Nick Thompson at the 2016 Laser Worlds. Photo John Pounder - jldigitalmedia.zenfolio.com.
Perfect start for defending champion Nick Thompson at Laser Worlds
(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 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
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