by D Pearson
Laser Worlds 2008, Terrigal (Australia)
Not a brilliant day for British competitors in the first two races of the Laser World Championships at Terrigal in Australia. Nick Thompson is best placed at 17th after tenth place finishes in both his races. Paul Goodison had an eighth in his first race, but then finished 33rd in his second race to be 47th overall for day one. Robert Godwin is second placed Brit in 27th place after a 22nd and a 7th, Oliver Twieddell is next in 31st with an 11th and a 19th.
Top of the leader board is Julio Alsogaray from Argentina after scoring two bullets in the Yellow group. Athens Olympian and World Ranked No. 3 Matias Del Solar (CHI) is second overall and Vasilij Zbogar (SLO) the Athens Games bronze medalist, is third overall.
Filling out the leading group are: Javier Hernandez (ESP), Brad Funk (USA), Tom Slingsby (AUS), Abe Torchinsky (CAN), Pavlos Kontides (CYP) Alex Schlonski (GER) and Bruno Fontes (BRA).
Ireland's James Espey, in 52nd place, said at times the conditions were 'pretty horrible. It was very light for most the time, 5-10 knots, with a huge swell and waves. At times the wind picked up and it was great surfing downwind. 'I had a bad first race, but managed 10th in the second one. Ireland hasn't qualified for the Games yet. There's three of us trying,' the 23 year-old from Bangor said.
Race 1 - Michael Bullot (NZL), who had been in second place for most of the race, stole the lead from Adonis Bougiouris (GRE) between the last mark and the finish to claim the win from the Greek and world champion Tom Slingsby (AUS) in the Blue group. Slingsby was lucky to work his way back to third after rounding the wrong first windward mark on the trapezoid course.
In the Yellow group, winner Julio Alsogaray (ARG) got off the start well to round the first two marks in the lead position. He lost his lead briefly, but recovered well to get the gun. Second home was Milan Vujasinovic (CRO), with young Cypriot sailor Pavlos Kontides third. The two sailed top ten throughout the course. throughout. The Red group was away last. Bruno Fontes (BRA) sailed a steady race to claim first place from Athens Olympian Matias Del Solar (CHI) and Rasmus Mygren (SWE).
Race 2 - Julio Alsogaray (ARG) took out race two in the Yellow group from Vasilij Zbogar (SLO), Philip Wender (BRA) and Kontides fourth. in light and shifty sou-sou-easterly winds on a big 3-4 metre swell and big waves.
Limo Gustavo (POR) was first over the line in the Blue group from Brad Funk (USA), Jean-Baptiste Bernaz (FRA), Igor Lisovenko (RUS) and Tom Slingsby fifth. Javiar Harandez (ESP) won the second Red group race to be well placed in fourth overall after a sixth in the first race.
In other news, Toby Schadewaldt (GER), Marc Schmit (LUX) and Christoph Bottoni (SUI) were the first three casualties of the day, disqualified by the international jury.
'I was sent home by the jury,' said Schmit. 'One of the German boats caused an incident with about 20 of us at the start. I tried to get out and I pumped twice to make some space between us - I made a mistake and got disqualified,' said the disappointed 22 year-old who is trying to qualify Luxembourg for the Beijing Games.
Schadewaldt was yellow flagged twice. 'I got my first flag for body pumping just before the finish in Race 1. In the second race, I heeled my boat over to see if there was weed under my boat; I pumped to right the boat and the jury disqualified me. 'Maybe they thought I did something else; it was hard for them to see me properly, as there was a very big swell and it was very light and shifty. Not a good day for me,' the 23 year-old said.
'I had some troubles,' said Bottoni. 'For the first time in my life I got two yellow flags. I think it is quite strange; I've been competing in Brisbane, Melbourne and Sydney and this never happened. There were lots of waves, big swell and light breeze - it was hard to move. I got disqualified for pumping.'
Racing continues tomorrow from 1.00pm when two races are scheduled.
Laser - Overall leaders after 2 races (157 entries)
1 ARG 193001 Alsogaray Julio 2.0 1 1
2 CHI 193025 Del Solar Matias 5.0 2 3
3 SLO 193133 Zbogar Vasilij 6.0 4 2
4 ESP 193040 Hernandez Javier 7.0 6 1
5 USA 193131 Funk Brad 7.0 5 2
6 AUS 193007 Slingsby Tom 8.0 3 5
6 CAN 193016 Torchinsky Abe 8.0 3 5
8 CYP 193035 Kontides Pavlos 9.0 5 4
9 GER 193068 Schlonski Alexander 11.0 7 4
10 BRA 193011 Fontes Bruno 12.0 1 11
11 FRA 193048 Pruvot Felix 12.0 4 8
12 POR 193123 Lima Gustavo 16.0 15 1
13 CAN 193022 Kalin Michael 17.0 8 9
14 NZL 193120 Bullot Michael 18.0 1 17
15 CHN 193026 Cai Qiushui 18.0 9 9
16 BRA 193023 Wender Philip 19.0 16 3
17 GBR 193062 Thompson Nick 20.0 10 10
18 CRO 193032 Arapov Mate 21.0 15 6
19 POL 193122 Porozynski Karol 21.0 7 14
20 SWE 193141 Mygren Rasmus 23.0 3 20
Other GBR positions
27 GBR 193065 Godwin Robert 29.0 22 7
31 GBR 193063 Tweddell Oliver 30.0 11 19
39 GBR 193058 Scott Evan 36.0 8 28
47 GBR 193064 Goodison Paul 41.0 8 33
93 GBR 193056 M?Dyfrig 59.0 21 38
97 GBR 193057 Mon Eifion 60.0 29 31
103 GBR 193066 Evans Sean 62.0 28 34
109 GBR 193054 Belben Dan 63.0 40 23
130 GBR 193060 Gray James 81.0 39 42
138 GBR 193059 Cooper George 86.0 raf 32
142 GBR 193067 Godwin Stuart 92.0 45 47
151 GBR 193061 Holloway Max 98.0 44 ocs
154 GBR 193055 Breen-turner Dominic 100.0 46 ocs
Sailing enthusiasts can follow the top 20 marking roundings and finish results of each group as they happen by going to the official site and go to 'Standard' on the menu bar, then 'Mark Roundings' at: http:⁄⁄aus08.laserinternational.org/