by Di Pearson
The champions of the Laser Masters Worlds have been decided after the final day of racing at Gosford SC in Australia. Steve Cockerill was the best placed British competitor, second in the Radial Masters, and Peter Whipp was third in the Radial Grand masters. Others who went close included Orlando Gledhill and Chris Gowers in the Standard Apprentice, Ian Rawet in the Radial Masters and Keith Wilkins in the Standard Grand Masters.
Mark_Orams. Laser World Masters, Terrigal NSW. Image by Corey Davis. Copyright C & C Images.
Brett Beyer (AUS) was the first winner announced today, successfully defending his 2007 World Championship crown in the Standard Apprentice Master finishing the final day with a win and a second place. “I’m very happy. There wasn’t much wind, maybe 10-12 knots, and the racing was very close as usual,” said Beyer on winning an unsurpassed sixth Apprentice world title.
Beyer finished the nine-race series on 10 points, remarkably finishing only once outside a top two results. In the two races sailed today, the Sydney sailor scored a win and a second. Rohan Lord (NZL) placed second on 20 points after his third and fourth places this afternoon, while Finish sailor Jyrki Taiminen was third on 22 points.
Orlando Gledhill (GBR) missed out on a podium finish, despite winning the final race, finishing the series on 29 points for fourth place. The Brit was runner-up to Beyer in the last two World’s.
“My closest competition came from Rohan, Jyrki and Orlando. It was hard to spot the marks today,” the 41 year-old Sports Scientist said.
Jan ‘Clogs’ Scholten wins Standard Master Worlds
After leading the fleet all week and going into day with a five point lead, Brad Taylor (AUS) was done out the Master world title today when Jan ‘Clogs’ Scholten (AUS) steamed home in third place to Taylor’s fifth in Race 8 and won Race 9 in which Taylor finished sixth, to claim the World Master title.
This is Scholten’s first time at the Laser Master Worlds but, as he explains: “I competed at a Laser World Championship during the 1980’s, so I’m back to doing what I used to do many years ago.”
In a coup for Australia taking away the top three podium places, Scholten finished the regatta on 18 points, Taylor in second just two points behind and Peter Conde, a Laser Open World’s runner-up in 1979 was third, a further seven points adrift on 27 points.
Jan_Scholten. Laser World Masters. Terrigal, Australia Image by Craig Coulton. Copyright C & C Images.
A disappointed Taylor told: “I got to third place in Race 8 and had a close tussle with Jan – we had a great tacking duel. I tried to get right, but he held me to the left and I finished fifth. In the second race I had a good start and went right, but there was more pressure on the left. I did well to get back up to sixth. I had a really good regatta though.”
Andy Roy (CAN) won Race 8 and scores second in Race 9 for fourth place overall. “It was really nice, really beautiful waves, and up to 14 knots of wind. It was perfect conditions and I’ve loved this regatta. The committee and organisers have been very helpful and we’ve had great volunteers – well done. I’m glad I came to Australia,” he said.
Mark Bethwaite retains Standard Grand Master crown
Mark Bethwaite, a 1972 and 1976 Olympic sailor today retained his Stand Grand Master crown following sixth and second places in the final two races. Second place has gone to Wolfgang Gerz from Germany who was only one point behind Bethwaite going into racing today.
“It was a day of nips and tucks,” said Bethwaite, whose win this afternoon gave him his fifth Masters World crown.
Bethwaite, from Sydney, finished his regatta on 20 points, Gerz was second on 22 points and Jack Schlachter, in winning Race 8, placed third on 31 points, just in front of regatta chairman Rob Lowndes who was thrilled with his second place in Race 8 that brought him home fourth overall on 39 points.
Peter Heywood wins second Grand Master title
Peter Heywood (AUS) the reigning Radial Grand Master world champion has won his second world crown this afternoon after winning four of the nine races sailed, including the final Race 9 this afternoon.
With a final score of 16, Heywood defeated his nearest rival, Brian Watson, also from Australia, by a resounding 11 points. Peter Whipp (GBR) managed to scoot home third on countback to Lew Verdon (AUS). Both finished on 40 points, but Whipp had the upper hand with two wins on his scorecard.
Gill Waiting from New Zealand was the only female competitor in the Grand Master fleet and so wins the Women’s world championship. Waiting finished the regatta 23rd overall from 33 competitors with 173 points.
Peter Seidenberg wins three Great Grand Masters in a row
American sailor Peter Seidenberg did not need to start today’s one race in the Radial Great Grand Masters to win, but he did. “The conditions were too beautiful not to,” he said. The 70 year-old American has won the past two world titles from Australian Kerry Waraker – and that’s exactly how it stacked up today too.
“I’m just so happy we got the conditions yesterday and today that we all imagined we would get here. I’m very happy with my win. I very much enjoyed the regatta. I expected Kerry to be my main competitor. He beat me in Brazil (2005), then I beat him in Korea (2006), Spain (2007) and now here. It’s a very nice rivalry between us and I hope it continues,” Seidenberg said.
Seidenberg finished on nine points, 11 clear of Waraker with an amazing seven wins from nine races, including the final Race 9 – the best score of anyone in the series. Waraker did not get the hoped for heavier winds which suit him better. New Zealand’s Tom Speed came home third with a total score of 37.
James Liebl takes home first Apprentice Radial world title
An excited James Liebl (USA) has won the Apprentice Radial word title on his first attempt at Terrigal today.
From the Florida east coast town of Titusville, the likeable Liebl won the last Race 10 of the series for a final tally of 12 points, beating second placegetter John Jagger (AUS) by a massive 18 points following two race drops. Richard Bott (AUS) was third on 41 points.
“This is fantastic. It’s a great place to sail and I want to come back! I didn’t think I’d win; I actually came out here to work on my heavy air sailing, we don’t get much of that where I come from. In retrospect, I’m glad it was mostly light, otherwise I know I wouldn’t have won,” he said.
Alison Casey outstanding Apprentice Radial Women’s world champion
Another newcomer to the Masters Worlds, Alison Casey (AUS) finished an impressive eighth overall in the Radial Apprentice to cart off the Women’s world crown.
Casey, from a famous Queensland sailing family had sailed around 20 times in the past six years and came to the event with no expectations, but gave her rivals, both male and female, a run for their money, at one stage filling out third place overall.
Mark Orams wins tough battle for Radial Master World title
Radial Apprentice Alison Casey (AUS) Laser World Masters. Image by Jason Grogan. Copyright C & C Images.
A bit of Kiwi magic came to the fore today when New Zealander Mark Orams won a tight three-way battle for the Radial Master World Championship. The quietly spoken Orams came home strong with a third and a win to claim the trophy on 12 points from his two greatest rivals, British sailor Stephen Cockerill (17 points) and defending champion and 2006 winner Greg Adams (AUS) on 25 points.
“It was good close racing. Steve (Cockerill) won the first race of the day emphatically, and had he beat me in the second race, he would have won on countback with two race drops. I had to give myself a stiff talking to. I decided to just sail a good race and not worry about anyone else or where I was in the fleet,” said Orams from Torbay in Auckland.
Christine Bridge overcomes reigning champ for Women’s Masters crown
Christine Bridge (AUS) an Olympian from the 1990’s and mother