by Cora Zillich
For the 2013 Laser Men’s World Sailing Championships, which will kick-off on Sunday, 17 November in Oman, Australia’s top laser sailors are currently preparing. The star-studded fleet will feature 46 of the world’s top 50 ISAF ranked Laser Standard Men’s sailors including Olympic, World and National champions from 48 countries.
Australian Laser sailors Jared West, Ryan Palk and Tom Burton in Finland
With five Australians in the current World Ranking’s top fifteen, expectations are high for the Australian Sailing Team and Squad members at this first ever held world sailing event in the Oman Sultanate.
Australian Sailing Team (AST) member and national champion Tom Burton (NSW) is world number one going into the event having won gold at this year’s ISAF Sailing World Cup in Hyeres, France and silver at the ISAF Sailing World Cup Palma in Majorca, Spain.
On his heels for the races in Oman will be Australian Sailing Squad (ASS) members Ryan Palk (QLD, ISAF World Ranking number five), Matthew Wearn (WA, ISAF World Ranking number one), Ashley Brunning (NSW, ISAF World Ranking number eight) and Jared West (QLD, ISAF World Ranking #15), plus Luke Elliott from the ASS Youth Bridging Program. The Australian contingent is completed by 2013 Under 21 World and European Champion Mitchell Kennedy (QLD) as well as Victorian Jeremy O’Connell.
2011 Australian Laser Champion, Tom Burton (NSW)
'We are in a strong position in the laser class at this stage of the Olympic path to Rio in 2016 and the World Championships in Oman are a benchmark event for our future planning in this class. With five of our guys in the World’s top fifteen and more talent developing, the future in this class looks promising. It is a great credit to our Australian Sailing Team Laser coach Michael Blackburn', said Peter Conde, AST Performance Director.
The 39th edition of the Laser Standard Men’s World Championships begins in Oman on Sunday, 17 November and will continue until Saturday. The event will be taking place at Al Musannah Sports City, a dedicated sailing facility purpose built to Olympic standards.
The Laser Standard Men’s World Championships will be followed by the Laser Masters and Laser Radial Youth Championships featuring some of the world’s best competitors from some 50 nations in Oman over a seven-week period.