Queensland turned on the sunshine for day 3 of the 2012 Laser World Masters Championships being sailed on Moreton Bay, Brisbane.
Races 5 and 6 were sailed by some 233 sailors from 19 countries, across eight divisions. The regatta has reached the half way point and the competition is getting serious.
Chilean sailor Matias Del Solar continued his masterful display of sailing, scoring bullets in the two races sailed. After six races Del Solar’s drop is still a first. He now leads the Laser Standard Apprentice Division by seven points from nearest rival, Australian champion Tony Baisden. Fellow Aussie sailor Brett Morris is a single point behind Baisden and is pressing to improve his podium position.
Dual Olympian Del Solar was smiling as he de-rigged in the boat park. ‘Today's first race was tricky, the wind was up and down, so you just had to work the shifts really carefully.
'I came to this event hoping for plenty of wind, I need more of that in my Olympic program and the second race today was windy at the beginning, up to 20 knots, so I was really pleased with that. I had a good start and opened up a good lead and then could cover the fleet.’
German sailor Wolfgang Gerz leads the Laser Standard Grand Master Division after 1,2 results and is now six points clear of second placed Tracy Usher from the USA.
Usher moved up the leader board today with a win in race 6 of the series and is ahead of Martinie Andre (DOM) on count back. British sailor Malcolm Courts has dropped back to fourth.
Usher, the North American Laser Class President said ‘I've done every Masters since Ireland in 2001 and its fascinating to come together once a year and see how your sailing over the previous year has pushed you up or down the lists. Wonderful conditions out there today.’
Brett Beyer (AUS) continues to lead the Laser Standard Master Division with an almost perfect score line. Race 2 blotted the copy book, a ninth, however this is Bayer’s current drop and his other five first place results certainly look impressive. Beyer is five points clear of fellow Aussie Brad Taylor, with Sean Atherton-Feeney two points adrift of second place.
Beyer commented ‘Just keeping on keeping on. It was good to drop that second race capsize off my sheet.’
New Zealand sailor Scott Leith, the 2010 and 2011 Laser Radial Apprentice Master, is headed for the triple crown it seems. He leads the Laser Radial Apprentice Division and he too has an impressive score line. After a slight hiccup in race 1, a fourth place becomes his drop, he has five bullets against his next five races and leads Richard Bott (AUS) by six points, with Danny Fuller (AUS) third.
Leith explained ‘Two more good wins. I had good starts, working hard, being ruthless, sailing the fleet and the wind. You could see the tide lines with jellyfish and seaweed. Looking forward to the second half of the regatta.'
Adam French continues to lead the Laser Radial Grand Master Division. Michael Keeton (NZL) is just two points behind, after finishing 1,2 today. The pair have opened a gap on the rest of the field. Jeff Loosemore (AUS) is third, nine points behind Keeton.
While he was a picture of concentration on the race course, French was grinning broadly this afternoon. ‘It seems like a prize fight between us (Keeton), the race lead keeps swapping. Its getting serious, at the leeward mark he was ahead and got weed and I got a couple of good shifts and held on from there. It’s been great fun and it’s surprising really that the two of us have got away.‘
The Laser Radial Great Grand Master Division leader is Kerry Waraker (AUS) who is six points ahead of 12 times World Champion Keith Wilkins (GBR). Lew Verdon (AUS) continues to hold third place.
Greg Adams (AUS) leads the Laser Radial Master Division, six points clear of Mark Kennedy (AUS), with Mark Orams (NZL) third.
Peter Charlton leads the Laser 4.7 Master Division. A shake up in the following placings sees George Meikle second after a bullet in race 6, with Brady Martin (AUS) making an appearance in the top three.
Meikle smiled as he explained this afternoon ‘I’ve been experimenting and I’ve learned not too de-power the 4.7 sail as much as I was earlier. I’ve come from the Radial and have been training four days a week to make the transition.
'I’ve been enjoying this regatta immensely. The secret to this afternoon’s success might have been a red snake I got from the Bravo course start boat - ate that and won.’
This event has many layers.
Currently third in the Laser Radial Masters fleet is Marine Science Professor Mark Orams, 1999 Laser Radial World Champion and Laser World Master 2005 and 2008.
Orams is the coach of New Zealand Laser Radial sailor Sarah Winther, who won two World Cup events this season and has earned Olympic selection.
'Sarah and I decided last year to do some role-reversal cross training as part of our pre-Olympic program. So she 'has been coaching myself and some of the other Kiwi Master sailors, at the Pre-Worlds and during this week.
'Sarah said to me today its been a very constructive learning process and she has been surprised just how frustrating coaching is.
'And I have had it reinforced that with so much going on in a sailors head during a regatta, it is important that coaches just keep you focused on the highest order priority and not give you too much information.
'Of course with all my coaching my own sailing suffers so I am seriously underdone.
'Tomorrow, the lay day, I am heading for Tangalooma (Island) to see the dolphins. I did my doctorate on them at the University of Queensland, so it's back to visit some old friends.’
Racing at the 2012 Laser World Masters Championships re-commences Thursday 15 March and continues through until Saturday 17th March.
For full results of all Divisions please visit http://www.rqys.com.au/index.php/2012-world-laser-masters-championship
All the news at www.lasersailing.com.au
Event website http://www.rqys.com.au/index.php/2012-australian-laser-masters-championship
by Laser World Masters Championships media
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9:39 AM Tue 13 Mar 2012GMT
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