Laser Masters World Champs 2014 - Day 5

More of the same… really nice +/-15 knot on shore breeze with big waves. More pressure on the Southern Standard course that the Radials to the North and a bit more in the early races on both courses than the later.

Due to safety and timing issues the organisers changed the format today so that only the first 2 divisions on each course were sent out for the scheduled 11am start  while the other 3 divisions were held on shore and started at about 1.30 pm after the first set of races were complete.

Many of the sailors, in particular the Southern Europeans, are finding the conditions more than a little challenging, being used to lake or sheltered water sailing. One of the Swiss guys rigging near me said that until this week the only place he had seen wave like this was on U tube! Also many of the GGGM’s had the day off for recovery and contemplation, including apparently our own star coach, Steve Phillips (refer previous reports!).

The conditions however seemed to suit our guys  with excellent results for the Kiwis pretty much across the board.

Mike Keeton continues to be our standout performer, recording a 4/1 day to remain in control of the GM Radials where Bruce Jones and Richard Dreverman continue to battle to achieve consistent results in the conditions.

Scott’s battle continues to be incredibly close with both he and his English rival recording 1/2 finishes today in the AM Radial. It really looks like that contest is likely to come down to the last race. Ed continues to hang in well, being 5th overall after todays races in the AMR. 

Richard Blakey in the Masters Radial had a blinder today to cap a great day for Team Blakey , moving up to 4th overall. This was matched by Matt who managed to finally split the two Olympians (Greece and Poland) in the Standard Apprentice with a second in one race to go with a 4th to hold a convincing 3rd overall and Bob with a pair of deuces but still to break Aussie Mark Bethwaite’s run of victories.

In the Standard GM’s both Pete and I had strong days with me getting among the real action with a 3/5 and Pete just behind with a 9/7 after showing a conservative streak on the downwind legs so we both qualify for the Gold Fleet. Paul Thomas just missed out on the GM Gold fleet so is set up to clean the Silver fleet up over the remaining two days of racing. In the Standard Masters Andrew again had a really solid day to hold on to 9th overall in the biggest division of 116 sailors.

So two days racing to go. Tomorrow is forecast to again provide similar but slightly fresher on shore winds up to 20 knots but Saturday is looking lighter at this stage, still on shore,  but with the forecast being under 10 knots to provide a new set of challenges for the last day of the regatta

Nick Page