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6 August 2001, 10:50 am
Orcas On The Course!
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Laser World Championships

Each day in the Laser Senior World Sailing Championship has brought a new surprise so far. Mostly it has been unusual weather conditons but today the weather cooperated and it was the turn of a different aspect of nature to produce a surprise.
Just before the first fleet approached the first mark this afternoon two large killer whales were spotted near the weather mark. Apparently the whales have been in the waters off Cork for the past few weeks but this is the first time they have been sighted on the course area. Fortunately they did not affect the races and they seemed unconcerned about 164 Lasers sailing in their patch of water!

Today the sun returned to produce a light oscillating sea breeze allowing two more races to be completed. Overnight leader, Robert Scheidt BRA, carried on where he left off yesterday in the 6 to 7 knot wind winning his group in the first race after climbing from fifth at the first mark to second at the last mark and then overtaking his nearest rival, Karl Suneson (SWE), on the last short windward leg approaching the finish when Suneson failed to cover him closely. Suneson had led all the way round. "I started at the committee boat and went right where I got a good shift which gave me the lead at the first mark" he said. Suneson tried the same tactics in the second race. "I tried to go right and but started falling back together with Per Moberg (NOR). The group in the middle had more wind but I tried to pick the shifts and managed pretty well to round 13th or 14th. I had a good downwind leg and kept on struggling. It went pretty well as I got to sixth." Moberg was less lucky trying the right hand side of the course again on the second windward leg he sailed into a light patch and rounded the second windward mark 4 from the back. At that stage in the race any hopes of a reasonable recovery were lost and his 58 position will almost certainly be his discard result.

In the other group Scheidt was also running into problems - literally! He had a bad start but once again worked the middle of the course to his advantage for a partial recovery. Approaching the first mark on the give way port tack line he fouled another boat and had to take a penalty turn which dropped him to 30. By the end of the race he had recovered to twelfth. "Considering all what happenned that is good" he said.

The fresh westerly winds forecast for Monday should enable the Race Organisers to complete at least one race to allow the competition to move on to a final series over the last two days. All results from the preliminary round are counted for an overall result.

Overall Results, 5 Races with 1 discard:

1 BRA Robert Scheidt 6,0pts 1 3 1 1 12
2 SWE Karl Suneson 12,0pts 1 15 3 2 6
3 NOR Peer Moberg 18,0pts 2 8 4 4 58
4 SWE Daniel Birgmark 23,0pts 3 13 6 23 1
5 GBR Paul Goodison 24,0pts 5 4 5 10 13
6 SWE Peter Santen 25,0pts 4 10 3 12 8
7 POR Gustavo Lima 26,0pts 14 2 20 4 6
8 BEL Philippe Bergmans 27,0pts 7 1 8 11 24
9 SWE Rasmus Myrgren 30,0pts 6 9 2 20 13
10 ESP Luis Martinez 31,0pts 15 6 1 9 39
Jeff Martin/News Editor
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