The first big international Laser Masters Championships since the Dublin 2019 Worlds took place in Roses, Spain between June 14th and June 20th. In afternoon sea breezes of 8-20 knots and constant sunshine, 151 Radials and 117 Full rigs competed in the European Laser Master Championships, sailing out of the Grup d’Esports Nautic Roses. Launching from a beautiful Costa Brava beach, the racing was tactically challenging, as the upwind legs were heavily left-side favoured.
Irish sailor Sean Craig (Royal St George Yacht Club) competed in the largest 54 boat Grand Master Radial division, travelling to Roses after a good podium finish at the Barcelona Masters a week previously as Afloat reported here. It wasn’t all plain sailing in Roses for Craig however, with an OCS after his best finish, a 720 penalty in another race and then a nasty incident with a French competitor.
Some better consistency in the latter stages left him 10th overall and 8th European (two Canadians were ahead of him in the Open rankings).
There was other Irish interest too, with strong performances by two UK-based Radial sailors, both sailing under GBR. In the Masters division, Niall Peelo, originally from Malahide Yacht Club and brother of 2008 Olympian Ciara, placed 12th overall of 35 competitors. Peelo’s results improved consistently as the week progressed. Also in the eight-boat Legends (over 75 division) the winner was Mike Kinnear who started his Laser career many years ago at Ballyholme Yacht Club in Co. Down. This was Kinnear’s first year as a Legend and he claimed the scalp of celebrated octogenarian Peter Seidenberg from the USA, who placed third and has dominated this category in recent years.
European Laser Master sailors will look forward to more great competition at the Worlds in Holland in September, with the 2020 edition following not long after, in Melbourne next March.
Results are downloadable below