Tom Burton takes the lead in challenging light wind at Laser Men’s Worlds

(Miho Bay, Japan) Today marked the first day of the final series at
the 2019 ILCA Laser Standard Men’s Worlds. With the top sailors now
all grouped in the Gold Fleet, the battle of the world's best will now
unfold. Today’s conditions were challenging and it showed on the score
sheet with some sailors near top of the standings posting high scores.
Winds were light, 6-8 knots from the northeast and a residual 5-foot
swell from the past few days of wind added to the testing conditions.

In the first Gold Fleet race, two boats were over the line early
including Pavlos Kontides from Cyprus, a score which he now keeps
until a second discard race comes into effect. Russian sailor, Segei
Komissarov, got off the line cleanly and then led at every mark to
take the win. Second went to Mitchell Kennedy from Australia, posting
his best finish of the event so far. Kennedy was followed closely by
Argentina’s Francisco Guaragna, who had a nice second upwind leg to
move into striking range of the leaders. But Komissarov showed
excellent speed on the final run to pull away from the fleet by the
finish.

In the Silver Fleet, after several Black Flag recalls, Gianmarco
Planchestainer of Italy showed excellent form to finish first, while
Yang Yang from China won the Bronze Fleet race.

The wind built slightly to around 9 knots for the start of the day’s
second Gold Fleet race. With 15-degree shifts, staying in phase and
limiting risks were the keys to success. Ireland’s Finn Lynch did both
these things perfectly, finding himself near the front of the fleet at
the first weather mark, just behind Tom Burton, the current Olympic
gold medalist from Australia. Burton and Lynch battled down the first
run, but on the second weather leg Lynch played the shifts better to
pull into the lead at the top mark. Down the run, Lynch managed to
extend his lead and then cruised on to win with a comfortable lead.
Burton held on for second while Guaragna again showed excellent light
wind speed to post another solid third place finish. In the end,
Guragna won the day with his two third place finishes and moved up the
standing from 37th yesterday to 19th overall today.

More importantly, this move puts Argentina in a good position to
capture one of the available spot to compete in the 2020 Tokyo
Olympics. By agreement with the International Olympic Committee, this
event will be used as a country qualifying event, with five berths to
the 2020 Games up for grabs. At present, Sweden looks to be in a solid
position to qualify with Jesper Stalheim moving into third place
overall today. Russia is also on track to qualify with Komissarov
sitting in seventh place. Hungary and Belgium are currently holding
the forth and fifth spots, but with four more races to go, anything
can happen.

The championship continues tomorrow with two more final series races scheduled.

Top-ten results after eight races:
1. Tom Burton AUS 27 pts
2. Sam Meech NZL 33 pts
3. Jesper Stalheim SWE 37 pts
4. Philipp Buhl GER 40 pts
5. Jean-Baptiste Bernaz FRA 44 pts
6. Matthew Wearn AUS 45 pts
7. Sergei Komissarov RUS 45 pts
8. Elliot Hanson GBR 53 pts
9. Nick Thompson GBR 53 pts
10. Mitchell Kennedy AUS 55 pts

Results – https://2019worlds.laserjapan.org/standard/results/
Pantaenius Sailing
M.O.S.S Australia
Listings Added
West Systems 2
Pantaenius Sailing
M.O.S.S Australia
Jeanneau Sun Fast
Multihull Group