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Thread: 106 Lady Competitors From 40 Countries Fight For Olympic Berths

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    106 Lady Competitors From 40 Countries Fight For Olympic Berths

    Marit Bouwmeester

    Sandringham, VIC, Australia

    All three medalists from the Rio Olympics will take to the water from Sandringham Yacht Club to compete in the Laser Radial Women’s Championship, which starts on Sunday. They head a star-studded field of 106 competitors from 40 countries, many of whom will be trying to qualify as their country’s representative at this year’s Olympic Games in Tokyo.

    Leading the charge will be Marit Bouwmeester from the Netherlands, the 2016 Gold and 2012 Silver medalist at the Olympics, and a six-time World Champion in the event. Marit has been training in Melbourne since December and won the Australian Championship in early January. Although she has already been selected for the Olympics by the Dutch Federation, she will still have a battle on her hands during the Worlds from countrywomen Mirthe Akkerman, Maxim Jonker and Daphne van der Vaart, who all pushed her during the Australian Championship.

    Anne Marie Rindom

    Anne-Marie Rindom (DEN) is ranked number one in the world at present and is the defending world champion, having also won the title in 2015. She was 13th at the London Olympics (2012) and won the bronze medal in Rio (2016).

    Annalise Murphy (IRE) was part of an epic Laser Radial medal race at the London Olympics, where she missed out on the Bronze by the barest of margins. She made up for that at Rio, taking Silver behind Marit Bouwmeester.

    Alison above Emma below

    Another former world champion, Alison Young of Great Britain, is currently ranked second in the world, and Emma Plasschart of Belgium is ranked third.

    Tula above Monika below

    Kim & Lin

    Competing to represent Finland in the Olympics are Tuula Tenkinen and Monika Mikkola, ranked ninth and 14th, respectively. Even more intense will be the rivalry for Kim and Lin Pletikos of Slovenia, who are not only competing for an Olympic spot, but for bragging rights around the family dinner table.


    The home crowd is also hoping to see a sailor selected for Tokyo. Western Australian Zoe Thomson qualified the country for the Olympics at the test event in Enoshima, the Olympic venue, but she will come under intense pressure from Queenslander Mara Stransky, who dominated the Australian Championships, finishing in fourth place behind three Dutch sailors and over 100 points ahead of her teammate. Both sailors suffered a black flag disqualification at the Australian Championships and will be hoping to sail “clean” at this event.

    There are 19 Australians in the field for the Worlds. Assuming there are no upsets, either Thomson or Stransky will need to finish in the top 10 to secure a seat on the plane to Tokyo.
    Sandringham Yacht Club was a hive of activity on Friday as sailors finished registration and the late-comers took possession of the supplied boats and sails that they will use for the duration of the championship.

    There is a practice race scheduled for Saturday, but most sailors will choose to train in their squads instead of competing. The championship is scheduled to start at 2pm on Sunday, with two races per day for six days, finishing on Friday February 28th.

    The forecast for the first day of racing is currently for very light and variable winds, which will make it almost impossible for the race committee to get even one race completed. However, this is Melbourne, where conditions can change by the hour. The sailors who have been here training in strong southerlies for the past two months will be hoping that it does.
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    Late Rush After Thunderstorms Roll Through Sandringham

    Sandringham, VIC, Australia

    The weather played havoc again at the ILCA Laser Radial World Championships in Melbourne today. Two attempts were made to get Yellow Fleet started shortly after 2pm but a series of rolling thunderstorms, accompanied by lightning, forced the sailors to hurry back to the Sandringham Yacht Club before the course became dangerous.

    There was a long wait onshore, but with the regatta already two races behind owing to light winds on the opening days, the AP flag came down at 5pm and the sailors rushed to their boats.

    Now the problem was not lack of wind. A strong southerly had filled in behind the thunderstorms and was blowing a solid 22 knots.

    Yellow Fleet was put into sequence at 5.55pm and got a clear start at 6pm, to accompanying cheers from the committee boat. Blue fleet followed five minutes later, again to a cry of “all clear”, and finally the men’s fleet was also under way.

    The racing was wild and furious, with big waves building and the wind staying above 20 knots. As they came ashore, the sailors looked cold and very tired.

    It was a day when experience was likely to come to the fore, and so it proved. The Yellow Fleet race was won by Rio Olympic silver medallist Annaliese Murphy (IRE) who was in an ebullient mood. “The waves were awesome, everyone was having so much fun downwind. Upwind, not so much,” she laughed.

    Photos courtesy of Jon West:

    Rio Olympic Champion Marit Bouwmeester won Blue fleet, ahead of defending World Champion Anne-Marie Rindom (DEN) who moves to the top of the leaderboard, one point ahead of Bouwmeester, as a result. She commented that the day was not so much physically tiring as mentally exhausting. “You had to turn yourself on-off all the time and keep yourself 100% ready to go all day,” she explained.

    Overnight leader Maud Jayet (SUI) finished sixth today, to now hold third overall. “It was a pretty good day,” she said. “But I’m so glad I changed to my super suit (her thicker wetsuit).”

    Qualifying will continue tomorrow, with at least one race needed to complete the qualifying series. The first discard comes into effect after four races, and that could shake up the leaderboard considerably.

    The earliest sailors can be split into Gold and Silver fleets is Thursday, the penultimate day of the regatta. If possible, three races will be sailed on each remaining day.

    Men’s Radial

    While not an Olympic event, competition is still fierce in the men’s Radial, especially among those who hope to progress to the Standard fleet next year – and among the older fraternity, who are looking towards the Australian and World Laser Masters regattas, to be sailed across the bay in Geelong in late March.

    Daniil Krutskikh of Russia placed second in the big waves today, to extend his lead to 15 points over Australian Michael Compton. Nik Pletikos of Slovenia is third. The race was won by Australian Zac Littlewood, who could move into the top three tomorrow if he is able to drop his 25th place from the opening day.

    Provisional Results – Day 3

    Laser Radial Women’s Worlds
    1 Anne-Marie RINDOM (DEN) 6
    2 Marit BOUWMEESTER (NED) 7
    3 Maud JAYET (SUI) 9
    4 Emma PLASSCHAERT (BEL) 14
    5 Manami DOI (JPN) 17
    6 Sarah DOUGLAS (CAN) 21
    7 Vasileia KARACHALIOU (GRE) 22
    8 Line FLEM HØST (NOR) 26
    9 Agata BARWINSKA (POL) 26
    10 Pernelle MICHON (FRA) 27

    Laser Radial Men’s Worlds

    1 Daniil KRUTSKIKH (RUS) 4
    2 Michael COMPTON (AUS) 19
    3 Nik PLETIKOS (SLO) 27
    4 Jordan MAKIN (AUS) 29
    5 Zac LITTLEWOOD (AUS) 31
    6 Brody RILEY (AUS) 31
    7 Rhett GOWANS (AUS) 36
    8 Daniel COSTANDI (AUS) 39
    9 Mario NOVAK (CRO) 39
    10 Gustavo CORREA NASCIMENTO (BRA) 44

    Full results:
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    A 24 Point Lead For Bouwmeester With One Day To Go

    Day 5 Report – Bouwmeester Leading Women, Krutskikh Leading Men, at Laser Radial Worlds
    FEBRUARY 27, 2020
    Sandringham, VIC, Australia

    Rio Olympic Champion, Marit Bouwmeester (NED), is putting on a sailing masterclass at the ILCA Laser Radial World Championship in Melbourne. She had a hiccup in Race 8 when a massive wind shift caught her out, but a series of five consecutive race wins on previous days has allowed her to open a 24 point gap on Line Flem Host (NOR), her nearest rival.

    The championship has been raced in a variety of conditions, from the very light winds of the first two days through thunderstorms, 25 knots with big waves, and today’s moderate winds on a cold and grey Port Phillip. In all conditions, Bouwmeester has looked quicker and her boat handling has been slicker.

    She has been helped by the fact that other leading contenders have all had at least two high scores. But a net of 21 points from nine races, with another drop to come into play after the first race tomorrow, makes it is easy to see who the dominant radial sailor is right now. But like all champions, she is striving for more.

    “It was really tricky out there today,” she said in the boat park. “It (the day’s result) was OK, but we’ll see tomorrow.”

    Defending champion Anne-Marie Rindom (DEN) echoed Bouwmeester’s thoughts on the conditions, saying, “It was a tough day, the shifts were hard to predict, one mistake and you get punished.” Rindom had dropped back in the pack after four double-digit results but a fourth in the final race elevated her back into bronze medal position.

    Line Flem Host of Norway moved into second place at the Laser Radial Worlds with one day to sail.
    Photo Jon West Photography.

    Anne-Marie Rindom of Denmark concentrating on the job at hand. Photo Jon West Photography.

    Intra-nation rivalry continues further down the leaderboard, with the most fascinating being among the Americans. After nine races, Erika Reineke and Paige Railey are tied on 110 points. Railey held a nine point advantage coming into the Worlds and will be match-racing tomorrow to maintain her lead and the chance to be selected for her third consecutive Olympics.

    Men’s Radial

    Russian star Daniil Krutskikh maintained his record of top 10 scores today in the men’s division, with 5,2,3. His drop remains a sixth place from yesterday. He said that he had worked hard on being consistent in all conditions and was comfortable with the winds and weather that Melbourne has delivered.

    Daniil Krutskikh of Russia has dominated the men’s Laser Radial World Championship.
    Photo Jon West Photography.

    Three Australians are fighting for the minor medals, with Brody Riley on 35 points, Michael Compton on 39 and Stefan Elliot-Shircore on 43. Today’s winners were Stefan Elliot-Shircore, Nik Pletikos (SLO) and another Australian, Zak Littlewood.

    Provisional Results – Day 5

    Laser Radial Women’s Worlds
    1 Marit BOUWMEESTER (NED) 21
    2 Line FLEM HØST (NOR) 45
    3 Anne-Marie RINDOM (DEN) 55
    4 Magdalena KWASNA (POL) 58
    5 Emma PLASSCHAERT (BEL) 60
    6 Josefin OLSSON (SWE) 60
    7 Maxime JONKER (NED) 60
    8 Annalise MURPHY (IRL) 70
    9 Manami DOI (JPN) 71
    10 Alison YOUNG (GBR) 83

    Laser Radial Men’s Worlds
    1 Daniil KRUTSKIKH (RUS) 13
    2 Michael COMPTON (AUS) 28
    3 Brody RILEY (AUS) 28
    4 Stefan ELLIOTT-SHIRCORE (AUS) 37
    5 Nik PLETIKOS (SLO) 41
    6 Gustavo CORREA NASCIMENTO (BRA) 44
    7 Mario NOVAK (CRO) 56
    8 Luke CASHMORE (NZL) 69
    9 Zac LITTLEWOOD (AUS) 70
    10 Frazer BREW (AUS) 70

    Full results:
    – Women’s World Championship CLICKY

    – Men’s World Championship CLICKY
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    Bouwmeester and Krutskikh Take 2020 Laser Titles

    Marit Bouwmeester wins 4th Laser Radial Women’s World Championship, Krutskikh wins Men’s
    February 27, 2020
    Ravi Subramanian
    Sandringham, VIC, Australia

    It may have been a case of “saved by the wind” for Rio Olympic champion, Marit Bouwmeester. The three-time world champion led by 24 points over night but saw her margin trimmed to just two points after the first race of the final day. A big wind shift caught a number of the top sailors out, and Bouwmeester, who received a yellow flag (penalty turns), finished 29th. This became her second “drop” but brought into play a 24th from yesterday.

    all images ©

    When asked why she was penalised she said, “Too much rocking. I was thinking ‘I deserve a yellow flag’ and I got one.”
    Gold fleet went into sequence again, still with the chance of two more races, but the wind continued to die and back to the south-east. At 3pm, the deadline for racing to start on the final day, the AP over A was flown and a relieved Dutch woman made her way back to the clubhouse.

    Bouwmeester, who was famous for always training on her own, has recently joined three other women in the Dutch squad and all four finished in the top 10. Maxime Jonkers was second, just two points behind, while Daphne van der Vaart was seventh and Mirthe Akkerman was 10th. Norwegian Line Flem Host took third and defending champion Anne-Marie Rindom, who became ill during the event, was fourth.
    Asked how she felt when the flags went up to indicate no further racing was possible, Marit Bouwemeester replied, “It’s incredible. Today I didn’t manage the first race well and I knew I had to be ready to go again. But it’s great to be on top again (after finishing second last year).

    “We just started training together and the level of training is so high, they are pushing me every day. This is really a team effort.”
    The result has given Bouwmeester a welcome boost ahead of the Tokyo Olympics, where she will now be favourite to defend her gold medal.
    It has been a frustrating week for sailors and organisers alike. The regatta was scheduled to deliver two races per day for six days. On the first two days, only one race was possible owing to light and shifty winds. On the third day, sailors were sent ashore when a thunderstorm struck, before returning at 5pm to sail the only race of the day. Day four was cold and wet, with strong winds almost at the limit for safe sailing, but organisers managed to get three races started for the women and two for the men.

    Yesterday was the only day of the regatta when conditions could be described as ideal for sailing, with winds around 15 knots.
    Today started promisingly, but the sailors failed to behave. It took eight start sequences to get the three fleets away for the first time. Silver Fleet had 14 sailors disqualified in that race for being over the line, while in the men’s division, six were caught out.

    When the wind began to die and back to the south, the championship was over for everyone. Some, like Bouwmeester, were relieved. Others saw their chance of Olympic selection crushed as they could no longer move up into the top 10 or beat a rival for their country’s place at the Games.
    Laser Radial Women’s Worlds (Provisional)

    1 Marit BOUWMEESTER (NED) 42
    2 Maxime JONKER (NED) 44
    3 Line FLEM HØST (NOR) 45
    4 Anne-Marie RINDOM (DEN) 57
    5 Magdalena KWASNA (POL) 58
    6 Josefin OLSSON (SWE) 60
    7 Daphne VAN DER VAART (NED) 67
    8 Manami DOI (JPN) 67
    9 Emma PLASSCHAERT (BEL) 69
    10 Mirthe AKKERMAN (NED) 71


    Men’s World Champion
    Russian sailor Daniil Krutskikh won the first two races of the regatta and led from that point on. Apart from his discard of 22nd in the ninth race, all his scores were in single figures. He finished with a very solid 20 point margin to become the 2020 ILCA Men’s Laser Radial World Champion.
    He was interviewed by Jon Emmett prior to the final day and the link to that interview is below.
    Young Australian Michael Compton, who turned 17 only two weeks ago, won the silver medal at his first Open World Championship. He will represent Australia at the Youth Worlds in Brazil later this year..
    Nik Pletikos of Slovania was third, sharing the moment with his two sisters who sailed in the Women’s Championship.

    Laser Radial Men’s Worlds (Provisional)
    1 Daniil KRUTSKIKH (RUS) 22
    2 Michael COMPTON (AUS) 42
    3 Nik PLETIKOS (SLO) 47
    4 Brody RILEY (AUS) 53
    5 Stefan ELLIOTT-SHIRCORE (AUS) 58
    6 Mario NOVAK (CRO) 68
    7 Zac LITTLEWOOD (AUS) 76
    8 Gustavo CORREA NASCIMENTO (BRA) 83
    9 Zac WEST (AUS) 97
    10 Luke CASHMORE (NZL) 10

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