Postcard from San Francisco - Final day Laser 4.7 World Champs

Sailing a Laser on the last day of the Laser 4.7 Worlds was a bit like hitting yourself on the head with a hammer felt so good when you stopped!

Images at

Guten Tag
This Postcard comes by way of Munich as we head for the Splash Worlds in Czech.
The last day held lots of promise for the Kiwi Team, everything to sail for ....and everything to let slip away,
The Silver Fleet sailing their two final races at 11am then the Girls went first at 1.00pm approx then the first of the Gold Fleet races. The conditions started light and shifty ...'never like this normally' we were told again at the Coaches meeting....but the wind did come in and eventually pretty stiff.
The big surprise was how many of the sailors, especially the top ones, had horror races. Of our team, Ryan had a cracker finishing 10th, Taylor 27th, Keith 45th, Trent 47th and Liam 50th. Our boys didn't feel so bad when the regatta leader recorded a 35th ....virtually his only mistake.
The second race and Last of the Championship was in much more breeze and again expectations were dashed as the light Flood current turned to a big Ebb and bad choices were made.
I now understand the frustrations of coaches when they present to their charges the best information only to see another plan executed ...back to the default settings of looking for 'more pressure' rather than current relief or getting into the current for more speed downwind. Much of the fleet made similar mistakes but it was heartbreaking for us to see Trent's solid tilt at the Boys Under 16 title slip back to 5th in that category.
Liam lead the way with a 23rd, Ryan 36th, Trent 38th, Keith 47th and Taylor DNF. Second time for Taylor cutting his way back through the fleet  only to capsize at the Leeward mark, the last one ....this time he got run over and had to withdraw with a back injury.
Our boys were all feeling a bit sorry for themselves and that they should have done better but the reality was that all of them hadn't been the the Laser 4.7 very long and the conditions were really tough and tricky. This experience is invaluable for their sailing careers to come.
Liam had a great Worlds, first time away at a big regatta, billeted with strangers, always smiling everyday and making the most of every race.
Taylor got a  'gun', a first place, so that gave him some heart for the future too.
The Boys and Girls Winners were huge ....except the World Champion, but most of the Spanish came from the Canaries, had been sailing the boat for three years at least and everyday in warm water and strong winds ...unlike us coming out of our Winter were training was hit and miss at best. As previously stated around 75% of the Fleets were Radial sailors, much larger and more experienced than the rest.
The Class has been going 15 years and developed in Europe, the Italian responsible told us the 4.7 story and the class seems to be going from strength to strength if this Worlds is anything to go by.
The Norwegians need a special mention too, the shooting tragedy happened while they were on their way to SFO, they were devastated when they arrived but picked themselves up to place at the top of the fleets, especially the Girls, and they were great supporters of the Kiwis. We look forward to seeing more of them at this years Opti Worlds.
We packed up the boats, waited in line for hours to hand them back, hopefully without damage to pay for, and the promise of a great steak dinner to look forward to at the Closing Ceremony.
Like the racing a few short hours before, full of promise but nothing eventuating......standing room only at the upstairs Ceremony, no room to eat with the sailors and Pasta downstairs, with some dodgy free wine as a pacifier ......the day continued! The Ceremony was again good and brief, the company was great, we all made good friends, the sailors swapped uniforms ...and some didn't arrive home until very late. Next year in Argentina!
Great to see the Laser Masters arriving for their Worlds as we were leaving, our spare gear passed on and we wish them the very best.
A huge thank you to all our supporters and sponsors, a special mention to Steve and Linda at NZ, Brett from Wettie wetsuits (new 2001 wetsuits owner) and Dan Slater of Hi performance sailing.
Happy sailing and God Bless America
Rob Burn