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Laser - Slingsby takes lead - Goodison stumbles

'Tom Slingsby - Laser Worlds 2008, Terrigal'    © Andrea Francolini Photography

The going gets tough and the tough get going. World champion Tom Slingsby grabbed a marginal lead at the Laser World Championship, revelling on his home waters off Terrigal on the Boral sponsored Day 4 of racing, on the eve of groups being split into Gold, Silver and Bronze for the Finals starting tomorrow.

Britain's Nick Thompson continues to lead the British competitors, now moving into sixth place after a fantastic day on the water. He took two wins and a third place - the strong wind conditions, winds reached 25 knots, and up to 28 in the gusts, on big seas and swells off Terrigal, were very much to his liking.

Similarly for Paul Goodison who also moved up the leaderboard today after a couple of third places, but was then DSQ in the final race of the day to drop him back to 21st. The penalty cost Goodison a fourth place that would have moved him into the leading group, he already has a 33rd on his card, so will need a second discard and lots of luck to get back into contention.

“I’ve been a little frustrated with the weather until yesterday. The sailing today was good. I had a very frustrating first day. It’s all about trying to piece it together now,” said the Brit.

Slingsby has a four point lead over Julio Alsogaray (ARG) after he scored a bullet, a fourth and a second place to lead the series on 11 points.

Slingsby is staying consistent, using a fifth place as his race drop, while the Argentinean continues to sail brilliantly, but uncharacteristic eighth and seventh places let him down a bit today. David Weaver (NZL) had another good day with 4-1-4 results to sit nicely in third place overall, six points behind the leader.

In Slingsby’s Yellow group today were major adversaries Paul Goodison (GBR) World Ranked No.2, and No. 4 Andrew Murdoch (NZL). It was back to a lovely sunny summer day; thankfully the rain and thunderstorms were missing.

“I’m tired,” Slingsby said clambering up the ramp this afternoon; “tired but happy. Andrew (Murdoch) was a bit too quick today. He sailed smart and everywhere he went turned to gold. But I’m happy with how I’m going; I’m sailing consistently. I just have to make sure I don’t have any bad races now. Good starts will be crucial,” Slingsby said.

“We duked it out between the three of us,” said Murdoch laughing. “We had very close racing in our group; it was a great group. We sailed so hard in that second race (Race 5) that I thought we wouldn’t have anything left in the tank for the last race of the day.” Murdoch said. 'Conditions were mostly round the 20 knot mark and gusting. On the last reach, we got as little as 10 knots at times. It was nice sailing”

Laser Worlds 2008, Terrigal (Australia) - 06/02/08 - -  © Andrea Francolini?nid=41670 Photography  

In the Blue group, Brad Funk (USA), who had been having a fabulous regatta, dropped down the board. Funk, who finished runner-up in the USA selections for the Beijing Games, scored a third in Race 4 to be second placed behind Slingsby, but then all came undone. “I got Black Flagged in Race 5 and then I went round a wrong mark in Race 6.

“I could have won all three races if I’d got it right. I’m hoping we get two throw-outs (race drops). I’m just happy to be in Australia. It’s great,” said Funk, one of the most popular sailors in park said after spiralling down the board into 24th overall.

The ‘player of the day’ award goes to Gustavo Lima from Portugal. On the last reach in Race 6, sailing in the Blue group, Lima was on the receiving end of a rocking penalty. “That’s it,” we all thought, but no, Lima took his 720 degree penalty turn in style, and came back to win the race in the final stages.

Brilliant sailing!

The Championship got tough when winds reached 25 knots, and up to 28 in the gusts, on big seas and swells off Terrigal in Australia today, but Race Officials breathed a sigh of relief as they managed to put three races to bed, starting the first group shortly after 9.30am. They did an excellent job.

Some sailors, however, did not enjoy conditions; exhaustion bringing them back to the Terrigal Trojan Rugby Club base. Andrey Quintero, trying to qualify Columbia for the Games was amongst the casualties. “The winds, the waves and the swell got so big; I just am not used to that. I am back because I am very tired,” the normally smiling Quintero said.

Adil Mohammed from the United Arab Emirates told a similar story. “Too much wind, so difficult, big waves, too much gusts,” said Mohammed who went on to say: “I am a bit light – around 68 kilos – for these big winds. I kept capsizing.”

Zimbabwe’s Patrick McCosh too, had trouble. “I capsized in the second race. By the time I got afloat again, the third race had started - and I would have been so far behind, I pulled out. We just don’t sail in these sorts of conditions at home.”

For Brazilian sailor Mateus Tavares, illness rather than the conditions, brought him ashore. “My championship is complicated. I did not do so well this morning in the first race. I am not feeling very well. I am going to lie down and see how I feel in the morning. If I am not well, then I will go home to Brazil and get ready for our Olympic selection series,” he said.

Laser - Leading positions after day 4, 6 races, 1 discard. (provisional) (157 entries)

1 AUS 193007 Slingsby Tom 3 -5 1 1 4 2 11 pts
2 ARG 193001 Alsogaray Julio 1 1 5 -8 7 1 15 pts
3 NZL 193119 Weaver David 7 -26 1 4 1 4 17 pts
4 ESP 193040 Hernandez Javier 6 1 -19 7 2 2 18 pts
5 SLO 193133 Zbogar Vasilij 4 2 6 5 5 -19 22 pts
6 GBR 193062 Thompson Nick 10 10 -17 1 1 3 25 pts
7 NZL 193117 Murdoch Andrew 20 -33 3 2 1 1 27 pts
8 FRA 193048 Pruvot Felix 4 8 5 -10 2 8 27 pts
9 POR 193123 Lima Gustavo -15 1 9 9 9 1 29 pts
10 NZL 193120 Bullot Michael 1 -17 10 9 5 6 31 pts
11 GER 193068 Schlonski Alexander 7 4 4 12 6 -25 33 pts
12 CHI 193025 Del Solar Matias 2 3 12 13 4 -19 34 pts
13 CRO 193033 Vujasinovic Milan 2 -48 13 2 9 10 36 pts
14 BRA 193011 Fontes Bruno 1 11 3 -13 10 13 38 pts
15 SWE 193141 Mygren Rasmus 3 20 9 2 6 -34 40 pts
16 SWE 193140 Suneson Karl 10 -18 8 9 5 9 41 pts
17 CAN 193016 Torchinsky Abe 3 5 12 12 11 -45 43 pts
18 URU 193152 Foglia Alejandro -20 10 13 3 11 12 49 pts
19 POL 193122 Porozynski Karol 7 14 -18 11 13 4 49 pts
20 CRO 193032 Arapov Mate -15 6 8 12 8 15 49 pts
21 GBR 193064 Goodison Paul 8 33 4 3 3 (dsq) 51 pts
22 GER 193072 Grotel? Simon 6 -26 10 8 3 24 51 pts
23 NED 193111 de Haas Marc 13 21 -29 5 12 3 54 pts
24 GRE 193074 Bougiouris Adonis 2 -45 7 17 3 26 55 pts
25 SWE 193139 Wigforss Johan 12 -44 19 8 6 10 55 pts

Laser - other GBR positions:

37 GBR 193065 Godwin Robert -22 7 52 17 20 13 70 pts
39 GBR 193058 Scott Evan 8 -28 8 26 21 8 71 pts
52 GBR 193063 Tweddell Oliver 11 19 25 21 -28 9 85 pts
71 GBR 193060 Gray James 39 -42 9 17 18 24 107 pts
78 GBR 193057 Mon Eifion 29 -31 24 16 28 16 113 pts
101 GBR 193056 Mon Dyfrig 21 38 24 25 -39 31 139 pts
112 GBR 193066 Evans Sean 28 34 29 33 26 (dnf) 150 pts
113 GBR 193061 Holloway Max 44 (ocs) 30 24 35 19 152 pts
131 GBR 193055 Breen-turner Dominic 46 (ocs) 36 38 32 33 185 pts
132 GBR 193067 Godwin Stuart 45 -47 39 46 39 20 189 pts
134 GBR 193059 Cooper George (raf) 32 42 42 40 37 193 pts

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:⁄⁄

by Di Pearson


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9:15 AM Sun 10 Feb 2008 GMT

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