Laser Masters World Championships
12th -19th September 2010, Hayling Island, UK
Day 1 Preview: Laser Masters World Championships racing under way.
The Laser Masters World Championships start this afternoon off Hayling Island with a general expectation of a brisk opening day which is expected to be the prelude to a couple of days of windy racing.
Hayling Island Sailing Club is positively buzzing and has been since early this morning. Even before the men’s singlehanded Olympic class, the Laser Standard, had finished their world championships on these same waters eight days ago, there was a steady stream of overseas competitors arriving to start their full week of preparations.
And the last few days have been frenetic, culminating in final measurement and registration yesterday and a glorious afternoon practice race in 8-11knots of breeze
More than 350 sailors from 30 different countries aged from 35 to 83 years old will compete across a series of twelve scheduled races.
There are four fleets apiece in the Radial and Standard classes.
The biggest fleet, the Standard Masters has attracted 96 competitors and is split into Red and Yellow divisions. For the Grand Masters, for sailors of 55-64 years there is the choice of sailing either in the Radial or Standard fleet, whilst Great Grand Masters must race in the Radial fleet. Racing runs through to Sunday 19th September
Age groups are Apprentice 35-44 years, Masters 45-54 years Grand Masters Standard is 55 to 64 years and Great Grand Masters are 65 or older.
Today’s forecast promises 10-12 knots of WSW’ly breeze increasing through the afternoon as the expected frontal systems arrive. By Tuesday afternoon strong winds are expected which could blow through Wednesday.
Many of last year’s champions are back to defend their titles. In the Standard Masters fleet American Scott Ferguson of Rhode Island will be out to retain the title he won last year in Nova Scotia. He may find tough opposition from Finn 1984 Olympic silver medallist John Bertrand (USA), the first sailor to win back to back Laser world titles. In the Great Grand Masters is one of Bertrand’s Finn friends and rivals, Germany’s Wolfgang Gerz, who won the Finn Gold Cup in 1981 in Gromitz, Germany. He is the defending champion in the Standard Grand Masters division.
In the Radial Masters fleet Brasil’s Eduardo Carlos Wanderley is back seeking to retain his title, whilst in the Great Grand Masters fleet America’s Peter Seidenburg, is at his 27th consecutive Laser Masters World Championships and bidding to win his ninth title, his fifth in a row. He locks back into long time rivalry – and friendship – with Ireland’s Denis O’Sullivan, also 73, who shares the same record of racing at 27 consecutive Laser Masters World Championships.
Day 1: At home in the bigger breezes of Masters opening day.
After delivering a week of unbroken sunshine and pleasant light to moderate sea-breezes for the Laser Standards World Championships which finished eight days ago on the same waters with an impressive overall victory for Australia’s Tom Slingsby, today Hayling Bay presented version 2.0 of English summer when more than 350 sailors from 30 different countries contested the first pair of races of the 2010 Laser Masters World Championships.
Under grey skies which threatened rain and offered regular showers of drizzle, solid WSW’ly winds which gusted to over 22 knots during the second race, and big Hayling waves which proved the perfect downhill run for those practitioners with polished technique and solid nerves, but it was all too easy to be slightly psyched out by the opening day waves weather.
Those who had been looking for a gentle introduction to Hayling Island, a sunny reprise of the Standard Worlds, would have been disappointed.
The muscular conditions certainly challenged fitness and stamina from the outset but also contributed to the early onset of aches and pains, not to mention a few broken spars and fractured egos.
For sure it was those who felt at home, or were at home in the conditions who excelled across the first two contests of the scheduled 12 race series, on both the Laser Radial and the Laser Standard course areas.
Greece’s defending Standard Apprentice Masters champion Adonis Bougiouris may have complained of the chill today, for him more akin to cool winters around his native Syros island by Mykonos, but not only was he within his preferred wind range - the former Laser Radial world champion grew up sailing in the 15-20 knots Meltemi -**** but is fully attuned to the race track. He set himself up perfectly to peak here after competing here at the Laser Standard Worlds, where he finished 33rd overall.
Bougiouris, who represented Greece at the 2000 Olympics, opened with a perfect pair of victories, twice holding off Australia’s four times champion**** Brett Beyer who lies second.
Britain’s Chris Gowers, coach to Olympic and 2009 world and European champion Paul Goodison, proved he is no slouch with a consistent 5th and 6th to lie fifth.
In the Radial Apprentice Masers fleet, Auckland’s Scott Leith (NZL), who finished second in Halifax last year was perhaps drawing on his Scots ancestry to deal with cool weather, but he admitted that he is fully fired up by the performance of his Kiwi compatriots who did so well here at the Standard Worlds, not least the bronze medal of Andrew Murdoch who helps Leith out from time to time with advice.
He opened his title challenge today with a first in Race 1, then chose to settle for second, keeping upright on the final dicey run, rather than push too hard. He leads by one point from France’s Jean-Christophe Leydet who won the second race.
And feeling firmly at home on waters he knows very well, local ace Steve Cockerill, also made the ideal start to his title challenge at his tenth Laser Masters worlds, returning to the Radial fleet this year, winning the Standard Masters’ first race by around 90 seconds in the first race and a considerable distance in the second heat. Brasil’s Carlos Eduardo Wanderley, from Sao Paolo, who finished runner-up last year, is looking for some lighter breezes and flatter water if he is to reign in Cockerill.
In the Standard Masters Holland’s Arnoud Hummel also set the standard high winning both the Red flight races, to lie two points ahead of Scott Ferguson (USA), the 2009 title holder who had a solid start with a third and first. Britain’s Nick Harrison’s second and fourth leaves him fifth in the 96 boat division, the championships’ biggest.
Adonis Bougiouris (GRE), 1,1 in Apprentice Standard, 2009 champion leading overall:
“ The wind was very nice, I had a great fight with the Australian guy Brett Beyer, who has been four or five times world champion in this category. Today I got two firsts and I got the second first just on the last reach.”
“ The first race I did not have a good start. At the first mark I was about 50 metres back, I gained a lot downwind to lead and then stayed ahead. In the second race I was second all the way around but gaining, gaining, gaining and then just past on the final reach.
We had probably 15-20 knots and very nice waves. I hope we get more wind like that or more because I am used to that but I am certainly not used to the cold. Now it is like winter for me. I am from Syros island beside Mykonos and it is usually very nice there.”
“ I sailed here at the Seniors here and finished 33rd which is not bad for my age and did the Europeans. I was second in the 1998 World Radial Championships, won the 1999 Radial World Champion, raced at the 2000 Olympics in Sydney and finished 15th and then did the Tornado 13th at Worlds. And sailed with Greek Challenge at last year’s Louis Vuitton Pacific Series in the America’s Cup class.”
“I think if the wind continues strong I can hold on to the title. In Greece we have the Meltemi at 15-20knots all the summer, so it was very cold for me.”
Scott Leith (NZL) from Pupuke Boating Club on Auckland’s North Shore, 1,2 leader Apprentice Masters Radial:****
“ I am very happy, very happy. Conditions were perfect for me, solid 15-18kts, gusting to 20 knots. It was stronger in the second race. The first race I won by about 45 seconds after being second around the top and at the gybe mark. I was really smoking downwind, sailing deep and getting the waves. Second race I was third around the top mark and lead by the bottom mark. I stayed a bit left on and the other two guys – the French guy got a little right shift and got ahead, but downhill I was just happy to keep the boat upright rather than push too hard and stay happy with second.”
“We had a great squad here last week and I’m quite inspired to be here after them. Andrew Murdoch helps me out from time to time and finished third here. I am a little disappointed that the Aussie guy who won here last year is not here, but there is some great competition here. I am happy in anything more than five knots. I don’t like the drifters.”
Steve Cockerill (GBR) 1,1 from Lovedean Hants, leading in Radial Masters fleet:
“ This my tenth worlds. Sailing Radials have won four and lost two in the full rig. It was max power sailing last year and I am not very big for a Standard sailor, so I’m back in the Radial. Downwind sailing was taxing for some people today, but I just loved it and did well on that and there was a bit of tide out there. Upwind sailing I am a little bit heavier than I should be so that helps, but we’ll see when it is lighter towards the end of the week. Time will tell.”
“I know here reasonably well. I did an Olympic campaign in the 470 we sailed here a bit. When I started sailing the Laser in 1993 I did a bit here, and we sailed a lot of Olympic indicators here, so I do know it.”
“I actually sail at Stokes Bay just up the road, so the waves and the tidal situation on this bit of the coast I understand completely. What is interesting here is the bit that comes out of all the channels at the same time.”
“There are not many places in the UK could cope with this event. It is a big event. For all the guys here who drive desks at work and find an hour or two a day to stay fit, they love sailing against other it is great.”
“ It does not matter where you finish in the fleet it is the people that you meet. I leant a boat from Finland before and went cross country skiing there at Christmas. I leant a boat to a guy from the Dominican Republic and had two weeks training in the sun in Cabarete in August. It’s not the money you have, it is who you know and how you can help out.
Now I have a fantastic bunch of friends around the world.”
Carlos Eduardo Wanderley (BRA), from Sao Paulo Brasil 2,2 in the Radial Masters fleet, second overall:
“ I got two seconds. I have not practiced very much this year and so I am happy with that. The wind was good but too many waves because we don’t get waves like this. We sail on the lake inside Sao Paolo and on the coast there. For me I have been working too hard to do enough sailing. This is my third worlds, I took third in Fortaleza and last year won in Canada. This is English weather, right?”
“Upwind the right side seemed to go better. For me the puffs are coming stronger from the right. But Steve Cockerill is a little bit faster upwind. And Downwind.”
Wolfgang Gerz (GER), 2,3 today, past Finn Gold Cup winner and defending Grand Master champion.
“ I had a second and a third but Peter Vessella looks good and had two firsts. Twice I did not have very good starts, all I could do was make the best out of it. I am not disappointed but I am not happy. Tomorrow has to be better.
Day 2: An enforced early day off for the Laser Masters fleets.
Gusty winds which built as forecasted to over 30 knots during this afternoon meant that there was no racing today for the 350 sailors from 30 different countries who were due to race the second day of the Laser Masters World Championships off Hayling Island Sailing Club.
The decision to postpone was taken early in the day and allowed competitors the chance to make the most of what will likely be the regatta’s lay day. This was programmed for Thursday but current plans are that some racing for both fleets, the Radial and Standards, will be now be Thursday.
The latest forecast for Wednesday promises brisk winds.
It was confirmed this morning at a competitors’ meeting this morning that, with four races constituting a championship, there is no intention currently to run any more than two races each day for the event which has attracted sailors from the minimum 35 years to 84 years of age.
Day 5: Leith making his own sunshine
With another pair of well won first places today, Aucklander Scott Leith extended his lead in the Radial Apprentice Masters division at the Laser Masters World Championships off Hayling Island, England.
Now counting four wins and a second place from the six races sailed to date, discarding a second, Leith is pleased to be matching the very high standards he set himself since finishing second last year in Halifax, Nova Scotia. He leads his 24 boat fleet by six clear points.
His investment of significant time and resources in a pretty comprehensive training and preparation programme in the lead up to these World Championships is centred on his desire to make sure that he does not finish as title bridesmaid again.
In mainly light, difficult shifting winds, which kept the race management teams busy trying to stay in step with the sometimes radical changes, Leith was the day’s best scorer, the only sailor of the 350 helms in seven fleets to take two winning guns today.
His programme has included sailing five days a week, sometimes training with some of the established and up and coming women’s Laser Olympic talent at home, complemented by a planned strength and conditioning programme, and here he appears to be reaping the consistent dividend that is seeking.
An alumni of the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron’s youth programme run by Harold Bennett, Leith did a 470 Olympic programme in 1976. After a spell sailing big boats in England, although he rode on the back of his father’s Laser as a three year old, he really got in to the Laser when he returned to New Zealand in 2003.
While Leith stayed supremely consistent, in the white hot Laser Standard Masters fleet, which today split into Gold and Silver divisions, Holland’s Arnoud Hummel clings on to a slender one point lead over defending champion Scott Ferguson.
The American kept up the pressure today with 1,3, whilst series leader Hummel could still smile, only just, when he returned ashore having sailed his discard, an 11th, in the second race, which slightly perversely came from his best start of the regatta so far.
Such was the shifty nature of racing in the two conflicting breezes out to sea on the Standards course, further out to sea which was perhaps more influenced by weak, late season thermal effect out on the Solent and a cross-offshore gradient.
Hummel leads Ferguson, but the Standard Masters leaderboard ascent of Olympic silver medallist John Bertrand continued today, with a fourth in the first race, and then his first win of the regatta, on the day when it starts to get serious.
He lies third now, but has ten points to close to his compatriot in second.
But with a very light forecast for Saturday and predictions of a windy climax Sunday anything can happen.
In the corresponding Masters age-range on the Radial course, Brasilian Joao Ramos scored a first and second to draw closer to Hampshire local Steve Cockerill.
The three times Radials masters world title winner was just one of the many sailors who could not return equally good results. After his third in the first race, Cockerill now has seventh as his current discard, only just missing his target for the day of two top fives but staying two points clear of Ramos whose strength is certainly the light and shifty conditions.
But Cockerill has experience on his side and leads by two points.
There was a fearful symmetry to today’s pattern at the top of the Standard Apprentice Masters where the three sailors paired one good result to their discard. After series leading Greek Olympian Adonis Bougiouris was flagged from the course for excessive kinetics, his second offence, Sydney’s five times title winner Brett Beyer was unable to capitalise after winning the first race of the day.
His throwout 12th means both are tied on 11points and the Greco-Australian wrestling match which was won last year by Bourgiouris, continues.
Top scorer in this Apprentice Masters fleet was Skandia Team GBR Laser coach Chris Gowers who posted two second places.
Apprentice is not a prefix usually associated with Gowers – who finished 11th here at the Laser Europeans in 1994 - now lying fifth in class at his second Laser Masters Worlds.
The Standard Grand Masters only got Race 5 of their series away at the fifth attempt but Germany’s defending title holder Wolfgang Gerz made his mark by winning the first race. The fleet which seemed to have most trouble getting away to clean starts today saw Black Flag DSQ’s for both the USA’s Peter Vessella and Sweden’s Peter Sundelin.
Laser Masters World Championships
Hayling Island, England
Standards standings after 6 races one discard
Grand Masters: 1 Wolfgang Gerz (GER) 10pts, 2 Peter Vessella (USA) 23pts, 3 Peter Sundelin (SWE) 37pts. Masters: 1 Arnoud Hummel (NED) 8pts, 2 Scott Ferguson (USA) 9pts, 3 John Bertrand (USA) 19pts. Apprentice: 1 Brett Beyer (AUS) 11pts, 2 Adonis Bourgiouris (GRE) 11pts, 3 Jykri Taiminen (FIN) 19pts
****Radial: Great Grand Masters: 1 Keith Wilkins (GBR) 11pts, 2 Peter Seidenburg (USA) 23pts, 3 Stam (NED) 24pts. Grand Masters: 1 Bruce Martinson (AUS) 14pts, 2 Alden Shattuck (USA) 17pts, 3 Lyndall Patterson (AUS) 19pts.Masters: 1 Steve Cockerill (GBR) 10pts, 2 Joao Ramos (BRA) 10pts, 3 Hamish Atkinson (NZL) 27pts. Apprentice Masters: 1 Scott Leith (NZL) 6pts, 2 J-C Leydet (FRA) 12pts, 3 Ian Jones (GBR).
Scott Leith (NZL), overall leader Radial Apprentice Masters:
“It’s all a bit of a ‘bluer’. I can’t remember too much about the day I was concentrating so hard. The first race I was third round the top mark and the French guy had a good lead on me. I just dug deep, stayed calm and tried not to get rattled. I just slowly but surely gained in him downhill and got round the bottom gate just ahead of him. I went round the top mark with a little lead, cleared off downwind and won by about 30 seconds.”
“The second one I started at the boat, pin end favoured and banged out to the right, came across to the top mark in second and sailed away, keeping between the mark and the guy behind and won by over a minute. And the French guy didn’t have a good second one, and so a little daylight now.
It was a day for keeping fast and keeping your head out of the boat and not getting pinged (OCS). I have not got any yellow flags, staying very still in the boat.”
“I have sailed my whole life, sailing the back of my dad’s Laser when I was three, went through some two handed boats, Opti’s, Starlings and Lasers, 470 campaign in 1976, to Olympic level at the time of Murray Jones and Jon Bilger, Dave Barnes and Hamish Willcox and spent some time in the New Zealand youth programme under Harold Bennett, at RNZYS after the 1987 America’s Cup in Fremantle and so that was a good training ground.
“I came to the UK from 1997 to 2003 and sailed big boats with Alex Thomson, did two Fastnets on Hugo Boss, went back to NZ in 2003, bought myself a Laser and got better and better over time and put in a serious training programme for this over the last four months, along with the Olympic girls, with the guidance of Andrew Murdoch, and Mark Howard (GBR) the Yachting NZ coach has helped me out a little as well.
It has been this year because I came second last year and I did not want to come back and finish second again.
Fitness has been pretty intense: I have sailed five days a week, I go to the gym three days a week, run, cycle and row. And go to the physio twice a week to look after my hip and shoulder, they are falling to bits.
I structure my work so I can do it at night. I am in business consulting, helping people buy and sell businesses and do finance operations for them and I own a roading construction business. So that helps bring in some money.
I am really happy with today. I felt solid, a bit more confident and smooth and relaxed in the shoulders.
Steve Cockerill (GBR), overall leader Radial Masters:
“ It was a very interesting day. The shifts were quite extreme. On the first beat on our second race we went from almost laying the mark on port, three quarters of the way up the beat, to almost laying the mark on starboard. Which was interesting. I got a two and a seventh.”
“ For me the key today was trying to get two counting results so I have a series. If we do ten there is two discards. If we sail tomorrow, and I think tomorrow could be horrible, I need to say I can count both races today. And if it blows hard on Sunday I just wanted to get two top fives. I rounded the top mark in first in that first one, then was second, and then managed to sail from second to 12th on that run. You were quite capable of doing that. Anything was possible. My brain is scarred by that second race!
On the first race I was half way up the course and they had decided to change the course and there was an orange mark in RIB going left, then it went right, and finally it was a yellow one! That was a little frustrating.”
Generally speaking the fast track was up on the left but you had to commit on the biggest gust to get to the right. So to not know where the mark was, was taxing.
I won in 2001 in Cork, 2002 in Hyanis and South Korea in 2006. I had a go in the full rig in Cadiz in 2007 and was second.”
Lyndall Patterson (AUS), third in Radial Grand Masters:
“I won the first one and then had a bad one. I think I would rather have two seconds than a first and a feather duster. I got a poor start and made poor options. It was quite light with the breeze flicking about. We had a black flag start and I was very buried, very third row – maybe even fourth row.
I had a reasonable start in the first race and the breeze settled in to be about eight to 10 knots for half an hour and that was the best of the day, that seemed to suit me.”
Joao Ramos (BRA), second overall Radial Apprentice Masters:
“ I had a first in the first race and a second in the second race. In both races I started and tacked for the right. I think I had a little luck, because the fleet started to fall behind me. The second race was similar. But the second race was much more difficult because the wind was more crazy.”
“ In Brasilia on the lake I sail on the wind shifts a lot but not like this. I think it was nice for me today, small waves.”
“ I sail on the lake with no waves, typically 6,7,10 knots, not 20.
I went to Halifax in Canada last year. It was hard. I think the waves there were a little easier than here. I am still second.”
“ I have sailed the Laser all together for about eight years, sailing in other classes in the Europe. I did one championship but was not very good, it was very windy.
But the Laser is a very simple boat. Anyone who sails in another class can get in the boat and sail well. We have about 20 boats on the lake.”
Chris Gowers (GBR), two seconds today, fifth overall Standards Apprentice Masters:****
“ It was that kind of day when you go 40-50 yards further and start cursing, and then you gain another 50 metres. I certainly was not the fastest out there, that is for sure. I got two big lucky breaks, on both beats when the left paid hugely. You could see them coming but not 100 per cent. It was an interesting day. It is good fun catching up with all the old timers!”
John Bertrand (USA), third overall Masters Laser Standard fleet****
“ It was a good day. The first race was pretty tricky I kind of went up the middle, and it seemed that the left kind of came in and I was more to the right but I was able to on the second beat get right when everyone was going left because of the first beat. I just did not go far enough. Actually that gained me between five and seven boats. I go a yellow flag in the first race which I was a bit surprised a bit and that put me back a bit, so the second beat really made it for me.
The second race was a nice jump for me out of the start with a bunch of guys, on to port early and we looked really good at first. We looked really good at first, and then get knocked. Then the right started to come good. And so I had a choice to make. I could have gone with them and that what Scott Ferguson did in the first race he went a little bit to the left a little bit and ended up winning. I was thinking do I do it? But earlier I had seen that the breeze on the beach was good, and when it was good it was really good.
I decided I am just going to keep going right, and let a number of boats pass me, and the guys on the left were winding up a little bit, so I was thinking whatever comes, comes…and finally it came off the beach and we were over the guys on the left, I rounded second or third and got in the lead on the run.
What I learned today is you can’t be in between the two breezes. But having said that Scott made an early move. So it is hard to know when to cut your losses. I felt like I had to make a commitment and it just worked out.
It definitely does, but maybe it evens out because I have not had the time on the water. The kid I am coaching in the Finn, I am a little more aggressive in picking a side. He is more up the middle. So in a sense I have learned from him, learning to make it work.
That is something I used to do when I was younger. When you get into big boats it is so precise. You kind of go to that perfect spot, where the X is on the water. But it is fun.
I had the greatest start of all but I did not get the shift from the right. I tried to get there but it did not work. I got to the mark in 15 or 20th but it was very hard to fight back for there.”
Scott Ferguson (USA), from San Francisco, second overall**** Standard Master:
“It was a very pressured sort of day. Being in and finding the pressure was absolutely key upwind and downwind. I did always have great starts but I did manage to stay in the pressure. And that really helped me.”
Laser Masters World Championships
12th -19th September 2010, Hayling Island, UK
Day 6: First titles decided
His second and third from another day of fluky, conflicting breezes off Hayling Island which offered little in the way of a consistent pattern, was enough to bring his personal odyssey to a triumphant end, winning the Radial Apprentice Masters title.
Second last year in Halifax, Leith upped his game in each area and admitted to be simply relieved that his goal had been achieved.
Four months of hard training on the water, in the gym, on the roads, delivered the end result. With up to two races left to be sailed Sunday, weather permitting, his third place – his current discard – was enough to ensure he cannot be beaten.
British Laser sailing legend Keith Wilkins, the 1976 Laser European Champion, has moved seemingly effortlessly through the Masters ranks collecting world titles from Apprentice Masters, sailing to at least five Masters titles, at least three Grand Masters titles en route. His experience and consistency across the range of conditions means that this time he has had the measure of 2009 Great Grand Master title winner Peter Seidenburg (USA). The paid spent much of
Seidenburg, of**** Portsmouth Rhode Island, is this Laser Masters Championships most regular competitor, racing here at his 27th consecutive worlds regatta.
Sailing to a planned strategy, no matter how fluid, seemed fruitless in many of the classes. The common theme from the leading sailors was careful observation as to what was happening and being prepared to react as it happened.
Over the duration of the day the wind range was between 2 and 20 knots. After the first set of races for both Radials and Stadard fleets had to be abandoned when the breeze died away to next to nothing, it was the afternoon Solent sea breeze which rescued the day, but once again there was the influence of the gradient NW’ly to try to account for, producing big shifts in wind direction and pressure. But, to their credit, both race committee teams worked hard to get two more races completed.
American Scott Ferguson, defending champion is also looking to have done enough to retain his Standard Masters title.
His second and first places today mean that he has no score worse than sixth in his locker after today’s racing. With a return to the same kind of conditions which were enjoyed on Monday, a full 20 knots of SW’ly gradient, anticipated Ferguson will have the luxury of deciding his own fate tomorrow.****
In contrast it was a frustrating penultimate day for Olympic silver medallist John Bertrand who plummeted to 27th in the final race of today, meaning he needs a good final day if he is to restore himself to a podium finish.
Such is the nature of Masters racing that when a dominant sailor slides across into the next age-group, so it maybe ushers a sigh of relief as the class opens up again, whilst simultaneously signalling to the next division up knows the bar could be raised for them.
So Ferguson, and the rest Standard Masters fleet must be looking forward to next year when Sydney’s Brett Beyer will have graduated with honours from the Apprentice fleet.
At his tenth consecutive masters worlds Beyer is bidding for his seventh Apprentice Masters title and after a 2,4 today leads by five points in to his final world championship day as an Apprentice Masters.
And Britain’s Steve Cockerill is relishing the forecast return to solid south westerly winds for Sunday’s finale. He admitted that his third first of the regatta, in Race 7, was as much by good luck as good sailing. But his fourth Masters title should be within his reach if he can repeat the superiority he showed in opening day’s meaty weather and waves.
Standings after eight races including one discard:
Radial, Apprentice (35-44yrs): 1 Scott Leith (NZL) 10pts, 2 J-C Leydet (FRA) 18pts, 3 Matthias Bruehl (GER) 18pts, Masters (45-54): 1 Steve Cockerill (GBR) 18pts, 2 Joao Ramos (BRA) 27pts, 3 Hamish Atkinson (NZL) 45pts, Grand Masters (54-65): 1 Alden Shattuck (USA) 20pts, 2 Lyndall Patterson (AUS) 28pts, 3 Bruce Martinson (USA) 30pts, Great Grand Masters: 1 Keith Wilkins (GBR) 20pts, 2 Peter Seidenburg (USA) 33pts, 3 Johan Stam (NED) 43pts.
Standard, Apprentice: 1 Brett Beyer (AUS) 17pts, 2 Jyrki Taiminen (FIN) 22pts, 3 Adonis Bougiouris (GRE) 27pts, Master Gold Fleet: 1 Scott Ferguson (USA) 12pts, 2 Arnoud Hummel (NED) 23pts, 3 Gunni Christian Pedersen (DEN) 31pts. Grand Masters: 1 Wolfgang Gerz (GER) 23pts, 2 Peter Sherwin (GBR) 41pts, 3 Peter Vessella (USA) 43pts.
Scott Leith (NZL), Radial Apprentice Master winner
“ I really don’t know what I feel. I am pretty amazed that it is all over just like that. I put a lot into it. The last four months of training have paid off. It is good to know that I don’t have to sail tomorrow and I have got it. It is a big relief. It feels amazing that it is all over so quick now. That’s it. After all that concentration, four months of effort and you cross the line and it is over.”
“We did one whole race which was cancelled and I was a bit deep when it got cancelled. And then we did Race 7 for proper and I was second all the way round. It was pretty light and patchy. It was pretty good for the light guys. The second race was a bit windier. I was quite content to take a third. I had worked out before that I needed third to take it, coming ashore happy.”
On his programme:
“I got here early, did four days training just with whoever was around, a couple of hours.
From last year I have improved all around the race track: strategy, starts I have been starting pretty conservatively so I am happy that I got away cleanly on every start. And my level of fitness is extremely high compared to last year. More time in the boat, more technique. Downwind I was probably the fastest in the fleet, and that is time on the water and just learning that it is all about timing, not trying too hard.”
Alden Shattuck (USA), leader Radial Grand Masters:
“ It was very swirly. It was shifty and frustrating at times.You had to have your head out of the boat. You had to start each race with no plan, just seeing what was coming your way. You could not afford to be in a corner because the shifts were so big, you would get killed in extreme positions. At the same time you could not be in the middle because there was not wind in there.”
“I been to a few of these worlds and won three, in 2003 in Cadiz, in Korea, second in Turkey, third in Brasil.”
“It is going to be big winds, more like the first day. I like the lighter stuff myself by I had good results on Monday.”
****Brett Beyer (AUS) six times winner and leader Standard Apprentice Masters:
“The first race was NW’ly and very shifty off the land and the second race we were up the first beat and the sea breeze came in and so they had to abdandon that one. They re-orientated the course and that was OK. I was in front of who I had to be today which is what I had to do, that was the key.”
“This has been very hard just for the variety of conditions, we have had some sea-breezes, light breezes, big waves. But it certainly gives you more satisfaction if you do well as its been the fairest regatta possible. But I still prefer it when you just stick your butt over the side and go for a bit of a burn.”
“I played around with the Laser in the late 1990’s, nothing serious. I got slightly more serious but not quite Olympic campaigning.”
“I have done very little sailing this year, which to be fair does not seem to hurt to much, it’s just the physical side of it which hurts.”
“It is getting harder in this class for sure, there are some very good guys just coming into the class, Olympians like Adonis. And the Masters has some good guys too, so it never gets easier!”
“The Masters does have a different feel to it than Open competitions. And I am here anyway coaching, so I combine it with my work and I have my family here as well so they come here and have a holiday.”
“ The forecast looks a bit more settled, a SW’ly which should be good.”