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NZL's Travis Dow Wins First Race of Gold Fleet at 2007 Laser 4.7 Worlds
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Travis approaching the Top Mark on the Final Day
 
The wind returned for the final four races of the 2007 Laser 4.7 World Championships being held at Hermanus Yacht Club, near Cape Town, South Africa.  The 118 sailors from around the world were treated to some exciting blast reaching which the Laser class dingy & the Hermanus Yacht Club are both famous for.  Some of the lighter sailors who had done well in the earlier part of the Regatta struggled to maintain their positions in the fleet.  This was particularly so for Andraz Gulic from Slovenia (SLO) who led the Regatta from the first day and only surrendered his lead on the final day finishing 8th overall. 
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The strong winds on the final day tested the agility of the young sailors!
 
 The World Championships were very tightly contested with NZL's Travis Dow being one of 17 sailors in the Gold fleet to win a race and only Andraz able to record two wins.  Filip Matika from Croatia (CRO) did well in the final three races recording his first win, a 4th & a 3rd to take the 2007 World Championship title from Brazilian (BRA) Baepi Pinna by 5 points and 3rd placed Alexander Zimmermann from Peru (PER) a further 5 points away.  Tajana Ganic CRO is the Female World Champion beating Ewa Makowska from Poland (POL) by 2 points with Lina Stock CRO 3rd.  Prizes were also awarded for each age group winner and Under 15 & Under 19 Champions.
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Female Sailor Melis Baykan from Turkey enjoys the blast reach!           9th overall SLO Matej Valic rounds just after the 16th overall Israeli Sailor
                        (1st Female born in 1994)
 
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Under 15 Italian Sailor Giovanni Coccoluto who won a race on the first day, drops too much sheet & rolls out to windward in the heavy conditions.
 
Looking at the final results sailors from Croatia, Brazil, Peru, Italy, Slovenia, Greece, Turkey, South Africa & Poland have done very well and it will be interesting to see how these sailors go in the Olympic Laser classes in the future.  NZL's Travis Dow followed his Gold Fleet win with an uncharacteristic 46th & 33rd but recovered in the final race to post a 14th which allowed to him finish 12th overall and the first sailor from the traditionally strong sailing nations.  First GBR Sailor 18th. First AUS 95th. First FRA 41st. First USA 38th.  So for Travis to be one of the top dozen Laser 4.7 Sailors in the World is an outstanding achievement, particularly since the Laser 4.7 is only a little over a year old in New Zealand.

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6th overall Greek Sailor Lazaros Theodosiadias blasts away from the fleet to win the first race on the final day.

Travis is now flying home to NZ and will begin preparation for the 2008 NZ Laser Championships being held at Taupo January 26th-30th.  The question for Travis will be, now the he has had a taste of the Laser 4.7 Worlds, will he try to defend his NZ title and win a trip to the 2008 Laser 4.7 Championships in Croatia in August, or take the next step in the Laser class and sail the Laser Radial at the NZ Championships and try to qualify for the 2008 Youth Laser Radial Worlds to be held in Takapuna 21st-29th March.  Ahh the many choices of sailing such a versatile boat!   For more details of the NZ Laser 4.7, Radial & Standard Rig Championships and to Register your interest in sailing in the either the Mens, Youth Male or Youth Female Radial Worlds follow the link below.

2008 NZ Laser Championships

 
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1st Male and Female Overall on the left Tajana Ganic and on right Filip Matika both from Croatia wearing the Croatian flag.
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