Laser focus

The 2017 Laser Standard Men’s world Championship is underway, with Aussies fiercely competing.

19 September 2017


The 2017 Laser Standard Men’s World Championship is taking place in split, Croatia.

The Laser Worlds have attracted a field of 148 entries representing 52 countries. With all boats being supplied for competitors, among the field are two Mexicans, eight Americans, and 10 Canadians.

The Laser is considered one of the most competitive classes, with a presence in 122 countries and six continents.

Australia is represented by eight sailors in Croatia, including 2016 Youth World champion Finn Alexander, who will be competing in his first open world championship.

They are hoping to defend their position as the top sailors in the class, having won back-to-back Olympic Gold medals at the past two Games.

There is a great sense of camaraderie in the sailing Australia team, with competition for spots at the next games up for grabs.


Speaking earlier, coach Michael Blackburn was confident in the teams’ preparation. “They’re a great bunch of guys, doing what they love and they recognise they’re in a fortunate position to do that.

“Even though just one guy can go to the Olympics at the end of the four years, I think they all get some pride in making a competitive environment that helps that guy do well.”

Aussies Tom Burton and Matthew Wearn are competing well in the gold fleet. Rio Gold medallist Burton is currently in second place chasing leader Pavlos Kontides from Cyprus. Matthew Wearn is close behind, trailing by a point.

Meanwhile Luke Elliott is the next best placed Aussie in 14th overall after Mitchell Kennedy dropped out the top 10 following mixed results.

Heavily favourited Pavlos Kondites was pushed back to 7th overall after receiving a DNF in race 7, when he touched the windward mark trying to regain his position, but has made a miraculous comeback to be placed 1st overall heading into the final day.

There has been some trying conditions for competitors. Constant wind changes and course alterations have challenged even the more experienced sailors, with weather delays making it extremely tight for all the races to be finished by end of competition on Tuesday.

The course was recently visited by a massive electrical storm, with golf ball sized hail delaying competition, until a new course was set later in the day.

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