Laser focus required in trying conditions
THE Royal Geelong Yacht Club has hosted some of the most skilled domestic and international sailors in the Oceania and Australian Laser Masters Championship.
Conditions were constantly changing from the opening day on March 15 to the final day on March 18.
The final day was no exception, with wind speeds varying by up to 40 degrees.
New South Welshman Brett Beyer said the day was “super challenging tactically.”
Yet Beyer navigated the conditions with great composure, winning the Standard Rig Masters division comfortably by 13 points.
Beyer would finish first in all but the last of the six races, where he still managed to come second.
The Standard Rig Apprentice division saw a close finish between Victorian Matt Blakely and Canadian Ian Elliott.
Each of the six races in the division was won by one of the two racers.
Blakely eventually took overall victory by a single point despite Elliot winning the final race.
Elliot said the conditions had been unpredictable across the three days of racing.
“The wind just got weirder and weirder. On the second day there was a big lull in the middle of the course and then there was some weird dramatic shifts happening on the right.”
The Grand Masters Division was similarly close, with Victorian Gavin Dagley beating Britain’s Alan Davis in a tiebreaker.
The Laser Radial Masters division was won by Victorian Owen McMahon, who defeated New Zealander Edmund Tam by a single point.
McMahon said because of the fickle conditions, “the people who are normally at the front weren’t.”
The Laser Radial Grand Masters Division saw Queenslander Mark Kennedy finish first of more than 30 competitors with 11 points.
In the Legends Division, Queenslander Kerry Waraker had a near-perfect competition. She finished on just four points, having come first in every race except for the penultimate one where she still came second.