Oceania Laser Championships – Day 2

(Sandringham Yacht Club, Australia) Port Phillip delivered another cracking day for the second day of racing at the 2020 edition of Sail Melbourne International. Following a very windy day one, Saturday started out with light conditions before the wind picked up again making for a fitness as well as skill focussed day.

On Friday, only one race had been possible in most fleets and Saturday’s aim was to get the maximum number of races in. With three and more races on the schedule, leader boards started to take shape.

The Laser, sailing out of Sandringham Yacht Club, make up the biggest fleets of Sail Melbourne International with the world’s best sailors using the event as a warm-up for the Laser Standard and Laser Radial worlds in February. 

Three races on Saturday, saw three race winners with New Zealand’s Thomas Saunders taking the win in the first race, while Australian Sailing Team’s Matt Wearn (WA) won the second. 2016 Olympic bronze medallist Sam Meech from New Zealand won the third.

Matt Wearn, who has already been selected to represent Australia at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, did not have the best start to the day posting a 24th in race one, but followed up with the race win to conclude the day with an 11th place. After four races Wearn now sits in fifth place overall.

“It was an interesting day a bit effected by the weather systems going through at the moment but a pretty average day for myself to be honest. I did come back with a first in the second race but couldn’t replicate that in the third, so I think I made a pretty big come back to get somewhere near the top ten in the last one. So it was a pretty average day for me but let’s hope the next half of the regatta is a lot better,” Wearn said.

Leader of the fleet after four races is France’s three-time Olympian Jean-Baptist Bernaz with Australia’s Rio 2016 Olympic champion Tom Burton in second and Sam Meech in third.

“I did a good regatta since yesterday, it is pretty windy and sunny so it’s perfect with good conditions. Today the conditions increased all day and with the three races I am a bit tired now. I have previously been to Perth, but this is my first time sailing here in Melbourne and I like Australia,” Bernaz said about the venue, who posted a ninth, fourth and second to retain the lead.

Following his second place on day one, Tom Burton continued with two top five finishes and a 17th on Saturday.

Photo by Beau Outteridge

“It was an ok day, bit of a fitness day with three races. We left in light wind and it ended up pretty windy. I think I got two good ones and an average one but my expectations aren’t too high so we will see where we end up at the end of the week,” Tom Burton said. 

In the women’s Laser Radial, Olympic champion Marit Bouwmeester continues to lead after two third places and winning the last race of the day. Norway’s Line Flem won the second race of the day and is the second ranked female Radial sailor overall.

Third ranked female in the Radial is Rio Olympian Silvia Zennaro, who is ranked sixth overall after posting a 2, 8, 3 on day two and is excited about racing in Melbourne.

“It was another windy day, but I like windy so it was a really good day. I am here for one month, it is like home and I enjoy every day with the amazing conditions,” Zennaro said.

Western Australian Zoe Thomson is currently the top ranked Australian female in the Radial and posted an 8-12-5 series on the second day of the event.

It has been pretty good, we’ve had fresh conditions so far with some good waves and I’m pretty keen to keep smashing them out of the next few days. Compared to home (WA) it is little more inconsistent here with the sunshine and the wind so not too sure what to expect tomorrow but that’s okay,” Thomson said about the conditions.

The overall Laser Radial fleet is led by Michael Compton (WA), who continues to impress after winning the Australian Youth Championships and being selected on to the 2020 Australian Sailing Youth Team. Compton so far has won two out of the four races (1, 7, 2, 1).

Fellow Western Australian Mia Lovelady leads the Laser 4.7 and finished day two with three bullets. 

“It felt pretty good to be out on the water after yesterday and we also had two days without sailing at the Youth Championships, so nice to be out on the water and in some wind again. I was lucky enough to get three bullets today which set me in first place which is pretty nice. The wind was consistent and the conditions were my type of conditions and like what I sail at home. So it was a good day on the water and I really enjoyed it,” Lovelady said.

RESULTS:  http://www.sailmelbourne.com.au/results/

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Photo credit: Beau Outteridge

See video highlights clip here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xzYgNrUSC2E

About Sail Melbourne International & Melbourne Summer of Sailing 2020

Sail Melbourne International (SMI), Victoria’s premier event for Olympic class sailing, continues the exciting 2020 Melbourne Summer of Sailing series which kicked off with the 2019 Finn Gold Cup, the world championships of the International Finn Class, in December and continued with the Australian Open Laser Championships at the start of January.

With over 300 entries, Sail Melbourne is the biggest sailing event in Victoria this summer and a welcome opportunity for sailors from around the world to test the waters ahead of their Melbourne Summer of Sailing class world championships in February and March. 

2020 Sail Melbourne International regatta is hosted by Royal Brighton Yacht Club in together with Sandringham Yacht Club (17-21 January 2020). 

In February, the Laser and Laser Radial World Championships are coming to Sandringham Yacht Club, while the 49er/FX- and Nacra World Championships will be hosted by Royal Geelong Yacht Club. The 2020 RS:X World Championships are hosted by Sorrento Sailing and Couta Club at the end of February.

Melbourne’s Summer of Sailing 2020 is proudly supported by the Victorian State Government. For more information about Sail Melbourne International head to www.sailmelbourne.com.au