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A Tie For Lead At Laser Worlds

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  • A Tie For Lead At Laser Worlds

    Day One Report – Alexander and Stipanovic Lead Laser Worlds
    (Sandringham, Australia) There is an Australian on top of the ILCA Laser Standard Men’s World Championship leader board, but it is not one of the pre-event favorites. Finn Alexander, ranked just 36th in the world, finished the day with a first and second place, to be tied after one day of racing with Rio Olympic silver medalist Tonci Stipanovic of Croatia.

    The first day started slowly, with all three fleets held onshore while the race committee waited for an almost non-existent westerly to back to the southeast and freshen. This it duly did, and the first race got underway at 3:30pm in 8-10 knots from the SSE.

    By the time the second race started at around 5pm, the wind had freshened to 15 knots and was relatively steady from the south.

    all images © Jon West Photography

    Alexander said that key to his success was, “staying pretty relaxed and keeping it simple.”

    “I got two good starts at the boat end and then it was about playing the long shifts throughout the day. They were long tacks, so you just had to be patient.”

    Stipanovic was also very philosophical about his excellent start, describing it as “one small step.”

    He said the conditions were “really great” and in the second race. “I managed to pass two boats on the downwind, then picked up another place when Irishman Finn Lynch overstood the top mark.”

    German, Philipp Buhl, is in third place on five points — two points ahead of London 2012 silver medalist Pavlos Kontides.

    Ranked number one in the world, Australian Matt Wearn is in 10th overall, seven points from the lead. “It was a pretty average day,” said Wearn. “I made it look harder than it needed to be.”

    Wearn also felt he was hunted a bit, as the sail numbers being used have been issued in order of the latest world rankings.

    “People see the number one on the sail and want to take you out. In both races there were passing lanes, but I couldn’t find them.”

    Defending champion Tom Burton of Australia also had an average day by his standards, with a 7th and a 13th which leaves him tied for 29th overall.

    “I sailed OK but the results don’t show it,” he said. “In the second race I was third around the top mark then got caught up in a big group going slow and couldn’t get myself out of it.”

    Many of the sailors have more at stake than a medal at these Worlds. They are also competing for a place at the Tokyo Olympics. So far, the task for the New Zealand selectors has not become any easier. Rio bronze medalist Sam Meech is two points ahead of his close rival, Thomas Saunders.

    However, at this early stage things are looking good for British sailor Elliott Hanson, who holds 8th place on 10 points, well ahead of former world champion and Rio Olympian Nick Thompson, who languishes in 44th, 19 points behind.

    With two more days of qualifying, there is plenty of time for those who had a bad day to improve their placings. Tomorrow’s forecast is for stronger winds which could increase to just under 25 knots by Thursday.

    Top-10 after 2 races:
    1. Finn ALEXANDER (AUS) 3 pts
    2. Tonci STIPANOVIC (CRO) 3 pts
    3. Philipp BUHL (GER) 5 pts
    4. Pavlos KONTIDES (CYP) 7 pts
    5. Jean Baptiste BERNAZ (FRA) pts
    6. Tadeusz KUBIAK (POL) 9 pts
    7. Luke ELLIOTT (AUS) 9 pts
    8. Elliot HANSON (GBR) 10 pts
    9. Benjamin VADNAI (HUN) 10 pts
    10. Matt WEARN (AUS) 10 pts

    Full Results:
    " I just found out my nest egg has salmonella" Photo Gallery

  • #2
    Thunderstorm Lashes Out In Melbourne, Cancelling Laser Worlds Competition For Day

    The fourth day of racing at the ILCA Laser Standard Men’s World Championship was abandoned today, owing to a series of thunderstorms that swept across Port Phillip Bay.
    Scheduled to be the first day of Gold Fleet racing, which brings together the best 42 sailors at the event, it instead became a day of watch and wait for the race committee.

    At 3pm, as the second of the fronts carrying thunder and lightning appeared on the horizon, Race Director Peter Merritt ordered AP over A to be hoisted on the Sandringham Yacht Club flagpole, signalling no further racing for the day.

    With their Lasers already packed away to prevent damage from the storms, sailors and support staff made a beeline for the exit gate, looking to get home before the rain began to fall in earnest.

    The race committee has announced that racing will start an hour earlier than scheduled on Saturday and Sunday, with three races now scheduled for those days.

    If they are successful, the full complement of 12 races will be sailed.

    After six races of qualifying, Phillip Buhl (GER) leads the regatta with a score of 5 points after discarding a 4th placing in the opening race of the regatta. Jean-Baptiste Bernaz (FRA) is two points further back, with Tonci Stipanovic (CRO) in third. Only 15 points separates first from tenth, ensuring interesting racing for the remainder of the Championship.

    Results can be found at
    " I just found out my nest egg has salmonella" Photo Gallery