Defending champion, Nick Thompson from Great Britain, opens the series with a perfect pair of bullets
(Nuevo Vallarta, Mexico) 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 (preliminary) results after 2 races without discard.
1. Nick Thompson GBR 2 pts
2. Tonci Stipanovic CRO 5 pts
3. Matthew Wearn AUS 7 pts
4. Jean- BaptisteBernaz FRA 9 pts
5. Millivoj Dukic MNE 13 pts
6. Andy Maloney NZL 14 pts
7. Philipp Buhl GER 15 pts
8. Kacper ZieminskiPOL 16 pts
9. Jesper Stalheim SWE 17 pts
10. Lorenzo Brando Chiavarini GBR 17 pts