by Daphne Morgan Barnicoat on 22 Nov 2013
Laser World Championships 2013 - Nick Thompson (GBR) © Lloyd Images
Light winds and big shifts once again kept both race officials and sailors on their toes with the forecast of a major storm during the afternoon putting time pressures on the course setters. But after one Gold fleet race and a shortened Silver fleet circuit, the fleet was sent back to shore as lightning started to strike at Musannah beach.
After a morning postponement lasting almost two hours, the Gold fleet were sent off with the wind speed hovering around the six knot mark and the shifts creating uncertainty on the start line.
Thompson made his decision to go right which proved the favoured side and moved into the lead while German sailor Philippe Buhl also plumped for the right and soon became locked in combat with his British rival in a battle that continued all the way round the course.
Choosing the left side proved to be a mistake that leader Robert Scheidt, Pavlos Kontides and Tonci Stipanovic all paid heavily for as a big separation quickly developed.
'It was a bit weird,' said Scheidt whose 12th place was still good enough to keep him at the top of the leaderboard.
'It was not a great day but I’m hanging on in there. In our race, we had the best wind of the day and at the start, I was thinking left but the right paid so I didn’t have a very good first beat. At this level, it is much hard to recover than it was in the qualifying series so getting a good start becomes even more important.
'In around 70% of the races this week, the left side has paid but not today so Jesper and Tonci trusted the left and paid for it while Nick went right. By the top mark there was a big separation and everyone was sailing different races.'