Meech Leads Laser Standard Men’s Worlds as Qualifying Series Concludes

(Miho Bay, Japan) After six qualifying races, the championship fleets are now set for the ILCA Laser Standard Men’s Worlds. Three fleets completed two races in 15-18 knot winds and sunny skies – ideal sailing conditions to determine which sailors would make the gold fleet and race for the world title.

New Zealand’s Sam Meech had a perfect day in in the Red Fleet with two first place finishes, moving him from ninth place yesterday to now lead the regatta by one point over Australia’s Matt Wearn.  Wearn also had a stellar day with his first and second place finishes moving him into second overall from eighth place yesterday.  Not to be outdone, Elliot Hanson from Great Britain also posted a perfect scoreline on the day, taking two first place finishes in the Yellow Fleet and moving up from 12th to fourth place overall.

New Zealand’s Sam Meech leads the championship by one point.

Rounding out the top-five is Jean-Baptiste Bernaz from France in third and Robert Scheidt from Brazil in fifth showing his championship form with another day of consistent sailing.  The leaderboard is incredibly tight with still only 10 points separating the top-10 sailors, a remarkable statistic after six races in one of the worlds most competitive fleets.

With the conclusion of the qualifying series, sailors will now be grouped into Gold, Silver and Bronze Fleets of 52 boats each for the six-race final series to determine the world champion.

Charlie Buckingham of USA posted a solid second and fourth place finish on the day.

In addition to the quest to become world champion, five sailors will qualify their country at this event for a spot in the Men’s One-Person Dinghy Event at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.  With 16 countries already qualified for the 2020 Games, the battle for Olympic berths will take place further down in the standing. Currently, Jesper Stalheim, in 10th place, looks to be in a good position to qualify Sweden. Rounding out the current top-five, not previously qualified countries is Russia in 15th place, Spain in 19th, Hungary in 20th and Guatemala in 21st place overall. But with five more non-qualified countries in the Gold Fleet, there will certainly be a battle to hold onto these Olympic berths over the next three days.

With the qualifying series now concluded racing continues tomorrow with two races scheduled to begin the 6-race final series for the Gold, Silver and Bronze Fleets.

Top-ten results after six races:

1. Sam Meech                       NZL       13 pts
2. Matthew Wearn               AUS      14 pts
3. Jean-Baptiste Bernaz       FRA       15 pts
4. Elliot Hanson                    GBR      16 pts
5. Robert Scheidt                 BRA      17 pts
6. Tom Burton                      AUS      17 pts
7. George Gautrey                NZL       18 pts
8. Hermann Tomasgaard    NOR      19 pts
9. Ha Jeemin                         KOR      22 pts
10. Jesper Stalheim             SWE     23 pts

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