Australian Laser Championship 2011.
It was a dark and stormy day at Georges River for the penultimate day of the Australian Laser Championship. Two major systems passed through the course disturbing the wind direction and causing a lot of effort on behalf of the race committee to re-lay the course to each major shift. Two races were successfully completed and everyone was happy to be home and dry after a long, cold, wet day on the water.
Tom Burton’s lead in the Laser Standard fleet was reduced by Christoph Bottoni (SUI) winning both races. Austria’s, Andreas Geritzer sits in third place ahead of Rutger Schaardenburg from the Netherlands. The second placed Australian is Ash Brunning in fifth with five points over sixth placed Ryan Palk.
Krystal Weir slipped down to second overall in the Open Laser Radial Championship after getting tangled with the pack at the first upwind mark rounding. ‘The mark was sitting in a mark boat which had a long anchor warp that basically tripped the fleet up and made a big mess at the top mark! Once I got free, which took a while, I did a 720 penalty turn to be sure I was clear of any protest and then it was catch-up from there’.
Youth sailor, Matthew Wearn regains the overall lead in the Laser Radial fleet with the defending champion, Benjamin Franklin in third, just one point behind the leading lady, Krystal Weir. Simon Merritt won the first race and Tristan Brown won the second.
Matthew Wearn has a clean lead in the OAMPS Australian Youth Team Trials for the boy’s Laser Radial place at the Volvo Youth Sailing ISAF World Championship. The battle between the leading girls couldn’t be closer with Alex South and Ashley Stoddart on equal points after nine races. The trial is a combination of this and next weeks, OAMPS Australian Youth Championship.
In the Laser 4.7 fleet, Benjamin Walkemeyer retains a comfortable lead over Dylan Gore who had the best day, winning race one and third in race two. Nicholas Connor broke his mast in race one and after a super speedy changeover of equipment, he won the second race and holds onto third place overall.
There was no change in the Laser 4.7 girl’s rankings with Milly Bennett still leading, Madison Kennedy in second and Sophie Chesterman in third.
Michael Gentry is competing in his first sailing Championship after having started Laser sailing just ten months ago. Michael learned to crew on yachts from the CYCA for a couple of seasons and after ticking the Sydney to Hobart Race box, he decided he wanted to learn how to ‘sail’ as opposed to ‘crew’ and chose the Laser because, ‘All of my friends who were great sailors said the same thing, ‘if you want to learn to sail, get in a Laser’. And they were right. My first year in a Laser has taught me to; read the wind, pick the shifts, sail trim, boat trim, so all the basics of what sailing really is.
‘Why I love sailing a Laser? The Laser is a wonderful boat; it is an affordable boat with large, competitive classes throughout the world. And as a one design class, as a new entrant you are automatically on the same footing as all the experts (other than the fact they can sail!). My point being, there is no arms race, you are given all the tools that world champions have at their disposal and the joy is learning the tricks to sail the boat well to get near the front of the fleet and hopefully someday to the front. On day one you can get in and have fun sailing the Laser, and then you can learn to sail it fast over time’.
Laser 4.7 Leader Board
1. Benjamin Walkemeyer (WA) 10pts
2. Dylan Gore (TAS) 20pts
3. Nicholas Connor (NSW) 36pts
Girls Laser 4.7 Leader Board
1. Milly Bennett (NSW) 42pts
2. Madison Kennedy (QLD) 53pts
3. Sophie Chesterman (TAS) 68pts
Open Laser Radial Leader Board
1. Matthew Wearn (WA) 19pts
2. Krystal Weir (VIC) 26pts
3. Benjamin Franklin (QLD) 27pts
Women’s Laser Radial Leader Board
1. Krystal Weir (VIC) 26pts
2. Alex South (NSW) 89pts
3. Ashley Stoddart (QLD) 89pts
Laser Standard Leader Board
1 – Tom Burton (NSW) 17pts
2 – Christoph Bottoni (SUI) 19pts
3 – Andreas Geritzer (AUT) 35pts
by Laura Baldwin Share 9:27 AM Tue 4 Jan 2011