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2018 Laser Master European Championships at Vigo, Spain

by Agustin Arguelles 13 Oct 2018 07:20 BST 5-11 Otober 2018
2018 Laser Master European Championships © Thom Touw

The 2018 Laser Master European championships concluded on Thursday in Vigo, Spain. After five days of races with most of times tricky winds, our Laser Master sailors enjoyed of a nice week with warm weather, plenty of sun, fun and camaraderie.

Sailors were sent earlier to the courses on the final morning with a nice wind and aiming to make three final races, but after a short and strong rain shower the wind completely disappeared. Finally, close to the 15:00 last warning signal, the wind showed up again, allowing one last race to be added to scores.

2018 Laser Master European championships – Laser Standard final results

First spot overall among the Laser Standard fleet was finally for Grand Master sailor Alan Davis, GBR (3-4-1-8-2-1) with 19 points. Second overall was overnight leader Jordi Capella, ESP (9-1-2-1-2-9), scoring his worst race today due to a penalty, but still crowned Apprentice Master's champion with 24. Third place overall and Master's championship for German sailor Roger Schulz, GER (4-5-15-15-8-3) with 50 points.

Australian sailor Mark Bethwaite, AUS (18-9-11-4-8) was first among the Great Grand Master's and 4th overall. Second Great Grand Master's place was finally for British sailor Michael Hicks, GBR (33-16-8-10-15-8) on 12th.

2018 Laser Master European championships – Laser Radial final results

Jon Emmett, GBR (1-1-1--1-2) was the overall winner among the Laser Radial fleet and also Apprentice's champion with 6 points. Second place overall for the new Master's champion Ian Jones, GBR (2-2--3-2-5) with 14. Third place overall for Master's vice champion Alessio Marinelli, ITA (3-4-2-5-2--12) with 26 points.

French sailor Pierrick Amizet, FRA (8--5-7-5-3) was finally the European champion among the Grand Masters, ranked 4th overall with 28 points.

Monica Azon, ESP (13-4-4-12-1) ratified the women's lead, winning the last race and finishing 6th overall with 34 points.

Jean Philippe Galle, FRA (13-16-6-14-19) conquered the Great Grand Master's championship finishing 12th overall with 68 points.

French sailor Jacky Nebrel, FRA (20-30-19-33-15) was crowned 2018 Legend European champion, concluding event on place 23rd among 69 participants.

We want to thank you all Master sailors for such an awesome sailing week. Hope to see you next year in Roses for the 2019 Laser Master European Championships!

Report from Jon Emmett

Just three weeks after the Masters' Worlds in Ireland the Laser Master European Championships took place in Vigo, NW Spain. Whilst the entry was reduced, it did mean the Standard fleet sailed as one rather than within individual age groups. Practice days saw stable thermal winds with small 5 degree shifts and some weed. All race days were dominated by copious quantities of weed and unstable winds (both direction and strength) but at least the seafood was great! GBR sailors with strong podium potential were Michael Hicks and Alan Davis.

Day 1 was reminiscent of Ireland with a cold north easterly gusting 8 to 18 knots. Race 1 saw Carlos Echavarri (ESP) lead at the windward mark but was taken on the first reach by Alan Davis who built what would normally be described as a comfortable lead of 200m until the last quarter of the second beat on the outer loop course. Weed and wind holes saw Alan drop to 4th by the windward mark with Mike Matan (GBR/USA) reading the conditions right, moving from 6th to win the race, followed by Javier Echavarri and Alan at the finish line. Race 2 proved equally tough with Jordi Capella (ESP) winning from Alfredo Jimenez (ESP) and Carlos with Alan coming in 4th to become the overnight leader.

Day 2 saw the wind start the day as an easterly, feeding what was expected to be a good WNW thermal. Oh, if only! The wind did eventually stabilise enough to get a race away, won by Alan from Jordi and Michel Machon (BEL) in 6 to 12 knots. The next race was abandoned when the wind dropped to near zero at 7pm. This was to become a familiar theme.

Day 3 saw the unstable winds continue with some interesting shifts and wind strength variations across the course. Jordi sailed remarkably well to win the only race of the day and take the overnight lead from Alan. Day 4 was another day sat in the sunshine waiting (hoping) for a thermal. 4 races were successfully started with 2 abandoned and 2 completed. Race 5 saw most of the top 10 pick up big scores with Markus Ochs (NED) win from Jordi and Javier. Race 6 was sailed in similar conditions with Carlos winning from Alan and Roger Schulz (GER).

Three races were scheduled for the last day and the start brought forward. Jordi was 3 points clear of Alan so anything could happen. The wind built nicely to 10 knots, it rained (!) and then the wind was turned off. Groundhog day saw larger than usual forests of weed, magnetically attracted to GRP (if that's possible). The wind eventually filled in with the only race of the day starting just 10 minutes before the deadline. Alan had a simple game plan – win the race – which he successfully did despite a near capsize removing weed from the rudder on the run. Unbeknown to Alan, Jordi was yellow flagged after the start and never recovered enough to seek his first Masters' European title. Seven of the scheduled ten races were completed and special mention should go to GGM Mark Bethwaite (AUS) who finished 4th overall – there is life in old dogs!

Overall Results: (top three)

Apprentice Masters
1st Jordi Capella ESP (2nd o/a – 24 points)
2nd Mario Morillo Pascal ESP (13th o/a – 91 points)
3rd Girts Fisers-Blumbergs LAT (26th o/a – 148 points)

Masters
1st Roger Shulz GER (3rd o/a – 50 points)
2nd Carlos Echavarri ESP (6th o/a – 62 points)
3rd Mike Matan (10th o/a – 72 points)

Grand Masters
1st Alan Davis (1st o/a – 19 points)
2nd Wouter Deutz NED (5th o/a – 56 points)
3rd Stefano Carnevalli ITA (7th o/a – 68 points)

Great Grand Masters
1st Mark Bethwaite AUS (4th o/a – 54 points)
2nd Michael Hicks (12th o/a – 90 points)
3rd Wolfgang Gertz GER (22nd o/a – 126 points)

Full results available here.

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