Irish Laser Olympic hopeful, Finn Lynch, lies in 22nd place after a 14,3 score in the first day of racing at the Laser World Championship in Melbourne, Australia. Compatriots Liam Glynn and Ewan McMahon are 91st and 102nd respectively. Australian Finn Alexander and Rio Olympic silver medalist Tonci Stipanovic of Croatia are tied after the first day of racing.
The National Yacht Club's Lynch who is supported by Dun Laoghaire's Viking Marine was targeting a higher place in Race 2 but overstood the top mark in the final round. While Olympic Qualification is not available for Ireland at this event, form here should carry forward to the next (and final) qualifier, the Sailing World Cup event in Genoa, Italy, April 13-19.
The first day started slowly, with all three fleets held onshore while the race committee waited for an almost non-existent westerly to back to the southeast and freshen. This it duly did, and the first race got underway at 3:30 pm in 8-10 knots from the SSE. By the time the second race started at around 5 pm, the wind had freshened to 15 knots and was relatively steady from the south.
German, Philipp Buhl, is in third place on five points — two points ahead of London 2012 silver medalist Pavlos Kontides. Ranked number one in the world, Australian Matt Wearn is in 10th overall, seven points from the lead. “It was a pretty average day,” said Wearn. “I made it look harder than it needed to be.” Wearn also felt he was hunted a bit, as the sail numbers being used have been issued in order of the latest world rankings. “People see the number one on the sail and want to take you out. In both races there were passing lanes, but I couldn’t find them.”
Defending champion Tom Burton of Australia also had an average day by his standards, with a 7th and a 13th which leaves him tied for 29th overall. “I sailed OK but the results don’t show it,” he said. “In the second race I was third around the top mark then got caught up in a big group going slow and couldn’t get myself out of it.”
Tomorrow’s forecast is for stronger winds which could increase to just under 25 knots by Thursday.
Top-10 after 2 races:
1. Finn ALEXANDER (AUS) 3 pts
2. Tonci STIPANOVIC (CRO) 3 pts
3. Philipp BUHL (GER) 5 pts
4. Pavlos KONTIDES (CYP) 7 pts
5. Jean Baptiste BERNAZ (FRA) pts
6. Tadeusz KUBIAK (POL) 9 pts
7. Luke ELLIOTT (AUS) 9 pts
8. Elliot HANSON (GBR) 10 pts
9. Benjamin VADNAI (HUN) 10 pts
10. Matt WEARN (AUS) 10 pts
Full Results here