Kuwait International Open Laser Regatta - Kuwaitis dominate

Winners and participants pose with KSSC officials and organizers at the Kuwait International Open Laser Regatta 2012
Arab Times
Kuwaiti sailors showed that they could take on some of the best and beat them when they dominated the Kuwait International Open Laser Regatta at the Kuwait Sea Sports Club (KSSC), Messila, Friday and Saturday. Meshal Alazmi bagged the highest honour in the Radial class while action in the other section saw Nayef Alhadah take the top honours in the Standard category. The domination of the Kuwaitis was so complete that they took the first four spots in the Radial category and the top two places in the Standard section.

The races, in the first sailing competition of 2012, started early morning in really bright weather on both the days with the prize distribution ceremony being held late Saturday as the competition involved 11 races in the Standard and Radial events, both being dominated by local sailors. While Meshal Alazmi took the top spot in the Radial event, second was Mohammad Bastaki and Salim E.Qali third while all these sailors belonged to the Kuwait team, the fourth spot was also taken by Khaled Fisal from the same squad.

In fifth place was Nigel Foley (GBR), while Ziad van Beek (NED) was in sixth place. Taking the next two spots were sailors representing Great Britain – Nick Laken (7th) and Derron Tume (8th ).Finishing in ninth spot was again a sailor from Kuwait – Ali Abdulghafour, while Steve Gardner (GBR) and Soud Khaled (KUW) took the next two spots.
The Standard event completed the domination of the local sailors as the top two spots were taken by Kuwait with Nayef Alhadaf coming first and Abdulazeez taking the second place while in third place was Gary Grinstead from South Africa. In fourth place was James Laken (GBR) while another sailor from South Africa – Rory Molver – took fifth place. In sixth place was David Boyd (GBR). The Laser is a brand of mono hull sailing boat and there were two classes for this regatta: Standard and Radial. Both classes use the same hull but the Standard Laser has a slightly larger sail. The 'skippers brief' on Friday, April 6’ gave skippers details of the rules of the competition, the audio and flag signals during the races and the course.

Sailors were given warnings at 5 minutes, 4 minutes and 1 minute before the start of each race to enable them to cross the start line as the start horn sounded with speed ahead of the other boats. Sailors who crossed the line early, or violated other international sailing rules were required to make a 360 degree penalty turn, or were even disqualified. Once sailors crossed the start line they sailed around the first mark and onto the second mark. Once they rounded the second mark they sailed onto the third mark. When they had sailed around the third mark they then started the 'sausage' where they sailed back to the second mark before returning to the third mark. On finishing the 'sausage', the sailors made their way to the finishing line. A total of seventeen boats were entered into the regatta and it was planned to complete three races on each day of the competition.

The first race on Friday, April 6 started on time at 1100h. The wind was light and the sailors had to work hard to make their way around the course. Just after the second race started the wind reduced and the Standard Laser's larger sail area enabled all boats to finish, but the Race Officer stopped the race as the Radial Lasers were becalmed and the boats had to be towed back to the beach. The race officer decided that the remaining races would take place on Saturday 07 April.

The wind on Saturday was much more promising as the boats were launched at 0900h. Three races in each class were completed and then the wind dropped. The fourth race of the day was started and the Standard Lasers completed the course successfully; however, the smaller sailed Radial Lasers were struggling and the Race Officer decided to cancel the race.

The event was hosted by Mohammed, with the Secretary General of the Kuwait Sea Sports Club Khalid Fodari the chief guest .

In his speech Fodari said that 'This regatta was meant for encouraging and developing sailing as a sport in Kuwait. We are thankful for the continuous support of the club and we hope to continue and the best is yet to come.' He also thanked all who participated in the Regatta, especially Nick Laken.

Race Officer Chief Judge and Sailing Coach – Valentine Evanov also thanked all the participants for the success of the event.

Nick Laken also thanked the club, organizers and participants.

The Race Committee received a Plaque of Appreciation for their fair judgment of the competition namely Rashed and Valentine Evanov who were the Chief Judge and Sailing Coach respectively along with the following dedicated sailors: Chris Veitch, Chris King, Mahmoud Fawy, Jawad Agalaf, Donna Clarke, Emma and Vicky along with the support staff based on Abdul Sahi, Shamel Mamoud and Abubakar. Valentine Evanov, Rashed and Mohammed were also given gifts by the for their unwavering support to the organization. The top three in each event received trophies and certificates while all the other competitors were given certificates of participation.

The organizers, all the competitors and all the support staff drew a lot of praise from all those who watched the competition as everything went as planned.

Kuwait International Open Laser Regatta Results
Rank Nationality Class Sail No Name R1 R2 R3 R4 R5 Total Nett
1st KUW Laser Radial 188560 Meshal Alazmi 1.0 1.0 2.0 1.0 (3.0) 8.0 5.0
2nd KUW Laser Radial 189511 Mohammad Bastaki 3.0 (12.0 DNS) 1.0 2.0 4.0 22.0 10.0
3rd KUW Laser Radial 189647 Salim E Qali 2.0 2.0 (4.0) 4.0 2.0 14.0 10.0
4th KUW Laser Radial 7 Khalid Fisal 4.0 (12.0 OCS) 3.0 3.0 1.0 23.0 11.0
5th GBR Laser Radial 180658 Nigel Foley 6.0 3.0 5.0 5.0 (12.0 DNF) 31.0 19.0
6th NED Laser Radial 6 Ziad Vanbeek (12.0 DNF) 4.0 6.0 6.0 12.0 DNF 40.0 28.0
7th GBR Laser Radial 5 Nick Laken (12.0 DNF) 5.0 7.0 7.0 12.0 DNF 43.0 31.0
8th GBR Laser Radial 189640 Derron Fume (12.0 OCS) 6.0 8.0 8.0 12.0 DNF 46.0 34.0
9th KUW Laser Radial 2 Ali E A Abdulghafour 5.0 (12.0 DNS) 12.0 DNS 12.0 DNS 12.0 DNF 53.0 41.0
10th GBR Laser Radial 8 Steve Gardner (12.0 DNC) 12.0 DNF 12.0 DNF 12.0 DNF 12.0 DNF 60.0 48.0
10th KUW Laser Radial 189644 Soud Khaled (12.0 OCS) 12.0 DNS 12.0 DNS 12.0 DNS 12.0 DNF 60.0 48.0
Rank Class Sail No Nationality Helm Name R1 R2 R3 R4 R5 R6 Total Nett
1st Laser St. 189690 KUW Nayef Alhadah 1.0 1.0 (7.0 DNS) 1.0 2.0 1.0 13.0 6.0
2nd Laser St. 16K KUW Abdulazeez 2.0 2.0 2.0 2.0 (4.0) 3.0 15.0 11.0
3rd Laser St. 05 RAS Gary Grinstead 4.0 -5.0 3.0 4.0 1.0 2.0 19.0 14.0
4th Laser St. 189648 GBR James Laken 3.0 3.0 1.0 3.0 (5.0) 5.0 20.0 15.0
5th Laser St. 16 RAS Rory Molver (5.0) 4.0 4.0 5.0 3.0 4.0 25.0 20.0
6th Laser St. 08 GBR David Boyd (7.0 OCS) 7.0 DNF 7.0 DNS 7.0 DNS 7.0 DNS 7.0 DNS 42.0 35.0