Please select your home edition
Edition
Wildwind 2016 728x90

Laser Masters World Championship - A nail biter to the very end

by Paige Brooks on 15 Aug 2011
Laser Masters Worlds 2011 Paige Brooks
Laser Masters World Championship, held at St. Francis Yacht Club, San Francisco started on 6th August and finished on 13th August. San Francisco Bay’s trademark current and wild wind made a final appearance for the conclusion of the event.

Competitors put on their warm gear and hopped into their boats one last time Saturday morning in preparation for the day's races. The week was one of grinding upwind work, epic downwind legs, heartbreak with OCSs and forgotten parts, and lots of camaraderie on shore. The travelling party of Masters sailors and friends ends (for this year) here in San Francisco with closing ceremonies and a leisurely dinner at the St. Francis Yacht Club. These old guys and gals know how to make the most of a Worlds regatta.

In the Standard Apprentice Masters fleet, it was not an old guy, but 35 year old Benjamin Richardson (USA) who soundly won his class. Richardson trained with several accomplished Masters Worlds Champions, Peter Shope, Scott Ferguson and Brett Beyer in preparation for the racing here, watching the weather forecasts to find the biggest wind days in Marblehead, MA to go sailing. 'I was well prepared,' he said. Just behind him, Orlando Gledhill, second, (GBR) and Kevin Taugher, third, (USA) had fantastic finishes, but in all not quite enough. 'Orlando and Kevin definitely improved over the course of the regatta,' Richardson said.

In the Radial Apprentice Masters, New Zealander Scott Leith planned to go sailing on the final day, even though he didn’t have to. Leith, who travelled here with a 16-strong contingent from NZL, had an impressive 11 points going into the day. 'I put too much into this regatta to leave without sailing the last day, and I’m not that good of a sight-seer,' Leith said. After a hip replacement in March, Leith has been slowly working to improve his flexibility in order to get to this regatta. He said he still feels the aches from a 30 tack beat up the City Front on his first race of the regatta. But it evidently didn't hold him back. In a tight battle for second and third, Ian Gregory (GBR), Edmund Tam, another Kiwi, and Joe Burcar were all within four points of each other in advance of the final race, ultimately Tam and Gregory finished the week in second and third. Buff Wendt (USA) was the top female finisher.

Another competitor, Keith Wilkens, also had a great enough point spread between himself and the second place in the Great Grand Masters Radial fleet. In his case, he decided to put his boat away and watch the racing from shore as a now five time world champion. Peter Seidenberg (USA) finished in second with two bullets today, and James Quinn (NZL) finished in third.

Colin Dibb (AUS) locked in his win in the Standard Grand Masters against Peter Vessella (USA) who was just one point behind him. 'We battled it out both races,' Dibb said. 'I managed to get the Dominican (Jorge Abreu) between us in the first race, and Lars (Hanson, USA) between us in the second, just to give me a few extra points. It was just a great day!' Dibb said with one of his ear to ear smiles. Vessella finished in second and Malcolm Courts (GBR) in third.

Bill Symes finished his regatta in the Radial Grand Masters with two more bullets. 'I won the last six races...I got on a roll and couldn’t seem to do anything wrong.' Still it didn’t come easy for him, 'you had to be on your toes changing gears all the time.' With the sometimes fluky wind and big puffs, it required finesse to get to the top mark. Bruce Martinson (USA) and Rob Lowndes (AUS) finished second and third, respectively, after going into the day tied in points.

Canadian Al Clark, sailing in the Radial Masters, had to hold his top position in the fleet and that he did. Starting the day three points ahead of Brazilian Carlos Wanderly, Clark was able to lead at the top mark and win the first race. Clark said he didn’t see the Brazilian and was 'sailing with a different group of guys behind me so I could relax a little.' Wanderly did not have a good race compared to the rest of his week, finishing in 22nd, thus sealing second place for his regatta. Marcelo Fuchs (BRA) finished third overall. Diane Sissingh (AUS) won the women’s division in the Radial Master’s Fleet.

The Standard Masters, the deepest and largest fleet in the regatta proved to be a nail biter to the very end. Arnoud Hummel (NED) will leave the regatta as the winner, but it wasn’t without a fight. Going into the day, Brett Beyer (AUS) and he were tied for first and they never left contact with each other for either race. 'I had a bit better start, he’s a bit faster upwind and I’m faster downwind, so it all works out to be pretty close.' Hummel said. 'At the leeward mark, I pushed him up causing him to have to gybe twice which gave me that first race.' Hummel then had no choice but to sail the last race, lest Beyer win it and then in a tie breaker, win the regatta. So in the second race, 'I had to beat him, and I did, but just by a very little bit.' Scott Ferguson held his third place position with a sixth and seventh in the last two races.

'San Francisco has been exactly what they promised us last year: Big wind, steep waves, and challenging current,' Arnoud said. And he, along with all of the other winners here, leaves a world champion.
Final results







Event website

Schaefer 2016 Ratchet Block 660x82Barz Optics - Melanin LensesInSunSport - NZ

Related Articles

Debriefing the 2016 Rio Olympics—Sailing news North America and beyond
Editorial Editorial
Posted on 23 Aug
2016 Sail Canada Senior Championships - Day 4
After not sailing on Sunday due to heavy winds, sailors returned to the water today at Sail Canada Senior Championships 2016 Sail Canada Senior Championships - After not sailing on Sunday due to heavy winds, sailors returned to the water today at the Sail Canada Senior Championships at Cork OCR. Today’s conditions were ideal, with a breeze of 18-19 knots from the southwest, and sunny skies.
Posted on 23 Aug
2016 U.S. Team Racing Championship – Final report
Team Trouble saved their best for Sunday’s knockout rounds and rallied to win the historic George R. Hinman Trophy 2016 U.S. Team Racing Championship - Team Trouble, comprised of Charles Higgins (Norfold, Va.), Johnny Norfleet (New York, NY), Isabel Strachan (Annapolis, Md.), Matt Allen (Hamilton, Mass.). Gabriel Smith (Annapolis, Md.) and Arielle Darrow, saved their best for Sunday’s knockout rounds and rallied to win the historic George R. Hinman Trophy at the 2016 U.S. Team Racing Championship, hosted by Sa
Posted on 23 Aug
The Clipper Race turns 20!
Throughout the race, tales of crew celebrating birthdays on board filter back and they are always a special occasion Throughout the race, tales of Clipper Race crew celebrating their birthdays on board filter back and they are always a special occasion, likely to remain a completely unique event in their lifetime.
Posted on 23 Aug
A magnificent fleet gathers in Cowes for Etchells World Championship
58 teams from all over the world have entered the championship, hosted by the Royal London Yacht Club. Twenty teams are from Great Britain and a dozen each from Australia and the United States of America. Four entries are from Hong Kong and as far afield as: Bermuda, Ireland, New Zealand, Portugal, Singapore, and the United Arab Emirates.
Posted on 22 Aug
FAST40+ Class to be the first to have honour of racing for One Ton Cup
14 FAST40+ racing yachts are expected, flying the flags of England, Germany, Ireland, Scotland, South Africa and the USA 14 high performance FAST40+ racing yachts are expected for the One Ton Cup, flying the flags of England, Germany, Ireland, Scotland, South Africa and the United States of America. The crew, of which only five can be professionals, come from countries all over the world.
Posted on 22 Aug
Noroton Yacht Club dominates Hinman Trophy Team Race
Sailors often say it’s the little things that make the difference between winning and lose. 2016 Hinman Trophy Team Race - Sailors often say it’s the little things that make the difference between winning and lose. This was the case for Noroton Yacht Club as they won the Invitational Team Race Regatta for the Commodore George R. Hinman Masters Trophy for the second straight year, though maybe not in the way you’d expect.
Posted on 22 Aug
Drama Queen - Goransson wins Melges 32 National Championship
Richard Goransson and his Inga from Sweden team have claimed the 2016 US Melges 32 National Championship 2016 US Melges 32 National Championship - After a weekend of challenging, moderate conditions in Newport, RI, Richard Goransson and his Inga from Sweden team have claimed the 2016 US Melges 32 National Championship hosted by Sail Newport. Capping a weekend full of tight racing with lead changes around the track, it was fitting that the final race had three teams fighting for the regatta win
Posted on 22 Aug
2016 Samson North American Championship - Day 5 - Final day of racing
The forecast was dismal for racing, but the PRO Hank Stuart and the Race Committee showed great patience. 2016 Samson North American Championship - The forecast was dismal for racing, but the PRO Hank Stuart and the Race Committee at the Rochester Yacht Club showed great patience. The fleet went out in a light breeze and were held in postponement for about an hour.
Posted on 22 Aug
Audi Hamilton Island Race Week 2016 - Day 1 Video
Day 1 of Audi Hamilton Race Week 2016 provided the first opportunity for Wild Oats XI and Scallywag to go head-to-head Day 1 of Audi Hamilton Race Week 2016 provided the first opportunity for Wild Oats XI and Scallywag to go head-to-head on an inshore race course. The two boats shadowed each other in the pre-race manoeuvres prior to the start of a race to Lindeman Island and back, starting in Dent Passage. Both boats made a fine spectacle as they reached to the northern tip of Dent Island before heading upwind
Posted on 21 Aug