Australian Laser Championship day two and the weather on Botany Bay didn’t turn out to be as expected.
The 15-20 knots NE battled with the gradient wind all day creating variable conditions of 12-8knots. The Race Committees had a tough time, more so on Course A where the Standards and 4.7’s race, due to the area being closer to the land. A lot of course changing was required between races and they did an excellent job to get a quality race at the end of the day making it as fair as possible.
Tom Burton continues to show he deserves his new position on the Australian Sailing Team that he won with his result at Sail Melbourne. When asked about his raise to the top he answered, ‘I haven’t been too far off for a long time but finally I put it all together and am more consistent now. I’m excited to be a member of the Australian Sailing Team, they have already had me in for fitness testing at the AST Physiologist, Andrew Verdon’s gym, Beyond Fitness in Neutral Bay’.
‘It is great not to have to put time aside for work next year so I can just focus on sailing. So now I have to treat my sailing like a job and do what I have to do to get the job done’.
Tom was chuffed about his performance yesterday in the strong breeze, ‘I can finally loose the label of being a ‘light wind specialist’. I made a mistake in the first race today, I was leading at the leeward gate but picked the wrong side to protect, it looked like there was more pressure on the right but the left came in so I lost out on that move.’ Tom still finished the first race third and went on to win the second. These results make him the regatta leader with a nine point buffer.
Ashley Brunning is in second on the Laser Standard leader board after scoring an eighth and fourth. Andreas Geritzer from Austria climbed up to third spot after finishing second and sixth in the two races.
The biggest drama of the day occurred in the Laser Radial fleet. Interviewing Masters sailor, Robert Smith who was explaining his tale of missing the spreader mark and having to return to round it, ‘that spreader mark is a trap!’ he said, ‘but Krystal Weir had the biggest drama, it happened right beside me. She lined up with some boys to go upwind speed testing before the first race and her mast snapped! A rescue boat towed her in to get a new one’.
Krystal had a super quick turn around on the shore and got back out to the race course missing the start by just 3minuets. With adrenaline pumping she pulled up to 19 by the finish. In the sailing club for the free pasta night many were revelling in the fact that they ‘beat Krystal Weir in the first race!’, feeling pretty smart until they learned the reason why.
Matthew Wearn (WA) still leads the Open Laser Radial fleet scoring a third and second. Just three points behind is the defending champion, Benjamin Franklin (QLD) who also had a second and third. Elliot Hanson from Great Britain is the first under 16 and in third overall with 15 points.
Krystal Weir still leads the Laser Radial Women’s Championship after winning the last race but having to count a 19th has made her slip temporarily down to sixth overall until a discard comes in. Gabrielle King is second with 29points, she scored a third and seventh and Alex South is in third after winning the opening race of the day and following up with a sixteenth.
The most impressive score line is that of Benjamin Walkemeyer from Western Australia in the Laser 4.7 who has won three races giving himself a 13 point cushion. Nicholas Connor (NSW) is second with 18 points and Dylan Gore (TAS) is third.
The girls in the Laser 4.7 fleet are sailing impressively with three in the top ten. Milly Bennett (NSW) is in fourth overall and first girl followed by Madison Kennedy (QLD) in fifth and Melisa Hitchen-Haw (VIC) in eighth.
Laser Standard Leader Board
1 – Tom Burton (NSW) 7pts
2 – Ash Brunning (NSW) 16pts
3 – Andreas Geritzer (AUT) 24pts
Open Laser Radial Leader Board
1 – Matthew Wearn (WA) 7pts
2 – Benjamine Franklin (QLD) 10pts
3 – Elliot Hanson (GBR) 15pts
Women’s Laser Radial Leader Board
1 – Krystal Weir (VIC) 23pts
2 – Gabrielle King (NSW) 29pts
3 – Alex South (NSW) 36pts
Laser 4.7 Leader Board
1 – Benjamin Walkemeyer (WA) 5pts
2 – Nicholas Connor (NSW) 18pts
3 – Dylan Gore (TAS) 23pts
Laser 4.7 Girls Leader Board
1 – Milly Bennett (NSW) 24pts
2 – Madison Kennedy (QLD) 39pts
3 – Melisa Hitchen-Haw (VIC) 51pts