Laser World Champ: Day 1 and 2 Reports

Discussion in 'Laser News Desk' started by TLF, Aug 20, 2009.

  1. TLF

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    Halifax – Pavlos Kontides of Cyprus, Bruno Fontes of Brazil and George Cousins of Great Britain lead the fleets after the first race at the Laser world championships. The field is divided into three fleets for the first four days, then divided in the Gove Silver and Bronze fleets depending on results in these qualifying series. Other top finishers are in second, Michael Bullot from New Zealand, American Clayton Johnson, and Nick Thompson of Great Britain. In third are Tonci Stipanovic from Croatia, Andreas Geritzer of Austria and Philipp Buhl of Germany. The top Canadian is David Wright in fourth place along with Rodrigue Cabaz from France and Milan Vujasinovic from Croatia. Follow this link for results.

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  2. TLF

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    Day One - 1430h Update

    Halifax, NS – Under sunny skies and brisk winds, the first race of the 2009 Nautel Laser World Championships provided a tough start with four general recalls. A report from the race course indicates winds are from the southwest at 16 to 18 knots and expected to pick up to 24 by the second race of the day.There are 169 athletes from 51 countries competing, including last year’s Olympic gold medalist Paul Goodison from Great Britain, and the 2007 and 2008 World champion Tom Slingsby from Australia.-30-

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  3. TLF

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    Ready to Begin

    The blast of the starter’s air horn will kick off the world’s biggest sailing championship of 2009 this afternoon on the pristine waters of St. Margaret’s Bay.

    With 169 of the best single-handed dinghy sailors from 51 countries competing in the 2009 Nautel Laser Worlds, the sea of sails crossing the starting line will be so tightly bunched, the water will be barely visible; a stunning nautical panorama rarely seen.

    Superb racing conditions are likely over the next seven days, despite a possible brush with Hurricane Bill late this weekend and into Monday.

    The St. Margaret Sailing Club was chosen to host this ultimate contest of the most popular boat on the planet because of extremely steady wind and waves in the nearby bay.

    Celebrating the fortieth anniversary of its design by Canadian Bruce Kirby, almost 200,000 Lasers are sailed worldwide by elite athletes and weekend cottage sailors alike.

    Sailed by one person, these four metre physically demanding dinghies are raced by some of the hottest sailors in the world, including recent European champion and last year’s Olympic gold medalist, Paul Goodison of the United Kingdom.

    The chief rival of 32-year-old Goodison is 21-year-old Australian Tom Slingsby who won the 2007 and 2008 Worlds. This 11 year age difference is dramatic in a racing class where winners are usually in their late teens or early twenties.

    The first portion of the Worlds is seven days of racing in the Open championship for which athletes have to qualify to represent their country through a series of regional and continental regattas.

    Not to be dismissed is the second part of the Worlds, for top sailors 35-years of age and older, who compete in the seven day Masters.

    Event organizers are keeping a close eye on the current track of Hurricane Bill.

    “We always watch the wind for these regattas,” says safety committee chair Sandy MacMillan.”If there are any race cancellations because of high winds or heavy seas, they can be made up on a later day.”




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  4. TLF

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    Day One - Final

    Halifax – St. Margaret’s Bay didn’t disappoint on the first day of racing at the Laser World Championships. Conditions were ‘Laser’ perfect with clear skies and winds ranging from 18 to 20 knots (35 to 39 kilometres per hour) and water temperatures at 19 Celsius.

    The Bay gave the world’s top sailors a small taste of what’s to come over the next seven days of racing. Hot, hazy conditions, with smooth two to three foot seas, provided absolutely perfect racing for the 169 athletes from 51 countries competing at the 2009 Nautel Laser World Championships. Top finishers after the first day of racing are Tonci Stipanovic from Croatia in top spot, Nick Thompson of Great Britain in second, American Clayton Johnson in third, Bruno Fontes from Brazil in fourth and German Philipp Buhl in fifth. Full results are available at www.2009laserworlds.org.

    The day was not without its problems. There were four general recalls in the first race – and at least four gear failures. One failure included Olympic gold medalist Paul Goodison from Great Britain. It put him in sixth place in his fleet, 16th overall, after the first race. He took a second in the second race to finish sixth overall for the day. Canada has four sailors in the top 25 after the first day. They are Christopher Dold in 15th, Michale Leigh in 18th, Bernard Luttmer in 23rd and David Wright in 25th. One experienced, but retired Laser sailor said, “It was absolutely thrilling to watch these top athletes snap those small dinghies around race marks with such practiced perfection.”

    St. Margaret’s Bay lived up to its superb reputation for steady winds during the first round of the 2009 Laser Worlds, and the many top athletes gathered here hope that the predicted track of Hurricane Bill will not spoil these ideal conditions. With US and Canadian Hurricane Centres currently predicting Hurricane Bill brushing the Nova Scotia coast on Sunday, the Race Committee has moved the first race of the day on Friday to noon. The early start may help accommodate an extra race to get ahead of schedule in case a day of racing is cancelled by storm conditions.

    -30-

    Media photographs are available at this link. For further information, contact: Duncan Enman, event manager – 902-823-2211 Barbara Pike, event co-chair – 902-452-1172



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  5. TLF

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    Day Two - Update 1600

    It's turning into a tough day two at the 2009 Nautel Laser World Championships. One full race has not been completed, although sailors have been on the water for almost five hours. Fog hung around the outer reaches of St. Margaret's Bay for much of the afternoon. By four, two of three fleets had finished a race. The third fleet had a number of general recalls as sailors jump the line in anticipation of the start. Winds are about 20 knots, with a growing swell.The Race Committee had hoped to get three races in today in anticipation of Hurricane Bill which is predicted to brush Nova Scotia on Sunday. Instead it spent the day dodging fog banks giving the mark boat operators a harder work-out than the athletes.Racing will be cancelled on Sunday and all Lasers and equipment secured in anticipation of the storm.-30-

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  6. TLF

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    Day Two - Final

    Halifax – Day two of the Laser world championships proved more exercise for volunteers hauling race marks than for the athletes. Fog hanging over the outer reaches of St. Margaret’s Bay had the race committee making numerous course changes in an effort to find clear water.

    Only one race was completed, on a day the Race Committee hoped to get three races in. Two fleets managed to get in a quick race, but the third fleet proved anxious. There were numerous general recalls for sailors crossing the line early, more than 20 sailors black flagged (which took them out of the race) and still it took an hour and a half to get the fleet off, which prevented further starts. After three race, Tonci Stipanovic of Croatia remains in the lead, American Clayton Johnson in second, Nick Thompson of Great Briton in third, Pavlos Kontikes of Cyprus has moved to fourth and Olympic gold medalist Paul Goodison of Great Briton in fifth. Bernard Luttmer of Canada is in 18th spot after three races. Team mate David Wright is in 20th and Christopher Dold in 25th.

    While the 169 athletes competing in the 2009 Nautel Laser World Championships were having a rough day on the water, on land, organizers were preparing a contingency plan for Hurricane Bill. It’s currently forecast to brush Nova Scotia on Sunday. Racing will continue as planned on Saturday, but if the hurricane continues on its current track, races will be cancelled on Sunday. “After racing on Saturday, the athletes will help volunteers move the Laser hulls into the main clubhouse and race management centre,” says event co-chair Rod Millar. “Masts and rigging will be lashed down and secured in protected areas, as will the dollies used to wheel the boats around.” “The athletes will bring their sails and foils [centerboards and rudders] to their residences so they don’t need to be stored on site.” Other equipment and tents used for the championship will be broken down and stored. “The current plan is to get back on the water Monday,” says Millar. “It’s definitely a disruption to the Laser Worlds, but we’re sailors, this happens.”

    Photographs for the use of the news media are available at http://www.capizzano.com/laserworlds2009/LaserSenior_Press.html



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  7. TLF

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    Day Two - Update 1600

    It's turning into a tough day two at the 2009 Nautel Laser World Championships. One full race has not been completed, although sailors have been on the water for almost five hours. Fog hung around the outer reaches of St. Margaret's Bay for much of the afternoon. By four, two of three fleets had finished a race. The third fleet had a number of general recalls as sailors jump the line in anticipation of the start. Winds are about 20 knots, with a growing swell.

    The Race Committee had hoped to get three races in today in anticipation of Hurricane Bill which is predicted to brush Nova Scotia on Sunday. Instead it spent the day dodging fog banks giving the mark boat operators a harder work-out than the athletes. Racing will be cancelled on Sunday and all Lasers and equipment secured in anticipation of the storm. -30-



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  8. TLF

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    Day Two - Final

    Halifax – Day two of the Laser world championships proved more exercise for volunteers hauling race marks than for the athletes. Fog hanging over the outer reaches of St. Margaret’s Bay had the race committee making numerous course changes in an effort to find clear water.

    Only one race was completed, on a day the Race Committee hoped to get three races in. Two fleets managed to get in a quick race, but the third fleet proved anxious. There were numerous general recalls for sailors crossing the line early, more than 20 sailors black flagged (which took them out of the race) and still it took an hour and a half to get the fleet off, which prevented further starts. After three race, Tonci Stipanovic of Croatia remains in the lead, American Clayton Johnson in second, Nick Thompson of Great Britain in third, Pavlos Kontikes of Cyprus has moved to fourth and Olympic gold medalist Paul Goodison of Great Britain in fifth. Bernard Luttmer of Canada is in 18th spot after three races. Team mate David Wright is in 20th and Christopher Dold in 25th.

    While the 169 athletes competing in the 2009 Nautel Laser World Championships were having a rough day on the water, on land, organizers were preparing a contingency plan for Hurricane Bill. It’s currently forecast to brush Nova Scotia on Sunday. Racing will continue as planned on Saturday, but if the hurricane continues on its current track, races will be cancelled on Sunday. “After racing on Saturday, the athletes will help volunteers move the Laser hulls into the main clubhouse and race management centre,” says event co-chair Rod Millar. “Masts and rigging will be lashed down and secured in protected areas, as will the dollies used to wheel the boats around.” “The athletes will bring their sails and foils [centerboards and rudders] to their residences so they don’t need to be stored on site.” Other equipment and tents used for the championship will be broken down and stored. “The current plan is to get back on the water Monday,” says Millar. “It’s definitely a disruption to the Laser Worlds, but we’re sailors, this happens.”

    Photographs for the use of the news media are available at http://www.capizzano.com/laserworlds2009/LaserSenior_Press.html



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