20 Apr 2016 - Under sunny skies on Banderas Bay, Alison Young (GBR) edged past Paige Railey (USA) with a win in the final race to claim the World Championship by one point. It was a difficult conclusion for Railey, who was leading the regatta going into the final day. Anne-Marie Rindom (DEN) moved up to third, followed by Marit Bouwmeester (NED), who dropped to fourth after a disappointing first race, and Gintare Scheidt (LTU).
The Gold fleet had a clean start in the first race (Race F12) at 1340h in 8-10 knots of a SSW breeze. Most of the fleet tacked to port early in the first leg, looking for the right shift that has been the afternoon pattern, although it didn’t materialize that first leg.
Gintare Scheidt (LTU) claimed the first mark and held the lead for the race. The wind built, and race committee extended the length of the second upwind leg on the outside of the trapezoid course. Young and Railey fought it out for a top-five finish, with Young taking it, but Railey still leading in total points.
The wind shifted right for the second race (Race F13) and built to 12-14 knots, but with patches that dropped below 10 knots. After a general recall, the second start was clean. Young claimed the lead early on and held it to the end. Railey needed a fourth or better to win the championship, but fell two places short. Still, she had a very consistent regatta, and is poised to do well at the Olympics in Rio this summer.
In the Silver Fleet, Silvia Zennaro (ITA) sailed a strong Finals Series, with four top-three finishes, to win over Agata Barwinski (POL), followed by Annalise Murphy (IRL). There was great racing in Mexico this week. This event is followed by several other Laser World Championships, all hosted by the Vallarta Yacht Club.
18 Apr 2016 - It took five attempts, but Race 8, the first race of the Finals Series, started just before 1430h under clear skies on Banderas Bay. The first attempt led to a general recall, but the three subsequent attempts faltered when Race Committee postponed during the starting sequence as the wind shifted left, then right, finally settling in from the southwest.
17 Apr 2016 - Today was the fourth and final day of Qualifying Races, in which the two fleets (Yellow and Blue) are balanced with a mix of competitors of all score totals. The competitors will now be split into Gold and Silver fleets for the remaining three days of competition.
16 April 2016 The regatta is back on schedule! Despite a late start due to light, midday winds, the Race Committee re-sailed the race that was abandoned yesterday (R4-Blue) and completed both races scheduled for today (R5 & R6 for both the Yellow & Blue fleets).
Race 4 for yesterday’s Blue fleet started cleanly in a southwesterly breeze of 8 knots and clearing skies. The wind filled, and clocked right about 10 degrees, before R5 started cleanly for the Yellow fleet. A general recall, leading to a restart, held back the start of the race for the Blue fleet. Fleet splits were based on results through Race 3, from yesterday.
The wind continued to build as the skies cleared, reaching about 15 knots in the late afternoon. Both fleets completed Race 6, despite several general recalls, although this kept the competitors (and the race committee!) on the water into the early evening.
Today’s results have shuffled the top of the score sheet, and, with five races completed, each competitor can discard one race from the total score.
Marit Bouwmeester (NED) has moved to the top, with four wins and the discard of her high finish in the first race. Paige Railey (USA) has moved up into second. Her teammate, Erika Reinecke (USA), the previous regatta leader, used her discard for the over-early disqualification from one of today’s races.
Tomorrow (the fourth day of racing) is the final day of qualifying races, which determine the split between the Gold and Silver fleets for the remaining three days of the competition.