Laser Masters World Champs 2014 - Day 6

The penultimate days racing had weather pretty much as forecast. We had an Easterly not quite as strong as expected and a bit patchy at times but on average a good 15 knot breeze with waves, very similar to the last few days.

It was Gold fleet time for the Masters Standard and GM Standards and pressure time for the leaders in all the classes. The Standards all get a second drop in todays results having completed 10 races while the Radials have to wait for tomorrow for their 10th race, having missed out on racing on the first day. 

In the AM Radial Scott and John Emmett from the UK continued to slug it out with a 1/2 each, leaving Scott two points off the lead. However with the second drop to come and hopefully two more races it will be a winner take all contest tomorrow. Ed again had a consistent day to hold 5th overall. In the Masters Radial Richard had a great day to be 4th overall but with no chance of toppling the top two, Steve Cockerill (UK) and Mark Kennedy (AUS) who are having a real battle for the title.

It is similar in the GM Radial where Mike had a bit of a tough day, getting nailed on the start line both races, to record a 4/6 against his main oppositions Jeff Loosemore (Australia) 1/1, leaving Mike hanging onto a 2 point lead but with everything to sail for tomorrow. Bruce and Richard both had good days to consolidate their fleet positions

In the AM Standard Matt got two thirds to virtually lock up third overall but with no chance of displacing the two Olympians from the top two spots. Chip had another really consistent day for the first Gold fleet races to consolidate  his top 10 position in the Masters Standards, which is being dominated by Brett Bayer, the Aussie Olympic coach. 

In the GM’s I managed an 18/15 in the two gold fleet races and with the second discard coming in improved my overall placing. Pete had a difficult day in the water with several swims on the runs when in good positions.  Paul just missed out on qualifying for the Gold fleet but was near the front in the Silver fleet races. In the GGM’s Bob lies equal second going into the last day.

So after 4 days of 15 knot + winds the forecast for tomorrow is 5 to 8 knots from the SE with thunder and rain in the morning, clearing later, so it is sure to be a challenging day for all, race committee included. Speaking of the race committee I should acknowledge our own Doug Elder, who is chief judge here as he has been for several years at our Nationals and at other worlds so we can be sure that we are getting absolute world quality judging at our contests.

One of the benefits of sailing at the Masters Worlds is the variety of sailors and personalities you meet. I think its worth noting that while the racing has been  incredibly close much of the time the quality and spirit of the racing here, the rule compliance etc has been excellent and it has been an absolute pleasure to compete. There have been many instances of multiple boats rounding marks or finishing within inches of each other on opposite tacks yet sailors with no language in common have managed to negotiate all the situations with very few disputes.

Final report after racing tomorrow, hopefully with good news on the cube front!

Nick Page