Laser Junior World and European Standard and Radial Championships were held in La Rochelle, France between 16th and 31st July 2011.
Perfect sailing conditions on the first day of the championship saw Australians off to a good start, which they maintained throughout the competition despite a downturn in the weather.
The Laser class, undeniably the largest competition class in the world saw the fleets divided into colours with competitors alternating each day.
Typically for France, winds and currents varied across a full range throughout the regatta leaving no room for complacency. Whilst 20 to 30 knot gusty wind conditions were generally comfortable for the Australians, some were challenged by the currents and the three metre swells.
The Laser Radial fleet attracted 131 entries including five Australians who all finished in the top 18. Deservedly won by Marcin Rudawski of Poland, Australian, James Burman missed by only two points to finish second followed by Dutch sailor Yuri Hummel in third and WA’s Tristan Brown (RFBYC) positioned fourth. Mark Spearman (RPYC) finished with an 11th having started well but carrying a couple of 19s. Mitchell Kennedy and Jeremy O’Connel finished seventh and 11th respectively.
The Laser Standard fleet drew 147 sailors to the start line, again divided into three colours. Competition was fierce with top sailor New Zealand Sam Meech blitzing the regatta with, after drops a clean card of first with two seconds. The British sailors took second and third followed by WA sailors Ki Raphael Sulkowski (RFBYC) in fourth and Luke Elliott (Esperance) in sixth. Yachting WA website