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Laser Oceania and Australian Championship - Day 2

by Roger King / Peter Campbell 5 Jan 02:01 GMT
2019 Laser Oceania and Australian Championship - Day 2 © Beau Outteridge

After waiting on shore for the wind to fill in, the 148 Laser sailors contesting the Oceania and Australian championships on Bass Strait, off Devonport, were rewarded with good racing conditions late yesterday afternoon.

Sailors headed out of the river at around 2pm and across to the race courses set off the Bluff Lighthouse and Coles Beach area to the west of the Mersey River entrance.

Mersey Yacht Club, the host club, completed three races for Laser Standard Rigs, Radials and 4.7s, making up for day one, which didn't bother the scorers due to insufficient wind to complete races.

The smaller sail of the fleet, the Laser 4.7 has attracted a fleet of 36 boats, both male and female. The Radial sail, also the women's Olympic class, has both male and female sailors competing against each other, a total of 69 boats.

The Laser Standard Rig, the largest sail size and men's Olympic class, as an all-male fleet of 43 sailors, including past and prospective Olympic sailors.

The winds of the regatta's day two tested sailor's light wind capability and the ability of race management to keep up with the backing winds.

The breeze started in the NE and ended up NW at between 6 and 12 knots ahead of a hard SW frontal system sweeping through the North West corner of Tasmania.

Race one for the 4.7 fleet saw Lawson McAullay (WA) first, Jonathan Lio (Singapore) second, and Brooke Wilson (NSW) third.

In the Radial fleet it was an all-female affair at the front of the fleet with Emma Plasschaert (Belgium) first, Gabriella Kidd (Brazil) second, and Zoe Thomson (WA) third.

In the Standard fleet Mitchell Kennedy (Qld) won from Finn Alexander (NSW) and Rio gold medallist Tom Burton (NSW).

In race 2 for the 4.7 fleet Jonathan Lio (Singapore) moved up to first, Kristen Wadley (Qld) to second, with Anna Vaughan (Tas) third.

In the Radials, Zac Littlewood won race two from Stefan Elliott-Shircore and Japanese sailor Manami Doi. In the Standard fleet, Caelin Winchcombe (WA) won from Australian champion, Matt Wearn (WA) and Mitchell Kennedy (Qld) third.

Race 3 for the 4.7 fleet saw Wadley, McAullay and Vaughan fill the placings. In the Radial, it was a one, two three for Plasschaert, Littlewood and Doi. For the Standard fleet, Burton headed the fleet from Suzuki and Swifto-Elliott.

At the end of day two, and the first day to complete any races, the leaderboards read:

  • 4.7's Lawson McAullay (WA) is leading Kristen Wadley (Qld) and Anna Vaughan (Tas).
  • Radials Emma Plasschaert (Belgium) leads from Zac Littlewood (WA) and Japan's Manami Doi.
  • Standard Mitchell Kennedy Qld) leads Tom Burton (NSW) and Finn Alexander (NSW/ACT).
There are representatives from nine countries, including Australia, and 17 international competitors across all Laser fleets.

An earlier start is planned for today due to heavy weather forecast later in the day with the principal race officer indicating the first race will be started at 11am.

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