Laser Masters from 27 countries trained this year in the biggest wind they could find in preparation for the 2011 Laser Masters Worlds on San Francisco Bay.
Today, the breeze did not disappoint. After a postponement due to lack of wind, the racing commenced at high noon and the shoot-out began in 16 - 25 knots of breeze.
Peter Vessella (USA) who we reported yesterday was in second overall was re-scored with an OCS and dropped to fourth, with Colin Dibb (AUS) in first in the Standard Grand Masters. Today, Peter came to shore with two bullets in his pocket and on top of the leader board thanks in part to an OCS scored for Dibb. The racing started in the mid teens and in the second race was up to 20 knots of wind according to Vessella. 'We had giant waves downwind - at least six to eight feet - it was incredible! Colin caught a huge ferry boat wave and rode it all the way to the leeward mark into first.' Unfortunately Dibb was OCS. In the second race with more wind, 'we were hanging on for dear life but it was fun,' Vessella said. He had a photo finish with Mark Bethwaite (AUS) but nosed ahead and won.
In the Standard Apprentice Laser Fleet, Ben Richardson from Glouster, MA has a set of scores that most sailors would be envious of - Five points after six races, and his dropped race is a second. Richardson scored well during the Heavy Weather Laser Slalom last week, besting Olympic Medalist Anna Tunnicliffe in a day full of thrills and spills.
Al Clark, from Vancouver, CAN moved down to the Radial from the Standard rig once he arrived in San Francisco. Why? 'I go both ways,' he said with a sideways grin, meaning Standard and Radial rig. When he saw the forecast and the depth of talent in the Standard Master fleet, Clark, who had been here for the past week coaching the Canadian 4.7 Laser kids in their world championship, thought the better of it and put up his Radial rig. Now he’s feeling like that was a very good call, as he too was at the top of the front page yesterday with three points after four races. Today in the biggest breeze of the event so far, he’s met the challenge with a fourth in his first race. Clark, no matter his scores, is all smiles whenever you talk to him - 'It’s really just great to be here - with the kids and now with the Masters.'
Arnoud Hummel (NED) is holding on to first in the Standard Masters, with Brett Beyer (AUS), Scott Ferguson (USA), Otto Strandving (DEN), and Russ Silvestri (USA) all breathing down his back.
Kevin Reeds, the Regatta Chair said: 'It was a perfect San Francisco day.' And it was.
The lay day tomorrow will give all of the masters a chance to rest and recover, before the three day conclusion of the Laser Masters Worlds starts on Thursday.
Laser Masters Worlds results posted here