After 18 days of competition, the Laser Worlds drifted to an end Saturday on St. Margaret’s Bay with races abandoned because of shifty and light winds. “It’s a disappointing last day,” admitted event manager Duncan Enman, “but both the Seniors and Masters had some incredible racing days on St. Margaret’s Bay.”
For Grand Master Richard Roberts, the abandoned races secured for him an outstanding top 10 in the World for the Radial class against international competitors from Australia, Great Britain, South Africa, New Zealand, Japan and the U.S. This is a truly great accomplishment and one that rewards Richard for the enthusiasm with which he has taken up his training and racing in preparation for this event. It clearly showed in the results and Richard has done our club proud.
For Rob Koci, the abandonement of races took away his medal opportunity and his shot, albeit a long one, to be crowned world champion. It is a shame, because there has not been a regatta over the last couple of years in which our race team has not run into Rob. Rob was the driving force behind the formation of the Ontario Masters Team this past year, securing some funding and coaching for the team. His dream to be World Champion on Canadian waters was what drove him, but he will know that, as the guy who had more firsts than any other competitor, he sailed far better than his 8th place finish would suggest and that, arguably, he was the fastest sailor in the fleet. It would be nice to be able to follow Rob’s accomplishments in the 2010 World Masters (off Hayling Island in the U.K. next Sptember), where the fates might treat him better.
The Masters’ winners 2009 are: Full Rig – Adonis Bougiouris GRE Standard Apprentice, Scott Ferguson USA Standard Master, Wolfgang Gerz GER Standard Grand Master. The four Radial-titles go to: Richard Bott AUS Radial Apprentice, Carlos Wanderley BRA Radial Master, Peter Heywood AUS Radial Grand Master, Peter Seidenberg USA Radial Great Grand Master. Canadians ended up without medals, but with a number in the top 10 knocking on the door in their respective fleets. This Regatta shows us all that dinghy sailing is not a sport reserved for the young…it is a sport for the ages and the ageless.
Richard Roberts presenting 2008 Provincial Masters’ Champion Rob Koci with his giant winner’s mug.