Please select your home edition
Edition
Southern Spars - North Technology

Laser World Championships - Legends' return raises the stakes

by Oman Sail on 12 Nov 2013
Mapfre - Laser Standard Men’s World Championships © Jesus Renedo / Sofia Mapfre http://www.sailingstock.com
At the Laser competition, the return of Brazilian sailing legend Robert Scheidt after nine years in the Star class has raised the stakes among the 2016 Olympic Games contenders at the Laser Standard Men’s World Championships 2013 starting in the Sultanate of Oman on Sunday November 17, organized and hosted by the Ministry of Sports Affairs and Oman Sail.

Having won eight world titles and three Olympic medals in the class, the 40 year-old Scheidt is the most successful Laser sailor of all time. With the dropping of the Star class from the Olympic rota, he has now returned to Lasers to qualify for the Olympics on his home waters in Rio de Janeiro and is currently ranked number 71 Laser sailor in the world.

In his sights for the 2013 Laser World Championship title will be Australian national champion Tom Burton, who has been number one in the Laser world rankings for more than a year and who showed a fondness for the conditions in Oman when he won 2013 Mussanah Race Week (MRW) back in March.

The two champions have met just once in the heat of international battle when Burton won gold to Scheidt’s silver at the ISAF Sailing World Cup in Hyeres France in April 2013, paving the way for a tantalising rematch in what is a star-studded Laser fleet.


Of the 50 top ranked Laser sailors in the world, 46 of them will be on the start line at Mussanah Sports City in Oman, the world class sailing facility purpose built to Olympic standards, which is hosting its first ever sailing world championships.

Australia’s formidable Laser squad, boasting five sailors in the world’s top 20 are set for an intense week with Ryan Palk (five), Matthew Wearn (seven) and Ashley Brunning (eight) and Jared West (15) all at an advantage after finishing in the top 10 at MRW.

Britain, which since 2000 has produced two Olympic gold medal winners in Ben Ainslie and Paul Goodison, is also fielding a strong contingent with seven sailors in a team of eight ranked in the top 50 in the world. Both Alex Mills Barton (12) and Nick Thompson (17) will be keen to draw first blood at this early stage of their Olympic cycles.

Germany’s Phillip Buhl, the 2012 European Laser Champion, won Kiel Week in June beating Scheidt into second place and will be looking to use the Laser Worlds to hoist himself up the rankings from his current 20th place.

Scheidt may have his sights set on being the best in the world but first he has to prove he is the best in Brazil by fighting off the challenge from countryman Bruno Fontes who recently rose from ninth to third in the rankings after winning the Central and South American Laser Championships Higuerillas in Chile in September.

Fontes also finished fifth at the ISAF Sailing World Cup Miami and also in Palma and was sixth in Hyeres so the battle of the Brazilians will most certainly be one to watch in the steady breeze of Oman where conditions could be similar to Rio.


Sweden’s Jesper Stalheim, ranked fourth, has had a stellar year, winning the recent ISAF Sailing World Cup Test Event in Santander, the ISAF Sailing World Cup Miami and the Laser Europa Cup while Croatian Tonci Stipanovi?, who shot up the rankings from 14th to second after winning the ISAF Sailing World Cup Qingdao in China earlier this month is at the top of his game having come third in Hyeres and fourth in Palma.

Also in the running for the world title is Jean-Baptiste Bernaz who represented France at the Beijing and London Olympics, where he came tenth.

Closer to home, the exciting development of Oman’s young sailors will be propelled onto the world stage with the Sultanate’s only world ranked Laser sailor Hussain Al Jabri and team mates Ahmed Al Hassani and Ahmed Al Balushi all proudly flying the flag for Oman.

Under the tutelage of Oman Sail, their progress has been remarkable. Al Jabri, 25, who only learnt to sail in 2011 when he joined Oman Sail, was voted this year’s winner of Oman’s first ever Sailor of the Year Awards. Al Hassani sailed on board the Formula 18 (F18 catamaran) before joining Oman Sail's elite offshore crew on board Oman Air-Musandam (MOD70trimaran).


The 39th edition of the Laser World Championships is one of the largest dinghy sailing sporting events and the first sailing world championships ever held in the Sultanate of Oman. Over the course of seven weeks, Al Mussanah Sports City will play host to 390 of the world’s best sailors from 51 countries across Africa, Asia, Europe, Oceania, North, South and Central America contesting for the highest honors.

Organised by Oman Sail and the Omani Ministry of Sports Affairs, the Laser World Championships 2013 are being contested in three separate consecutive events for the Laser Standard Men’s, Laser Masters and Laser Radial Youth classes over a seven week period from 14th November through to 3rd January 2014. Omantel, the pioneer provider of leading edge telecommunications services in the Sultanate of Oman, is the title sponsor of the Laser World Championships. Oman Daily and Oman Observer are the official media partners.

To stay up to date: Oman Sail Website

Naiad/Oracle SupplierBarz Optics - FloatersKilwell - 5

Related Articles

America's Cup - Arbitration Panel Hearing over Kiwi Qualifier for July
ACEA CEO, Russell Coutts has confirmed that the Arbitration Panel will hold its first Hearing in July. In a yet to be published interview in Sail-World, America’s Cup Events Authority CEO, Russell Coutts has confirmed that the Arbitration Panel will hold its first Hearing in July. This is the first official indication that the three person Arbitration Panel had even been formed, however Sail-World’s sources indicated that it had been empanelled since last January, possibly earlier.
Posted on 27 May
Rio 2016 - The Qualification Games - Part 2
Yachting NZ's refusal to nominate in three classes won in the first round of 2016 Olympic Qualification is unprecedented Yachting New Zealand's refusal to nominate in three classes won in the first round of 2016 Olympic Qualification is without precedent. Subject to Appeal, the Kiwis have signaled that they will reject 30% of the positions gained in the ISAF World Sailing Championships in Santander in 2014.
Posted on 22 May
Gladwell's Line - World Sailing changes tack after IOC windshift
Over the past year, we've given the International Sailing Federation (now re-badged as World Sailing) a bit of stick Over the past year, we've given the International Sailing Federation (now re-badged as World Sailing) a bit of stick. Every blow well earned over issues such as the pollution at Rio, the Israeli exclusion abomination plus a few more. But now World Sailing is getting it right.
Posted on 21 May
Rio 2016 - The Qualification Games - Part 1
Antipodean selection shenanigans aside, the Qualification system for the Rio Olympics appears to be achieving its goals Antipodean selection shenanigans aside, the Qualification system for the Rio Olympics appears to be achieving goals set in the Olympic Commission report of 2010. Around 64 countries are expected to be represented in Rio de Janeiro in August. That is a slight increase on Qingdao and Weymouth, but more importantly a full regional qualification system is now in place
Posted on 19 May
Taming the beast-a conversation with Stuart Meurer of Parker Hannifin
While AC72 cats were fast, they difficult to control, so Oracle partnered with Parker Hannifin to innovate a better way. If you watched videos of the AC72s racing in the 34th America’s Cup (2013), you’re familiar with the mind-boggling speeds that are possible when wingsail-powered catamarans switch from displacement sailing to foiling mode. While foiling is fast, there’s no disguising the platform’s inherent instability. Now, Oracle Team USA has teamed up with Parker Hannifin to innovate a better way.
Posted on 18 May
From foiling Moths to Olympic starting lines-a Q&A with Bora Gulari
Bora Gulari’s is representing the USA at the Rio 2016 Olympics in the Nacra 17 class, along with teammate Louisa Chafee. Bora Gulari (USA) has made a strong name for himself within high-performance sailing circles, with wins at the 2009 and 2013 Moth Worlds. In between, he broke the 30-knort barrier and was the 2009 US SAILING Rolex Yachtsman of the Year. His latest challenge is representing the USA at the Rio 2016 Olympics in the Nacra 17 class as skipper, along with his teammate Louisa Chafee.
Posted on 12 May
Concern for Zika at Rio Olympics is now deadly serious
Alphabet soup is one description that has thus far not been used for either Guanabara Bay, Alphabet soup is one description that has thus far not been used for either Guanabara Bay, or the Rio Olympics. Many others have, and they were apt, but things have changed. So here now we have a situation where one man, Associate Professor Amir Attaran, who does have a more than decent string of letters after his name, is bringing nearly as many facts to bear as references at the article's end
Posted on 12 May
Zhik - The brand born of a notion, not its history
here is probably every reason that ocean rhymes with notion. Zhik’s tagline is officially marketed as Made For Water There is probably every reason that ocean rhymes with notion. Zhik’s tagline has been officially marketed as Made For Water, and this is precisely what the company has done for the last eight years before the succinct and apt strapline came from out of R&D and into mainstream visibility.
Posted on 8 May
Shape of next Volvo Ocean Race revealed at Southern Spars - Part 1
Southern Spars has been confirmed as the supplier of spars for the 2017-18 Volvo Ocean Race. In mid-April, Race Director, Jack Lloyd and Stopover Manager Richard Mason outlined the changes expected for the 40,000nm Race during a tour of Southern Spars 10,000sq metre specialist spar construction facility. A total of up to seven boats is expected to enter, but time is running out for the construction of any new boats.
Posted on 3 May
Sailing in the Olympics beyond 2016 - A double Olympic medalist's view
Bruce Kendall takes a look at what he believes Sailing needs to do to survive beyond the 2016 Olympics. Gold and Bronze medalist and multiple world boardsailing/windsurfer champion, Bruce Kendall takes a look at what he believes Sailing needs to do to survive beyond the 2016 Olympics. A key driver is the signalled intention by the International Olympic Committee to select a basket of events that will be contested.
Posted on 29 Apr