Although several of the age groups had already been won and the race leaders took a welcome rest after a tough week of racing there was still plenty of competition for the runner up places at the Laser World Masters Championship in Fortaleza, Brazil.
The glory of a race win or just beating the sailor who had been in front of you for most of the races was enough to keep everyone going for the final two races sailed in 20 to 22 knots easing to 15 knots for the final race. Yet again the largest fleet, the standard rig masters, provided the best racing.
Senior world championship competitor Brendan CASEY said, 'It was a great race to watch. Kurt MILLER (USA) and Gonzalo COMPERO (ARG) started the last race on equal points. MILLER was ahead at the first mark with CAMPERO oscillating
between second and fourth. On the second upwind they had a great tacking duel with MILLER extending his lead. He went low on the last leg and 3 boats passed including CAMPERO who rounded the downwind mark in third with MILLER right behind. Maybe the pressure got to CAMPERO because in his efforts to get clear of MILLER he picked up his second yellow flag penalty
of the week.'
MILLER explained his slow speed downwind 'I'm great at catching up but not so good when I'm in front. It was a very exciting race for third overall but I nearly blew it.'
Kerry WARAKER (AUS) wrapped the Great Grand Masters division (over 65 years) with another second behind series runner up Peter SEIDENBERG (USA).
In the remaining category still to be decided Mark ORAMS (NZL) reversed the positions of the 2002 championship when he led Steve COCKERILL (GBR) from start to finish. ORAMS said 'Yesterday was a tough day but it was worth it to get a small margin on Steve. Today was completely different - it is a lot easier making the right decisions when there is no pressure!'
In spite of the tropical air and sea temperatures this has been one of the toughest Masters Championship ever held with no races under 15 knots and always big waves demanding total concentration. The 3 massage tables have been in constant use and even the well prepared are now looking forward to a rest. However everyone is already talking about the next championship to be held in Jeju, Korea.
Full results and photos are available on the event website via the link below.