Photo © Laser Masters Worlds Media 2012
It was another glorious day for the second day of competition at the Laser World Masters Championships 2012. Sunshine with 10-15 knots of breeze graced the waters of Moreton Bay, Brisbane, Queensland.
As the sailors on the Northern (Bravo) course dropped their empty water bottles on the Royal Queensland Yacht Squadron's (RQ) start boat ‘Goodwill' they received a present, a red (confectionary) snake, a very Australian marine delicacy which provides ‘a between race' sugar hit. (Red snakes are legendary energy food for Sydney Hobart race crews.) It was notable that in the Laser 4.7 Division, 15 of the 17 sailors called by for a red snake, some of them multiple times.
There was some excellent sailing too.
Chilean 2012 London Olympic representative Matias Del Solar, set to represent at his third Games after Athens 2004 and Beijing 2008, continues to the lead the Laser Standard Apprentice Division after posting another perfect 1,1 score line today. The drop is now in play and after four races Del Solar's worst result is a first. He leads Tony Baisden (AUS) by three points, with Brett Morris (AUS) third on eight points.
It was an impressive display of professional sailing by De Solar, who qualified Chile for the Laser class at the London Olympics at Perth 2011 (but not with the results he wanted as two black flags pushed him down the list). Matias then sailed the Chile Nationals and since then has been training with the Brazilian Olympic representatives. He is sharp and it shows.
‘I had good starts and good speed - I just need to keep doing that.
‘And I enjoyed the red snakes. I've sailed at RQ twice before at Sail Brisbane and always red snakes' he smiled.
Further down the Apprentice Full Rig fleet today was Chris Caldecoat (Kringle) GM of event sponsor Performance Sailcraft Australasia. Caldecoat is eight kilos under his Finn weight and is sailing his yellow Laser, which is the same colour as Laser designer Bruce Kirby's boat 1. Caldecoat went swimming in Race 3 when he was in third place, then had flashes of brilliance in race 4 - third at the top mark. But he had to do turns and then another set at the bottom mark, and stumbled across the line sixth.
‘Well I can only get better' smiled Chris on the rigging lawn this afternoon. 'But every is enjoying the sailing'
Former Finn World champion Wolfgang Gerz now leads the Laser Standard Grand Master Division. In race 3 Gerz crossed the line in first place and followed that with a second in race 4, allowing him to drop his sixth place result (race 2) and move to the top of the leader board. Yesterday's leader Martinie Andre (DOM) dropped back to second, one point behind Gerz, with Malcolm Courts (GBR) a point further back in third.
Brett Bayer (AUS) leads the Laser Standard Master Division after two bullets today. His current drop is a ninth in race 2. Bayer is two points clear of Bradley Taylor (AUS) and four points clear of third placed Sean Atherton-Feeney (AUS).
Bayer was happy with today's results. ‘I had two good starts; I stayed left of most of the fleet all day. In race 4 particularly I made good gains on the first beat going well to the left corner and was comfortably ahead at the top mark, and I extended downwind.'
New Zealand sailor Scott Leith leads the Laser Radial Apprentice Division after a pair of bullets today. Yesterday's leader Richard Bott (AUS) scored seconds in races 3 and 4 and is four points clear of third placed Danny Fuller (AUS).
Leith is no bunny. He did a 470 Olympic campaign before Atlanta 1996 and then sailed big boats for the following six years in the UK, including two Fastnets.
Leith said ‘I started this regatta a little slowly. I capsized on the first day at the bottom mark. I had a mainsheet wrap on the boom and while trying to free it I went in. But today was much better. My first race start was OK and the second one was good.
‘This is turning into a great regatta. I did the South Pacifics here two years ago, so I entered as soon as I found the Worlds were going to be held here. The RQ facilities are great and we've had excellent race management during the Nations and these Worlds.'
Yesterday's Laser Radial Grand Master Division winner, Adam French (AUS) is still on top of the leader board after a bullet in race 4 and a drop (4) in race 3. French is two points clear of Michael Keeton (NZL). A further six points back is Jeff Loosemore (AUS) who moves up into third ahead of US sailor Doug Peckover.
French was smiling as he derigged his Laser. ‘It's been very intense racing with the positions churning in the top five. Today my win was only just. Michael Keeton was coming at me and I was inches ahead at the line but five seconds past it, he was through me. This is just wonderful racing.
‘I am lighter than most everyone else in my division so I am having to work pretty hard.'
Kerry Waraker (AUS) heads the Laser Radial Great Grand Master Division leader board with two excellent results today. Like Del Solar, Waraker scored two bullets and is in the fortunate position of dropping a first. Waraker is three points clear of second placed Keith Wilkins (GBR), who in turn is one point clear of Lew Verdon (AUS).
Waraker, who was the Laser Radial Great Grand Master World Champion in 2005 in Brazil said, 'My boat's going well. I am picking some shifts and starting well. Our four or five training sessions since Christmas have been here at RQ and that's been paying off so far. With the water often choppy, I think we have a local advantage.'
Greg Adams (AUS) continues to lead the Laser Radial Master Division from Mark Kennedy (AUS) and New Zealand's Mark Orams. The first lady competitor in this division is Vanessa Dudley (AUS), who was third at Hayling Island in 2010, is in fifth place and holding her own with the men.
The Laser 4.7 Master Division leader is Peter Charlton (AUS) and he is three points clear of Janet Kemp (AUS). Kemp moved into second, courtesy of an excellent first in race 4 and leads Claire Heenan (AUS) by a single point.
Racing continues at the 2012 Laser World Masters Championships until Saturday 17 March, with Wednesday March 14 the designated lay day.
For full results of all Divisions please visit www.rqys.com.au/index.php/2012-world-laser-masters-championship