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3 August 2001, 10:16 am
Scheidt Off To Good Start
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Laser World Championships

Robert Scheidt from Brazil started his defence of his world championship title in the best way possible by winning comfortably his group in the first race.
Scheidt said "I made a conservative start and worked the middle to right. By the first mark I had the lead and then pulled out a little on the downwind legs". The quadruple world champion and double Olympic medallist is too experienced to give away a lead even in this competitive fleet from 48 countries. He is also a realist. "It was nice racing and I am very happy to have started so well but there is a long way to go in this 14 race series" he said after leading home the 1996 Olympic bronze medallist, Peer Moberg NOR, by 200 metres.

The 164 entry fleet is split into two starts for each race which gives two equal sets of points for the total fleet for each race.

In the first group the leaders were a lot closer. Karl Suneson from Sweden had to work hard at keeping ahead of his fellow countryman Gustav Carlsson and Argentina's Julio Alsogaray. Suneson, who has previously medalled at a world championship, said before the start "I have put on too much weight since the Olympic's so I might be a bit heavy!" Clearly he has lost none of his speed.

After perfect conditions for the first race sailed in a 10 knot breeze building to 14 knots a thunderstorm moved in from the west and started to affect the wind direction causing the race committee to re set the course several times. As the storm appeared to clear the race area to the north the wind stabilised 30 degrees to the right of it's previous direction and the first group of the second race was started at the first attempt. Thunderstorms are at best unpredictable and this one was no exception. As the second group was in it's starting sequence the wind shifted a further 30 degrees to the right and died causing the second start to be postponed and the first group race to be abandoned. A short wait in the pouring rain and saw the visibility drop and the wind become unstable and the Race Committee postponing the start of the second race until tomorrow when 3 races are scheduled.

Results - Race One, Top ten.

1 BRA 25 Robert Scheidt 1,0pts
1 SWE 138 Karl Suneson 1,0pts
3 NOR 109 Peer Moberg 2,0pts
3 SWE 132 Gustav Carlsson 2,0pts
5 ARG 1 Julio Alsogaray 3,0pts
5 SWE 131 Daniel Birgmark 3,0pts
7 RSA 124 Gareth Blanckenberg 4,0pts
7 SWE 137 Peter Santen 4,0pts
9 GBR 62 Paul Goodison 5,0pts
9 GBR 70 Peter Walker 5,0pts

Full results from event website.
Jeff Martin/News Editor
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