Champagne sailing for Lasers on Bass Strait

The description of conditions, from sailors and officials today was ‘champagne sailing’, with a Queensland sailor heard to remark ‘this is the Mooloolaba of Tasmania’.   

Such was the bountiful weather for another day of competition at the International Laser Oceania and Australia Championships being sailed out of Devonport on Tasmania’s North-West Coast, with 148 sailors hosted by Mersey Yacht Club.

With the courses out on Bass Strait set under the Mersey Bluff, with it iconic striped lighthouse and Dial Range in the background, all fleets thoroughly enjoyed the steady 15 knot westerly breeze.

Three races were completed, races 6, 7, and 8, and the viewing for spectators was also fantastic.

Today’s results for the Laser Standard Rig (men’s Olympic class) saw wins to Mitchell Kennedy (Qld), Matt Wearn (WA), and Tom Burton (NSW). 

In the Radials it was Emma Plasschaert (Belgium) and Zac Littlewood (WA) with two wins.  The wins in the 4.7s went to Kristen Wadley (Qld), Brooke Wilson (NSW), and Jonathan Lio (Singapore).

Overall leaders are Tom Burton (NSW) in the Standard, Zac Littlewood (WA) in the Radial, and Kristen Wadley (Qld) for the 4.7 fleet. There are only a few points separating the top sailors in each of the fleets.

The Masters age 45-54 fleet in the Standard rig is the largest of the Masters divisions with 12 entrants, the leader at this stage is Brett Beyer (NSW/ACT), 9th overall.  This is closely followed by the Grand Master 55-64 age fleet in the Radial rig which has 10 entries. The current leader is Lyndall Patterson (Qld), 36th overall.

Tasmanian sailors make up 14 per cent of the entries across all divisions, 21 sailors in all from the home state.  The leading Tasmanian sailors are Anna Vaughan (14th overall) in the 4.7 fleet, William Sargent (14th overall) in the Radials, and Samuel King (13th overall) in the Standard.

All sailors are looking forward to a good rest tonight after a long day on the water yesterday followed by three races today.  The intention tomorrow is for two races with a 2pm start time and hopefully similar conditions.


– Gail Moreton

Cyclops Marine