Archive for December 2013
Good luck to all the sailors participating in the Nationals at McCrae. There are 169 entries so far comprising 51 4.7′s 50 Radials and 68 Standards. You can follow the results here.
33 Australian Laser Masters (25 from NSW/ACT) travelled to Musannah Oman for the World Masters. Australia won 3 of the 8 Masters series. Congratulations to Vanessa Dudley, Mark Bethwaite from NSW and Greg Adams from Queensland for their respective convincing wins.
The series was run in mostly light winds – in the 5-9 knot range most days. While this did not suit all the Australian sailors Vanessa, Greg and Mark made short work of the opposition and each won without needing to sail on the final day. The full results are here. There are some photos of the venue, the presentation and Oman here and official photos here.
The Millenium Resort which was HQ for the Worlds was purpose built for boating and with major events like Laser Worlds in mind. It was, apart from the light winds, a perfect venue with all the competitors housed at the adjacent Millenium Resort. RO’s Hugh Leiicester on the Standard Rig course and Jeff Martin on the Radial course did a great job in the sometimes marginal strength and shifty breeze. As well there was an army of officials and helpers to make sure everything ran smoothly.
The World Standard Rig Open Championship was held prior to the Masters from 14th to 23rd November 2013. This was won by 40 year old Robert Scheidt from Brazil who took the title in a close contest from London Olympic Silver Medalist Pavlos Kontides from Cyprus. The full results are here. The World Laser Radial Youth Championship were also run at Musannah from 27th December 2013.
At the Competitor Briefing in Musannah Oman in December ILCA President Tracy Usher gave an update on the Laser licensing issue.
The dispute between Laser Performance the UK based builder and Laser designer Bruce Kirby has been ongoing for quite a while. The story behind the dispute is here. The court case will be before the U.S. Federal Court District of Connecticut USA, through an action filed by Bruce Kirby. Tracy said that attempts by ILCA and ISAF to get a meeting of the parties and to potentially mediate the case have failed. Now the case will go through a four stage court process and may only see judgement some time in 2014. In the mean time ISAF plaques will continue to be affixed to new Lasers from all builders maintaing the supply of boats.
The long awaited improvements in the class with the new mast top section and the new longer life radial cut standard rig sail are all good to go but need the unanimous agreement of all the Laser builders. Tracy said that this approval had not been obtained and was unlikely to be until the current legal dispute is settled. His candid advice was not to hold your breath waiting for the improvements.
At the same meeting ILCA World Executive Secretary Jeff Martin explained the implications of some new initiatives by ISAF for World Championships.
These changes would see the ISAF limit World Championships to four per class and run a Sailing World Cup with four regattas plus the World Championship for each class limited to the top 25 sailors. The limit of four “Worlds” would rule out ILCA’s running World Masters or at least naming the event so.
The limitation of the Sailing World Cup to 25 might be fine for some classes with limited numbers of sailors but would rule out the majority of the very large number of up and coming Laser sailors from this peak level of competition.
These “one size fits all” changes by ISAF are counter to the interest of Laser sailing as is their other “initiative” to allow “kinetic actions” above certain wind strengths in Lasers.
On a more positive note Jeff explained that the GGM Standard Rig was a fixture for Laser Masters and that a new 75+ age bracket would be formalised for Radials.
The next World Masters (if it will be termed that) will be in Hyeres France 3-11th October 2014 and is likely to be huge with 4.7 Rig returning and the fleet size likely limited by the number of boats that can be managed on the courses available. The NoR is expected to be issued for this event in January 2014. The ILCA web page for the event is here. Subsequent “World Masters” will be in July 2015 in Kingston Canada and in 2016 either in South America or Malaysia.
Tom Burton continues to hold ISAF world number one Laser World ranking. Ashley Brunning holds 7th ranking. The skill and dedication required to achieve and hold these positions must be recognised and applauded. Tom Burton most recently convincingly won Sail Melbourne putting aside the disappointment of his 9th in the Worlds in Oman in November. Tom earlier this year won the National Laser Championship at Sandy Bay his third Nationals in a row.