Split, Croatia: Following a delayed start, a single race was held on the second day of the 2017 Laser Standard Men’s World Championship – and it was worth waiting for.
The race committee expected light wind today, so last night postponed the scheduled start of the qualifying series by 2 hours.
On arrival at the boat park, a further 3-hour postponement was needed, as the gradient wind was completely neutralized by a feeble sea breeze thermal wind. The local weather experts predicted a good wind late in the afternoon, and at 15:00 hours, their optimism was rewarded with a 10 to 12 knot gradient wind re-established from the south east.
By 16:30hrs, the Yellow fleet started first after a General Recall. Series leader and 2012 Olympic silver medallist, Pavlos Kontides from Cyprus, protected the pin end and had plenty of room to power off to the favoured shore side of the course.
After the race, Kontides said, “Soon after the start I tacked to starboard to partly cover the fleet and I lost some advantage. I tacked back to the shore and regained the lead by the first mark. After that, I worked on extending my lead without taking any risk.”
The victory marked a third consecutive win for Kontides and doubled his overall lead on second place. It also left him as the only person in the top ten who did not change his overall place.
In all, there were four downward and five upward movements from second to 10th place, but with only 14 points covering these places, there will certainly be more changes in the next nine scheduled races.
In the Blue fleet there were two General Recalls before a clean start. Australia’s Matthew Wearn was first around the weather mark. He held his lead throughout, despite a scare at the second upwind mark, when Jesper Stalheim or Sweden nearly overtook after a great second beat.
Wearn accelerated away downwind to a clear win ahead of Andrew McKenzie from New Zealand as Stalheinm slipped to fourth.
The Red fleet started first time in a close start in which two boats broke the start line early. Olympic Bronze medallist, Sam Meech from New Zealand, had a close battle with British sailor Elliot Hanson for the top two positions.
On the second windward leg, Hanson took a shift that Meech missed and put enough space between them to hold on to win comfortably.
At the moment, the fight is to get into the Gold fleet, which will be decided tomorrow (Saturday) with three races scheduled and a forecast of 20 knot winds.
Day Two Results (Top 10 x 3 races)
1. Pavlos Kontides CYP 3pts
2 .Sam Meech NZL 7pts
3. Sergey Komissarov RUS 10pts
4. FRA Jean-Baptiste Bernaz FRA 11pts
5. Elliot Hanson GBR 13pts
6. Matthew Wearn AUS 13pts
7. Philippp Buhl GER 14pts
8. Giovanni Coccoluto ITA 14pts
9. Nick Thompson GBR 16pts
10. Lorenzo Brando Chiavarini GBR 17pts