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Laser Nationals: building up to the final day

Mark Spearman (WA) has had a mixed regatta Laser National Championships 2013/14. (Credit Guido Brandt)

Mark Spearman (WA) has had a mixed regatta Laser National Championships 2013/14. (Credit Guido Brandt)

Whilst the result of the Laser Radial seems a forgone conclusion with Tristan Brown (WA) sitting on 23 points, although he did place 11 on the second race, there is still plenty of close racing in the other fleets.

Jack Graves (VIC) has emerged at the top of the 4.7 fleet from early leader Hamish Wiltshire (NT) although there is still plenty to play for on the last day.

In the Standard fleet Australian Sailing Team member Matthew Wearn (WA) is leading the fleet as expected.

Mark Spearman (WA) member of the Australian Sailing Squad has had a mixed regatta consistently scoring in the top five but two major breakages have pushed him down to seventh. Day two he shredded his main sheet and on day four he pulled his toestrap out. The first breakage he believed could have been avoided through better preparation. This disappointed him especially because his coach is “big on preparation to avoid incidents”. He moved into the Standard just three months ago after a very successful period in a Radial resulting in being crowned ISAF Youth World Champion in 2012.

Sailing at McCrae has been difficult as “it is shifty sailing on a bay rather than the ocean which is what I’m used to in Fremantle”. Apart from getting used to the obvious differences between the two rigs “I’m not as fast as I want to be especially downwind” so he is looking forward to working hard to improve his performance.

Mitchell Kennedy recently moved to Standard rig. Laser National Championships 2013/14. (Credit Guido Brandt)

Mitchell Kennedy recently moved to Standard rig. Laser National Championships 2013/14. (Credit Guido Brandt)

 

Queenslander Mitchell Kennedy is another sailor who recently made the step up from Radial to Standard. He too is finding the conditions at McCrae tricky although he prefers the light winds he doesn’t like the shifts.

Although he has been sailing Standards for 5-6 years Colin Cheng moved straight from the Optimist to the full rig.

Originally from Singapore but now based in Sydney Cheng has been happy with the conditions on the water relishing the shifts and lighter breezes. He would like to be doing better “prior to the new year I was second but I posted a third and fifth and so dropped a couple of places”.

Colin Cheng (SIN) moved from Optimist to Standard rig. Laser National Championships 2013/14. (Credit Guido Brandt)

Colin Cheng (SIN) moved from Optimist to Standard rig. Laser National Championships 2013/14. (Credit Guido Brandt)

 

With plenty of shifts on the water today and a 12-17 knot south southwesterly there was some bigger seas than usual for the sailors however for Spearman and Kennedy the waves were small compared to what they are used to.

4 January sees the final two races for all fleets and the 2014 Champions will be crowned at the end of the day.

For full results, go here.

By Jane Moffat


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