- Thrilling end to 2013 Laser Radial Youth World Championships with crowning of two new World Champions
- All to play for as the 2013 Laser Radial Youth World Championships in Oman reaches climax
- Tricky shifts upset form and rankings at 2013 Laser Radial Youth Worlds in Oman
- Pressure rises as 2013 Laser Radial Youth World Championships in Oman reaches halfway stage
- Dramatic change in conditions shakes up leaderboard at 2013 Laser Radial Youth World Championships in Oman
- First day tussle gives glimpse of things to come at 2013 Laser Radial Youth World Championships in Oman
- World’s youth look to make their mark at 2013 Laser Radial Youth World Championships in Oman
- American legend Peter Seidenberg clinches ninth championship win in 2013 Laser Masters World Championship, Oman
- Jon Emmett makes switch from Olympic coach to potential champion at 2013 Laser Masters World Championships
- Vanessa Dudley at the vanguard of new order in Laser Masters World Championships 2013
Light and shifty breeze poses new challenges for 2013 Laser World Championships fleet in Oman
The breeze turned light in Oman but it was the shifts that made the fourth day of the 2013 Laser Standard World Championships the most difficult yet for the sailors except for Robert Scheidt who by the end of the qualifying series had stretched his lead to five points.
After three days where the arrival of a sea breeze coincided with the start of racing, the conditions at Mussanah Beach changed and sailors had to wait for some gentle puffs to gather strength before they were let out on the water where they were then forced to make tricky choices on the course as shifts proved tricky to detect.
Pavlos Kontides and Robert Scheidt enjoyed the light airs as much as heavier breeze and recorded race wins in their fleets while Marco Gallo from Italy and Nicholas Heiner from Nederlands notched up wins in the Blue fleet.
Gallo’s day was one of extremes having finished 61st in the previous race, a result that was promptly discarded.
“It was a positive day from a confidence point of view because coming back with a win after second from last was a great result. Winning two races in a World Championships is not something that everyone achieves,” he said.
Guatemalan sailor Juan Maegli also had a day to remember with a 6th followed by a 3rd which could have been a second had he not had to do a penalty turn just meters from this finish after a port-starboard incident with Dutch sailor Rutger Schaardenburg.
It left him ruing a missed opportunity that could have elevated him above his overall 12th place after the eight qualifying races while Schaardenburg rose two places from seventh to fifth in the rankings.
“It was a good day overall for me with a 6th and a 3rd so in these shifty conditions I’ll take that but I was winning the race so it was a shame I wasn’t able to capitalize,” said Maegli afterwards.
It was a good day too for the Dutch sailors who excelled in the lighter airs with Heiner’s win added to a second for Schaardenburg and a third for Yuri Hummel.
“It was a bit of a Dutch day but we have trained a lot in these conditions,” said Heiner.
“Mussanah Race Week in March was like this every day so we prefer these conditions to the ones we had on the first three days,” he said.
For Scheidt, whose return to top billing in the Laser class at the age of 40 points to levels of talent, professionalism and commitment seldom seen in any sport, it was business as usual though it took him time to hit his straps, finishing 28th in Race 7.
“The wind in the first race was really unstable and I was surprised they started,” he said.
“But I got into a bad strategy when I went right and the wind went left so finished well down the fleet but I bounced back in the second race.
“I made a good start, had a good first beat and managed to come away with a race win so I’m pretty happy with that. I hope we have a bit more wind tomorrow, not necessarily strength but in direction because it was very flukey today.”
Nick Thompson’s roller-coaster regatta continued with another day of mixed fortunes. After losing a protest on Tuesday night that saw him pick up a second disqualification for taking mark-room to which the boat was not entitled in Race 5, he posted a 24th followed by a 5th in the final race.
“The shifts were huge and it was very hard to see them coming which was reflected in the results,” Thompson said.
“It was a shame about the second DSQ and it has made it very hard for me now. If I nail all the remaining races, I can discard those two qualifying races but it means I cannot afford to make any more mistakes.”
With the qualifying series completed, Robert Scheidt now has a five point lead over Pavlos Kontides of Cyprus with Sweden’s Jesper Stalheim four points behind in third place. On Thursday, the fleet is divided into Gold and Silver fleets with two races scheduled each day in both fleets.
To follow racing, go to www.omanlaserworlds2013.com for live blogging from the race course. Results will be posted immediately after racing has concluded for the day.
Note to TV broadcasters:
Rights free video footage to be found on the Oman Sail server media.qiusystem.com/omansail/en/video
Folder: SVAPP_NEWS - Laser World Championships 2013
Including interviews with:
Nicholas Heiner in Dutch and English
Marco Gallo in Italian
Next up in Oman are the Laser Masters' World Championships from 28 November-7 December, swiftly followed by the Laser Radial Youth World Championships!
ENTRIES FOR THE YOUTHS ARE STILL OPEN HERE:
The Laser Radial Youth World Championships, which take place in Oman from 29 December to 3 January, are regarded among Olympic sailors as a one of the most valuable platforms for success in sailing. British sailor Sir Ben Ainslie started in the Laser Radials as did Olympic gold medallist Tom Slingsby. Many of the current fleet of Laser sailors, competing in the World Championship in Oman, claim they owe their success to their Laser Radial campaigns as teenagers.
Croatia’s Tonci Stipanovic, who was Laser Radial Youth World Champion in 2003, urged young sailors to jump on the Laser Radial Youth Worlds expressway in December. “It really helped me in that it made me push for more success,” he said.
“If I had not competed in the Laser Radial Youth class, there is no way I would be here at the Laser World Championships now. I would have had to go in a completely different direction."
Organised by Oman Sail and the Omani Ministry of Sports Affairs, the Laser World Championships 2013 are being contested in three separate consecutive events for the Laser Standard Men’s, Laser Masters and Laser Radial Youth classes over a seven week period from 14th November through to 3rd January 2014. Omantel, the pioneer provider of leading edge telecommunications services in the Sultanate of Oman, is the title sponsor of the Laser World Championships. Oman Daily and Oman Observer are the official media partners.