2016 Laser STD Masters Worlds recap

2016 Laser STD Masters Worlds recap

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DAY 6 28 May 2016 – Laser Standard Masters World Championship – Final Day

The wind gods smiled once again for the last day of the Laser Standard Masters World Championship, capping off the regatta with epic sailing conditions for the final two races of the event. The sailors enjoyed winds of 12-16 knots off the coast of Riviera Nayarit, Mexico to wrap up this year’s event in spectacular style. Most sailors favored the right side of the course again today, but the left side seemed to pay just enough to keep the sailors on their toes.

Defending champion, Mark Bethwaite from Australia, closed out a near flawless performance to once again claim victory in the Great Grand Masters Division. Mathematically, Bethwaite did not even need to rig his boat today in order to win his division, but as a true sportsman, he took to the water and enjoyed one of the best racing days yet. American, Doug Peckover, and New Zealander James Temple rounded out the top-three overall.

In perhaps the most tightly contested fleet, Australian Gavin Dagley sealed his win with a first and fourth place today to top the Grand Masters Division in front of Cristian Herman of Chile and Canadian Allan Clark.

In the Masters Division, defending champion Brett Beyer dominated the fleet today by going hard right on the upwind legs to take two horizon-job wins. Beyer’s speed advantage was clear as he keeps a second place finish as his worst score for the event. Also showing similar consistency, American Ernesto Rodriguez cruised to a comfortable second place overall finish followed by Andrew Dellabarca from New Zealand in third.

After another stellar event, the sailors will enjoy the closing ceremony and banquet tonight where they will likely start making plans for next year’s rematch at the Laser Masters World Championship in Split, Croatia.

Top-Three Standings by Division:

Apprentice Masters Division:
1) Pablo Rabago MEX 10pts
2) Guilherme Roth BRA 18pts
3) Alejandro Rabago MEX 29pts

Masters Division:
1) Brett Beyer AUS 11pts
2) Ernesto Rodriguez USA 26pts
3) Andrew Dellabarca NZL 43pts

Grand Masters Division:
1) Gavin Dagley AUS 25pts
2) Cristian Herman CHI 33pts
3) Allan Clark CAN 42pts

Great Grand Masters Division:
1) Mark Bethwaite AUS 10pts
2) Doug Peckover USA 22pts
3) James Temple AUS 29pts

DAY 5 27 May 2016 – The Perfect Day on a Laser

If you asked a Laser sailor to draw up the perfect day, a day where a Laser is its absolute most fun to sail, this would be it – sun, warm water, and a steady 12-15 knot breeze. These are the conditions that make upwind sailing a challenge and make downwind sailing an absolute blast. With the wind filling every day like clockwork, so far Riviera Nayarit, Mexico has delivered these perfect conditions in spades, and the sailors here have not been disappointed.

Right on schedule, the sea breeze filled and the day’s first race was started in a 10 knot, southwest wind that quickly built to 15 knots. Although going right still seems to be the most popular tactic for the majority of the sailors, like previous days, protecting the middle of the course again paid off.

According to Mike Matan from USA, “I made it a point in this regatta to not overstand the weather mark and it’s really helped me. I see a lot of people out there who go hard right and then end up reaching into the top mark and giving up distance. I’ve been making it a point to get back to the middle of the course a bit early and it seems to help.” Matan’s sixth and fourth place finishes today keep him in 7th place overall in the tightly contested Masters Division.

Leading the Masters Division is Australian Brett Beyer, who along with American Ernesto Rodrigues each had a first and second place finish today to remain at the top of the overall standings.

In the Grand Masters Division, Gavin Dagley of Australia kept things interesting by posting a 7th place finish in the day’s first race, putting him in a virtual tie with Chilean, Cristian Herman. But in the next race, Dagley vindicated himself with another bullet to open up a 5-point lead over Herman going into the final day of the regatta. The real battle in the Grand Masters Division looks to be for third place, with three sailors within 5 point of each other.

American, Doug Peckover, is certainly happy after his first race in the Great Grand Masters Division where he became the only sailor in the fleet to cross the finish line in front of defending champion Mark Bethwaite from Australia. Bethwaite’s second place finish becomes his discard, allowing him to keep a perfect string of first place finishes on his score line. Peckover remains in second place overall ahead of Australian, James Temple.

Tomorrow if the final day of the championship, and once again the forecast is for more, perfect Laser sailing conditions.

Top-Three Standings by Division:

Apprentice Masters Division:
1) Pablo Rabago MEX 8pts
2) Guilherme Roth BRA 14pts
3) Alejandro Rabago MEX 23pts

Masters Division:
1) Brett Beyer AUS 9pts
2) Ernesto Rodriguez USA 22pts
3) Andrew Dellabarca NZL 28pts

Grand Masters Division:
1) Gavin Dagley AUS 20pts
2) Cristian Herman CHI 25pts
3) Allan Clark CAN 37pts

Great Grand Masters Division:
1) Mark Bethwaite AUS 8pts
2) Doug Peckover USA 17pts
3) James Temple AUS 26pts

DAY 4 26 May 2016 – Rested and recovered after yesterday’s lay-day, the sailors returned to the water with an on-time start and a moderate southwest breeze to complete two more races in the Laser Standard Masters World Championship.

The area surrounding the regatta headquarters at Paradise Village Resort offers a wide variety of activities for the sailors to enjoy during their downtime, including golf, tennis, surfing, spa treatments, jungle tours, fishing, zip lining, or just relaxing by the pool. But by far the most enjoyable activity available here has got to be racing a Laser against world-class competition in the pristine, warm waters off Riviera Nayarit, Mexico.

A light haze over the ocean today kept the thermal breeze from fully developing, but sailors were treated to a moderate 8-11 knot breeze that provided very tactical and tight racing.

Although the wind mainly shifted right over the course of the day, it was the sailors who protected the middle of the course who had the most success. Allan Clark from Canada won the first race of the day in the Grand Masters Division in spite of overplaying the right side of the first beat. On the first run, Clark chased down the leaders, who had played the middle of the first beat, and then extended on the next upwind leg to earn the victory.

In what he calls “Ricky Bobby style,” (i.e. either first or last) Clark subsequently earned a Black Flag disqualification in the second race, but remains in third place overall. Australia’s Gavin Dagley leads the division while Cristian Herman of Chile showed great upwind speed to win the day’s second race and remain in second place overall.

Mark Bethwaite of Australia continues his impressive string of bullets to lead the Great Grand Masters Division with a perfect score line. American, Doug Peckover remains in second overall, but posted a sixth place in today’s second race to keep the overall standings interesting. Peckover leads Australian James Temple by 10 points, a margin that may or may not hold to the conclusion of the event.

In the Masters Division, Brett Beyer of Australia won the day’s first race, but made a few uncharacteristic mistakes in the second race to finish third. With those mistakes, Beyer left the door open and New Zealander Andrew Dellabarca and American Ernesto Rodriguez were happy to walk though it to finish first and second. With those scores, Dellabarca and Rodriguez sit in second and third place overall at the top of a tightly grouped leader board.

In the Apprentice Division, Pablo Rabago of Mexico and Guilherme Roth of Brazil split first and second place finishes to keep hold of the top two spots.

Races 9 and 10 of the twelve-race series are scheduled for tomorrow. And of course when you’re sailing in paradise, the forecast is once again for perfect sailing conditions.

Top-Three Standings by Division (85 total competitors; 8 races, 1 discard)

Apprentice Masters Division:
1) Pablo Rabago MEX 8pts
2) Guilherme Roth BRA 12pts
3) Alejandro Rabago MEX 20pts

Masters Division:
1) Brett Beyer AUS 9pts
2) Andrew Dellabarca NZL 27pts
3) Ernesto Rodriguez USA 28pts

Grand Masters Division:
1) Gavin Dagley AUS 21pts
2) Cristian Herman CHI 26pts
3) Allan Clark CAN 33pts

Great Grand Masters Division:
1) Mark Bethwaite AUS 7pts
2) Doug Peckover USA 16pts
3) James Temple AUS 26pts

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