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Beyer and Holdsworth win Laser Masters North American Championship at St. Francis Yacht Club

by Amanda Witherell 24 Jul 2018 18:33 PDT 20-22 July 2018
2018 Laser Master North American Championship © Chris Ray

Trophies go to Brett Beyer in Laser Standard Fleet and Andrew John Holdsworth in the Radial Fleet, at the Laser Masters North American Championship at St. Francis Yacht Club, San Francisco, California, July 20-22, 2018.

The two led their respective divisions going into the third day of competition and maintained momentum all the way to the podium after ten races.

Twelve-time Masters World Champion Brett Beyer, sailing for Woollahra Sailing Club, dominated the Standard division with only one blemish to his perfect score line. NHYC's Charlie Buckingham and Peter Hurley, sailing for Mantoloking YC, traded up seconds and thirds throughout the regatta.

"There was quite a battle behind [Beyer] with Charlie Buckingham besting Peter Hurley in the final race to edge him for second overall," said Regatta Chair Tracy Usher.

Holdsworth, sailing for StFYC, racked up a number of bullets, but not all. A thrilling capsize about 100 yards from the finish during one of the final races threatened his overall standings, but he sailed back into first place during the ninth race, edging out Bill Symes of NHYC by one point overall. Emilio Castelli of Richmond YC took third place.

"Andrew Holdsworth demonstrated that practice does pay off and managed a nice score line to take the title. He needed all those bullets, too, since he had to give handicap points to two-time Masters World Champion Bill Symes, due to their 20-year age difference," said Usher. "The overall title came down to the last race where Bill had to restart due to being over the line early and was not able to get back to the fifth place finish he would have needed for the title. Great racing in both fleets!"

"Both winners finished the regatta strong and were dominant in their fleets," said PRO Scott Mason, who ran slightly shorter courses on Sunday while competitors enjoyed winds in the 10-12 knot range, gusting to 18 – more manageable conditions than the low to mid-20s gusts that opened the regatta on Friday.

"I think the competitors had a good event and enjoyed sailing at St. Francis," said Mason.

Mike Couture, the only competitor visiting from Canada, sailing for Gimli YC, agreed that after the "rather rude intro" of the first day of racing, he enjoyed the lighter conditions that finished out the weekend. "It's not as fun when it's survival and you're just hanging on."

The regatta opened with the infamous Laser Slalom, run on Wednesday, July 18, with competitors one-on-one racing a short, slalom-style course within close view of the StFYC Clubhouse. Beyer was again a top finisher, coming in third after 29 elimination rounds. Malcolm Lamphere and Chris Barnard faced off in the final round, with Lamphere ultimately dominating. Ali Yuvali, a UC Santa Cruz student who at 19 years old was one of the youngest competitors, made it through 27 rounds, losing to Beyer, one of his sailing heroes. "I was very lucky to have a chance to race against him," said Yuvali, adding that the event "was so much fun, especially when it got windy."

"I was excited for the concept because it's very unique. We need more fun events like this," he said.

Quick Results:

- Full results for the Laser Masters NAs -- Click here.

- Full results for Laser Slalom -- Click here.

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