Nik PLETIKOS (SLO) 47
4 Brody RILEY (AUS) 53
5 Stefan ELLIOTT-SHIRCORE (AUS) 58
6 Mario NOVAK (CRO) 68
7 Zac LITTLEWOOD (AUS) 76
8 Gustavo CORREA NASCIMENTO (BRA) 83
9 Zac WEST (AUS) 97
10 Luke CASHMORE (NZL) 101
Source: Roger McMillan/Laser 2020 Media