Day two of the Laser 4.7 World Championships in Holland dawned bright and sunny, but it was with a forecast for worsening weather that an apprehensive group of sailors left the beach for the day's schedule of two races.
Fortunately the worst of the weather didn't arrive until all the sailors were off the water that meant another good days racing in winds of force 3-4. Both fleets managed to fit in two races with only fifteen-degree shift causing a ten minute postponement while the course was adjusted.
Tonci Stiponovic from Croatia is still on top with only a second place in the opening race tarnishing his otherwise perfect score. However it remains to be seen if he can continue his form in the lighter conditions forecast for the end of the week, when the fleet will be split into Gold and Silver groups.
Another 19 sailors were picked up by the eagle eyed jury for Rule 42 infringements (pumping and rocking), but with all sailors taking their penalties disqualifications were avoided.
The daily prize giving hosted by the French coach was followed by an evening of Sumo wrestling!! Each nation volunteered a sailor to wrestle on their behalf. Top match of the evening had to be Croatia v. Team GBR, but it was the Polish who squeezed to the top to win the evenings prize of a Laser trolley.
The overnight forecast of Force 7 and rain should have abated by the morning to allow the sailors the final day of qualification sailing before the fleets are separated to Gold and Silver, if racing goes to plan Thursday will be a well earned rest day with the prospect of a trip to Amsterdam.
In the evening I managed to talk to second places Turkish girl Ozum Oguzbayir. Ozum is 17 and has been sailing for 6 years. Starting in the Optimist she has progressed through the 420 and into the Laser in the last two years. The squad structure is such in Turkey that the support is excellent with coaches on site at the event and regular training camps for the sailors. Ozum plans to move up to the Radial and sail in the class for as long as possible. The Laser federation coach covers all aspects of Laser sailing and she is enjoying working under his guidance. The Turkish team is enjoying a level of support at the Laser 4.7 worlds that many of the other nations are envious of.
Overall Standings after 4 Races:
1 Tonci Stipanovic CRO
2 Milosz Landowski POL
3 Daniel Michelic CRO
4 Stefano Meciani ITA
5 Dennis Karpak EST
6 Colin Robaard NED
7 Jean Baptiste Bernaz FRA
8 Steven Krol NED
9 Milos Di Ilasio ITA
10 Ates Ginar TUR