God smiled on Mark Page (Centre Above before racing today) as he went into the last 2 races with a 19 point lead over 2 Dutch sailors. The first race start of the day was in 5 knots of breeze from the South. Mark started at the boat and headed hard right into oblivion. One Dutch sailor had sailed up the middle and had a big lead at the top mark of 20+ places over Mark (above right). The leaders including Mike Pasco where reaching to the wing mark in pressure coming from the East while the Tail of the fleet languished in nothing at the top mark. Luckily the race was abandoned at that point and a 15 knot breeze from the North filled in.
These conditions suited Mark better and he was 3rd to the Top Mark at the next start and wound the leaders in and by the last run had the lead which he held to the finish. This bullet gave Mark the title (above right from the Mayor of Roses) and the good steady breeze meant that another race could be sailed bringing in the 2nd drop and allowing Mark to sail home a Champion while the rest of the fleet sailed the 10th race. The win today for Mark also meant he won a very expensive watch (above left) for getting a better score than the 2007 Standard Apprentice Master Champion the Australian Brett Beyer. So a fantastic day for Mark after a not such a good start! Below left is a picture of Mark with 2007 Laser Master World Champions and Legends of Laser Sailing. From left Great Grand Master Champion Peter Seidenberg USA, Standard Grand Master Mark Bethwaite AUS, Radial Grand Master Peter Haywood AUS, Standard Master Arnoud Hummel NED, Radial Master Greg Adams AUS, Standard Apprentice Brett Beyer AUS, Radial Apprentice Mark Page NZL (Manly!) Below right is the Female Great Grand Master Champion from Canadian Deidre Webster
For the rest of us mere mortals, the 2 Mikes did ok with Mike P swimming in the first race and Mike K in the 2nd. Overall Mike P finished 11th and Mike K 13th
Mike Keeton finished 11th. Tom Speed finished 6th, Tony Park 7th after a bullet today, Sandy Grigg 11th, Mark Miller 19th, Jim Quinn 24th, Stephen Phillips 52nd
In the Standard Rig Wayne Ferguson had a great day wining the first race and leading the 2nd by so much that he decided to sail past the Top Mark quite a way to make the race even. Colin Caldwell had 2 seconds and finished 2nd in the Silver fleet and Wayne 14th. In the Gold fleet Barry Cutfield did not do as well as yesterday and finished 29th overall.
Jack Hanson finished 14th overall which is a great effort given he is older than the upper age limit of this division and Bob Blakey finished 21st out of the 75 in their fleet. Great hospitality again from the organisers and we are all looking forward to the 2008 worlds in Australia with about 50 Kiwis entered hopefully we will take more World titles.
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