By Paige Brooks
Laser Masters from 27 countries trained this year in the biggest wind they could find in preparation for the 2011 Laser Masters Worlds on San Francisco Bay. Today, the breeze did not disappoint. After a postponement due to lack of wind, the racing commenced at high noon and the shoot-out began in 16 - 25 knots of breeze.
In the Standard Apprentice Laser Fleet, Ben Richardson from Glouster, MA has a set of scores that most sailors would be envious of - Five points after six races, and his dropped race is a second. Richardson scored well during the Heavy Weather Laser Slalom last week, besting Olympic Medalist Anna Tunnicliffe in a day full of thrills and spills.
Al Clark, from Vancouver, CAN moved down to the Radial from the Standard rig once he arrived in San Francisco. Why? “I go both ways,” he said with a sideways grin, meaning Standard and Radial rig. Clark, always formidable on the racecourse, had recently broken two ribs in another Laser race. Having seen the force of wind and waves the past week while coaching the Canadian 4.7 Laser kids, he thought the better of it and put up his Radial rig. Now he’s feeling like that was a very good call, as he too was at the top of the front page yesterday with three points after four races. Today in the biggest breeze of the event so far, he’s met the challenge with a fourth in his first race. Clark, no matter his scores, is all smiles whenever you talk to him - “It’s really just great to be here - with the kids and now with the Masters.”
Arnoud Hummel (NED) is holding on to first in the Standard Masters, with Brett Beyer (AUS), Scott Ferguson (USA), Otto Strandving (DEN), and Russ Silvestri (USA) all breathing down his back.
The lay day tomorrow will give all of the masters a chance to rest and recover, before the three day conclusion of the Laser Masters Worlds starts on Thursday.
Photo credit Chuck Lantz at www.chucklantz.com
Updated on May 18, 2013, 12:26pm