Perth wrap-up report—Sailing news from the U.S. and beyond
Tom Sinsgby celebrating his win, Mens Laser Medal Race December 18 2011 off Fremantle, Australia. Richard Langdon /Perth 2011
Few One Design classes are tougher than the Laser: The boat requires serious hiking fitness, and its inexpensive (relatively) price tag and ubiquitous nature mean that good sailors can (relatively) easily get into the boat. This makes a Laser World Championship something serious; now multiply by four, and you've reached the stage of Tom Slingsby (AUS), the 2011 Laser World Champion.
Slingsby cinched his win on the last day of the Perth 2011 ISAF Sailing World Championships, which just wrapped up in Western Australia. 'I'm really happy with the way I'm going,' said Slingsby. 'To me, I feel like I'm improving all the time. I'm a lot better sailor than I was four years ago and I think it's going to show this time around.'
Impressively, US Sailing Team AlphaGraphics (USSTAG) sailor Anna Tunnicliffe and her team won the Women's Match racing, demonstrating once again exactly how good this team is at handling pressure and sailing well when it counts. 'It's amazing, we've put a lot of effort into this year and had a lot of big events we had to get through and this has really topped off all our hard training,' said Tunnicliffe. 'The team sailed really well, it was tricky conditions, conditions that we actually thought we were weakest in so we're psyched we came out on top.'
USSTAG sailors also hoisted two third place finishes in both the Laser Radial (Paige Railey) and the Star (Mark Mendelblatt and Brian Faith).
Unfortunately, things went from beautiful to less beautiful for USSTAG sailors in the hyper competitive 49er class.
ISAF Sailing World Championship. medal races. 49er USA Erik Storck and Trevor Moore Alex McKinnon
Leading the race, the USSTAG 49er reps Erik Storck and Trevor Moore fell victim to busted gear in their medal race, dashing their hopes of a bronze-medal finish.
'It was going great there,' said Moore. 'We got a port-tack start, hipped up on the fleet, and we were heading out right where there was decent pressure. We were winning the race going onto our third and final lap. We were cruising upwind, and the rudder started to hydroplane and Erik didn't have any steering. We went to windward and flipped. Our rudder pintle ended up snapping off. We couldn't finish the race. If only the pintle would have lasted fifteen minutes more we might have been sitting in a different spot.'
A crushing disappointment for two talented young sailors, but Storck and Moore still ended the 49er Worlds in ninth place, and—much more importantly—qualified for the Weymouth Olympic Games, where they will likely arrive with the strongest rudder pintles on Planet Earth. Expect to hear a lot more from these two in 2012.
Get stage one of the Perth report, including more info on USSTAG medal winners, inside this issue. Sail-World.com will have more news and interviews during the week. And also be sure to check out the amazing photo galleries—in this issue—of the final days of racing at Perth, compliments of top shooters including Richard Langdon, Paul Kane, Christophe Favreau, and Alex McKinnon.
Also inside, get the latest download from the Volvo Ocean Race, and the Global Ocean Race, as well as the latest news of Emirates Team New Zealand's wingsail experiments aboard their twin SL33 catamarans.
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