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Leaders holding fast in Laser Masters North American Championship at St. Francis Yacht Club

by Amanda Witherell 21 Jul 2018 20:45 PDT 20-22 July 2018
2018 Laser Masters North American Championship © Chris Ray

Top competitors are holding strong leads after two days of racing in the Laser Masters North American Championship, hosted by St. Francis Yacht Club in San Francisco, California, July 20-22, 2018.

StFYC's Andrew John Holdsworth leads the Radial Fleet with all bullets after seven races, ahead of Bill Symes and Emilio Castelli. Brett Beyer of Woollahra Sailing Club is also running away with bullets in the Standard Fleet, edging out Peter Hurley and Charlie Buckingham sitting solidly at second and third, respectively.

"The top three are dominant in each fleet," said PRO Scott Mason. "Racing's been going well. We had 16-22 knots yesterday, which wore a lot of sailors out. Today was a bit lighter and most stayed upright." Racing commenced earlier, which provided more eddies of favorable currents and allowed the fleets to utilize more of the bay, whereas day one saw everyone hugging the shore on the upwind legs.

Sailors appreciated the reprieve from the first day's gusty, shifty conditions "Today was a completely different day from yesterday," said Beyer. "Today there were more options, which is good and bad. People can go one way or another which makes it not as easy for the top guys to see what others are doing. There were bigger gains and losses downwind."

Holdsworth felt the conditions today rewarded those with better technique. "You didn't want to lead until the eleventh hour," he said. "Today there were so many options tactically I found myself being very boring and conservative because I didn't want to get hung up on the outside. I used the downwind speed to make up the difference."

Race Director Jennifer Lancaster anticipates similar conditions tomorrow. "We're aiming for at least three more races and hoping our sailors will be rewarded with steady breeze and some more fun downwind runs."

Full results can be found here.

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