New Laser world champion Tom Slingsby is out for a win of a different kind - an Audi car!
Day 3 Laser Worlds – finally a race!
The Robson Civil Projects Race 3 finally got underway with the Yellow group first shortly after 5.30pm under sunny skies this afternoon following a general recall at the ISAF Grade 1 Laser World Championship being held at Terrigal on the NSW Central Coast.
Blue and Red groups followed on with clear starts and everyone breathed a sigh of relief, including spectators on the cliff top where a clear view of the race could be seen. Patchy dark clouds and sunshine littered the offshore course which otherwise looked good – slight swell and wave movements.
It was a great day for some and disaster for others.
Julio Alsogaray (ARG) holds onto the Championship lead with a fifth place finish today. He leads world champion Tom Slingsby (AUS) by two points. Slingsby won the Yellow group from Andrew Murdoch (NZL) and Adonis Bougiouris (GRE).
“There were really big shifts – 30 degrees. The breeze was anything from 12-20 knots. I started in the top three and moved to first place on the reach and stayed there,” 23 year-old Slingsby from the Central Coast said.
Brad Funk (USA) moves up from fifth to third overall, following a third place in Race 3. He is on 10 points, just one behind Slingsby in what is shaping up to be a close contest.
Vasilij Zbogar (SLO) dropped one place to fourth overall after finishing sixth today, only two points adrift of the American sailor, with Brazilian Bruno Fontes lifting to fifth overall. Sailing in the Blue group, he had another excellent day.
Coming into today’s race in 10th place, Fontes came ashore with a big smile on his face: “I finished third. It’s a pretty good result – a good beginning. Good breeze – 16-17 knots. I hope it is like this tomorrow,” the 28 year-old said.
Alexander Schlonski (GER) on 15 points, Matias Del Solar (CHI) 17, Felix Pruvot (FRA) 17, Abe Torchinsky (CAN) 18 and Javier Hernandez (ESP) 24 fill out the top 10 placings. Then comes Pavlos Kontides (CYP), Michael Bullot (NZL), Mate Arapov (CRO), Rasmus Mygren (SWE), David Weaver (NZL), Qiushui Cai (CHN), Karl Suneson (SWE), Karol Porozynski (POL), Nick Thompson (GBR) and Jean-Baptiste Bernaz (FRA).
David Weaver’s (NZL) grin could not be mistaken. “Yes, I won this one (Red group) and I’m very happy with my performance. It was great just to get a race in,” he said.
“I had a great lead; I pulled away at the bottom mark halfway through the race. Thomas Le Breton (FRA), Brad Funk (USA) and Paul Goodison (GBR) caught me up on the last leg, but I stayed ahead,” said Weaver who is aiming for the 2012 Games, as fellow competitor Andrew Murdoch will represent New Zealand in Beijing.
Deniss Karpak (EST) led the Yellow fleet out to round the top mark first, but dropped back to third at the second mark. “It was much better than yesterday. I had some fast moments – and some slow ones. I don’t know why – it sometimes happens,” he said.
“I caught up to second on the downwind leg, but I got caught on the wrong side of a right-hand shift. It was much better conditions today though,” the 21 year-old said.
American entry Zach Marks had a mixed day. “I was doing pretty well, but I fell back a little. "It was good breeze and I’m happy with my performance ,” he said.
Adil Mohammed from the United Arab Emirates struggled with the big shifts. “It was not too bad and not too good for me. Weather was too difficult today. Big, big shifts.”
The 19 year-old is from one of 26 nations competing for the last 10 places into the Beijing Games. “I hope tomorrow is better for me – maybe 60% good – not like today – 40% good!”
Major disappointment for Robert Godwin (GBR) when his hiking strap broke just after rounding the second leeward mark. “I was doing really well. I was up in 11th place with a group of five close in front of me. I felt I would have taken them on the next tack. I am so disappointed. This is just Race 3. I am going to ask for redress,” the 19 year old said.
Next ashore was Onur Derebasi (TUR). “A block broke. This is very hard for me.” Then came Martin Trcka from the Czech Republic. “I got a second yellow flag for pumping on the downwind leg. I’m not happy. I don’t think it is right,” said Trcka in perfect English.
Just before 7.00pm Christian Steiger (SUI) came ashore. “I had a problem with equipment. The downhaul came off. I lost so many places, so I came home, I’ll conserve my energy for the three races tomorrow,” said Steiger who is here with two other team mates attempting to qualify Switzerland for the Games.
“We are three-man team here, trying to qualify Switzerland. I think Max (Bulley) is sailing the best of our team at the moment. If one can qualify, then we continue our selection at home,” he said.
Competitors have been told to ready themselves for an early start tomorrow as officials try to play catch up and plan three races to start just after 9.30am.
Results are provisional pending protests and final confirmation and will appear on the official site at: http://aus08.laserinternational.org/ where there are some great photos in the gallery and other information on the Championship.
Laser Worlds media manager
Phone: 0410 792 131