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Laser Australian Championship – Promising stars gather in Hobart

by Peter Campbell on 8 Dec 2012
NSW youths - Laser Radials Dane Lojek
The Audi Laser Australian Championship is out to showcase a new generation of highly-talented sailors as Australian Youth Sailor of the Year Mark Spearman, 2012 Laser Radial World Champion Tristan Brown and Laser Standard Rig star Tom Burton head the entries for the high-tier sailing event. The Laser National Championship will run from December 28 to January 4 at the Royal Yacht Club of Tasmania in Hobart.

Laser Radial world champion Tristan Brown, Australian Youth Sailor of the Year Mark Spearman and Tom Burton, the Olympic training partner for gold medallist Tom Slingsby, are among the 132 entries so far received for the Audi Australian Laser championships to be sailed on Hobart’s River Derwent this summer.

Royal Yacht Club of Tasmania sailing manager Chris Oh said today the club was gearing up for near 150 entries for the Laser nationals, which comprise individual titles for Laser standard rigs, Radials, 470s and Masters as well as youth championships.

'The Laser standard rig is the Olympic single-handed men’s dinghy, the Radial the single-handed dinghy for women sailors, and while neither London 2012 Olympic team members Tom Slingsby or Krystal Weir will be sailing in Hobart, the quality of entries already received is outstanding,' Oh said.

'We expect a late rush of entries, but those we have received so far include many of the best youth and adult Laser sailors in Australia, including potential future Olympians,' Oh said. 'We also have entries from Austria, Finland, Singapore and Switzerland.

West Australians Tristan Brown, the 2012 Laser Radial world champion, and 2012 Australian youth champion Mark Spearman, head the entries for the Laser Radial Australian championship.

Spearman is leading the Laser Radial men’s division of the ISAF Sailing World Cup, currently being sailed as part of Sail Melbourne from Tom Vincent (Qld) and Tasmanian Rohan Langford.

Spearman was named Australian Youth Male Sailor of the Year in September following his gold medal victory in the Laser Radial class at the International Sailing Federation’s 2012 world youth championships.

Tom Burton (NSW) is heading the standings in the Laser Standard Rig division at Sail Melbourne in a close duel with West Australian Matthew Wearn who has moved up from Radials in which he placed second to Brown in the 2012 world championship.



Burton, a fellow member of Gosford Sailing Club in NSW with Tom Slingsby, was the gold medallist’s training partner in the lead-up and finished second to Slingsby in the Skandia Gold Regatta at Weymouth just before the Olympics.

The Radial class has attracted a strong entry from young women including Tasmanian Anna Vaughan, Natasha Van Rennes from Victoria, Australian Sailing Squad member Ashley Stoddart from Queensland and Swiss sailor Manon Luther. Studdart is currently third overall, Luther fourth, in the Radial women at Sail Melbourne.

Australian youth champion Jack Felsenthal from Victoria will be returning to Tasmania after dominating the Laser 4.7 class at the recent Audi Showdown regatta on the Derwent. At Sail Melbourne he is holding a narrow lead from WA sailor Richard Maher and Victorian Sam Hannah, with all three entered for the Laser 4.7 Australian championship in Hobart in January.

The Audi Laser Australian championships will be sailed from the RYCT from December 28 to January 4 with many of the youth sailors staying on to contest the OAMPS Insurance Australian youth championships which follow on in January. The Youth championships so far have attached 87 entries, including 17 29ers, 18 420s, 25 Laser Radials and 25 Laser 4.7s.

Sandy Bay Sailing Club has already received 34 international entries from Belgium, Great Britain, the Netherlands, Argentina and Germany for the International Cadet world championships from December 29-January 4. To this fleet will be added the Australian team to be chosen from the nationals that precede the worlds.

Sandy Bay Sailing Club will also host the 2013 Australian Optimist championship from January 8-13 and has already received nearly 90 entries.

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