Making moves

Aussie and New Zealand sailors are in the box seat, leading the laser fleet at the Palma Regatta.

04 April 2018


The Laser is one of the most competitive of the Olympic classes internationally but Kiwi and Aussie sailors have shown good early-season form to be in the top 10 after two days at the Princess Sofia regatta in Palma.

Australia’s Finn Alexander remains ahead on day two of the Palma regatta in Spain overnight, with New Zealander Sam Meech one point behind him in the massive Laser fleet after a solid day’s racing.

Aussie Mitch Kennedy raced consistently to rocket up to 8th from 67th, Gilmour and Turner scored two bullets and a 5 to go from 24th after day one to 5th and 10 points off the lead in the 49er class and Alexander, who scored a bullet in the only race on the opening day, scored a 5, 1 and discarded 31 to maintain his position at the front of the 183-boat Laser fleet.

470 world champions Mat Belcher and Will Ryan, 49er national champions David Gilmour and Joel Turner were Australia’s big movers on day two of the Palma regatta.


Belcher and Ryan, who have not raced in a major regatta for six months, shot to the head of the 79-boat 470 fleet with a 3 and a 1.

“It was a bit lighter than we expected. We started the race in about 15 knots and then it died away quickly,” Belcher said, adding it felt good to be back in competitive racing.

“We feel quite fresh, if a little bit rusty, and we are here in a big fleet to learn our lessons early on in the season rather than later when it becomes more critical.

“We didn’t really know what to expect here, it’s our chance to be back racing in the boat. We have done a little training but not much.

“I have been doing some ‘real work’ at home doing developing some residential buildings which is a bit of a change from this. Will has been racing the M32s. We will do Hyeres and then head back to Australia for a bit. I think we will miss the Europeans but we will see how we go.”  

Matt Wearn had a good day, grabbing a 2, 6 and discard to move up to 5th in the Laser class. Olympic champion Tom Burton slid back to 21st with a discard, 2 and 22. Finn sailor Jock Calvert scored a 5 in race three to jump into 30th spot.

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