15 May 2016 -Thompson holds lead, Scheidt moves into medal position at Laser Worlds
Riviera Nayarit, Mexico) Nick Thompson of Great Britain had another good day at the races to close out the qualifying series in first place overall in the Laser Standard Men’s World Championship in Riviera Nayarit, Mexico. Thompson’s 2nd and 4th place allowed him to increase his advantage over Jean-Baptiste Bernaz of France to five points, a margin by which Laser Championships can be won or lost. Tomorrow the sailors will be split into gold and silver fleets to begin three days of finals series racing.
Celebrated Laser World Champion and Olympic medalist, Robert Scheidt, moved into third place with two more top-ten results while the previous third place holder, Croatia’s Tonci Stipanovic, scored an 8th and 25th. Stipanovic now has to count a 14th (his previous discard race) but holds on to fourth place overall.
The top-3 sailors at the end of qualification have all, so far, maintained single figure results excluding their discard races. However, a close look at the score cards reveals that several sailors are starting to find the consistency that was missing at the beginning of the championship. These include the best sailor of the day, Wannes Van Laar of Belgium, who posted two second place finishes today to jump five places into fifth overall.
Today’s slightly lighter winds from a more southerly direction provided another mix in the results on this final qualification day. Changes in the wind strength and direction were minimal, between 215 and 230 degrees and 9 to 12 knots during the three hours of racing. However, these variations were enough to keep things interesting for the sailors and proved sufficient to provide significant changes in positions from one race to the next.
With three days of Finals Series racing to come, the sailors are certainly aware that the coming days of will be long and twice as hard, as the world’s top sailors now go head-to-head. Sailing skills need to be at a sailor’s best. Places will be won and lost by a meter or a second. A cool head under the hot sun and maximum concentration will be needed to stay consistent over the upcoming six scheduled races – even more so if the weather changes.
Overall Results after 8 races with 1 discard
- Nick Thompson GBR 16pts
- Jean-Baptiste Bernaz FRA 21pts
- Robert Scheidt BRA 33pts
- Tonci Stipanovic CRO 37pts
- Wannes van Laer BEL 39pts
- Matthew Wearn AUS 41pts.
- Tom Burton 42pts
- Marco Gallo ITA 46pts
- Philipp Buhl GER 46pts
- Sam Meech NZL 50pts
14 May 2016 – Defending champion, Nick Thompson, regains lead on Day 3 of the Laser Worlds
(Nuevo Vallara, Mexico)The 2016 Laser Standard Men’s World Championship at Nuevo Vallarta, Nayarit, Mexico was always expected to be one of the highlights of the sailing year as the world’s top Laser sailors make their final preparations for the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.
Winning a stand-alone world championship in an Olympic class is the ultimate goal for every sailor, apart from a coveted Olympic medal, and is certainly contributing to the pressure before the Games. A good result is not only a morale boosting personal achievement but also a message to your opposition in Rio to beware!
Defending a world championship title is a challenge only a few top sailors ever face, so for Great Britain’s Nick Thompson, returning to the top of the leader board after 6 races and a difficult day on the water is surely extra satisfying. Thompson finished first in today’s first race in the Blue Fleet to draw level on points with the overnight leader, Tonci Stipanovic of Croatia sailing in the Yellow Fleet. At the first mark the Croatian looked as if he would match Thompson race-for-race as he led New Zealand’s Sam Meech until the beginning of the second downwind leg when they split tacks. When they next met Meech had the advantage, which he held to the finish.
The second race for both fleets saw the usual southwesterly wind catch out a number of sailors as they expected the right side of the first windward leg to pay as it had in the previous race. The 11 knot wind increased to 13 knots and swung 10 degrees to the left soon after the start. Unfortunately for some the wind stayed left, stranding those who placed their faith in finding a right shift. Amongst these was Stipanovic, who suffered most in the Yellow Fleet rounding the first mark in 21st position, five places behind overnight 5thoverall Robert Scheidt. By the finish, Scheidt had made a good recovery to 8thand Stipanovic mirrored his gain to 14th, which became his discard. Slowly the first leg mix sorted itself out with Kristian Ruth from Norway improving his fourth place rounding at the top mark to take the winning gun ahead of his fellow countryman Hermann Tomasgaard and Philipp Buhl of Germany.
In the Blue Fleet it took three recalls to get the fleet away in a building breeze. The course was more balanced although the fleet still favored the right. Belgium’s Wannes van Laer did the best job of picking his way through the shifts in the center right to lead at the first mark ahead of Julio Alsogaray from Argentina and Australia’s Tom Burton. Meanwhile, Thompson protected the right to round in 7th. Van Laer swapped places with Alsogary on the first downwind as Thompson gained three places. By the end of the race Burton had taken first place, which with a 4th in the previous race made him the second most improved sailor of the day jumping 11 places up the leaderboard to 8th compared to best of the day, New Zealand’s Sam Meech, who climbed 13 places to 11thoverall.
Thompson now has a three-point cushion over new number two, Jean-Baptiste Bernaz of France, going into the final day of qualifiers before the real excitement begins in the finals series when the world’s top 56 Laser sailors race head-to-head.
Overall Results after 6 races with 1 discard
- Nick Thompson GBR 10pts
- Jean-Baptiste Bernaz FRA 13pts
- Tonci Stipanovic CRO 15pts
- Matthew Wearn AUS 18pts
- Robert Scheidt BRA 21pts
- Philipp Buhl GER 25pts
- KacperZieminski POL 29pts
- Tom Burton 32pts
- Marco Gallo ITA 33pts
- Wannes van Laer BEL 35pts
13 May 2016 – Only 1 point between the leaders at the Laser Worlds
Tonci Stipanovic from Croatia heads the leader board with a well deserved win in the first race of Day 2. In a 10 knot south westerly breeze Matthew Wearn from Australia led the blue fleet round the first mark ahead of Wannes van Laer BEL and Julio Alsogaray ARG. Stipanovic took the lead ahead of Wearn after a good second windward leg when both pulled clear of Alsogaray and the chasing pack to then lead the fleet home. Germany’s Olympic representative, Philipp Buhl, was a major casualty at the start of the blue fleet race when he had to retire after being given a second yellow flag penalty on the start line.
In the yellow fleet, sailing on the outer loop, overnight leader Nick Thompson GBR,could only manage a 5th behind Jean-Bapiste Bernaz and the first three Marco Gallo ITA, Kacper Zieminski POL and Franccesco Marrai ITA who traded places in front of him.
The wind increased for the second races of the day bringing larger waves enabling sailors to catch some good downwind rides and, for a few, also the attention of the on-water jury.
The previously favoured right right-hand of the course was not so dominant although most of the favourites scored well. In the yellow fleet, Olympic silver medalist, Pavlos Kontides CYP won the port end pin position at the start and tacked to cross the fleet early to lead all the way home ahead of Bernaz. 5 places back from the pin Thompson got trapped at the port end and had to take a two turn penalty after he inadvertently impeded another boat whilst trying to clear his wind. Thompson did well to round the first mark in 20th and then recover to 13th which is currently his discard race.
Luke Elliot AUS also led from start to finish in the blue fleet with Alsogaray and Scheidt again in single figures after both climbing through the fleet.
5 points separate the first 7 places in the overall results after 2 more races at the Laser World Championships at Vallarta, Nayarit, Mexico.
Overall Results after 4 races with 1 discard
- Tonci Stipanovic CRO 6pts
- Nick Thompson GBR 7 pts
- Jean-Baptiste Bernaz FRA 8pts
- Matthew Wearn AUS 9pts
- Robert Scheidt BRA 10pts
- Julio Alsogary ARG 10 pts
- Francesco Marrai ITA 11pts
- KacperZieminski POL 14pts
- Philipp Buhl GER 18pts
- Marco Gallo ITA 20pts
12 May 2016 – Nick Thompson GBR opens his Laser title defense with a perfect 1,1 score.
The 112 sailors from 44 countries in the 2016 Laser Standard Men’s World Championship enjoyed sparkling conditions of 12 to 15 knots in the waters off Nayarit on the west coast of Mexico. The total fleet is sailing in two groups during the qualifying series to determine the gold and silver fleets.The first fleet was a little jumpy in the lighter conditions at the beginning of the day and needed 3 attempts to start before getting away on fourth start. In the process, 7 boats were taken out by the black flag for breaking the start line, including 9 times world champion, Robert Scheidt from Brazil.
On the final start in a building breeze Croatia’s Tonci Stipanovic tacked quickly on to port off the start line and headed for the starboard side of the course on a two-tack first beat. His tactic helped him to round the first mark in the lead, a position he held to the finish ahead of Milivoj Dukic from Montenegro. Behind him Philipp Buhl from Germany pulled through from 9th to 4th and then to 3rd by the finish.
The blue fleet started on the first attempt with Mark Spearman (AUS) rounding the first mark in the lead but was soon overtaken by Nick Thompson (GBR). “I had a good start and protected the right-hand side and rounded in fifth behind the guys who went further right” said Thompson. “I managed to gain places on the downwind second leg to get the lead at the bottom of the run and then hold on to the finish”.
In spite of a large swarm of bees landing on the Race Committee signal boat and pin boat, both fleets got away first time with clean starts for the day’s second race. In the yellow fleet race Scheidt made up for his previous black flag start to lead the fleet to a comfortable win ahead of Jean-Baptiste Bernaz of France and Andy Maloney from New Zealand.
In the blue fleet, Thompson got another good start from a slightly favoured pin and was able to cross over to the right side of the course to round the first mark just behind Julio Alsogarey ARG and ahead of Matthew Wearn AUS. Thompson pulled through to first on the second windward leg to take the gun ahead of Alsogarey and Wearn.
Qualifying racing continues tomorrow with 2 more races scheduled in the 14 race series.Overall results after 2 races without discard.
- Nick Thompson GBR 2 pts
- Tonci Stipanovic CRO 5 pts
- Matthew Wearn AUS 7 pts
- Jean- BaptisteBernaz FRA 9 pts
- Millivoj Dukic MNE 13 pts
- Andy Maloney NZL 14 pts
- Philipp Buhl GER 15 pts
- Kacper ZieminskiPOL 16 pts
- Jesper Stalheim SWE 17 pts
- Lorenzo Brando Chiavarini GBR 17 pts