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2006 Laser Masters World Championship PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, 26 September 2006 10:50
Masters from USA had great results.  Read on for reports by Peter Seidenberg and Tracy Usher.

Masters World Championship 2006

Jeju Island, Korea

(Report by Peter Seidenberg)

If it hadn’t been for the last day of the regatta, the 72 Masters sailors (33 Standards and 39 Radials) from 13 countries would have left the venue hating it. However, 3 races on the last day in a perfect 15-20 mph ESE sea breeze with big waves made up for the almost daily on-shore postponements and several unsuccessful racing attempts. The wonderful sailing conditions on the last day also explained why this venue was chosen in the first place.
Whereas the Seniors were plagued by too much wind due to a nearby typhoon, the Masters were suffering from too little. Every day, a south-easterly sea breeze was trying to overpower a weak north-westerly gradient wind.  For three days, this battle produced a virtual stalemate with winds too light or too shifty to start or, in one case, continue a race. On two days, the fleet was called out to the race course only to be sent in again after several starting attempts and several hours of waiting for the wind to stabilize. On one day, the boats never left the beach. A sufficient number of tents with tables and chairs in them provided shelter from the sun while passing the postponement time. One of the tents accommodated a Korean field kitchen so that nobody had to suffer from hunger or thirst.
After two races on the first day, one shortened race on the second day, no races on the third, fourth and fifth day, a crisis meeting was convened by the PRO, Jeff Martin, to seek the competitors’ agreement to allow the regatta to stand with only three races instead of a minimum requirement of four, as announced in the Sailing Instructions. As it turned out, this rule change was not necessary due to the three races run on the sixth and last day for a total of six with one discard.
The US team of 11 sailors was the second in numbers to the Australian with 21, but the most successful team in terms of medals: 4 gold, 2 silver, 1 bronze. Brodie Cobb, Tracy Usher and Mark Bear swept the medals in the Standard Rig Masters division, Doug Peckover won gold in the Standard Rig Grand Masters, Bruce Martinson won silver in the Radial Rig Masters division, Alden Shattuck won gold in the Radial Rig Grand Masters, and Peter Seidenberg won gold in the Radial Rig Great Grand Masters division.

 

DAILY REPORTS AND PICTURES FROM TRACY USHER:

The opening ceremony for the Masters Worlds was nothing short of spectacular with a traditional Korean folk dancing show. The picture below hardly gives justice to what our hosts presented...

Opening Ceremony
Opening Ceremony of the 2006 Laser Master Worlds
 

 The next day we headed to the beach to rig before the first race, as shown in the picture below. Note the sunny skies and lack of wind, a trend for the first half of the regatta (3 races in 3 days!!!)....

Beach Rigging
Eager Masters rigging on the beach

 Racing has been tough. The first day saw two races in 7-9 knots of wind from the Southeast but shifting through 15-20 degrees and, as the day progressed, a 2-3 knot current running West to East. The second day saw a long onshore delay after which we waited on the water while the wind clocked from around 210 to 125 before settling in long enough to get in one race. Day three saw another long shore delay followed by the promise of a seabreeze which never really materialized once on the water.

Three more days of racing start tomorrow! 

Thursday morning saw the eager Master sailors hit Hwasun beach early in anticipation of getting in some good racing. The picture below pretty much sums up what turned out to be reality... 

Thursday
The scene at Hwasun Beach Thursday Morning
 

The North American Masters were undaunted.... they decided to get together for a team photo while waiting for the breeze. Here is that it looked like:

NA Masters
NA Masters sailors in Jeju
 

Left to right: Rob Hodson, Brodie Cobb, Tracy Usher, Bob Spillman, Alden Shattuck, Peter Seidenberg, Tim Landt, John Bentley, Bruce Martinson, Ken Brown  and Mark Bear.

In the end we hit the water and started a race in about 5 knots of wind (which is a generous estimate). Brodie jumped off the line well and sailed out to a big lead, followed by Andre Martinie but with all the other "players" either deep or OCS. Unfortunately, the wind shut down and the race was abandoned.... 

Friday is another day! 

 Once again, the faithful set off for Hwasun Beach with dreams of getting in a solid day of racing. This is what the saw when they arrived:

Friday
Wind at Hwasun Beach on Friday Morning

The truly faithful continue their morning ritual:

Faithful
The truly faithful prepare their boat for the day's racing

 The really truly faithful held out until 4:00 pm when it was clear that the day would be lost:

Day's end
Friday Afternoon

No racing on Friday. The Sailing Instructions have been modified to move the start time ahead one hour, the latest race time back a half hour and to allow for the series to be completed after only three races. The really and truly faithful believe we will have three races on Saturday. Stay tuned!

 On Saturday we all arrived early to Hwasun Beach for the 10:00 am start time. Things looked pretty grim, here is what we saw:

Hwasun Saturday
Hwasun Beach on Saturday Morning 9:00 am

However, as you can read from the  reports on the championship website, this turned out to be the very best day of racing with 3 races in winds ranging from 15-18 knots! The regatta was completed with 6 races and the North American contingent fared really well with:

1st Master Standard Rig: Brodie Cobb

1st Grand Master Standard Rig: Doug Peckover

1st Grand Master Radial Rig: Alden Shattuck

1st Great Grand Master: Peter Seidenberg

Congratulations to the NA Region's World Champions!

 The end of the regatta also saw another major milestone: the retirement of Bob Spillman from actively campaigning a Laser. Bob is 75 years old and felt that he wanted to retire from racing Lasers while he was still feeling good about it. Here is a picture of Bob rigging on his last day:

Bob Spillman
Bob Spillman rigging his boat for the last time in Jeju

Bob has attended numerous Master's World Championships, including 4 of the last 5. He, and all the Great Grand Masters, serve as an inspiration to all the "youngsters" in Masters sailing. We are sad to see him go but fully understand his reasons and wish him the best of luck in whatever he chooses to pursue next!  

 

 

Last Updated on Monday, 22 January 2007 17:39
 

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