- 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
Roller coaster day sets up thrilling finale in 2013 Laser Standard World Championships in Oman
A day of mistakes and mixed fortunes among the main contenders for the 2013 Laser Standard World Championship title has paved the way for a thrilling finale in Oman with the last two races on Saturday set to determine medals and futures.
Leader Robert Scheidt’s nine point lead over Pavlos Kontides from Cyprus shrank to a single point advantage after he made a poor start to the last race, prompted by frequent changes in both wind speed and direction, which he was unable to turn round despite climbing almost 20 places in the downwind leg.
Having won the first race, he finished 26th and while it is one of two results to be discarded, he will be under considerable pressure on the final day to avoid making any mistakes if he is to land his ninth World Championship title.
“I had a bad second race and kept seeing men from Cyprus being inspired. I could have had a better race but I didn’t blow it because I won the first race so my chances of winning the championships are still alive,” he said.
Kontides posted a third followed by a sixth to claw back eight points on Scheidt and already he was looking ahead to the last day.
“My aim was to have my 16th from yesterday as a discard and I achieved that,” he said.
“It was a very difficult last race because the wind dropped and the current was strong. The last downwind leg was nerve-racking because they came in from all sides but at the end of the day, I am second and lying just one point behind Robert.
“Tomorrow, I will have to be ready for all conditions and it is best not to think too much about it. The best sailors in the world are here and one moment of not being on top of your game could end up being very costly.”
Both Phillip Buhl of Germany and Nick Thompson fell foul of the rules, which in Thompson’s case has ended his campaign for a podium place. He once again proved he was one of the fastest in the fleet when he took second in the first race but then picked up his second yellow flag of the week, this time for a Rule 42 infringement.
“I am gutted because after my result in the first race, I was back up to 4th place overall which meant I was in with a chance of a medal,” he said afterwards.
“I was really shocked when they raised the flag – I haven’t had an infringement for years but at this event, I’ve had two and picked up an OCS as well.
“I just have to put it behind me and look ahead to my next event.”
Buhl was disqualified for being OCS on a black flag start in race 11 but is still in 5th place, 30 points behind Scheidt.
Another British sailor Alex Mills-Barton overcame the challenging conditions posed late afternoon to record his first win of the competition, crossing the finish line of a course shortened due to the growing darkness ahead of Jesper Stalheim of Sweden in second and Tonci Stipanovic of Croatia in third. He heads into the final day in 23rd place.
In the silver fleet, following a succession of general recalls and disqualifications, there were wins for Giovanni Cocculuto of Italy, who was then BFD in the next race and Tom Ramshaw of Canada.
The first race of the final day of the Laser Worlds will start at 11.00am GST with 15.00 set as the cut off time for the last start.
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:
Pavlos Kontides (CYP) and Robert Scheidt (BRA)
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: http://events.laserinternational.org/en/events/list/104z1
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 medalist 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.