The picturesque beauty of Port Stephens Bay was masked by drizzle on the second day of the Neil Pryde 2011 Australian Laser Masters Championship but the grey day didn’t take away from any of the fun and enjoyment on the water for the 180 racers.
Port Stephens Sailing and Aquatic Club, venue of the 2011 Australian Laser Masters Nationals
'The racing is really enjoyable; it was great fun out there, it wasn’t as physically demanding as yesterday with the wind strength a few knots less but instead it was a great tactical challenge. The fleet is really tight and the standard is high. It was very shifty and gusty; creating plenty of opportunity to makes gains and losses. This was the best day of racing I have had in years!' explained Stuart Holdsworth who is racing in the Laser Standard Apprentice Master fleet.
Current Laser Standard Apprentice Master World Champion, Bret Beyer is dominating the Laser Standard Apprentice Masters fleet with five straight race wins. Anthony Baisden (QLD) is in second with a four point cushion over Brett Morris (VIC).
The Queenslanders are sailing strong in the Laser Standard Masters fleet with Bradley Taylor leading and Greg Adams in second. Black flag penalties in the fifth race cost Sean Atherton Feeney (NSW) and Mark Tonner-Joyce (VIC) to slip from the podium positions.
A black flag penalty, written as; ‘BFD’ in the results indicates a false start, sailing over the start line within the final minute of the start, even just the bow of the boat poking over the line is enough to be disqualified from the race so great skills are required to handle the boat and to time the start accurately.
A discard comes into play after the first race today which will be welcomed by many. Each sailor gets to discard their two worst scores from their overall series with the second discard coming in after race nine.
The Western Australian sailors are shining in the Laser Standard Grand Master fleet with Colin Dibb leading the fleet with four race wins and Stefan Kurys-Romer in third.
'Everyone is so polite, one guy quite legitimately crossed me on Port and then apologised afterwards to which I told him he was well within his rights and praised him for his good judgement. It’s a very friendly fleet' said Laser Radial Apprentice Master, Ruth McCane (NSW).
Former Australian Laser Radial Champion, Richard Bott (NSW) is leading the Laser Radial Apprentice Master Championship with four race wins. Just three points behind is Victorian, Owen McMahon and Martin Wilson is in third.
David Early (NSW) took the lead from Mark Kennedy (QLD) and John Jagger is just one point behind in third in the Laser Radial Masters fleet. Vanessa Dudley is the leading lady in fourth place. Another lady in the same fleet, Monica Tunner had mixed emotions as she explained how she’d had both her best and worst moments, all in one race, 'I should have sailed conservatively, I was in the best position I have ever been in a race but my competitive spirit got the better of me and I pushed the limits and capsized! I love the challenge of racing Lasers; the standard of the fleet is high so the competition is great. I practically love the athleticism required and the not having to rely on a crew to go sailing'
The Laser 4.7 is making its debut as a Masters Class this year with seven entries. ALCA President, Ken Hurling is highly supportive of the class, 'I feel strongly that the Laser 4.7 should be instated as a class at the Laser Masters World Championship, it would gain great participation. We will continue to promote and support the growth of the class here in Australia'.
Martin Brady is leading the Laser 4.7 fleet but it was Claire Heenan from Gosford Sailing Club who had the best day scoring a second place and winning two races, moving her up to third place overall. Bronwyn Mitchell sits in second place just one point ahead of Claire.
Leader Boards (PROVISIONAL)
Laser Standard Apprentice
1 Bret Beyer (NSW) 5pts
2 Anthony Baisden (QLD) 12pts
3 Brett Morris (VIC) 16pts
Laser Standard Master
1 Greg Adams (QLD) 23pts
2 Chris Bolton (VIC) 30pts
3 Larry Kleist (NSW) 31pts
Laser Standard Grand Master
1 Colin Dibb (WA) 6pts
2 Mark Phillips (NSW) 17pts
3 Stefan Kurys-Romer (WA) 26pts
Laser Standard Great Grand Master
1 Graham Oborn (NSW) 6pts
2 Don Roach (NSW) 13pts
3 Maurice Meyer (QLD) 18pts
Laser Radial Apprentice Master
1 Richard Bott (NSW) 7pts
2 Owen McMahon (VIC) 10pts
3 Martin Wilson (NSW) 16pts
Laser Radial Master
1 David Early (NSW) 10pts
2 Mark Kennedy (QLD) 18pts
3 John Jagger (VIC) 19pts
Laser Radial Grand Master
1 John Sprague (NSW) 9pts
2 Michael Pitt (QLD) 13pts
3 Malcolm Parsons ((VIC) 14pts
Laser Radial Great Grand Master
1 Kerry Waraker (QLD) 14pts
2 Lew Verdon (NSW) 19pts
3 Kevin Phillips (NSW) 19pts
1 Martin Brady (NSW) 7pts
2 Bronwyn Mitchell (NSW) 14pts
3. Claire Heenan (NSW) 15pts
Results Link: http://www.yachting.org.au/site/yachting/event/33233/Overall_1_1.html