Laser Masters- The sun didn’t shine but the action still sparkled on day three of the Neil Pryde 2011 Australian Laser Masters Championship. There are nine National titles to be won at this one event and a mass of ‘Laser Cubes’ which are awarded as prizes at events all over the world and are a highly desirable show piece.
The Laser Class comprises of three classes in one, made up of the same boat but with three different sized sails. The Laser Standard is the largest with a 7m sail, the Laser Radial is the middle sized with a 5.7m sail and the Laser 4.7, yes, has a 4.7m sail. Selection of a class depends on each sailor’s size, the bigger the sailor. This enables the class to cater for a large range of sailor weights with competitors at this event ranging from 45kgs – 115kgs.
There are nine different divisions in this Championship divided by age from Apprentice Master (35 - 44 years) to Master (45 – 54 years), Grand Master (55 – 64 years) and Great Grand Master (65 years plus) in both the Laser Standard and Laser Radial. With the Laser 4.7 making its debut at this event, entries are small, so all ages are racing as one fleet. The Laser 4.7 will inevitably become a great success, attracting more women and light weight sailors into the class.
Many disqualifications for false starts were awarded today as sailors push the limits to gain an advantage as the competition heats up. The winds were shifty and gusty, ranging in strength from 8 – 18 knots.
'I have really enjoyed the last few days, having a separate event for Masters is great. The racing is competitive with a high standard yet not too serious, especially off the water where it has been very sociable. The location is fantastic, Port Stephens is beautiful and the race course is creating good quality tight racing'. Laser Standard Apprentice Master, Stuart Holdsworth.
There have been plenty of entertaining ‘senior moments’ on the water such as forgetting sail battens, capsizing, hitting marks and collisions due to failing eye sight rather than a disregard for the rules. 'The prize for the funniest incident has to be watching one guy bringing his boat back upright after capsizing and he had hooked up the marker buoy warp with his top sail batten and the mark was literally hoisted right up the mast!!' shared ALCA President, Ken Hurling.
Action from the Australian Laser Masters Championship 2011 - performance Sailcraft Australasia (PSA) Media
Claire Heenan had the best day again in the Laser 4.7 fleet, mirroring her scores from yesterday with two race wins and a second place in the three races. Kerry Waraker won two races bringing his total to five wins which keeps him in the lead of the Radial Great Grand Masters fleet. 'I like the fact the Laser is one-design so we all race on an equal playing field and I like racing people my age as I can still be competitive' Waraker explained.
Chris Meech from Gosford Sailing Club moved up from fourth to second and Micheal Pitt moved into the lead in the Radial Grand Masters. Mark Kennedy won two races and sits just one point behind David Early who leads the Radial Masters.
In the Standard rig fleets, Graham Oborn in the Great Grand Master has a ten point lead over Don Roach. Colin Dibb in the Grand Master fleet has a sixteen point lead, the largest of any of the fleets. Mark Tonner-Joyce had the best day in the Masters fleet scoring two firsts and a second which puts him in second place overall behind Bradley Taylor.
Brett Beyer dominated the first two days of racing with straight wins leaving his competitors feeling that they were competing for second place but today the Standard Apprentice Masters title opened back up after Beyer was disqualified from two races for false starting. Queenslander, Anthony Baisden moved into the overall lead followed by Brett Morris from Victoria who had the best day today, winning two races.
The winners will be crowned on the fourth and final day of racing on Monday 14 February – happy Valentine’s Day!
Leader Boards (PROVISIONAL)
Laser Standard Apprentice
1 Anthony Baisden (QLD) 16pts
2 Brett Morris (VIC) 18pts
3 Brett Beyer (VIC) 24pts
Laser Standard Master
1 Bradley Taylor (QLD) 13pts
2 Mark Tonner-Joyce (VIC) 19pts
3 Greg Adams (QLD) 33pts
Laser Standard Grand Master
1 Colin Dibb (WA) 9pts
2 Stefan Kurys-Romer (WA) 25pts
3 Mark Phillips (NSW) 31pts
Laser Standard Great Grand Master
1 Graham Oborn (NSW) 7pts
2 Don Roach (NSW) 17pts
3 Maurice Meyer (QLD) 23pts
Laser Radial Apprentice Master
1 Owen McMahon (VIC) 11pts
2 Richard Bott (NSW) 13pts
3 Martin Wilson (NSW) 19pts
Laser Radial Master
1 David Early (NSW) 19pts
2 Mark Kennedy (QLD) 20pts
3 John Jagger (VIC) 23pts
Laser Radial Grand Master
1 Michael Pitt (QLD) 17pts
2 Christopher Meech (NSW) 25pts
3 John Sprague (NSW) 26pts
Laser Radial Great Grand Master
1 Kerry Waraker (QLD) 12pts
2 Kevin Phillips (NSW) 19pts
3 Lew Verdon (NSW) 23pts
1 Martin Brady (NSW) 10pts
2 Claire Heenan (NSW) 11pts
3. Bronwyn Mitchell (NSW) 18pts
Results Link: http://www.yachting.org.au/site/yachting/event/33233/default.html