By Paige Brooks
July 31, 2011: “Some of these kids here just have speed,” said coach and Olympic medalist Jim Barton this morning as he reviewed the low scoring leaders for both the boys and girls racing in the Laser 4.7 Worlds. They find their groove and just go. Watching these kids, who represent the future of sailing, one cannot help but be impressed with their determination to fly, in some cases, half way around the world to race on San Francisco Bay.
Some can be a bit too determined. Barton said he is a convert to umpired races for juniors as some kids will not protest their friends, or will just keep going after an infraction. Now, while they are still in their teens, he thinks, is the time for the umpires to blow the whistles on it and bring them into the fold, as it were, of proper and sportsmanlike racing. Composed of national and international jurors, the jury motors out in pairs with yellow flags and whistles at the ready to call rule violations on the water and demand turns in order to remedy the infractions. Jury Chair Doug Elder said a lot of times positioning the Jury Boats in places where rule violations occur, for example, in the competitors’ sight lines at mark roundings, is enough to deter them from breaking the rules.
Out on the water, the two fleets of boys started in light air on a very foggy, gray day at 1200. In both races competitors clustered at the boat end of the starting line, and so many were over early, the fleets were recalled and re-started under black flag. In race seven, Brazilian Andre Serveas led the fleet for the entire race and got the gun. Second place went to Spanish sailor Carlos Rosello and third to another Brazilian, Martin Lowey. Race eight, again under black flag, saw eight boats called OCS (On Course Side). Juan Kevin Cabrera Gonzalez won the race. At today’s close, Carlos Rosello, of Spain has taken the lead in the Laser 4.7 Worlds with 15 points, Francisco Gonzalez is close behind with 17 points and Keiju Okada, JPN is in third with 33 points.
It seems there is just no getting past Cecilia Zorzi ITA, who with another bullet in her pocket after race seven, is now 31 points ahead of her closest competitor, Line Hoest, NOR. Italian Camilla Modena finished in second and Milly Bennet AUS got third. Greek sailor Fakidi finished in 7th and is holding third place overall with 39 points. Cumulative scores, including the girls race eight, which at press time is pending protests.
photo credit: www.chucklantz.com
Updated on May 23, 2013, 4:25am