David Branigan - Oceansport / www.oceansport.ie

Lasers on Dublin Bay

European championships for Standard and Radial underway

Sunday September 1st 2013, Author: Rachel Solon, Location: Ireland

Holland’s Rutger van Schaardenburg, one of three sailors to have made the perfect start to their title challenge at the 2013 Laser European & World Championships on Dublin Bay today, considers that there was some Irish luck inspiring him as posted two wins in very challenging, changeable breezes. The Dutch sailor, who finished in 14th at last year’s Olympic regatta, arrived ashore at the National Yacht Club in Dun Laoghaire admitting he has made better starts to big events but knows how little first day wins count for.

“To be honest it is the first day and you don’t take too much from that. I had three wins in a row at the start in Tallinn before and finished 25th but I am happy with the way I sailed” smiled van Schaardneburg.

Each of the three championship fleets sailed two races in offshore westerly winds which varied from 11 to 18 knots, the gusts carrying big changes in wind direction and pressure. Making early errors – reading the first shifts wrong, getting off the start lines poorly or choosing the wrong side of the first upwinds – proved most costly. Often the shape of the races were shaped by the first windward mark.

Van Schaardenberg and Sweden’s Jesper Stalheim – European Championship runner up last year – may both have looked to be comfortably at home in the conditions when they were en route to their two wins apiece in their respective qualifying fleets, as Ireland’s Annalise Murphy cruised to two decisive wins in her Women’s Laser Radial qualifying fleet. She was at home in every sense of the word, delivering a pair of results which – among other things – brought smiles to the army of 200 or so volunteers from her home club who have given their time to produce a memorable championship.

Murphy stepped clear of her fleet early on both of the first upwind legs and was able to extend a little in the first race. But in the second heat a knot in her mainsheet on the final run compromised her, being challenged by Belarus’ World No. 1 Tatiana Drozkovskaya, but the Dublin sailor was able to sort herself out to hold on and win.

“It was pretty windy out there, windier than I expected, but also fun because the wind was flicking back and forwards and so if you got into phase. I like these conditions like today because it is something I grew up sailing with here and so it was fun, shifting offshore winds” Murphy reported, adding the same first caveat as her male counterparts.

“It is only the first day and I am happy not to have used up a discard or anything like that. It was a good day and I really have nothing to complain about. I was sailing well on the upwinds and I was sailing a lot of the shifts really well and that was the most important bit. That was important to get ahead. On the last downwind I got a big knot in my mainsheet and ended up going along pretty slowly and Tatiana caught up a lot with me, but I just managed to get here again at the finish line and won it” Murphy continued.

Annalise’s coach Rory Fitzpatrick weighed up the pros and cons of racing a ‘major’ at home “It is nice for her to race on home waters because you do know the strategies which will pay off. It is nice to get the support with so many people we know around the place, but so too there is a bit of pressure and expectation with attention from the press and so on, but then that comes along with the Olympics and so on, so that is good practice. There are pros and cons to being at home, but most of all sleeping in our own beds outweighs everything. Annalise got good starts and was able to get off the start line and sail in phase with the winds, and just wait to cross the fleet, and she managed that both times”.

Ireland’s young ISAF Youth World’s silver medallist Finn Lynch, also racing from his home club, started well with a first and a fifth in his Men’s Laser Radial qualifier.

While Stalheim felt his performance in the Men’s Olympic class was comfortable enough, everything falling his way to the point it almost felt easy, Schaardenburg said he was thinking of Ireland’s lucky shamrock. “For sure it was tricky conditions. You needed to have a bit of luck too and I was thinking about the Irish shamrock and of good luck a lot and it seemed to be on my side, but I have had good preparation too, but then it still needs to go the way you expect it to go. And it did” he said after racing.

“The first race started not so well but I got into the big shift to the left and was second at the top mark, got ahead on the downwind and it was all done. The second race I got a good start to the right and got to the right as I expected it and luckily enough it happened and from there I just extended. For me it is very nice way to start” he continued.

Swede Stalheim, ranked three in the world at the moment, believes his speed was the key today “My speed was good and a lot of the time it was just speed into the next shift. I started to windward and tacked away early for a speed race to the first shift and then I could cross the fleet. And in the second race it was speed race to the sift again and I was good”.

“I started to windward and the wind was left and I just sailed to it until the right hander came and crossed the whole fleet. It felt quite easy though the Croatian guy Tonci was second about ten metres behind. But the rest of the fleet was quite far behind. There were big gaps.”

“In the second race it was speed again, I got to the left and was into the shift and crossed over the whole fleet. It felt all quite easy.”

Of those older, experienced sailors returning to the fray of top level racing after a break, Brazil’s Robert Scheidt was disappointed to receive a penalty on the first reach of the first race, but sailed to a solid 4, 3 opening to share the same seven points tally as fourth to eighth placed sailors. The five times Olympic medallist from Brazil said “I did not sail really, really well on the first beats but I am happy. I got a penalty on the first reach so that was an unforced error and I am unhappy about that. A solid first day for me is OK.”

Martin Evans is the best placed British sailor in the Men’s Standard fleet, while 2010 and 2011’s World Championships runner up Nick Thompson is enjoying his return to the class with his eyes firmly focused on Rio 2016. He found himself with a little to do early in both races, but was pleased with how he climbed through the fleets to open with a 5, 4 loving the chance to spar with Scheidt and Portuguese veteran Gustavo Lima again. He lies 11th overall.

“It was a pretty challenging day” Thompson affirmed, “But a fifth and fourth for me from my windward mark positions was good. It could have been a lot worse. I managed to dig in, to fight for every place and got a few good wind shifts which made a difference and pulled myself back in there”.

“I have been doing a lot of training in Weymouth with the British team which has been really good, getting back into the boat and trying to getting up to speed again. I started back in Palma and so it has been good. I really am enjoying it to be racing against the new guys coming through, but also the old guys like Robert Scheidt and Gustavo Lima.”

“I had a good battle with Robert, he was third, just ahead of me, and we were duking it out all the way around. Overall I am happy with the first day.”

“The first race was about two big shifts which dictated your position and the second race there was big shift off the start and that set up the race too, and so I was fighting back from that, from poor windward mark roundings. I think it is coming back nicely. It is great here. The racing will be interesting if it remains offshore.”

Full results below

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Laser Standard - top 50


Pos Nat Name Q1 Q2 Tot
1st SWE Stålheim, Jesper 1 1 2
1st NED Schaardenburg , Rutger 1 1 2
3rd AUS Brunning, Ashley 4 1 5
4th ITA Gallo, Marco 5 2 7
4th GBR Evans , Martin 5 2 7
6th GBR Mills-barton , Alex 2 5 7
7th BRA Scheidt, Robert 4 3 7
8th CRO Stipanovic, Tonci 3 4 7
9th ITA Marrai, Francesco 1 7 8
10th CRO Mihelic, Daniel 2 6 8
11th GBR Thompson , Nick 5 4 9
12th FRA Bernaz, Jean-Baptiste 4 5 9
13th POL Zieminski, Kacper 2 9 11
14th NED Heiner, Nicholas 8 3 11
15th AUS Palk , Ryan 6 5 11
16th SWE Cedergardh , Emil 3 9 12
17th AUS Wearn, Matthew 9 4 13
18th AUS West, Jared 6 7 13
19th GBR Wetherell, Jack 8 6 14
20th NOR Mollatt, Mathias 7 8 15
21st CRO Bugarin, Nenad 14 2 16
22nd GBR Cornish, Ben 10 6 16
23rd RUS Komissarov, Sergey 6 10 16
24th CYP Kontides , Pavlos 9 7 16
25th CZE Teplý, Viktor 3 15 18
26th ITA Spadoni, Alessio 10 8 18
27th NOR Ruth , Kristian 17 3 20
28th NZL Saunders, Thomas 12 8 20
29th POR Lima , Gustavo 13 9 22
30th EST Rammo , Karl-martin 12 10 22
31st DEN Hansen, Michael 11 11 22
32nd UKR Kudryashov, Valeriy 9 14 23
33rd NOR Begby, Henrik Andreas 12 12 24
34th DEN Steinfurth, Stig 7 19 26
35th NED Broekens , Douwe 8 18 26
36th FIN Tapper, Kaarle 13 14 27
37th IRL Doran , Philip 18 10 28
38th SLO Zelko, Zan Luka 16 12 28
39th ESP Blanco Albalat, Joaquin 16 13 29
40th POL Arian , Aleksander 13 16 29
41st GRE Chrisos , Nikolaos 14 15 29
42nd POL Stelmaszyk , Jonasz 18 12 30
43rd FRA Munos , Antony 17 13 30
44th GBR Chiavarini, Lorenzo Brando 10 21 31
45th NED Duko, Bos 11 21 32
46th NED Hummel , Yuri 14 18 32
47th SWE Karlsson, Anders 20 15 35
48th FRA Ferrer , Jules 19 16 35
49th TUR Bilgen , Onur 18 17 35
50th BEL Van Laer, Wannes 7 29 36

Laser Radial results:


Pos Nat Name Q1 Q2 Tot
1st IRL Murphy , Annalise 1 1 2
1st FIN Tenkanen , Heidi 1 1 2
3rd FIN Tenkanen , Tuula 2 2 4
4th GBR Young , Alison 3 3 6
5th NED Bouwmeester , Marit 4 3 7
6th DEN Gunni , Sarah 2 6 8
7th BEL Van Acker , Evi 3 6 9
8th SWE Olsson, Josefin 7 4 11
9th BLR Drozdovskaya , Tatiana 10 2 12
10th ESP Cebrian , Alicia 6 7 13
11th FRA Bolou , Marie 4 10 14
12th DEN Rindom, Anne-marie 9 5 14
13th TUR Donertas, Nazli Cagla 6 8 14
14th GBR Martin, Chloe 12 5 17
15th POL Weinzieher , Anna 9 9 18
16th BEL Plasschaert, Emma 5 14 19
17th GBR Snellgrove, Hannah 11 8 19
18th CAN Bertold, Isabella 5 15 20
19th CRO Miheli?, Tina 13 7 20
20th NZL Winther, Sara 8 12 20
21st ITA Zennaro, Silvia 13 9 22
22nd GER Fasselt , Lisa 12 11 23
23rd NOR Enger Eide, Marthe 11 12 23
24th USA Dennis , Claire 21 4 25
25th FRA de Kerangat, Mathilde 10 16 26
26th FRA Riou, Amélie  8 19 27
27th GER Steinmüller, Chiara 7 23 30
28th ITA Floridia, Joyce 16 15 31
29th POL Czubachowska, Paulina 19 13 32
30th NZL Pyatt, Susannah 18 14 32
31st FIN Blässar, Niki 15 17 32
31st FRA Michon , Pernelle 15 17 32
33rd ITA Faraguna, Martha 14 19 33
34th TUR Kaynar, Pinar 17 16 33
35th NED Van Der Vaart, Daphne 24 10 34
36th GER Weger, Svenja 18 18 36
37th SWE Bristulf Norén, Caroline 17 20 37
38th GER Liebig, Pauline 25 13 38
39th LTU Andrulyte, Viktorija 29 11 40
40th GER Stolz, Constanze 14 26 40
41st RUS Fomicheva, Alina 16 24 40
42nd RUS Shnitko, Svetlana 26 18 44
43rd RUS Vorobeva, Elena 24 20 44
44th USA Reineke, Erika 22 22 44
45th GBR Pavey, Rheanna 21 24 45
46th EST Luik, Anne-mari 26 22 48
47th SUI Kivell , Manon 19 31 50
48th SIN Yin, Elizabeth 25 25 50
49th AUT Dapeci, Catherine 20 31 51
50th POL Barwinska, Agata 22 29 51
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