23 Apr 2016 - Banderas Bay initiated 136 Masters sailors from 18 countries with a strong southerly breeze for this afternoon’s practice race. Equipment inspection and registration was completed before noon, and the first of three races for the five divisions started just after 1400h in 12 knots under clear skies.
Masters sailors are aged 35 and over, with a division for each decade of age – Apprentice, Masters, Grand Masters, Great Grand Masters, and 75+. The first two divisions started together, but each division is scored separately. Grand Masters started next, followed by the two divisions of older sailors. A single practice race for each group was scheduled.
The wind built through the afternoon, ultimately exceeding 20 knots, with heavy waves. Most sailors completed the day unassisted, but several needed assistance from the safety team to right capsized boats. All sailors made it safely to shore. Banderas Bay is known for strong afternoon winds, and it delivered.
Racing begins tomorrow, and we’ll see what the day offers us. Two races are scheduled for each of the next seven days, with a midweek layday on Wednesday. Regardless, the warm waters and sunny skies should make for some great racing and tough completion.
20 Apr 2016 - Under sunny skies on Banderas Bay, Alison Young (GBR) edged past Paige Railey (USA) with a win in the final race to claim the World Championship by one point. It was a difficult conclusion for Railey, who was leading the regatta going into the final day. Anne-Marie Rindom (DEN) moved up to third, followed by Marit Bouwmeester (NED), who dropped to fourth after a disappointing first race, and Gintare Scheidt (LTU).
The Gold fleet had a clean start in the first race (Race F12) at 1340h in 8-10 knots of a SSW breeze. Most of the fleet tacked to port early in the first leg, looking for the right shift that has been the afternoon pattern, although it didn’t materialize that first leg.
Gintare Scheidt (LTU) claimed the first mark and held the lead for the race. The wind built, and race committee extended the length of the second upwind leg on the outside of the trapezoid course. Young and Railey fought it out for a top-five finish, with Young taking it, but Railey still leading in total points.
The wind shifted right for the second race (Race F13) and built to 12-14 knots, but with patches that dropped below 10 knots. After a general recall, the second start was clean. Young claimed the lead early on and held it to the end. Railey needed a fourth or better to win the championship, but fell two places short. Still, she had a very consistent regatta, and is poised to do well at the Olympics in Rio this summer.
In the Silver Fleet, Silvia Zennaro (ITA) sailed a strong Finals Series, with four top-three finishes, to win over Agata Barwinski (POL), followed by Annalise Murphy (IRL). There was great racing in Mexico this week. This event is followed by several other Laser World Championships, all hosted by the Vallarta Yacht Club.
18 Apr 2016 - It took five attempts, but Race 8, the first race of the Finals Series, started just before 1430h under clear skies on Banderas Bay. The first attempt led to a general recall, but the three subsequent attempts faltered when Race Committee postponed during the starting sequence as the wind shifted left, then right, finally settling in from the southwest.
17 Apr 2016 - Today was the fourth and final day of Qualifying Races, in which the two fleets (Yellow and Blue) are balanced with a mix of competitors of all score totals. The competitors will now be split into Gold and Silver fleets for the remaining three days of competition.