Three more races were completed on day 5 of competition at the Laser World Masters Championships 2012, being sailed from the Royal Queensland Yacht Squadron, Brisbane, Australia. Today was warm and sunny with 10-15 knots of breeze, perfect conditions for the 233 sailors from 19 countries.
A touching scene in the Great Grand Masters Radial fleet
Chilean skipper Matias Del Solar demonstrated to the Laser Standard Apprentice fleet just why he is heading for his third Olympics in the Laser Class later this year.
In a masterful display Del Solar scored three from three today and has cleared away at the top of the leader board. Barring a major disaster tomorrow Del Solar will be named the new Laser World Standard Apprentice champion.
Australian Tony Baisden is 13 points behind Del Solar, with Brett Morris (AUS) four points behind him in third.
Baisden, Morris and fellow Australian Dan Blight jumped the gun in race 7 of the series and were called OCS. However Baisden and Morris recovered and Baisden finished second in the following two races, while Morris placed third.
Looking up from his laptop in the Club at the conclusion of today, Del Solar explained ‘My starts are getting better. I had two very good ones today. In the third race I was second at the top mark and it took quite a long time to run down Tony Baisden but then I found another gear.
'This is all part of my Olympic program and it’s a lot of fun too.'
Wolfgang Gertz from Germany retains the lead in the Laser Standard Grand Master Division, finishing 3, 3, 4 today. US sailor Tracy Usher is just two points behind the leader. With finishes of 1, 4, 1 Usher is challenging Gertz for the top podium position.
Usher commented ‘I seem to be coming home quite well but with three races tomorrow anything could happen.'
In third place is the series early leader Martinie Andre (DOM). After a first place in race 8, Andre was a little too anxious in race 9 and was deemed OCS.
Laser Masters Radial Worlds Masters Race 7
Brett Beyer (AUS) comfortably leads the Laser Standard Master Division. Apart from his capsize result in race 2 (which is his drop) Beyer has eight bullets against his name.
Brad Taylor retains second, nine points behind Beyer, with Sean Atherton-Feeney (AUS) third.
Atherton-Feeney was one of five sailors with an early start in race 7. Chris Bolton (AUS), Andy Dyer (AUS), Bruce Utting (AUS) and Oliver Shtein were all called OCS. In race 8 the jitters continued with Dyer, Peter Van Ryn (NZL) and Andrew Simpson (AUS) recording OCS.
Beyer said ‘It looks good on the scoreboard but today was not easy. In the last race I only took the lead on the last run.
'It was better than we expected weather wise, still I could handle a bit more breeze.
‘This is my twelfth Master Worlds and this is certainly a good one. But my favourite still is Turkey, a unique location, warm and more wind.’
New Zealand sailor Scott Leith is now ten points clear at the top of the Laser Radial Apprentice Division leader board after 3, 1, 1, today. Richard Bott (AUS) is second with Danny Fuller (AUS) two points further back.
Leith was smiling as he de-rigged. ‘A good day. In race 7 I got a bit of weed at the top mark, rounded sixth but got back up to first. Then a clean sheet for the last two races.
‘This has been an awesome regatta. The race committee is really professional. My family arrive tomorrow, then we are off to Gold Coast for a week’s holiday.'
In the Laser Radial Master Division New Zealand’s Mark Orams is leading Greg Adams (AUS) by just one point, after Orams scored three bullets today. Mark Kennedy (AUS) is third, four points further back.
Orams, amongst his fellow Kiwis in the boat park said ‘Seems like I am shaking off the rust. It was a good day, less breeze and trickier conditions. I am a little lighter than most, so it suited me.
‘Greg really knows the place and is sailing incredibly well, so we are set up for an Anzac battle tomorrow.’
Michael Keeton (NZL) leads Adam French (AUS) in the Laser Radial Grand Master Division. French started race 7 in style, then recorded 9 (his drop) and 8 in the final race of the day, while Keeton recorded 2, 11 (his drop) 3. Keeton holds a three point advantage going into the final day, with Jeff Loosemore (AUS) third.
French was shaking his head. ‘A tough day, with an eight and a nine. With slightly less breeze there was a wall of boats - a tricky day.
‘In the second race there was a nice shift on the left and another on the right and I was in the middle. In the last race I had to do some circle work and in this tight fleet that cost me.
‘Mike and I are looking for a big battle tomorrow, its friendly of course, this is the Masters and we are good mates.’
Laser Radial Great Grand Master Division leader Kerry Waraker (AUS) was back on form today, finishing with three bullets. He is well clear of Keith Wilkins (GBR) and Lew Verdon. Waraker looks certain to add another title to his credits at the conclusion of sailing tomorrow, although Wilkins with twelve World titles is still sailing impressively.
Waraker smiled as he came ashore. ‘Speed is my friend’ he said and he had plenty of that today.
Peter Charlton (AUS) leads the Laser 4.7 Master Division and is five points clear of Claire Heenan. Heenan moved up the leader board courtesy of 1, 1, 3 finishes today. George Meikle (AUS) is third.
Racing at the Laser World Masters Championships 2012 concludes tomorrow, Saturday 17 March. Three more races are planned with a very early start, to complete the twelve race series.
Laser Masters Radial Worlds upwind
For full results of all Divisions please visit http://www.rqys.com.au/index.php/2012-world-laser-masters-championship
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Event website http://www.rqys.com.au/index.php/2012-australian-laser-masters-championship