It’s a wrap: ILCA 7 Masters Worlds
Published on June 7th, 2022
The 2022 ILCA 7 Masters World Championship attracted 64 entrants from 14 countries, with racing on June 1-7 in Nueveo Vallarta, Mexico. Racing on Banderas Bay were four age groups from 30 years of age and older – Apprentice, Masters, Grand Masters, and Great Grand Masters. Two races were scheduled each day, with the schedule calling for three days of racing, a reserve day, followed by another three days of racing.
On day one, two races were completed in each fleet: Apprentice and Masters, Grand Masters, and Great Grand Masters. The sailors took to Banderas Bay in about 16 knots of wind for the first warning signal at 12:30. In 10–12 knots of shifty wind, there were some UFDs, some capsizes, but overall a nice day of racing.
In the Apprentice fleet, Charles Baillie Strong of Luxembourg led the way ahead of Argentina’s Andres Heredia and Adil Khalid of United Arab Emirates. In the Masters fleet, Greek Adonis Bougiouris secured two first-place finishes to sit ahead of Americans Peter Hurley and Ernesto Rodriguez who were tied with both a second- and third-place finish each.
In the Grand Masters fleet, Great Britain’s Mark Lyttle finished with a second and first place to sit in first overall. Australians Brett Beyer and Steve Gunther were close behind in second and third, respectively.
In the Great Grand Masters fleet, German Wolfgang Gerz sailed two bullets to lead the fleet after the first day. Great Britain’s Tim Law was keeping tight competition with two second-place finishes. American Peter Vessella sat in third overall.
Day two started with a grey start and a little rain shower, while the Race Committee hoisted the AP flag on shore to wait for the wind. By 12:20, the wind had filled in and the sailors headed out on Banderas Bay in about 6–8 knots.
In the Apprentice fleet, Argentinian Andres Heredia moved into first place overall with two first-place finishes. With two fourth-place finishes, Charles Baillie Strong of Luxembourg sat in second overall and Greek Antonios Kondis in third. In the Masters fleet, Greece’s Adonis Bougiouris repeated day one of racing’s performance and had four first-place finishes to sit ahead of Americans Ernesto Rodriguez and Peter Hurley in second and third, respectively.
In the Grand Masters fleet, Australian Brett Beyer slid into first overall after securing a first and second place in the day two races. Great Britain’s Mark Lyttle sat in second place ahead of American Rob Hallawell, who finished in fourth and first.
In the Great Grand Masters fleet, Great Britain’s Tim Law led the way ahead of German Wolfgang Gerz in second. American Peter Vessella maintained third place overall.
After four races, the minimum of four races were completed and one discard was applied to make for a valid championship.
Day three was another grey morning without wind, so the day began with an AP flag on shore. After a couple hours of waiting, 4–5 knots filled in, which was enough to lay the course with the wind building. The wind steadied at about 6–8 knots, with gusts up to 10 knots, for all fleets to get their two races off successfully.
In the Apprentice fleet, Argentina’s Andres Heredia held his leading position after locking in two more first-place finishes. Charles Baillie Strong of Luxembourg also held his position in second overall, while Adil Khalid of the United Arab Emirates slid into third. In the Masters fleet, Greece’s Adonis Bougiouris continued his standout performance to lead the fleet while American Ernesto Rodriguez also finished with a second and first, securing his hold on second overall. Fellow countryman Peter Hurley sat in third overall.
In the Grand Masters fleet, Australian Brett Beyer sailed two bullets, maintaining his position atop the leaderboard. Great Britain’s Mark Lyttle was behind Beyer in second place overall, while Andrew Roy of Canada climbed into third after races 5 and 6.
In the Great Grand Masters fleet, Great Britain’s Tim Law led the way ahead of German Wolfgang Gerz in second, but the star was Great Britain’s Michael Hicks who won both day three races and moved into third place overall.
Because six races have been successfully completed in the first three days of the championship, the reserve day was used as a lay day for the sailors to rest, or go sightseeing. This evening is the sailors party where competitors can relax and rest after three days of racing.
On day four the sailors came back re-energized and ready to go, starting all races clean with no recalls in 12–15 knots of hot Mexican wind. Although there were clear leaders emerging in these smaller fleets, the competition remained very tight at this championship and there were some new names on the leaderboards after day four.
In the Apprentice fleet, Argentina’s Andres Heredia was in first place ahead of Charles Baillie Strong of Luxembourg, although Strong finished both of the day four races in first ahead of Heredia. Adil Khalid of the United Arab Emirates held third overall. In the Masters fleet, Greece’s Adonis Bougiouris was in the lead with seven wins and one second place so far at this event. American Ernesto Rodriguez was in second after finishing both races behind Bougiouris. Orlando Gledhill of Great Britain, a new name on the leaderboard, moved into third place.
In the Grand Masters fleet, Australian Brett Beyer continued to defend his lead. Like Heredia and Bourgiouris, Beyer won both of the day’s races. Great Britain’s Mark Lyttle held second overall, and another new name in third place, Spain’s Jose Maria Van Der Ploeg.
In the Great Grand Masters fleet, Great Britain’s Tim Law continued the trend of the leaders and won both races to secure his lead further. German Wolfgang Gerz maintained second overall, and American Peter Vessella reclaimed third.
On day five the racing kicked off in about 8–10 knots, and the breeze picked up a little for the second race to 11–13 knots. There were some tricky shifts to navigate, which created opportunities for new race winners at the event. The Apprentice and Masters fleet had a general recall, so the race committee reset the course after a 20-degree wind shift, and the fleet was able to get a clean start. All other starts on day five were clear.
In the Apprentice fleet, Adil Khalid of the United Arab Emirates claimed the first race of the day and Charles Baillie Strong of Luxembourg won the second race, but the overall standings remained unchanged, Argentina’s Andres Heredia sat in first, Strong in second, and Khalid in third. In the Masters fleet, Canadian Ray Davies won race 9 and American Ernesto Rodriguez won race 10, but as in the Apprentice fleet, the leaderboard held the same, Greece’s Adonis Bourgiouris led the division, ahead of Rodriguez in second and Great Britain’s Orlando Gledhill in third.
In the Grand Masters fleet, Canadian Allan Clark won the first race of the day, as a typical ILCA 6 sailor, the lighter wind suited him. The fleet’s leader of the week, Australian Brett Beyer, won the second race and continued to hold first overall. Great Britain’s Mark Lyttle sat in second and Spain’s Jose Maria Van Der Ploeg in third.
In the Great Grand Masters fleet, American James Jacob won race 9 and the fleet’s leader, Great Britain’s Tim Law, claimed race 10. German Wolfgang Gerz held second overall and American Peter Vessella in third.
On day six, the final two races were completed. The competitors left shore under overcast skies and light winds. The clouds kept the thermal sea breeze from fully developing, and both races were held in 6–8 knots of wind. There were no recalls for any fleets today, and only two sailors were caught over early under the “U Flag.” In the first race, the wind shifted to the left to about 230 degrees, and in the second race, the race committee reset the course to 245 degrees to accommodate a shift back to the right.
In the Apprentice fleet, Argentinian Andres Heredia took home gold, Charles Baillie Strong of Luxembourg claimed silver, and Adil Khalid of the United Arab Emirates took bronze. In the Masters fleet, Greece’s Adonis Bourgiouris locked in first place after leading the fleet all week, ahead of American Ernesto Rodriguez in second overall, and Great Britain’s Orlando Gledhill in third.
In the Grand Masters fleet, Australian Brett Beyer secured gold ahead of Great Britain’s Mark Lyttle, and with a strong performance on the last day, Canada’s Andrew Roy slid into third to claim bronze ahead of former Olympic gold medallist Jose Maria Van Der Ploeg.
In the Great Grand Masters fleet, Great Britain’s Tim Law had enough of a lead that he did not need to sail the final race to win gold. German Wolfgang Gerz secured the silver medal and American Peter Vessella won bronze.
Next year’s ILCA Masters Worlds will be held in Pattaya, Thailand.
Top Three, each division
Great Grand Masters:
1. Tim Law (GBR)
2. Wolfgang Gerz (GER)
3. Peter Vessella (USA)
1. Brett Beyer (AUS)
2. Mark Lyttle (GBR)
3. Andrew Roy (CAN)
1. Adonis Bougiouris (GRE)
2. Ernesto Rodríguez (USA)
3. Orlando Gledhill (GBR)
1. Andres Heredia (ARG)
2. Charles Baillie Strong (LUX)
3. Adil Khalid (UAE)