December 05, 2013

2013 Laser Master World Championships (Mussanah, Oman)

by Doug
Results

Day 6 - final day


Being 4 points out of 3rd and 6 points out of 2nd, I decided to roll the dice and take chances trying to move up. It was another groundhog day with similar delays and conditions.

Race 11: breeze 5-6 with a light chop

Decided to start at the committee boat and go the opposite direction to get some separation. The fleet went left so I sent hard right. Did not work, rounded 12th. Tried different things but none worked, so I finished 11th, which was my drop. Bo Johannisson (SWE) had a 4th and was now just 6 points behind me. He's won 3 races in this light condition, so it was now time to switch from offence to defense to hang on to 4th.

Race 12: breeze 5-6 with a light chop

Pin favored, planned to start at the pin below Bo but he pulled the trigger faster than expected and I could not really see where the line was. With the guys in the pin boat staring right at us, thought I was early, so I jibed around and sailed under the entire fleet on port. My worst start, and Bo was leading the fleet to the left. Played the shifts in the middle, Bo rounded the first mark in 2nd with me in 7th. If he could get one more boat between us he'd take 4th. Ouch. On the run I played the middle left in a narrow lane in tricky conditions. The boats on the right came in faster at the bottom mark with Bo still in second. At the end of the next beat, Bo was still 2nd with me 6th but with 4 right behind. If 2 passed, Bo would win the tiebreaker.

Grabbed this picture on the bottom reach.
By start of the bottom reach, Falque Olivier (FRA), Max Hunt (GRB), and Takafumi Nishino (JAP) were trying to roll me. Very nerve racking because if one blanked me, the others could follow and I could only afford to lose one. Was able to just hang on to finish 6th to secure 4th overall.

Bruce Martinson (USA) sailed really well today and won both races. He deserved to come in second overall. Michael Pridham (GBR) had a pair of 3's to finish third. Along with Vanessa, they deserved the top three spots. There were several others who had speed when it counted and I'm thankful to have finished 4th. I must admit that I did not have a good enough feeling for the radial and did not have the speed that I can usually count on.

I appreciate the many supportive comments about this blog and only wish that Pam was in Oman to hear them as well - this blog is very much her idea and hard work. It started from us talking about what works on the race course and what does not. It's grown, and the posts of the Oman worlds have been read by people in more than 1,000 cities. Pretty cool.



Day 5

For only the second time in Laser Worlds history, a girl has beaten all of the boys. Vanessa Dudley (AUS) scored a 1st and 2nd to win her first world championship with a day to spare. I trained with her last week and competed against her this week and can assure everyone that she deserved the win.

Another delay and very similar conditions when we went out.

Race 9: breeze 5-6 with a light chop

Race 9, top reach
The breeze was swinging back and forth about 20 degrees and the line was pin favored, but with 2 minutes to go, the breeze went right so I decided to start again beside the committee boat. At the gun, Bo Johannisson (SWE) tried to get inside but fouled me. I tried to play the shifts in the middle but the sides came in leaving me 5th at the first mark. Bo was just ahead and I reminded him that he had not done his circles which he immediately did, putting me in 4th behind Vanessa, Bruce Martinson (USA), and Michael Pridham (GBR), as shown in the picture above. These three also happen to be the three ahead of me in the standings, in that order, so I  knew it's going to be tough catching up. Notice how Vanessa goes high on the top reach into her passing lane. The run was uneventful only because you get used to having lots of really fast people right behind. The next beat was tricky and I misjudged the final shift permitting John Reay (GBR), Bo, and Ryo Miyoshi (JAP) to pass me. Got back Ryo on the run, held even on the lower reach, and caught Bo on port on the finish line to finish 5th. Vanessa won this race by leading at every mark. Very impressive. It always amazes me how important the first beat is, with the first 6 people around the first mark finishing in almost the same order 40 minutes later.

Race 10: breeze 8-11 with steep waves

Race 10, top reach
Line square, right looked good, so I started at the committee boat again. Bo decided to start below me this time and we worked the shifts on the middle left. Bo played the shifts better and rounded 1st followed by Vanessa and Bruce, as shown in the second picture. Notice how Vanessa is again in the passing lane on the top reach. In the run, for perhaps the first time in the event, I had speed downwind and surfed past Bruce into 3rd. Only at the bottom of the run did I realize that I had forgotten to let out my outhaul. Hmmmmm. On the next work, I got caught by the last rightie and Ryo rounded ahead with Bruce right behind. I did not let out the outhaul on purpose and surfed past Ryo back into 3rd. Bo finished well ahead, followed by Vanessa, me, Ryo, and Max Hunt (GBR).

Current standings: Vanessa has won so it's now a race for second place, with just 6 points between Bruce, Michael, and me. One more day to go.


I took this quick picture at the end of the top reach
Day 4

Another delay and very similar conditions when we went out.

Race 7: breeze 5-6 with a light chop

The breeze was shifting 20 degrees and was to the left just before the start. But a pin-favored start meant having trouble tacking onto port, so I started again at the committee boat and tacked with Alan Tarrant (GBR) to go right. We were the only ones on that side of the course and took the lead as the others came in on a header. I led at the first mark and at the end of the top reach. So far, so good. But on the run I played the middle and both sides were faster, with Vanessa Dudley (AUS) just flying. So I rounded a close 4th. On the second beat, there were lots of shifts - it is amazing how well some of these sailors play when without a compass. Michael Pridham (GBR) and I played them best up the middle and we rounded the top mark in that order, just a few feet apart. On the run, I tried jibing to sail by the lee but that did not work, so I jibed back again. Big mistake - in doing so I let Michael slip away - should have covered him to go for the lead. Instead, I had to defend against Vanessa who again was flying, Max Hunt (GBR), and Alan, with Vanessa passing by the bottom mark... just too fast. The positions did not change for the rest of the race, so my 1st ended up a 3rd. Darn, one mistake and a lack of downwind speed wiped out a bullet.

Race 8: breeze 8-10 with a steeper chop

The breeze was neutral and the pin was favored, so I started one up with Vanessa on my hip. After about 2 minutes she tacked on a knock and I followed. A whole bunch came in from the right with Bruce Martinson (USA) leading. There was lots of tacking and trying to stay in a clear lane, and tacking above the starboard tack layline really paid off as many got greedy and tacked too soon. Rounded 5th behind Bruce, Michael, Vanessa, and Bo Johannisson (SWE) who won the first two races. Vanessa went high on the reach with speed and took the lead, and then took off on the run. I passed Bo to move into 4th. The next beat was fun to watch as Bruce and Michael tried to reel in Vanessa, and they were even at the end of the next beat. Bo passed me on the last shift and rather than try to pass him again, I had to defend against Jaap Mazereeuw (NED), Takafumi Nishino (JAP), and Max who were right behind. While Vanessa and Bruce were fighting it out on the final beat, Michael passed them both for the win, his second today. Nice!

Current standings: with 2 discards, Bruce and Vanessa would be tied with 13 (but Bruce would win the tiebreaker), Michael has 16, and I have 20. But had I held on to my 1st and 4th, Bruce would have 13, Vanessa 14, and I'd be tied with Michael with 17 (but I'd win the tiebreaker). This is what I love about competing at this level - the tiny little mistakes make all the difference.


I once remember a world's competitor get really angry at himself. He said, "I never make these mistakes in club racing." His friend said, "In club racing, those were not mistakes!"


Waiting ...

Pam: Cue up the Jeopardy clock music while we wait for Day 4 racing ...

While you’re waiting, skip down to our previous post and think about being generous. Speaking of being generous, Brett Beyer very generously left Doug all of his video footage of every single start in the Open Worlds. Better boat, better angle, better camera, from a phenomenal coach with a keen eye of what to watch. You already saw a screen shot from one video and then there is his other video. Be sure and check back after Doug returns home and has time to go through the footage. 

Lay Day
One of His Majesty's boats
Muscat Bazaar

Waiting for the AP flag to drop... can you see it?
Day 3

This was a carbon-copy with an onshore delay and very similar conditions when we went out. Bruce and I did a little more speed-testing and we were equal.

Race 5: breeze 8 with a light chop

The pin was really favored so there was no option of starting with the plan of going right. Would have won the pin except a GBR came in below me with 10 seconds to go, leaving me no way to foot after the start. General recall. Under a black flag, lined up in the same place and Bo Johannisson (SWE) came in from port. I defended by bearing off towards him and he continued past me. Got a good pin start in good pressure. Wanted to tack and go right but could not until Michael Pridham (GBR) on my hip tacked. And then we were lifted in good pressure, with the boats below going right looking slow. Life is good. But then the last few shifts at the top of the beat did not work as planned and I rounded behind Michael Pridham (GBR) and Max Hunt (GBR). What the hell happened to my lead? The reach and run were very nerve-racking with lots of fast boats all around. On the next beat we were joined by Bruce Martinson (USA) and Vanessa Dudley (AUS). There were lots of shifts and I bounced around between 3rd and 5th. Approaching the top mark, I started to roll Michael when we were headed. So we tacked on the port-tack layline. As we approached the mark, I realized we could just cross the 4 boats on starboard. Michael was overlapped, so I pinched him off just outside the 3-boat lengths. And rounded in 1st just ahead of the 5 others. Phew! Starting the run, they sailed to the left by-the-lee so I headed straight for the mark. Vanessa was going really fast so I sailed by-the-lee to position for room at the bottom of the run. As we converged, there were 6 boats right behind taking our wind, all being closely watched by a jury boat. Was able to catch a wave, break any overlap, and round just ahead of Vanessa with Bruce right behind. At the end of the reach, I decided to cover Vanessa and we had a little tacking duel before she broke free, but I was on starboard and had her pinned. We tacked, and I, Vanessa, and Bruce finished within 3 boat lengths. I've won races by a good margin and that were relaxed and stress-free. This was not one of them.

Race 6: breeze 10-12 with short waves that we slammed into

The line was square, so I won the committee boat end and tacked to go right, leading. When we converged at the mark, there was a parade that came in from the left. Darn, I misjudged that one. Rounded in 6th with a very fast Jaap Mazereeuw (NED) and many others right behind. Positions did not change on the reach. On the run, most went by-the-lee left so Vanessa and I headed straight for the mark. At the bottom, the wind switched from over my left shoulder to right behind me, so I took the right gate right behind Vanessa and then tacked to go right with Ryo Miyoshi (JAP) who had taken the left gate. Everyone else went left, and I knew that they were being headed. Ryo banged the right corner while I was a little more conservative and played the middle right with Bruce who looked very fast. Well, the left must have had more pressure because when we converged, Vanessa was launched, followed by Bruce, and then Ryo. I was still in 6th. Had a good run to move into 4th, while Bruce passed Vanessa on the run to win his second race. It was another long, close race.

Current standings: in day 2, I moved from 11th to 6th, and today moved to 3rd. But this is very misleading because both Bruce and Vanessa gained a point on me, and Vanessa has yet to have a bad race. We're allowed 2 discards, so if we do this now, Bruce has 7, Vanessa has 9, I have 12, and Michael has 14. We're half way through the event and have tomorrow as a rest day. We still have a long way to go, and there are lots of very, very good sailors still in contention. Should be fun.


We head out after waiting for the breeze to fill in
Day 2

I talked with Pam and told her that it was time to start taking chances, and also do more tuning with someone who is fast. We were kept onshore for an hour waiting for the breeze to pick up, which turned out to be a good decision.

Before the first race, Bruce Martinson (USA) and I went upwind for a bit and then compared notes. There was no difference in our speed, but on the run he has his boom further in and pays more attention to the telltales.

Race 3: breeze 8 with a light chop on top of rolling swells

Bo Johannisson (SWE) won both races yesterday by going hard left on the first beat, so I won the pin and went hard left with Michael Pridham (GBR) on my hip and pointing higher. He had great speed. When we got close to the lay line, he tacked and I followed. The fleet from the right merged with Bruce in the top group, and there was a lot of traffic. Michael managed to round about 4th and I got caught in a group and rounded 17th. Ouch. The top reach and run were just trying to hang on to that place, and the next beat I decided to play some of the minor shifts. On the final run, Jean Philippe Galle (FRA) passed me with some good downwind technique. I was just able to get room at the mark to move into 11th. The wind was picking up and there was some good surfing on the bottom reach but no passing. On the final beat, Takafumi Nishino (JAP) was just ahead and tacked, so I went to what I thought was the starboard lay line and then tacked and was able to get him on port/starboard at the line to finish 10th. Bruce sailed a fantastic race and finished 1st. He now has a 3rd, 2nd, and a 1st - well done!!

This is clearly not a boat speed event but rather a pick-the-correct-side-and-play-the-shifts. There's lots of speed in this fleet and any of the top 10 could win this, but picking the correct side is the most important part.

Race 4: breeze 10-12 with the waves building

So, where do you think I wanted to start this time? Take chances + the right is working = the committee boat. The only problem was that Jean Philippe positioned himself perfectly in my spot and did not drift out of the way until he bore off at the gun. I was able to squeeze in and bear off on his hip, and heard my favorite two words from any race committee - all clear. Good, and the breeze was filling in. Most of the fleet went left, I played a few shifts in the middle. When we converged near the mark, Michael was slightly ahead and rounded 10 seconds ahead of me. There was a tight group fighting for 3rd place with Rob Hodson (USA) in the hunt. On the run, Jean Philippe passed me again. Rob was in about 6th but, this was the last time I saw him. Jean Philippe and Michael took the left gate while I took the right because the breeze was coming over my left shoulder. They tacked and we went left this time. When they were headed, I tacked to take the lead. Michael is really fast in these conditions, so I covered him to make sure I didn't go the wrong way and led by 20 seconds at the top mark. On the run, we had marginal surfing conditions so I tried carving which did not work because he went straight to close the gap. The bottom reach and final beat were uneventful and I was happy with the finish.

Bruce finished 19th. He had a bad first leg and was then fouled by another boat at the bottom of the run. 19th was the best he could do - shows you how competitive the fleet is!


Bear - upon hearing how his Daddy did today ...
Day 1

Race 1: breeze 5-8 with a light chop

Pam and I decided I would wear a head-cam so that we could watch the racing later. I started the first race the middle with a fairly decent lane. The breeze went left and I waited for it to come back, but as you'll see in the video (if interested) it did not, I waited too long, and a bunch of boats crossed on port. It seemed like the middle was not working because the boats that went right were also ahead.

About half way up the beat I stopped the camera as it was a distraction and was thankful of this because when I rounded the first mark there were only 3 boats behind me. Ouch - welcome to sailing in a world championship. I must admit that I was unable to see much of the wind on the water or sailing angles. But I also have to admit that my speed was not good when it counted.

So now for a confession - I have a partial tear in my rotator cuff in the left shoulder that will be operated on later this month. While the forecast for Oman was light, the conditions at a worlds are rarely what's expected. So with orders of not doing any strenuous exercise from two doctors (shoulder, eye), I decided to sail a radial. But if it stays light, this is probably a mistake because I have a much better feeling in these light, sloppy conditions in a full rig. Pam, you were right.

So I caught a few boats and finished 15th. The middle defiantly does not work and I've got to find more speed. If you've never sailed in a world's the short video will give you an idea of what it's like - pretty brutal at times.

Race 2: same conditions.

Started in the middle but could not hold my lane, so tacked and ducked about 12 boats. Played the right in clean air close to Bruce Martinson (USA), he rounded 3 with me about 6. The reach was uneventful except for being rolled by Vanessa Dudley (AUS) in the reach - she's really good! On the run and next beat there appeared to be definite wind lanes but I could not see them. The racing was close and I finished 6th with about 5 boats just below me. It was good, close sailing.

In both races, Bo Johannisson (SWE) played the left on the first beat and I think led at every mark - very impressive. Also impressive were Vanessa and Bruce who each has a 2nd and a 3rd. All three sailed really well and have a good lead over the rest of the fleet.

Others had an average day. Jaap Mazereeuw (NED) is a light-air specialist and was my pick to do well. He won the practice race but today finished with a pair of 9's. Lots of speed, and lots more racing to come.

Pam:  Seriously? Blind, injured and in a radial - you can still sail better than this. Are you just going to roll over and let me be right? Turn the camera off, pick a different dance partner, trust your instincts, feel, don't think and do better tomorrow. The goal is not 11, it's 1. Close one eye ... there. that's it. Now do it tomorrow ... no excuses.

76 comments:

  1. Amazing. I admire your commitment. I don't think I would have gone to the Worlds with two injuries where doctors advised no strenuous exercise. But then I didn't go to the Worlds even without those issues. Listen to Pam. You can beat everyone in that fleet, even in a Radial.

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    1. Don't be too impressed with his commitment. Sailing is like oxygen to Doug. His good health requires him to go. He told me to watch the Scheidt video where Robert is celebrating his win on the water. At 1:56 on the video Scheidt has one fist in the air and behind him in a little red boat is Doug holding up his camera. I grabbed a freeze frame of it and sent it to him. He's hitting the water today with a big old smile.

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    2. I understand Pam. I know there are some guys who ALWAY go to the Masters Worlds. It's not a choice for them like it is for me. Every year I weigh the pros and cons and work out whether I think it's a location worth visiting and whether I really want to go, and just as important for me is whether my wife really wants to go. But there are some for whom it is the highlight of their year and they would never want to miss it, whatever the obstacles in their way.

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  2. Day 1 video - holy crap that was painful to watch. Who didn't roll you? Not that I know anything but it looks to me like you're choking the boat. Ease the sail and foot then point higher when you get a little speed.

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  3. Wow, reading the R1 report sounds like my typical race and I don't have your injuries. Refocus and do some imagineering before D2, you're better than that R1 result. I've seen lots of champions get their bad race over and done with on day one.

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  4. Woo hoo. Doug got a bullet in race 4. Pam's pep talk must have worked!

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    1. Just heard from him. He says he didn't get lucky with the bullet but actually figured some stuff out. Fingers crossed he doesn't forget it by tomorrow.

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  5. my favorite blog right now - muchas gracias!

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  6. Day 2, Race 2 - Really? You tried carving downwind and the guy going straight caught you? Do you not recall your own observation about Scheidt going straight downwind when everyone else was trying to carve? And what's with going left in Race 1? Didn't I tell you to go right?

    Well done dear! I left the house this morning seeing only a 10 and was trying to figure out how to say 'welcome to being average' but was so relieved to see a 1 by the time I got to work. No more stupid mistakes or going the wrong way. Head in the game, stay loose, have fun and trust your instincts.

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  7. "The bottom reach and final beat were uneventful and I was happy with the finish."

    Ha ha ha. Most modest way way I have ever seen of really saying, "WOOOOO HOOOOOO!!!! I WON A RACE AT THE F***ING WORLDS!!!!!"

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  8. Don't you just love it when someone has a bad day and then sucks it up to bounce back in an awesome way. Go for it.

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    1. There is a Michael O'Brien competing in the standard GM class. You? Doug has certainly appreciated your offline suggestions for things to try.

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  9. Quite right Michael. In a long regatta it's not always the early leader that wins. Quite often there is someone who struggles a bit in the first few races, but who then masters the prevailing conditions and puts together a string of good finishes to win the regatta.

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  10. Unfortunately not me. I'm stuck here wishing I was there.
    That other Michael O'Brien ... well he has a fine name and with me being Australian too, I can't really say anything but good words about him.

    Regarding come backs. I've had bad starts, but rarely have been able to turn things around mid-regatta. For me, the light bulb moment usually happens the week after the regatta. Doug must be made of stronger stuff.

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  11. And with another race win and a 4th on day 3, just like that Doug moves up into 3rd place in the Radial GMs. And there's still a lot of racing left. You can do it Doug.

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  12. Come on Doug!

    After the 4th day of racing, Doug is getting beat by a GIRL and a BRIT! How humiliating. I don't know which is worse.

    But there are 2 more days to go and I am sure our hero can find a way to that gold cube or whatever it is they get for winning.

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    1. I think it's a foregone conclusion that Doug is going to get beat by a GIRL (not sure about the BRIT though). This will probably put an end to the radial vs. full rig discussions for future regattas. Unless the venue ALWAYS blows stink, I think he'll opt for a full rig in the future.

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    2. The Brit Mike Pridham is an enigma who has a habit of rising to the big occasion. In the UK Laser Masters Radial Nationals 2013 he finished 45th out of 57, with results of 42, 44, 37, 43 and 40. He was also 15th GM in that event, which was held in light and shifty conditions. Then yesterday at the Worlds he picks up 2 bullets. Nice work.

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  13. Interesting comment by Doug today:- "it amazing how well some of these sailors play when without a compass."
    Robert Scheift appears to manage just fine without a compass, as have a plethora of top Laser sailors over the years.
    Personally I find it a distraction, which keeps my head in the boat and often gives me bad information.
    I know top Laser sailors who use a compass, but very often only for taking transits on start lines and marks, as opposed to reading wind-shifts.

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    1. I am in two minds about using a compass. I do think that without one I get my head out of the boat more and read what's going on by looking at the shoreline (if there is one) or the angles of the other boats. On the other hand I sometimes find that when I do have a compass, I see what I think is a header from signs outside the boat, but then when I check the compass it really isn't one.

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    2. Oh, and I really do think that the argument that "Robert Scheidt can do X, Y or Z," has very little relevance for back of the fleeters like me. The guy is superhuman.

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    3. Call me cynical, but I think there are some top Laser sailors who have a compass on their boat as a marketing tool, because they sell them through their associated trading company, and there are some who have them on the boat to encourage their immediate competitors to use them, and thus get totally distracted by them........

      Agreed re. Robert Scheidt, but then when you consider Tom Slingsby, Paul Goodison, Ben Ainslie et al (the list is endless) also not using a compass then you start to see a certain pattern emerging.

      So the question is:- Do these guys not use a compass because they're so good that they don't need one, or because they don't want to be slowed down by one...?

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    4. I actually talked with Robert before the final race of his worlds. He told me that he has not used a compass on a Laser since the Sydney Olympics because they were not allowed, and he's got used to not having one. He did say that he missed having one at times because we're sailing out to sea and there are not landmarks.

      I'll post his other comments and pictures of his rigging after these worlds.

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    5. Thanks Doug, look forward to that. Great comeback by the way and you seem to have found the right groove - hope to see you on the podium.

      Interesting that Robert "missed having one at times..." yet didn't bother to have one.

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    6. Are compasses not allowed in the Olympics or were they just not allowed for the Sydney Olympics?

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    7. There were certainly a couple of compasses being used at Weymouth 2012 Olympics, but none of the top guys had a compass on the boat.

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  14. Doug, I don't know what to make of your sailing. Usually you are annoyingly consistent in your finishes. However, it seems now that the only consist thing about your sailing is that you are consistently inconsistent. Definitely off your game and I'm pretty sure you're using the wrong sail. Can't say it was the wrong decision given your circumstances though.

    I was reading about the pain meds regime for your upcoming shoulder surgery. It sounds like that sucker is going to hurt like hell for a good long time. Enjoy yourself ... because it looks like you've got some rough times ahead. Getting beat by a girl is going to be a cake walk.

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  15. Funny you should mention this - during the onshore delay I was talking with Mark B and he had the same type of shoulder surgery. During the day, it was OK with all of the distractions but he still put his arm in a sling to make sure no one touched it by mistake. At night, the pain was really bad. The recovery time is 6-12 months and the next worlds are just 9 months away.

    And getting beaten by a girl is OK if she's better, and Vanessa is clearly the fastest at times on reaches and runs. In this part of the world, a woman winning would be kind of cool.

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    1. I knew it! you're throwing the race on purpose! I remember how badly Mark sailed hen he was injured. His surgery obviously did wonders for his performance. That is good news.

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    2. If Doug can't win, I think I'm rooting for Vanessa. It would be cool in ant part of the world for a woman to win a Laser world champion against a fleet of men. Might inspire a lot more women masters to come and join our game.

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    3. And what's the scoop on this shoulder injury that over-achieving Laser sailors in their 60s seem to be getting? As an under-achieving Laser sailor in my 60s, am I in any danger of getting it? What causes it? How can it be prevented? There is no way I am going to regattas with my arm in a sling like Mark B.

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    4. championship NOT champion. Either my eyesight is worse than I thought or I'm getting age related dyslexia or both.

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    5. As to the injury ... Doug quit doing yoga the past couple of years ... I think it kept him flexible in joints, body and mind. He needs to start that again.

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    6. Great tip. I've never really quit yoga but I should do it more regularly.

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    7. So how did I injure my shoulder? I have no idea because I took about 10 weeks off after the Canadian masters and when I was stretching for the next event I realized that movement behind my back really hurt.

      I suspect that it was when I rounded a bottom mark and was pulling on either the downhaul or the vang. I've put another loop in the downhaul and have changed the way I pull in the vang. Instead of just leaning back, I bend my arm when I pull to make sure all the muscles are engaged and I'm not just pulling on tendons. Seems to work.

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    8. Hmmm. I just took one purchase out of my downhaul on the advice of a certain superfit young coach. Maybe I should put it back.

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  16. So Doug is about to get Chicked. Time to change boats.

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  17. If Vanessa becomes the GM Radial Champion there a lot of guys about to get "chicked." Personally I think it's wonderful to see a woman sailor doing so well.

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  18. Lyndall Patterson (AUS) is the 2010 Radial GM World Champion. I believe she was the first woman to win one against the guys. That was at Hayling Island ... not a light air series. Quite an accomplishment. Not to take anything away from Vanessa because she has been very consistent and has certainly earned it so far.

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  19. I had forgotten about Lyndall winning in Hayling Island. Just goes to show. More women should be sailing in the Masters Worlds. Come on Pam.

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  20. There were only 2 windy days at the Hayling Island Worlds, and 1 day that was blown off. The other 3 days were light and very shifty. To her credit, Lyndall won all 4 races on the windy days, in a fleet of 31.

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  21. And Lyndall was 2nd Radial Master at the 2004 Masters Worlds in Turkey.

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  22. Looks like Vanessa has consolidated her lead with a 1st and a 2nd today. Woo hoo! Laser girls kick ass! (Or something.)

    Doug is in 4th place after 10 races… but can he beat the Brit on the final day and secure his place on the podium? What a nail-biter!

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    1. I say he can't beat the Brit. I always bet against him ... it seems to motivate him a little more so that he can prove me wrong. Either way I know this trip has been more productive off the water than on.

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  23. Oh, and talking about women doing well against the guys let us not forget Suzie Pegel 1980 Laser North American Champion.

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  24. Oh yeah. I didn't do the math. Vanessa has won with two races in hand. What a terrific performance!

    So here's a question. What is the sportsmanlike thing to do when you could sit out the last two races of a regatta and still win? Should you race anyway? Does that show more respect for the sport, the event and the competition? Or should you sit those races out so you don't affect in any way the races for the other places?

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  25. Then again, you can always affect the overall result by NOT sailing....
    3 World titles were decided today and it will be interesting to see what those guys decide to do on the final day.
    btw, who's good enough to coach the great Robert Scheidt, and who's been coaching Vanessa...?

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  26. i think you race - to win obviously not to affect the outcome in any way but i am curious as to other responses as I am a frostbighter only... and a second question; is there some reason why a person who was interested in seeing a hi-quality of competition but was pretty certainly gonna be in the back of the pack consistently would not attend a competition like this? ...ie should one be worried about mucking thngs up or is the participation of lesser sailors welcomed?

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  27. I think it would be fair to say that all are very welcome at Laser Masters events, from local events up to World Championships, the more the merrier...

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    1. Absolutely.

      Although I think there was some concern expressed a few years ago about people who were showing up at Masters Worlds without the skills to handle the conditions. Not an issue this year but they are sometimes held in 25 knots on open water with big waves, so someone not used to sailing in those conditions should perhaps think twice.

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    2. Isn't the ISAF proposing something stupid where only the best of the best of the best of the best are allowed to sail in certain championships? I don't know the specific proposal but I know they presented it at the meeting in Oman and several of the Olympic guys were dead set against it because it would knock them out or become an extreme burden to qualify.

      Point being, regardless of your level, isn't the goal to promote sailing and increase participation. People have to start somewhere. So, I show up at a Worlds somewhat confident I can handle the conditions and not occupy the race committee with endless rescues, that doesn't mean I'm good enough to actually be competitive but I have to start learning somewhere. Sailors at the top of the fleet know how to separate and play their own game so I'm only a problem at the start which I admit is critical but even the very best foul others on the start line. It's part of racing and part of the strategy of picking where you want to start.

      I'm all for participation regardless of whether you've already won or have no hope of anything but the back of the fleet. I've been treated badly before at local regattas where someone thought I wasn't good enough to be racing. The only thing the guy accomplished was announcing that he was an ass and I stopped sailing at regattas he attended ... well until Doug said he'd handle it and show the guy he wasn't good enough to race either.

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    3. The Masters Worlds is a very inclusive event. Many sailors are there to have a good time and have no hope of winning a cube. I've almost always been in the bottom 25% of the fleet and have always felt welcome and that the guys at the top of the fleet were happy to have a few beers with me after racing and answer my dumb questions.

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    4. Tillerman, I think your experience is typical. Aside from some odd local personalities, Doug has always found the Laser fleet to be competitive but helpful and friendly. He's sailed all over the world and has been welcomed and befriended by everyone except a handful of yahoos at our local mud puddle. Oddest behavior but fortunately not the typical experience.

      But I must say guys do have a problem with a girl being in front of them on the race course. Hopefully, more women will begin participating and guys will evolve a little and learn to appreciate that curvy figure in front. Doug did say every time he saw Vanessa on the race course she had a big old smile. It was a bit un-nerving for him that here he was trying to beat her and she was smiling at him like it was just a pleasant day for a sail.

      Reminds me of a guy talking about getting rolled at a national championship by a girl in a bikini who looked she was having the time of her life and he was working his butt off hiking and couldn't keep up with her.

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    5. Some guys may have a problem with a woman being in front of them. I don't think I do. When I sail against Lynne Shore (Olympic gold medalist) or Suzie Pegel (North American Champion - open, not women, not masters) for example I expect them to be in front of me. They are much better sailors than I am. So what if they happen to be women?

      I do carry a sort of pecking order in my head for (sailors of all genders) and feel good if I am beating someone whom I think is usually faster than me. I think I do try harder of I am up against one of those sailors in a race, but I don't think I try especially harder if that sailor happens to be a woman.

      But then maybe it's different if you are a guy who is normally at the front of the fleet?

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    6. On a different note, how do women feel about being singled out for a First Woman award at a regatta? If you came 25th out of 30 say, and are the only woman at the regatta, do you feel happy to get such an award or somewhat embarrassed?

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    7. I've won many a Top Woman award simply by virtue of being the only woman racing. If it's in Lasers then I feel like just showing up and trying is worthy of recognition. If it's in another fleet like Fish, then there are usually enough women competing that it's something earned. I like that they don't give out a top woman if she placed, seeing her as graduating and being on a somewhat equal footing with the guys. It bothers me when I'm good enough to place but screwed something up and didn't but there are women in the fleet that are new and worked very hard and are much more deserving of recognition.

      I find it interesting that when a guy does get chicked, he cites the exceptional qualifications and sailing ability of the girl that beat him. But maybe they do the same with guys too and I just hadn't noticed it as much.

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    8. If a guy gets best by a girl, he got chicked. So if a girl gets beat by a guy, did she get dicked?

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    9. When I get beat by anybody I cite the "exceptional qualifications and sailing ability" of the sailor who beat me. Not that it's ever true of course. It's pretty easy to beat me.

      I must admit I have a few Top Master awards which are really for "top master who didn't do well enough to win a real award." I always feel a bit embarrassed about accepting such awards. But I'm even more pissed if they give the Top Master to the dude with "exceptional qualifications and sailing ability" who came first or second overall.

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    10. The Oman write-up described Vanessa as a "talented amateur sailor from Sydney" and I was somehow offended on behalf of Doug. He doesn't get best by an amateur, let alone a female one. That's when I realized that the description of the woman's talents is cited when she wins. I've never seen the opposite but they are trying to grow a women's sailing team and I suppose a beginner winning against the guys is encouraging.

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  28. Doug, the issue of outhaul is an interesting one. I believe that when the boom is square on a run then you potentially lose significant projected sail area with a loose foot. On a reach the projected area is less sensitive to outhaul setting, and more power can be obtained from a looser foot.

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    1. Many no longer believe that sail area is the key issue. I remember seeing Mark B at the Roses Master Worlds on a run with the settings so loose that the sail looked terrible, but he had speed and won in full rigs.

      Here in radials, Bruce M had great speed on runs in the lighter conditions, kept his boom at 90 degrees, and did everything he could to have the telltales flowing one way or another. Vanessa sailed by the lee with her boom past 90 degrees and also had exceptional downwind speed.

      So there are many ways to sail. I personally feel that generating lift on a run is more important than just catching the wind. This is why asymmetrical spinnakers work so well (designed by Mark's brother Julian... small world).

      But I'm not the best person to ask as I am rarely the fastest in a radial. For me, full rigs are easier to sail downwind.

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    2. "(designed by Mark's brother Julian... small world)"

      I think you'll find asymmetrical spinnakers were being utilised in Oman and other parts of the Middle East / East Africa long before Julian Bethwaite was on the planet......just saying :-)

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  29. Did some of the fleets only complete one race today? It's almost 8pm in Oman, I think, and the results are only showing 9 races for 3 fleets.

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    1. I believe that is correct. Check the blog on the Oman site. I did read that the Radial GGM had multiple generals and failed to get the last race in. I assume the same happened with the others.

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  30. Tomorrow: I saw Vanessa at supper this evening - yes she will race tomorrow. And she had the biggest plate of food and was all smiles because she's no longer concerned about her weight.

    Outhaul: what worked in the last race was normal upwind setting for the outhaul, loose vang to get lots of twist, boom past 90 degrees, and pull in to 90 degrees to surf (a mark on the mainsheet shows where 90 degrees is). But there were lots of fast people doing things differently.

    Reaching: tighter outhaul than we've seen in light air to prevent stalling (look at the 2 pictures from today). I also saw this in the open worlds 2 weeks ago.

    Number of races: we hit the water late today and several fleets did not get in 2 races because of recalls, course changes, etc. They just ran out of time.

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    1. Good for her. I think I respect a winner more who comes out and races again even if she doesn't really have to. Especially at a Masters event.

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    2. The objective at a Masters World Championship is to achieve the best combination of 10 results over 6 days of racing. If you happen to reach that goal in 5 days, you've earned the right to do whatever the hell you like on the 6th day.

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    3. Good point. Anonymous. In the end, out of the three champions in Oman who had clinched with a day to spare, two sailed and one enjoyed a few cool ones by the pool. The one at the pool was leaving comments on the regatta live blog during the racing.

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  31. Certainly the Radial GGMs had several general recalls and didn't get a 10th race in before nightfall. I saw that on the live blog of the Worlds website. I assume something similar in some of the Standard fleets.

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  32. And on the final day, Vanessa sailed one race, finished 5th and skipped the final race.
    Bruce got two wins to consolidate his second place.
    Michael (the Brit) got two thirds to finish third overall.
    Doug got 11 and 6 which was good enough to hang on to 4th place overall.

    Well done to all of them!

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  33. Very well sailed. If I was legally blind and had an overdue shoulder op I'd be very happy to finish 4th in the Worlds. Take sufficient time to recover fully then come back strong for Hyeres 2014!

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  34. The live blog on the Oman site is cool but they reported things wrong a few times. It was confusing when the results came out and things were not as I had expected. One day they had Bruce Martinson with a 14 that he would not be able to drop. And they spent some time talking about how it was a shocker and Vanessa would be happy. No such score showed up on the results. That's pretty far off. It would be interesting to know how they were communicating.

    Last night I fell asleep after they reported that neither Doug nor Michael were in the top three finishers and this morning the results showed that Michael had been. Not that I'm complaining but just curious about the communication.

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    1. Yeah, it was confusing watching the Radial GGMs too on that blog. At one point they said Peter Seidenberg was 13th but he would discard it. And he was really 2nd.

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  35. Is anyone else wondering why this man is taking pictures while he's racing? Well done Doug! There is a big black dog and a not so big girl, who can't wait to have you back. You're a winner in our eyes, even if you can't see us.

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