Robert Scheidt wins Laser world championship title for eighth time
The final day of the Laser World Championship in Fortaleza, Brazil began with the strongest winds of the regatta, an average of 23knots with gusts to 27. Added to this were some steep waves creating the best surfing conditions of the week.
Series leader and defending champion, Robert Scheidt BRA had two chances to secure the world title but wanted to avoid the mistake he made last year when he had to retire from the penultimate race within site of the finish. This time he had to be careful not to go extreme on the upwind or capsize in the strong winds.
In the first race the fleet split evenly on the first windward leg and very few tacks were made as each sailor selected their chosen side. At the first mark Scheidt had sailed a conservative leg to round fourth behind race leader, Andrew Murdoch NZL.
Scheidt now had to survive the downwind, normally no trouble for the master. Flat out was the only way to go and he was neck and neck with Murdoch at the downwind gate which he split with Murdoch. Shortly after rounding the mark Scheidt tacked and tried to sail over the top of Murdoch but for once in the regatta Scheidt did not have the pace to match the New Zealander who held on to his lead to win the race.
Scheidt finished in second place to an eruption of sirens and whistles to win the world title for the eighth time with one race still to go. Third over the line was Thomas Le Breton FRA whose fellow countryman Jeremie Steyaert, overnight third overall, received the only black flag score of the race for breaking the start line.
In the second race Scheidt, always respecting his fellow competitors, elected to sail again and put on an exhibition worthy of a world champion when he led the race from start to finish to beat home Andreas Geritzer AUT with Gustavo Lima POR in third. This race win gave Sheidt a total score of 15 points after 14 races and racing over 100 miles! His worst result that counted was a second giving him a margin of 34 points over runner up Diego Romero ARG who had and eighth and fourth place in the two races to give a South American one two.
The big mover of the day was Andrew Murdoch whose win and an eighth moved him from fifth overnight to third overall to complete the southern hemisphere dominance of this championship.
Speaking at a post championship press conference with four different TV stations in attendance, Scheidt said “This victory is very important for me. I prepared hard for the
championship but never imagined I would so well with so many good sailors taking part.
This is my most important victory and I am very proud to have achieved this win in my own country.”
Overall Results (with 2 discards)
1. Robert Scheidt BRA 15pts
2. Diego Romero ARG 49pts
3. Andrew Murdoch NZL 69pts
4. Vasilij Zbogar SLO 72.5pts
5. Mate Aropov CRO 81pts
6. Brendan Casey AUS 93pts
7. Jeremie Steyaert 112pts
8. Gustavo Lima POR 116pts
9. Mark Powell GBR 120pts
10 Andre Delanhesi Streppel 126pts