Updated: DAY 6 Final Report


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Event organizers and sailors were surprised when the Laser Masters Worlds entry sold out five days after the Notice of Race appeared online, but 367 sailors later, and a week into the event, clear evidence points to the reason...

Camaraderie is the drug of choice for the sailing fraternity – and it doesn’t matter where you are from or whether you have met before.

Being sailed off Terrigal on the NSW Central Coast, and concluding tomorrow, various stories have emerged from the ‘Plus 35 Years’ sailors.

Yesterday American Doug PECKOVER wheeled his boat down to the beach ready to set sail. “I was one of the last to launch and a wave picked the boat up and dumped it back on the trolley. Someone heard a loud crack and suggested I check my boat – I did, and found a crack,” says the 2005 Standard Grand Master World Champion.

Before PECKOVER could think about it, he was offered a replacement hull. Brendan CASEY, a Queensland Laser sailor of note, had the replacement hull wheeled out, and along with others, including David SLINGSBY and his daughter Alana SLINGSBY, the boat was re-rigged and ready to sail in a minute.

“I felt lucky; it’s all about the camaraderie. The team work was amazing. I didn’t ask for a replacement boat, it was offered to me, just like that! All these people came and helped me. I feel very thankful, not hapless as was said yesterday,” the USA sailor said.

This morning PECKOVER reported the minor crack had been fixed and his boat returned. “I didn’t want to risk sailing it with the crack – it could have leaked. You don’t want to take that chance,” he said.

In another incident yesterday, Principle Race Officer Tony DENHAM lost his wallet from his back pocket. “I transferred from the start boat onto a smaller boat to take a look at shortening the race course. When I got back onboard the start boat, I realized my wallet was missing,” he said.

The loss played on DENHAM’s mind as there was quite a bit of cash in his wallet. “I told my wife we’d better go for a cheap dinner. A while later though, Greg MARSHALL, who’s sailing in the Great Grand Master Radial [the division for those 65 years and over], came up to me with a wet wallet. He’d found it during the race – amazing.”

As the story got around, people suggested DENHAM should by a lottery ticket. “I already had a Lotto ticket in the wallet,” he said.

Mike 'Zappa' BELL, a well known yachtsman from Sydney, is a Masters World’s first timer, sailing in the Radial Grand Master division. “I sailed only four races at Avalon before coming to the World’s – that’s my claim to fame in a Laser.

“I had a big fear of coming last in a race – and I did come last, but it didn’t bother me the way I thought it would. Everyone has been so friendly and helpful,”
he said. He’s not on his own; there are lots of newcomers, many from yachting backgrounds, who feel the same way as BELL.

Lyndall PATTERSON [reigning Women’s Radial Master world champion], Richard SCARR [a sailing coach] and others have been helping me. They’ve helped me set my boat up and encouraged me and everyone is so friendly. This [event] is the best thing I’ve ever done. I’m definitely going to keep doing this event,” he said.

Mark ORAMS, the overall leader in the Radial Masters going into today’s racing, also loves the camaraderie of the Masters Worlds. “I did an Olympic campaign when I was younger, it’s a lot more dog-eat-dog, more serious and you certainly wouldn’t help each other the way people do at the Masters.

“They are really friendly and helpful to each other in the Masters. It’s a great event to come to. There are some outstanding sailors here, there’s average sailors and some new to Lasers – but everyone just gets along so well. You form good long lasting friendships.

“I guess when you get older you get a better perspective and balance in your life. Competition isn’t the be-all and end all like it is when you’re younger,”
the New Zealand sailor says.

“The guys sailing in the Radial Great Grand Masters are legends and my inspiration. Some of these guys are in their 70’s, still fit and out their enjoying competing and sailing. They stay young doing this and if I can be like that at 70, well I’ll be a very happy man. I guess these are the reasons we all keep coming back.”

“I brought my family with me, and that’s the other great thing, lots bring their families and all the kids have a really good time – everyone’s happy,”
ORAMS said.

Dennis LAPHAM from Zimbabwe agrees. “I feel quite emotional when I talk about this regatta. Everyone is so fantastic and enthusiastic. They even say ‘well done’ when you pass them in a race – how good is that? This country and this event are just so good.

“I’ve been sailing competitively since 1959 in all sorts of situations and there is always tension – but that just does not happen in the Masters. I feel very lucky to be part of it,”
he says.

Race starts were delayed once again as officials waited for breeze. The first starts got underway with the Radial fleet shortly after 13:30. The Standard fleet made a spectacular sight as they headed out of the Terrigal Trojan Rugby Club and onto the water at The Haven under sunny skies and a nice 8-10 knot north-easterly breeze this afternoon.


Staff member
DAY 5 Report

Day 5 at the Laser Masters Worlds sponsored by NCS Resins took on a new significance as those at the top of each division tried to capitalise on their results today knowing there was only tomorrow’s two races remaining.

Overall leader James Liebl (USA) rose to the occasion in the Radial Apprentice, winning his fourth race on the trot in Race 7 and adding a third in Race 8 for an almost unassailable 17 point lead. The gregarious American’s worst result is a third and he is on 11 points having sailed a blinder of a series.

Laser Apprentice James Liebl Photo courtesy C&C Images
Others were not so lucky; John Jagger (AUS), Tam Edmund (NZL), Alison Casey (AUS) and Richard Bott (AUS) started the day in second to fourth places overall respectively, but scored their worst series results in today’s Race 7. Although all recovered to finish top 10 in Race 8, the only two to survive in the top three are Jagger who bounced back with a second place for second overall on 28 points and Bott who won the race to sit in third place overall on 40 points.

Scott Leith (NZL) is fifth placed on 42 points, whilst Alison Casey remains the top placed Women’s on 50 points and holding down eighth place overall. Local sailor Justine Ella (AUS) is second best Women’s in 10th place overall, but 21 points behind Casey.

World champion sailor Sean Kirkjian was first ashore. “I finished 10th in the last race. Unfortunately fat and unfit doesn’t make for good speed,” he laughed, “but it was good fun. The trick was to go left. The nor-easter took hold and it was a very pleasant day.”
Next was Bott. “My win in the second race was comfortable towards the end. I had a conservative start, but then had a good run and picked up a few places. They were the best conditions today – what we all came for,” he said.

“I had my worst result in Race 7,” told Tam Edmunds. “I was a bit behind the lead bunch in the next race, but I caught up. I was inside the top eight in pretty close racing. The wind was just starting to build in the second race; we finally got the conditions advertised in the brochure.”

According to John Jagger though, “it was still a bucket of slops out there – it was no more than 13-14 knots and a big swell. It was very tough. Trying to keep the boat moving was difficult and you felt underpowered all the time!”

It’s tight at the top as the battle for supremacy continues in the Radial Masters. As the current leader Mark Orams (NZL) said this afternoon: “The three of us tussled like we always do.” He was referring to himself, Stephen Cockerill (GBR) and Greg Adams (AUS).

Orams is holding a slim five point lead over Cockerill and extended his lead to 10 points on Adams today. The Kiwi sailor finished the day on 3-2, Cockerill 4-1 and Adams 10-3. None of the trio has had a score worst than 10. The battle finishes tomorrow.

“I had a good first race. Lots of boats got a big shift on the left. I went right! Me and Mark (Orams) worked our way through the fleet; him to third and me to fourth,” Cockerill said.
“In the second race I got blown away by Chris Raab (USA) and had to work my way back. I was fifth downwind, went too far right, but on the next beat I got a nice shift on the left, I rounded second and past the leader on the run. Then Orams got me and I got him back on the last three waves. It was tight and exciting sailing.

“It all happened on the reach, with the jury watching, you had to be aware of what you were doing. This is more like Australia – lovely sailing,” said the Brit.

It was a good day for the New Zealanders, with Glen Sowry taking out Race 7. “The first one was between me, Orams and Al Clark (CAN) who was on my tail the whole way round the course,” he said.

“It was all about pressure, which was all on the left. I lead at every mark, it was stunning conditions, but still quite tricky in the swell. The apparent breeze was shifting around the waves – it was a good day,” commented Sowry.

Peter Heywood hangs onto his lead in the Radial Grand Master division by a handy seven points after a fourth place and a win today. “I knew I had to hang it at the top to continue my lead. It was a light 10 knot easterly when we first raced. It was difficult and places kept changing all the time.

“This was the first time the Great Grand Masters weren’t dominating our fleet. I scored fourth and a win – I have to keep scoring those sorts of results to win here,” Heywood said.
Another Aussie, Brian Watson has maintained second overall, even though he scored his worst result with a 14th place in Race 7, Watson bounced back with a second in Race 8. He is on 22 points, a solid 14 points in front of third overall, Lew Verdon, also from Australia.
Peter Whipp (GBR) won Race 7 and is fourth overall, but out of reach of Heywood on 38 points. “It was great sailing, but very tiring,” he said on coming ashore.

Greg Phillips (AUS) showed more enthusiasm: “We had a great day; it was fantastic breeze - just beautiful. The waves were fantastic too and the wind steady; you could go for pure boat speed,” said Phillips who is 12th overall after scoring eighth and seventh places this afternoon.
After third and 10th places today, for 11th overall, Josef Maurer (GER) said: “The day was a pleasure for me. We don’t get these conditions on the Bodensee River. It was great waves and hard competition. The sailors are very good and you have to work hard from start to finish. Just wonderful,” he said.

The only female in the Grand Masters, New Zealander Gill Waiting, is 22nd placed out of 33 competitors.

In the Radial Great Grand Master, the USA’s Peter Seidenberg has taken the batten and hasn’t stopped running, bringing home two further wins today to consolidate his lead over 2006 World Champion Kerry Waraker (AUS).

Seidenberg is sailing an outstanding regatta, winning six out of the eight races so far, showing why he is the defending world champion. “I had a good day; two wins. Conditions were just perfect – a typical nor-easter, the prevailing winds,” he said.

“I got a beautiful start in the first race (Race 7), making life easy, but in the second race I was more conservative and had to fight to get ahead. This is what I came here for – beautiful sailing, and that is what I got,” the super-fit 70 year-old said.

The American is 10 points clear of Waraker who had a mixed day with 12th and second places, enjoying the building breezes of the second race, which did not increase to his liking until the race had finished.

Tom Speed (NZL) remains third placed following 5th and seventh places, while Bill Tyler (AUS) notched up his best result of the regatta with a second place in Race 7, lifting him up the scoreboard in 16th place.

Julian Van Aaist (AUS) got it right when he commented: “It was just fantastic, the best sailing ever, magic.”

The Standard fleet got the best of the north-east winds off Terrigal today. Starting after the Radial groups, they reveled in winds of up to 18 knots on choppy seas. After the light airs that have prevailed all week, the big breezes caught many out and there was lots of capsizing on the course and lots of tired bodies came ashore.

Brett Beyer, leading and defending his Apprentice world crown described his interesting day: “I won the first one and Rohan (Lord from NZL) was second.

“In the second race, I went around the top mark and couldn’t see the wing mark because of the waves and swell. I found myself low on the mark and had to tack upwind to make it and in the process lost around 15 boats. Rohan and I had a bit of an altercation and I did a penalty turn.

“By the bottom mark we were both in the low teens, but on the second beat, I banged left and got more pressure and made it to the top mark in fourth. I took two more out downwind and finished second.”

Beyer is on seven points following racing today, six points clear of rival Lord. Jyrki Taiminen (FIN) maintains third place on 17 points from British sailor Orlando Gledhill on 24 points.

After a 17th place in Race 7, Andrew Dellabarca (NZL) said: “Not too good a day – but I had a lot of great rides. It was great surfing and really good conditions up to 15 knots.”

The Master fleet was divided into Gold and Silver today, the top 45 going into the Gold group. Brad Taylor (AUS) continued his top form adding a further win and a second to his scorecard.
“I was coming first in the second race but I capsized. It was good close racing and good breeze. Big waves; it was hard to steer but enjoyable,” said Taylor on nine points with a five point lead over a very competitive second placed Jan ‘Clogs’ Scholten (AUS).

Clogs is keeping Taylor honest at the top of the board. “I came a good second in the first race. It was the best conditions – nice sailing and well worth the wait. Nice waves and sunshine. The hardest bit is sailing into the fleet ahead of you, so you have no idea who you are competing against anymore,” he said.

Despite third and second places today for third overall on 20 points, Peter Conde appeared a little disappointed in himself. “I finally broke my standard range,” he said referring to his inability to score a top two place until today. “We got to hike properly for the first time in this regatta today. It was absolutely perfect conditions – nice rides, just like the brochure said,” he commented.

“I pushed to make Gold and got in at 45th. It’s great sailing against these guys; you learn so much and pretty quick,” said Steve Brajkovich (AUS) who scored a credible 40th in Race 7.
As Tim Landt (USA) so succinctly said: “It was finally like they said it would be here –fantastic.”
Don Salthouse (NZL) is at the top of the Silver group after finishing 1-2. “Pretty breezy, it came up quite well. You could win by surfing fast, but it was really close racing – much better,” he said.
Grand Master Mark Bethwaite Photo courtesy C&C Images
Mark Bethwaite (AUS) the defending world champion and leader in the Grand Master division is not having it all his own way. Pushing hardest is the wily German sailor Wolfgang Gerz who grabbed a win in Race 7 and a second in Race 8, against Bethwaite’s third and a win.
Only one point separates the pair in this fascinating competition. It is believed this is the strongest opposition the Australian Olympian has ever faced at the Masters.

Third placed coming into Races 6 and 7 today, not all went according to plan for Rob Lowndes, Chairman of the Worlds. “I kept overlaying the top mark. I found it hard to tack and I’m so slow close-reaching, but it was good sailing. A hard race, but good,” he commented.
A sixth and 10th place results were not enough to keep Lowndes in third. He has been overtaken by Jack Schlachter, also from Australia, who scored profitable second and fifth places to be third placed and six points ahead of Lowndes.

Racing concludes tomorrow and officials plan to start the day early at approximately 10.00am and Radials away first, weather dependant.

Results are provisional pending protests and ratification by the organisers.
For all information on the Gosford Sailing Club hosted Laser Masters Worlds go to: http://aus08.laserinternational.org/


Staff member
DAY 6: The Final Results

Day 6 racing at the Laser Masters Worlds, sponsored by Crowne Plaza, where the prize giving dinner will be held this evening, got underway with the Standard fleets shortly after 10.00am in light flicky south and south-easterly winds on the course off Terrigal.

Brett Beyer (AUS) was the first winner announced today, successfully defending his 2007 World Championship crown in the Standard Apprentice Master finishing the final day with a win and a second place. “I’m very happy. There wasn’t much wind, maybe 10-12 knots, and the racing was very close as usual,” said Beyer on winning an unsurpassed sixth Apprentice world title.

Beyer finished the nine-race series on 10 points, remarkably finishing only once outside a top two results. In the two races sailed today, the Sydney sailor scored a win and a second. Rohan Lord (NZL) placed second on 20 points after his third and fourth places this afternoon, while Finish sailor Jyrki Taiminen was third on 22 points.

Orlando Gledhill (GBR) missed out on a podium finish, despite winning the final race, finishing the series on 29 points for fourth place. The Brit was runner-up to Beyer in the last two World’s.

“My closest competition came from Rohan, Jyrki and Orlando. It was hard to spot the marks today,” the 41 year-old Sports Scientist said.

Was it a tough win? “Well, this is my best scorecard, so I guess that makes it look easier than it was. It was hard close racing, so the scorecard is a bit deceptive,” said Beyer who trains hard throughout the year on top of undertaking Olympic coaching duties for Singapore, which qualified for the Beijing Olympics at the Laser World’s sailed last week. Beyer was justifiably proud.

“I am happy with my series; it was close all the way through and a lot of fun. The racing was especially close with Brett and Rohan,” said Taiminen, who went on to explain: “I haven’t done a World's for three years. The first one I finished sixth, then fifth, then fourth. Now I am third, so next time I should be second,” he laughed.
Standard Apprentice World Champion 2008 - Brett Beyer (AUS) (Photo courtesy C&C Images)

Jan ‘Clogs’ Scholten wins Standard Master Worlds
After leading the fleet all week and going into day with a five point lead, Brad Taylor (AUS) was done out the Master world title today when Jan ‘Clogs’ Scholten (AUS) steamed home in third place to Taylor’s fifth in Race 8 and won Race 9 in which Taylor finished sixth, to claim the World Master title.

This is Scholten’s first time at the Laser Master Worlds but, as he explains: “I competed at a Laser World Championship during the 1980’s, so I’m back to doing what I used to do many years ago.”

Clogs, who will turn 47 next month, said of winning: “I stuck to my program. My starts were conservative. I got to know my rig and got better boat speed as the week went on, which allowed me to then concentrate better on what was going on around me.
“I was basically confident I had a chance after sailing at the Laser Nationals and Asia Pacific Championship, but I didn’t know the internationals and I didn’t know Brad. Having the breeze pick up in the last couple of days helped too,” said Scholten, whose business Contender Sail Cloth supplies one of the Laser sail manufacturers.
“I have to thank my wife, as she has been so supportive of me doing this. We just had our third baby girl three months ago, so she has had to sacrifice quite a lot. I’ve also had a good support base from the Alfred’s (Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club). All our competitors shared a house here in Terrigal and we are all good at something – it’s been a real team effort,” he said.

No newcomer to winning, in the past Scholten, a well-respected helmsman and tactician, has won three Hardy Shield’s (sailed in the Yngling), the 1999 Etchells Nationals and a Sydney Hobart win aboard Sagacious with Garry Appleby in the 1980’s.
In a coup for Australia taking away the top three podium places, Scholten finished the regatta on 18 points, Taylor in second just two points behind and Peter Conde, a Laser Open World’s runner-up in 1979 was third, a further seven points adrift on 27 points.
A disappointed Taylor told: “I got to third place in Race 8 and had a close tussle with Jan – we had a great tacking duel. I tried to get right, but he held me to the left and I finished fifth. In the second race I had a good start and went right, but there was more pressure on the left. I did well to get back up to sixth. I had a really good regatta though.”

Andy Roy (CAN) won Race 8 and scores second in Race 9 for fourth place overall. “It was really nice, really beautiful waves, and up to 14 knots of wind. It was perfect conditions and I’ve loved this regatta. The committee and organisers have been very helpful and we’ve had great volunteers – well done. I’m glad I came to Australia,” he said.

Mark Bethwaite retains Standard Grand Master crown
Mark Bethwaite, a 1972 and 1976 Olympic sailor today retained his Stand Grand Master crown following sixth and second places in the final two races. Second place has gone to Wolfgang Gerz from Germany who was only one point behind Bethwaite going into racing today.

“It was a day of nips and tucks,” said Bethwaite, whose win this afternoon gave him his fifth Masters World crown.

“Wolfgang was after me at the start of the first race. It was a day of trying to stay clear at the start. It was exciting racing. I turned the tables on him and the hunter became the hunted. He came at me again on the last run, but I got him on the last reach. I gave him dirty air to hold him out and put two boats between us by the finish. That enabled me to win. Of course I am very happy,” the 59 year old said.

Bethwaite, from Sydney, finished his regatta on 20 points, Gerz was second on 22 points and Jack Schlachter, in winning Race 8, placed third on 31 points, just in front of regatta chairman Rob Lowndes who was thrilled with his second place in Race 8 that brought him home fourth overall on 39 points.

Peter Heywood wins second Grand Master title
Peter Heywood (AUS) the reigning Radial Grand Master world champion has won his second world crown this afternoon after winning four of the nine races sailed, including the final Race 9 this afternoon.

The Sydney sailor’s worst result was a fifth in the one race drop series. He was not available for comment this afternoon, but said yesterday afternoon “I’ve got to keep scoring top three’s if I’m going to win,” and he stuck with that game plan.
With a final score of 16, Heywood defeated his nearest rival, Brian Watson, also from Australia, by a resounding 11 points. Peter Whipp (GBR) managed to scoot home third on countback to Lew Verdon (AUS). Both finished on 40 points, but Whipp had the upper hand with two wins on his scorecard.
Gill Waiting from New Zealand was the only female competitor in the Grand Master fleet and so wins the Women’s world championship. Waiting finished the regatta 23rd overall from 33 competitors with 173 points.

Peter Seidenberg wins three Great Grand Masters in a row
American sailor Peter Seidenberg did not need to start today’s one race in the Radial Great Grand Masters to win, but he did. “The conditions were too beautiful not to,” he said. The 70 year-old American has won the past two world titles from Australian Kerry Waraker – and that’s exactly how it stacked up today too.

“I’m just so happy we got the conditions yesterday and today that we all imagined we would get here. I’m very happy with my win. I very much enjoyed the regatta. I expected Kerry to be my main competitor. He beat me in Brazil (2005), then I beat him in Korea (2006), Spain (2007) and now here. It’s a very nice rivalry between us and I hope it continues,” Seidenberg said.

Seidenberg finished on nine points, 11 clear of Waraker with an amazing seven wins from nine races, including the final Race 9 – the best score of anyone in the series. Waraker did not get the hoped for heavier winds which suit him better. New Zealand’s Tom Speed came home third with a total score of 37.

James Liebl takes home first Apprentice Radial world title
An excited James Liebl (USA) has won the Apprentice Radial word title on his first attempt at Terrigal today.

From the Florida east coast town of Titusville, the likeable Liebl won the last Race 10 of the series for a final tally of 12 points, beating second placegetter John Jagger (AUS) by a massive 18 points following two race drops. Richard Bott (AUS) was third on 41 points.

“This is fantastic. It’s a great place to sail and I want to come back! I didn’t think I’d win; I actually came out here to work on my heavy air sailing, we don’t get much of that where I come from. In retrospect, I’m glad it was mostly light, otherwise I know I wouldn’t have won,” he said.

“I rounded the weather mark in eight position and I saw Richard Bott (the leader) carve his way upwind. I happened to be behind him, because none of us could see the mark, but Richard did and I followed him up and came back to fourth place (his worst race of the series), so you just say thank you and realise how lucky you are,” said Liebl who sailed so consistently he won five of the 10 races sailed. I just want to say a big thank you to everyone involved for making this such a fantastic regatta. I got lucky a lot of times and I want to come back here and sail again,” he said.
Standard Radial Apprentice World Champion 2008 - James Liebl (USA) (Photo courtesy C&C Images)

Alison Casey outstanding Apprentice Radial Women’s world champion
Another newcomer to the Masters Worlds, Alison Casey (AUS) finished an impressive eighth overall in the Radial Apprentice to cart off the Women’s world crown.
Casey, from a famous Queensland sailing family had sailed around 20 times in the past six years and came to the event with no expectations, but gave her rivals, both male and female, a run for their money, at one stage filling out third place overall.
With a final score of 60 points, the 36 year-old beat her nearest Women’s rival, Justine Ella, a local from Wamberal, by 26 points. Third place went to Swede Yvonne Malmstem (139 points), who finished runner-up last year.

“I was first to the top mark in Race 9, but couldn’t find the mark (many had this problem in the big swell), then I got Black Flagged. I knew I had to fight back in the second race to have any chance and I finished 10th.

”It’s been a fantastic event. I didn’t want to peak too early – I peaked at just the right moment. I’m not the loser in the family anymore, I have my own world title,” Casey laughed. Both her brothers Stewart and Brendan, an Olympic campaigner won world titles in their teens.

“I was mentally prepared to do well, but I didn’t know where I would slot into the scheme of things, not having competed for so long. My family has been very supportive and Brendan has been great helping me onshore every day. I think all the stars were in alignment. It feels brilliant to win,” she said, “especially when it all comes together so well.”

Mark Orams wins tough battle for Radial Master World title
A bit of Kiwi magic came to the fore today when New Zealander Mark Orams won a tight three-way battle for the Radial Master World Championship.

The quietly spoken Orams came home strong with a third and a win to claim the trophy on 12 points from his two greatest rivals, British sailor Stephen Cockerill (17 points) and defending champion and 2006 winner Greg Adams (AUS) on 25 points.

“I feel relieved. It’s been tough sailing all week. It’s nice to win with a win! It was a bit stressful, because I couldn’t find the bottom mark. I stood up in the boat for a while looking for it. I had a huge lead at the time, but the swell was so big, that unless you and the mark were on top of the swell at the same time, you just couldn’t find it. It didn’t help that the mark was orange and sun was right in your face,” Orams told.

“It was good close racing. Steve (Cockerill) won the first race of the day emphatically, and had he beat me in the second race, he would have won on countback with two race drops. I had to give myself a stiff talking to. I decided to just sail a good race and not worry about anyone else or where I was in the fleet,” said Orams from Torbay in Auckland.

Radial Master World Champion 2008 - Mark Orams (NZL) (Photo courtesy C&C Images)

Christine Bridge overcomes reigning champ for Women’s Masters crown
Christine Bridge (AUS) an Olympian from the 1990’s and mother of three overcame six-time world champion and fellow Queenslander Lyndall Patterson to win the Women’s Radial Master World Championship.

While Patterson, a mother herself, looked set to claim the title once more, Bridge, the 2006 Radial Apprentice world champion, started her regatta slowly, but took the lead in Race 5 when she scored a fourth place in open competition.

Finishing ninth overall, Bridge’s scorecard read 75 points, Patterson’s 108 and 13th overall. Vanessa Dudley, recently returned to the class following an absence of over 20 years, finished a very credible third Women’s and 15th overall with a total of 112 points.
“I finished fifth and sixth today. I felt I should have beaten Lyndall. We are friends. She is good competition and very supportive. We train together and are living together here in Terrigal,” said the mother of three.

“It was fun mixing it with the boys, because they were using boy tactics. I had to start thinking more strategically and I failed! I couldn’t work out what I was doing wrong, so I rang my husband Rob and he set me back on the right track.

“I don’t know if I can defend my title next year, as I have to get a leave pass from my husband every two years to do this event. We’ll see…,” she said.

Race Officials were put through their paces as breezes shifted between south and south-east, but it was a beautiful day in Terrigal, sunny blue skies and nice sailing conditions. Many were Black Flagged and disqualified today, having difficulty finding their correct course marks.

“We had 26 starts today, a record,” said Principle Race Officer Tony Denham, following a number of General Recalls and Black Flag starts.

In all, 367 sailors competed at the Laser Masters Worlds. Thanks go to the NSW government, sponsors, the participating clubs and the volunteers who do their job with a smile each day.

Results are provisional pending protests and ratification by the organisers.
For all information on the Gosford Sailing Club hosted Laser Masters Worlds go to: http://aus08.laserinternational.org/

Special thanks to Di Pearson for providing these great reports for the last few weeks from Australia!