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17 September 2002, 09:28 am
Good Viking Weather on Day 5
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Absolute Chaos ©2002 TWJ Thornton

Laser World Championship and Olympic Qualification Regatta
Cape Cod, Massachusetts

It was tough sailing for the first race of the final series at the Laser World Championship being sailed from Hyannis Yacht Club on Cape Cod, USA.
The forecast winds of 10 to 15 knots turned into 25 knots plus with rain showers affecting visability. After a short delay waiting for a gap in the rain showers the gold fleet got away first time. At the first mark the Scandanavian heavy weather specialists, Karl Suneson (SWE) and Frederik West (FIN) were first to show and quickly pulled ahead of the chasing pack on the downwind legs. Suneson said "It was good Viking weather!" Overnight leader, Robert Scheidt (BRA), was sixth round the first mark. He gained two places on the first reach but in his own words "I sailed too conservatively on the run downwind with too much centreboard and vang. When I gybed I capsized and dropped to 12th but I was happy to recover to 6th" Suneson and West were to far away to be caught and the interest was on the minor places. Ed Wright from Great Britain pulled through to third on the second windward leg with the Australian Brendan Casey right behind. After a close battle Casey passed Wright in the final part of the race. Suneson's victory and third place overall hung in balance until a protest for an incident on the first leg was resolved in Suneson's favour.

The wind dropped to 20 knots for race two. Mark Howard from Great Britain sailed a fine upwind leg with good speed to lead Daniel Hannemann from Germany at the first mark. This leading pair held on to their positions until the last but one mark. At the end of the last downwind leg Howard overlooked a 20 degree shift in the wind and mistakenly started leading the fleet directly to the finish instead of broad reaching down to the last mark of the trapezoid course. Hannemann was first to realise his mistake in following Howard and sailed through his lee to take the lead and the winning gun. Scheidt, Luis Martinez (ESP) and Casey also got through Howard who finished fifth.

With four races remaining Scheidt holds an eight point lead over Casey after nine races. If one more race is completed a second discard comes into play which can still affect the overall positions especially if the forecast light winds for the next two days are correct. Scheidt summed it up "There is still two days of sailing left and a lot can happen."

Overall results (9 Races/1 Discard)

Pos Helm R1 R2 R3 R4 R5 R6 R7 R8 R9 Total
1 Robert Scheidt (BRA) 15 1 2 5 1 1 1 6 2 19
2 Brendan Casey (AUS) 3 4 1 2 5 5 23 3 4 27
3 Karl Suneson (SWE) 8 2 10 1 1 1 9 1 9 32
4 Fredrik Westman (FIN) 12 2 2 41 7 2 1 2 11 39
5 Edward Wright (GBR) 2 1 1 18 3 9 10 4 10 40
6 Gareth Blankenberg (RSA) 1 5 4 5 2 8 7 13 24 45
7 Paul Goodison (GBR) 8 3 19 4 3 4 2 24 6 49
8 Diego Negri (ITA) 19 5 7 16 12 3 3 8 7 61
9 Vasilij Zbogar (SLO) 5 8 10 4 5 10 5 18 23 65
10 Mark Howard (GBR) 12 3 8 34 4 2 14 19 5 67

Jeffery Martin/ISAF News Editor
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