May 27, 2016

Mexico Laser Master Worlds - Day 5

by Pam
Today we got the siesta boat again for the finish line. The GGMs had the first start followed by the GMs and then the Masters/Apprentices. The sailors were misbehaving. We started with three GGMs being UFD. I jumped up from my siesta to make sure Doug wasn't one of them. He wasn't but Mark wasn't either. Horn after horn, recalls, numbers being called and finally I poked my head up and grabbed the binoculars to quickly confirm that Mark was in the lead on the outer loop of the course and Doug was the second boat. Immediately, I was on my feet. Doug had the lead. By the middle of the first run he'd stretched out a bit and I was hopeful.

Doug's lead on the first run of the outer loop
By the second run, they'd run into the back of the GM fleet who were on their first run of the outer loop. It looked messy.  Doug got all mixed into the back and Mark seemed to have clear air.  As they rounded the leeward mark and headed for the finish, Mark seemed to be gaining on Doug but Doug still had a good lead. This is what it looked like at the last mark rounding as they split tacks.

Doug and Mark splitting tacks
Doug in the old sail, can't point with Mark so opted not to cover him and sail for the finish. Mark quickly closed Doug's lead and it came down to seconds between the two at the finish. Keep in mind, we're in a long boat and I'm filming off the back and they are calling the line from the front. 

In the second race, Mark gave Doug a little attention on the start line and Doug couldn't point worth a darn and quickly sailed himself backwards but managed to salvage a 4th. But he wasn't complaining. I believe Mark and Doug have 1st and 2nd secured without having to sail tomorrow but both intend to sail.

On the finish line we see yelling, port/starboards, collisions, tips, turns, incomplete turns, protests, celebrations, congratulations, questions about who got who, committee thank yous, and all the while we start to really rock and roll as the boats come in. It's all fun to witness but doesn't lend itself to good video when the competitors finish with large separations. Here are a couple of finishes without the separation at the front. In the GM fleet Tony Scali (AUS) got his first win.

In the Master fleet, Ernesto Rogriguez (USA) beat Brett for the second time and got his first win.

We have updated our pictures (not the best but they can be downloaded for free):


  1. Thanks for all the updates. Any thoughts as to which of the new MKII sails are fastest -- North, Hyde, or Pryde (available in Oz)?

    1. When I get back to a regular keyboard, I'll post the full list of competitors and whether they had the new or old sail. You might be able to extrapolate from country and finish position. From what I can see, at this point it will come down to the sailor and not the sail since they are still in a learning curve about the best set up. It may take several regattas (and years) to see a consistently better performance of a particular manufacturer. For years Doug swore Hyde was better but a few years ago he began to think North was better. Mark and Doug both agreed that it was a shame Doug didn't have the new sail for this event. They might have been closer. We'll see next year in Croatia.

    2. I just talked with a few people rigging up for this our final day. The Aussies are using the Pryde which seems to have had some quality problems. I asked Brett which one he would buy and he was leaning towards Hyde because of the quality problems that North has had.

  2. Congrats, Doug, on a great result. (Maybe not quite the one you were fighting for...).

    I'd be interested to know what weight Julian was sailing at. All the pics I've seen in the past he seems a big guy or are those all really out of date?

    I guess you will come up with an analysis of what made him so hard to beat?

    1. Assume you mean Mark. Someone said 79 kilos (174 pounds). I weighted a little more but was not as fit, will publish my race journals shortly.

    2. Yes, sorry I did mean Mark not his brother. For some reason when I think of Bethwaite juniour, Julian comes to mind.
      I suppose there is no chance that he can comment on what made him so 'unbeatable'. I always think it is curious that there are some people who can jump into a boat and achieve a marked margin of speed and pointing on everyone else. It all ought to be down to physics but somehow is not.
      Unfortunately I am not (yet) one of them.
      In the GM and GGM fleets, what do you think is the breakpoint between a competitive Radial weight and a competitive Standard weight. At about 72 kg (159 lb) I am not sure which way to jump.

    3. It depends on the expected conditions, but 72 kg sounds light. Brendan Casey won the windy 1996 Radial Worlds and he's a big guy - my guess is well over 80 kg. Somewhere in between should be good, but I'm certainly not a Radial expert.

    4. Hm, OK thanks. That's interesting.


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