Laser Masters World Championships opening in Oman
by Oman Sail on 2 Dec 2013
Laser Masters World Championships 2013 get underway on Monday 2nd December at 12.00pm with two races scheduled. Just a week after the curtain came down on an action packed Laser World Championships, a new set of starting signals were sounded in Mussanah Beach today to mark the opening of the Laser Masters World Championships 2013 following a lively launch party last night.
Laser World Championships 2013 © Lloyd Images
Around 300 guests gathered on the Millennium Resort Hotel’s quayside at the Al Mussannah Sports City on Saturday to be warmly welcomed to the party, which was jointly hosted by Oman Sail and Oman’s Ministry of Sports Affair.
They included 184 sailors who have flown into Oman, many of them with their families, from 34 countries around the world. For most of them, it is their first visit to the Sultanate so the opportunity to ride on camels for the first time and sample some traditional Omani fare put smiles on their faces.
Hundreds of mussar scarves were handed out as gifts and guests were treated to an exhibition of dance and music as a group of young Omanis performed routines steeped in ancient maritime history, depicting times when entire communities turned out to welcome back merchant ships after long trading voyages.
His Excellency Sheikh Rashad Al Hinai, Undersecretary of the Ministry of Sports Affairs and Chairman of the Organizing Committee of championships sent his best wishes to the sailors on their arrival to Oman.
'The Laser Masters has attracted a number of senior professionals who have had great experience in this sport including previous world championships,' he said.
'The championships provide a platform to continue their competitive journey in the sport and we are delighted they are able to do it here at Mussanah Sports City. It is a sports complex that was designed especially for these types of events so we hope they enjoy the experience as much as the Laser sailors last week.'
H.E also thanked all the officials and participants who were contributing to the success of the championships and wished all the competitors a successful week and some memorable sport in Sultanate’s sailing conditions.
A handful of sailors dominated the action when the flag went up on the first day’s racing with Edward Tam of New Zealand, Sweden’s Bo Johannisson and Ian Jones of Britain reveling in the light airs to go undefeated after two Radial races.
In the Standard fleets, the Australians were at the top of their form with former Flying Dutchman and Soling World Champion Mark Bethwaite from Sydney dominating the Great Grand Masters for sailors over 65 and Greg Adams recording two straight wins in the largest fleet of the regatta, the Grand Masters.
Arnoud Hummel, the father of Dutchman Yuri Hummel who finished in 25th place at the Laser Worlds last week, was top of the Standard Masters leaderboard while a fascinating tussle between New Zealand’s Scott Leith and Orlando Gledhill of Great Britain was taking shape in the Standard Apprentice class. This promises to be one of the most absorbing battles of the 2013 Laser Masters World Championships.
It was also a good day for the women sailors after Kimberley Couranz, the former Yngling sailor from the USA, achieved a fifth and a third to lie in third place overall in the Radial Apprentice class and Vanessa Dudley from Australia sitting in third place in the Radial Grand Master fleet.