New Zealand's Travis Dow makes the cut at the 2007 World Laser 4.7 Championships
Travis waiting to come in after a Race-less day 5
The 118 Sailors at the 2007 Laser 4.7 Worlds are having a great time with plenty of organised parties and dinners to bring in the New Year, but they and the Race Committee are wondering what has happened to the wind at this supposedly "Heavy Wind" venue. Over 400 attended the New Years Eve party and dinner with fireworks & bands. Racing was delayed on Day 4 to allow everyone to recover from the night before but the Wind decided it to needed time to recover too after managing to get just above 10 knots on the previous 2 days.
Kaapse Kloppers one of the local South African bands entertaining the competitors at the many functions being held during the Worlds
When the wind did come in it was swinging around and only one race was able to be completed for each fleet. These conditions have made it hard for the race committee to set straight lines and general recalls and black flag DSQ were again a feature of both races. The photos below show the pin end chaos which was a feature of the starting on Day 4 & 5.
ITA 188216 battles with 23rd placed ISR 165328 for the Pin (red inflatable) The ITA sailor bottom right does not have much room above
Big contact between ISR Shahar Jacob and ITA & pin boat 23rd overall ISR Shahar Jacob has his mainsheet on one side of ESP laser &
Pin boat while rest of his boat heads around the other side of Pin boat.
(Don't worry Shahar I know how it feels!)
Travis managed to avoid the chaos and work towards the favoured left had side of the course and record a 14th for his only race on Day 4. This kept Travis at 14th overall and well clear of the cut line for the Gold and Silver Fleets. Day 5 was another day spent waiting for steady wind. Starts were again tried with large pin bias which along with the flukey conditions, general recalls and black flags meant that no races could be completed.
CRO & 13th overall RUS 15111 Port tack the fleet on Day 5 The Swiss Team relaxes waiting for wind on Day 5
So the cut has been made and Travis has made the Gold Fleet and he sits in a reasonable position needing some wind and all the programed races to be sailed to allow him to move up the leader board. This is a remarkable achievement for Travis as the Laser 4.7 has only been introduced to New Zealand just over 12 months ago, while most of the other countries represented have been sailing the Laser 4.7 for a number of years with very large domestic fleets. Travis beat 10 other 4.7 sailors at the 2007 New Zealand Nationals to earn his free flight to Worlds to represent NZ. He also beat the 16 other sailors at the 2007 Laser 4.7 training camp and if more than 15 Laser 4.7s enter the second ever Laser 4.7 nationals then the NZLA will look at sending a team of sailors to the next World Championships to be held in Croatia in August 2008.
Details of the 2008 New Zealand Laser 4.7 Championships to be held in Taupo later this month can be found at the link below. All you need to enter is a Laser and the $100 entry fee. You can charter a Laser 4.7 Sail and Bottom Mast section press on the links below to get more information.