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26 May 2004, 09:06 am
Racing Resumes On Big Tuesday
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Laser Masters World Championship
Bitez, Bodrum

After no racing was possible due to insufficient winds on Monday the wind gods smiled on the fleet of 141 master sailors with yesterday's racing being held in 20 to 25 knots from the north west.
In the first Apprentice race it was extremely close as the top six boats rounded within ten seconds of each other. Leading was Martin LEHNER (AUT). The leaders were in a close group after the reach and downwind leg. Series leader Stephen COCKERILL (GBR) had improved from eighth to third. Positions remained the same for the next beat until the next downwind leg where Cockerill led for the first time in the race. On rounding Mark five the leader thought he had seen a shortened course flag and stopped to eat a banana allowing Brett BEYER (AUS) and Lehner to pass him to finish first and second with Cockerill recovering to finish third. He said after the race, "I undoubtedly won the daft sailor award for the day," costing himself a race win.

In race two, Nick WALSH (IRL) started close to the committee boat and held on to the port layline to round Mark one with a comfortable lead from Mati SEPP (EST). Beyer worked a shift on the right on the second beat to drastically reduce Walsh's lead to round in second place and eventually pass Walsh on the last downwind legs to score his second win for the day, Walsh finished second with Cockerill coming through to finish third.

In Masters group scoring was the closest of all fleets with two boats scoring four points for the day. In Race one, Jack SCHLACHTER (AUS) got a great start and hit the left side to take an early lead at the first mark followed closely by Colin DIBB (AUS). By the first downwind mark both had opened quite a lead on the following pack now lead by Tracy USHER (USA). Positions remained unchanged through the second beat, top reach and final run… but with a capsize at the jibe mark Schlachter lost first to Dibb. Not to be outdone, Usher capsized introducing a bit of drama for third but did manage to recover and hang on.

In the second race Schlachter got a great start and led the fleet for the first part of the windward leg. However, Usher managed to be enough to the right of Schlachter on the first beat to pick up a favourable shift, putting him in the lead at the first mark, with Schlachter very close behind.

As in the first race the first two had quite a lead on the following pack. Usher and Schlachter had a tight race, swapping the lead at several times during the second beat and on run, but with Usher leading at the marks, hanging on to win the race. By the final beat the pack had sorted itself out with Dibb coming home third.

In race one of the Grandmasters, the fleet headed left, Mark BETHWAITE (AUS) and Rob LOWNDES (AUS) tacked away early and missed some of the lift from the left but Bethwaite managed to lead at the first mark with good boatspeed. On the first downwind leg several of the top group capsized allowing Dave EDMISTON (AUS) through to second place where he finished the race behind Bethwaite with Frank WALSH (AUS) finishing third.

In race two the whole fleet sailed to the port layline, Bethwaite again led at the first mark with Sydney BARLOW (IRL) rounding in second. Lowndes and Edmiston passed Barlow on the runs and then held position to finish second and third behind Bethwaite again.

In the first race of the Radial fleet Great Grand Master Dennis O'SULLIVAN (IRL) came off the start and went to the right and had a big lead at the first mark in the combined fleet. Downwind he sailed wide of the straight line course and which allowed Goran BONOCIC (CRO) into the lead.

Lyndall PATTERSON (AUS) scored a result for the ladies in the second Radial race leading the combined fleet from start to finish. With a day off today the fleet will have a chance to recover from an exciting day's sailing and prepare for the final three days of racing.

Full results are available on the event website at the address below.
Event Media (As Amended By ISAF News Editor)
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