In big winds and seas off The Haven at Terrigal in the late hours of last evening, the start vessel for the 2008 Laser World Championship broke its moorings and washed up on the beach.
On loan from the Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club on Sydney’s Northern Beaches, the motor boat was swamped by waves and lies on its side on the beach semi-submerged throughout the night and this morning.
Local police, the NSW Fire Brigade, inclusive of a Hazardous Materials Response Unit arrived at The Haven shortly after 10.00am this morning and are working away to lift the waterlogged and sand drenched boat out and onto land, where it will be inspected. It is yet to be determined whether the boat can be salvaged or not.
Jeff Martin, Executive Secretary of the International Laser Association and Rob Lowndes, Event Chairman, said this morning that whilst obviously it was upsetting to have the incident happen, particularly when the boat was so generously loaned by the RPAYC, that: “the show will go on, there will be a Championship.”
The Laser Worlds get underway tomorrow with a practice race for the 160 competitors representing 56 nations, starting from 2.30pm, provided conditions are suitable. Weather forecasters say competitors can expect big waves, chop and swell and up to 15 knot shifty winds, which will make life strategically tricky and interesting for the sailors and the race committee.
In other news, representatives from the Australian Sports Anti Doping Authority arrived at the World’s venue just after 10.00am this morning to randomly test some competitors.
Still very overcast and rainy in this normally sunny holiday destination, some competitors are planning to do some practice sail training, whilst others are conserving their energies for the opening races on Thursday. While winds are quite light this morning, the high winds of last evening have left big waves and swell; good for testing skill and patience.
For all information on the Gosford Sailing Club hosted Laser World’s, including mark roundings, photos and more on the Laser World Championship go to: http:⁄⁄aus08.laserinternational.org/