Please select your home edition
Edition
Southern Spars

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

upffront 660x82Bakewell-White Yacht DesignWildwind 2016 660x82

Related Articles

Extreme Sailing Series – Oman braced for final day epic with Alinghi
The Swiss team had an outstanding day posting six outright wins but Morgan and his Oman Air crew were never far behind. The Swiss team had an outstanding day posting six outright wins in seven races but Morgan Larson and his Oman Air crew were never far behind, finishing every single race on the podium with five second places and two thirds.
Posted today at 6:42 pm
British entries on podium as Clipper Race returns after 11 months
UK entries triumphed to take all three podium places in the toughest edition yet of the longest ocean race on the planet Thousands of spectators lined the River Thames and packed St Katharine Docks to welcome home over 250 crew, representing 44 different nationalities, many of whom have been at sea for eleven months racing between six continents in the only challenge of its kind for amateur sailors.
Posted today at 4:48 pm
PA Consulting Allen RS Feva Worlds Santander – Day 4
Final days ‘winners’ were Charles Elliott/Ethan Miles who racked up a healthy 20pts, so imagine how it fared for others! The fat lady arrived a little late but then sang lustily. A champion was born. William Pank and … from Norwich School sailed smart and fast all week and were crowned fully deserving champions.
Posted today at 4:34 pm
CYCA Land Rover Gold Coast Race - Start video from Boatsontv
Geoff Waller of Boatsontv was on the water to capture the start of the CYCA land Rover Gold Coast Race Geoff Waller of Boatsontv was on the water to capture the start of the CYCA land Rover Gold Coast Race, which is used as a feeder for the race fleets to the popular Queensland winter regattas such as Hamilton Island Race Week. He also talks with Scallywag skipper David Witt a few days before the start of the winter classic.
Posted today at 12:17 pm
South Australians early casualties of Land Rover Sydney GC Yacht Race
The two entries representing South Australia in the 2016 Land Rover Sydney Gold Coast Yacht Race became early casualties The two entries representing South Australia in the 2016 Land Rover Sydney Gold Coast Yacht Race became early casualties after both sustained bow damage in separate incidents, joining a NSW yacht that was involved in one of those incidents, all three within the first half hour of the race.
Posted today at 9:20 am
LMAX Exchange wins the Clipper 2015-16 Round the World Yacht Race
LMAX Exchange was confirmed last night as winner of Clipper 2015-16 Round the World Yacht Race. LMAX Exchange, skippered by Frenchman Olivier Cardin, was confirmed last night as winner of the tenth edition of the world’s longest ocean race, the Clipper 2015-16 Round the World Yacht Race.
Posted today at 9:03 am
CYCA Land Rover Gold Coast Race - Images of supermaxi Scallywag
Sydney photographer Michael Chittenden filed this gallery of images from the start. The supermaxi Scallywag made her ocean racing debut in the CYCA Land Rover Gold Coast Race which got underway on Sydney harbour on Saturday afternoon. After a tight start the David Witt skippered supermaxi settled into her work and began the chase with her long standing rival, Wild Oats XI.
Posted today at 7:19 am
Edgartown Race Week - Final
It was a rainy and dreary start to the day out here on Marth’s Vineyard. The racing started at 11:00. It was a rainy and dreary start to the day out here on Marth’s Vineyard. By 11:00, it became a blustery and rainy day. The racing started at 11:00 and I haven’t sailed in that much rain in a while.
Posted today at 6:20 am
Nic Douglass - On the dock and on board with the 'fat bottomed girl'
Nic Douglass, caught up with the crew of the supermaxi, Comanche, after she had completed her latest mission Adventures of a Sailor Girl, Nic Douglass, caught up with the crew of the supermaxi, Comanche, after she had completed her latest mission and had chopped 27.5hrs off the trans-Atlantic Race Record for a manually powered monohull. The last time I was waiting for Comanche to arrive after achieving a goal that they had set out to achieve was a very different scene
Posted today at 5:25 am
CYCA Land Rover Gold Coast Race - Replay coverage of the start
Replay coverage of the CYCA Land Rover Sydney Gold Coast Race start Replay coverage of the CYCA Land Rover Sydney Gold Coast Race start. The fleet got away to a clean start this afternoon in Sydney. The supermaxi, Wild Oats XI (Oatley family) led the 177 strong fleet through Sydney Heads, with ScallywagHK, the former Ragamuffin 100 in second place. Commentary bought to you by Bob Killick and Warwick Rooklyn.
Posted today at 4:33 am