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Laser sailors battle it out in Perth

Tuesday 13 December 2011 | Published in Regional


The mens laser fleet were split into yellow, blue and red fleets with the ranked sailors all spread evenly over the three fleets our young men were in the red fleet.

Their day got off to a slow start with the red fleet sailing last and held over on the beach until 2pm.

In the meantime battle commenced out on the course for yellow and blue fleets with initially flatter seas and lighter winds.

Laser leader Stalheim (blue fleet) was happy with the offshore breeze.

Its a bit more shifty than the sea breeze. It was windy and hard. You just need a clean start, pick the shifts, take the opportunities and do your best.

I had a big lead (in the first race) and enjoyed the ride for the last lap.

By the time our sailors were taking to the field the sea breeze had kicked in and winds were in excess of 22 knots with some gusts over 27 knots!

Both sailors made good starts to their first race in terms of boat speed but were unable to match the first leg in the scrum that followed, finding clear air was really tough as the main body of the fleet were all sailing very much in a small area, the winds were predictably favoured on one side.

The situation at all marks of the race was very tricky with such close proximity and not for the fainthearted.

Taua was right up there with the sailors of this group and took it on both in the up and down wind legs and pretty well holding his place, though he found it hard to improve his place.

The red fleet had consecutive races in the late afternoon with 17-22 knot winds and gusts under a leaden sky and frequent lightning flashes.

Junior finished the day with 47/48 and was finding the heavier weather difficult as a light weight sailor but gave it all he had.

He coped well with the conditions and finished the race feeling that he can and will do better. Taua had two 44ths he found it a really exciting challenge to be sailing in the general scrum around marks and feels confident that with two races under his belt he can improve his chances.

It seems obvious that if red fleet starts last each day they will cop the heavier sea breezes so this is a focus for them to continue to eat, sleep and drink sailing, keep concentration sharp, switch on - switch off between races and enjoy the individual challenge of each new race.

The stormy conditions of our races were capped last night with the mother of all storms with heavy rain, lots of lightning and heavy thunder claps which shook our house to the foundations.