The 2012 Laser World Masters Championships will be sailed from the Royal Queensland Yacht Squadron, Manly (Queensland, Australia) on Brisbane’s Moreton Bay.
Today Friday 9 March, is the first day of registration for the 233 sailors from 19 countries around the world who will be competing from Sunday 11 March to next Saturday 17 March.
Two races are scheduled for each day of the championships, except for Wednesday 14 March, which is the designated lay day.
Across Australia it’s been a wild and wet summer. Twice this summer areas of Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria have experience massive floods, with areas greater than Germany and France combined under water.
Anything might happen weather-wise for the Laser Masters Worlds fleet. During the Australian Laser Masters Championship a cyclone (hurricane or typhoon) warning was issued which came to nought, just a day of driving rain on the Waterloo Bay course, followed by one of rain squalls with tops of 25 knots. A day of bright sunshine and a postcard 13-14 knots with tops of 21 knots from the south east followed, but since then an east coast low has formed just a little to the south of the area. This kind of weather means this Worlds regatta could well be a windy one.
With many world champions amongst the 233 sailors, competition is expected to be tight and all divisions hotly contested.
In the 17 boat Laser Radial Apprentice (aged 35-44) fleet, Scott Leith (NZL) will be looking for the triple after wins in 2010 and 2011. Edmund Tam is part of the strong Kiwi contingent. Tam finished second in this division last year. Jean-Christophe (FRA) was second in 2010, Ian Gregory (GBR) third in 2011 and Matthiew Bruehl (GER), who finished third in 2010, will ensure Leith does not have it all his own way.
The Laser Radial Masters (aged 45-54) 2011 defending champion is Al Clark (CAN). This 38 boat fleet includes New Zealander Hamish Atkinson, who returns to 2012 Masters Worlds after placing third in 2010, and there are many strong contenders amongst this big fleet.
To sail the Laser Radial Grand Masters (55-64) is Bruce Martinson (USA), who finished second in 2011 after placing third at Hayling Island in 2010. He feels there is a logical progression to the top spot on the podium however there will 36 other sailors keen to wreck his arithmetic. The 1997 Masters Champion Doug Peckover (USA) will be amongst them. There are lots of notable Laser sailors in this group, including Royal Queensland Yacht Squadron’s (AUS) Womens World Champion Lyndall Patterson, Australian Laser Class President Ken Hurling and Rob Lowndes (AUS), who will all be keen to ensure Martinson, a Wyzata dentist, will have more work to do than pulling teeth.
Laser Radial Great Grand Master (age 65+) Worlds Champion Keith Wilkins (GBR) winner in 2010 and 2011, will be defending his record 12 world titles. Trying to get past him will be 34 sailors, including the American ‘iron man’ 74 years old Peter Seidenberg, who placed second in both the 2011 and 2010 championships. Peter has collected eight world championships over 29 of the 30 Masters Worlds held.
In the Standard Apprentice field (age 35-44) it's going to be hard to go past Royal Queensland’s (AUS) own Tony Baisden, the 2011 and 2012 Australian Champion, who dropped a first place in his whitewash at the 2012 Australian Masters titles. Rest assured there will be 18 other sailors trying hard to do just that.
In the Laser Standard Masters field (age 45-54) Brett Beyer (AUS) with seven World Master titles under his belt stretching back to 2001 in Ireland, will be looking to improve on his second in San Francisco (2011). This is the biggest field in these championships with 43 entries, so it will be a tough ask.
In the Laser Standard Grand Master (age 55-65) division former Finn world champion Wolfgang Gerz (GER) the 2010 World Champion will be amongst the favourites in the 36 boat fleet, as will Malcolm Courts (GBR) who was third in San Francisco.
As Kevin Wilson, the Principal Race Officer for the World Championships commented this morning, as he and the event management team prepared for registration, ‘It’s going to be an interesting week ahead with a lot of World Champions battling for another title.
‘Right now the only thing we really know for sure is that Royal Queensland Yacht Squadron’s extensive rigging lawns over which the Laser Masters fleet is spread, are lush green.
‘We hope they don’t get too much more liquid sunshine this week.’
Current list of countries competing and number of sailors (alphabetical):
1 - Argentina
153 - Australian
8 - Canada
1 – Chile
2 – Denmark
2- Dominican Republic
3 – Germany
13 – Great Britain
1 - Mexico
23 – New Zealand
1 – Qatar
1 – RSA
12 - United States
The 2012 Laser Masters World Championship is sponsored by Performance Sailcraft Pty.Ltd. the South Pacific Laser manufacturer.
For more event media information contact Event media +61418441359
by Laser World Masters Championships media
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1:04 AM Fri 9 Mar 2012GMT
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