For the second day in a row there was no racing at the 2009 Nautel Laser Worlds taking placed on St. Margaret's Bay in Nova Scotia.
A brush with Hurricane Bill on Sunday forced organizers to store 196 Laser hulls inside two buildings at the St. Margaret Sailing Club. The boats were unpacked quickly on Monday morning in anticipation of a great day of racing. St. Margaret's Bay did not live up to its reputation of steady afternoon sea breezes.
Instead the fleet floated around the race committee boat waiting for the wind to fill in. It never did. At one point in frustration, athletes began hitting the hulls of their boats with their tiller extensions, the drum beat echoing across the water, almost calling the wind.
"It's disappointing to lose two days of racing," said event manager Duncan Enman. "It happens sometimes and just means we will try to get in more races in the next two days. Having a day without wind on St. Margaret's Bay, this time of year, is almost unheard of."
While athletes were disappointed with the lack of racing, they also recognize there's not much that can be done except wait out the weather. The good news is the forecast for Tuesday calls for winds 10 to 15 knots (20 to 32 kilometres per hour).
Estonian coach Rein Ottoson, who runs a top-notch racing school in Tallinn said, "I have been to many World sailing events and there was usually a major problem or two with racing and organization. Not here; both the organizing and race committees have been excellent."
Major sponsor Nautel of Nova Scotia, which sells broadcast equipment in over 170 countries, has taken the very unusual step of setting up a temporary FM radio station (106.3) under a special licence. The media, hundreds of volunteers ashore, spectators and the general public all enjoy commentary and interviews during these World Championships. One veteran international journalist commented, "It's a great idea because we can listen when often required to stay ashore to write stories to send home."
The 2009 Nautel Laser World Championships began last Thursday for the Standard or Senior event. There were five races in the qualifying series, and the field was divided into three fleets; gold, silver and bronze, for the final series. The Standards conclude on Wednesday. Currently Nick Thompson
of Great Britain holds the overall lead, with Tonci Stipanovic
of Croatia in second and Olympic gold medallist Paul Goodison
Then there are three days of registration for the Masters portion of the Laser Worlds, which is for top sailors 35-years old and older. The Laser Worlds wrap on 5 September.
Results - click here
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