Please select your home edition
Edition
Naiad

Laser Master World Championships - Mixed fortunes in Oman

by Daphne Morgan Barnicoat on 4 Dec 2013
Germany’s Wolfgang Gerz © Munther Al Zadjali http://omanlaserworlds2013.com/
At the Laser Master World Championships, competitive urges sharpened by a full blown Olympic campaign are proving to be a blessing and a curse for two former Olympians competing in Oman.

For 65 year-old Australian Mark Bethwaite, the Flying Dutchman sailor who finished eighth at the Munich Olympic Games in 1972 and ninth at Montreal four years later, some Olympic honed impulses, translating into five wins from six races, are keeping him at the front of the Laser Standard Great Grand Master fleet. And pretty happy he is about that too.

Wolfgang Gerz, the 61 year-old German who campaigned a Finn at the 1982 Los Angeles Olympics to fifth place is having a less happy time of it, lying in fourth place overall and still without a win.

Having retained a level of competitiveness that saw him work his way into contention for an Olympic medal, being off the podium does not sit well with the former Finn World and two times Laser Masters champion. He is being beaten fair and square by new kid on the Standard Grand Master block Greg Adams from Australia.

'I was well prepared because I came to Oman in March for Mussanah Race Week so I knew what to expect but I just don’t have the capacity to go fast upwind compared to Greg and I’m not getting the shifts right.

'I am not sailing well enough. I am up there but am making mistakes like all the others except for Greg. This is the first time I’ve raced against him because previously he’s been in the Radials and has just moved into the Grand master age group but he is sailing well.'

Back home in Munich, Gerz he is a doctor who was the first in Europe to use muscle strength testing to diagnose ailments using Applied Kinesiology. He first learned about the technique when he was being treated during the Los Angeles Olympics and is now Germany’s leading authority in the field.

But he doesn’t let his work interfere with his Laser racing and he is a regular at the Laser Masters Worlds and the Europeans and having enjoyed 2013 Mussanah Race Week in March where he finished 28th in a fleet of national Laser champions and Olympics medallists, he is set to return in 2014.


'I came in March because it was cold in Europe and we could charter the boats for free. It was my first time in Oman and I loved it. All the people are friendly and relatively open to western lifestyles. Now people know about it, they will come back.

'This venue at Mussanah Sports City is perfect. The race office is perfect, the organization on the water couldn’t be better and the wind is the wind.'

The wind was the wind all day – up to around 10 knots - as the Laser Masters reached its half way stage with potential winners already surfacing in some fleets and battles intensifying in others ahead of a lay day on Wednesday.

Bruce Martinson of the USA has one of Australia’s top woman sailors Vanessa Dudley snapping at his heels in the Radial Grand Master fleet with both showing a superb consistency in the light airs. Dudley took two second places while Martinson posted a third and a win to top the leaderboard with a two point advantage over Dudley to set up an exciting climax to the week.

Dutchman Arnoud Hummel and Al Clark from Canada have locked horns in the Standard Masters with four points separating the top two and the same margin is keeping the Standard Apprentices on their toes with Kiwi Scott Leith and Niklas Edler from Sweden engaged in some fearsome battles.

One of the oldest competitors at the regatta Peter Seidenberg from USA had a bad day by his standards with a fifth and an 11th while British rivals Michael Kinnear and Keith Wilkins look set to crank up the pressure after improved performances today.

Another Brit Ian Jones is paving the way for an overall win in the Radial Masters though Joao Ramos, one of the two Brazilian brothers competing at Mussanah, clawed back some late ground with a first and a third to sit six points behind Jones.

Edmund Tam from New Zealand might be worried about the advance from Britain’s Jon Emmett in the Radial Apprentices. Emmett, who coached Chinese Laser Radial sailor Xu Lijia to an Olympic gold at London 2012, has the bit between his teeth, a first and a second today serving as a loud warning bell to Tam.




Racing continues on Thursday at 12.00pm with two races scheduled. Event website

Barz Optics - Kids rangeHelm Events 660x82Bakewell-White Yacht Design

Related Articles

Kiel to host 2017 Para World Sailing Championships
Kiel's announcement as the host falls less than one month after World Sailing released the Strategic Plan for 2017-2020. The Plan outlines four main priorities as well tactics to achieve the goals, ensuring World Sailing presents a strong bid to the International Paralympic Committee for re-introduction into the 2024 Paralympic Games and future editions.
Posted today at 12:29 pm
Australian 18Ft League’s Yandoo Trophy action-shots by Beth Morley
Beth Morley provided this gallery of images from Australian 18 Footer League’s Yandoo Trophy. Beth Morley provided this gallery of images from Australian 18 Footer League’s Yandoo Trophy, where Triple M were crowned the winner of the Australian 18 Footer League’s Yandoo Trophy.
Posted today at 6:37 am
Iain Jensen wins MS Amlin 'Dash for Cash'
Some crashes were spectacular, with the skipper being launched from the boat in a cloud of spray. Jensen is the longtime crew for Nathan Outteridge, the helmsman for Artemis Racing. As a team they won the Olympic Gold medal in the 49er Class at the 2012 London Olympics.
Posted on 3 Dec
Hotting up at the Star Sailors League Finals
Three light airs races were held for the penultimate day of the Qualifying Rounds in Montagu Bay Nassau. Three light airs races were held for the penultimate day of the Qualifying Rounds in Montagu Bay Nassau. Getting a good start and having the boat speed to hold a lane was paramount today.
Posted on 2 Dec
MS Amlin International Moth Regatta attracts podium finishers
A fleet of 52 sailors, including two of the top three from last regatta, is set to contest the second annual regatta. Last year Rob Greenhalgh and Paul Goodison made British sailing proud when they finished first and third. Greenhalgh trailed by one point heading into the final day and then went out and won all three races in dominant fashion to stamp an eight-point victory. Goodison, a member of Artemis Racing for the America’s Cup, placed third.
Posted on 1 Dec
Sailing World Cup Final brings the best to St Kilda
Thirty-six nations have registered sailors across a combined 22 Olympic and Invited classes for next week’s World Cup Competitor numbers are predicted to reach 800 across the two competitions - the final stage of the international body World Sailing’s six-part Olympic class international circuit that will come to a head at St Kilda for the 11 classes, and the 11 Invited classes.
Posted on 1 Dec
Bid process reopened for new venue for the 2017 Youth Worlds
The Bid process has been reopened after the Israel Sailing Assoc withdrew from hosting the 2017 Youth Sailing World The Bid process has been reopened after the Israel Sailing Association (ISA) withdrew from hosting the 2017 Youth Sailing World Championships which were due to take place in Akko, Israel in July 2017. World Sailing will accept bids from MNAs interested in hosting the event in July or December of 2017.
Posted on 30 Nov
Battle commences at Star Sailors League Finals
The early exchanges confirmed the amazing quality and depth in fleet, which contains no less than 16 Olympic medallist The early exchanges confirmed the amazing quality and depth in the fleet, which contains no less than 16 Olympic medallist among the skippers alone.
Posted on 30 Nov
World Sailing lead the conversation at the Yacht Racing Forum
Sailing - sport, technology and nature in perfect harmony was the message delivered by World Sailing CEO Andy Hunt Sailing - sport, technology and nature in perfect harmony. This was the message delivered by World Sailing CEO Andy Hunt at the opening session of the Yacht Racing Forum in Valletta, Malta that provided the backbone to much of the day's conversations and presentations.
Posted on 29 Nov
Star Sailors League Finals – Opening ceremony at Bahamas
The curtains are about to be unveiled, with the grand Opening Ceremony at Government House of the Bahamas in Nassau The curtains are about to be unveiled, with the grand Opening Ceremony at Government House of the Bahamas in Nassau at the presence of Her Excellency Dame Marguerite Matilda Pindling
Posted on 28 Nov