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Laser Radial World Championship - Lithuanian sailor claims gold

by Deike Mary Flemming on 21 May 2012
Laser Radial Worlds 2012 Prizegiving Nils Bergmann - Segelaction.de
At the Laser Radial World Championships, in a six to eight knot strong sea breeze, the first race pushed the sailors to their limits. A total of ten yellow flags were awarded, the majority for rocking the boat. For favourites Sari Multala (FIN) and Alison Young (GBR) it was the second yellow flag, which meant they had to retire from the race.

The two penalty turns for her first yellow flag in the same race pushed Marit Bouwmeester (NED) to 18th place. The last race of the series was sailed in fresher winds between twelve and 16 knots.

'I had a good feel for this regatta from the beginning, because I think it’s more my conditions' says Gintare Scheidt from Lithuania, who grew up sailing on lakes. Many sailors and race officials have likened the conditions on the race area to those of a lake, a sentiment that Scheidt says she shares. She proved that consistent results were the key to success in this regatta series and won her first ever World Championship without ever taking the top spot in any of the races. Ten points behind Scheidt in second place overall is Lijia Xu (CHN) who started off with top results but appears to have been on the wrong side of the wind shifts for the last couple of days.

The battle for third place was only decided during the very last race after Alison Young and Sari Multala were both disqualified for rocking their boats in the light breeze of the first race. Multala beat Young to the medal with a third place in the last race, while Young finished the series with an 18th place and became third overall.


18-year-old Erika Reineke (USA) not only won in the U21 ranking ahead of Brenda Bowskill (CAN) and Philipine Van Aanholt (AHO) but also managed to achieve a somewhat unexpected top 10 result overall, one place ahead of fellow American Paige Railey in ninth place.

Paulina Czubachowska from Poland won the Rookie Prize for the best results of those participating in a World Championship the first time with the 47th place overall in gold fleet.

The nations qualified for the last remaining Olympic tickets are the following, subject to ISAF ratification: Poland, The Netherlands, Netherlands Antilles, Guatemala, Russia, Uruguay, Greece, Estonia, US Virgin Islands and Laser Worlds website

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