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28 September 2002, 09:28 am
Thunderstorms Threaten Day 5
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Laser Masters World Championship
Cape Cod, Massachusetts

The remains of a hurricane provided a wet start to the penultimate days racing at the Laser World Masters Championship at Hyannis on Cape Cod in USA.
With a forecast of strong winds developing mid to late afternoon the 280 competitors left the shore 2 hours earlier than scheduled in an attempt to get a race in before conditions got worse. As the fleet reached the course are the rain stopped and the wind dropped to 7 knots from the east.

The Apprentice (35-44) fleet were the first group to start. The leading competitors in the overall competition all rounded the first mark in the top ten. Overall leader Andreas John (GER) went from third to first, overtaking Jyrki Taiminen (FIN) and Mark Littlejohn (GBR) on the downwind leg. John held his lead on a shortened course in a dying breeze which saw over half the fleet failing to make the time limit of finishing twenty minutes behind the leader.

The Masters (45-54) fleet had two attempted starts before the wind died and all further racing was postponed for the remaining fleets for two hours. The second attempted start of the Master fleet saw series leader Ed Adams (USA) reduce his overall lead in the championship to nothing when he was disqualified. Along with five others, for breaking the start line prematurely.

When racing resumed, in a 7 knot north westerly, Peter Follansbee from USA led home the Masters fleet from Malcolm Courts (GBR). Adams' nearest competitor, Mark Bear (USA), scored a seventh to make him joint leader on the same points.

Peter Seidenberg (USA), who has been to all but one of the previous World Masters Championships in the last twenty years, collected his third win in the Grand Masters division (55 to 64 years). Overall leader, Keith Wilkins (GBR) scored a second place to keep him on top 5 points ahead of American Bill Symes who finished third, and Seidenberg.

In the smaller sail Laser Radial Fleet Apprentice division Stephen Cockerill (GBR) gained his fourth win of the series whilst his nearest rival, Mark Orams from New Zealand scored his worst result of the series, a sixth. Adam French from Australia finished second behind Alden Shattuck USA but still maintains a healthy overall lead on Shattuck. In the Grand Masters fleet Linsdey Hewitt (USA) consolidated his overall lead with a first place whilst in the 18 strong Great Grand Masters division (65 +) Dick Tillman from Florida was led home by Heinz Gebauer from Canada. This is the first time Tillman has been beaten across the line in this series. Sally Sharp from USA was first of the 12 ladies sailing.

With one days sailing left all divisions are wide open except the Great Grand Masters.
Jeffery Martin/ISAF News Editor
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