The fifth day’s racing at the Laser world championship at Hyannis Yacht Club, Cape Cod, USA took place yesterday in some of the windiest conditions the fleet has seen so far

It was tough sailing for the first race of the final series at the Laser World Championship being sailed from Hyannis Yacht Club on Cape Cod, USA. The forecast winds of 10-15 knots turned into 25 knots plus with rain showers affecting visability. After a short delay waiting for a gap in the rain showers the gold fleet got away first time.

At the first mark the Scandanavian heavy weather specialists, Karl Suneson from Sweden and Frederik West from Finland were first to show and quickly pulled ahead of the chasing pack on the downwind legs. Suneson said “It was good Viking weather!” Overnight leader, Robert Scheidt from Brazil, was sixth round the first mark. He gained two places on the first reach but in his own words: “I sailed too conservatively on the run downwind with too much centreboard and vang. When I gybed I capsized and dropped to 12th but I was happy to recover to sixth. Suneson and West were too far away to be caught and the interest was on the minor places.

Ed Wright from Great Britain pulled through to third on the second windward leg with the Australian Brendan Casey behind. After a close battle Casey passed Wright in the final part of the race. Suneson’s victory and third place overall hung in balance until a protest for an incident on the first leg was resolved in Suneson’s favour.

The wind dropped to 20 knots for race two. Mark Howard from Great Britain sailed a fine upwind leg with good speed to lead Daniel Hannemann from Germany at the first mark. This leading pair held on to their positions until the penultimate mark. At the end of the last downwind leg Howard overlooked a 20 degree shift in the wind and mistakenly started leading the fleet directly to the finish instead of broad reaching down to the last mark of the trapezoid course. Hannemann was first to realise his mistake in following Howard and sailed through his lee to take the lead and the winning gun. Scheidt, Luis Martinez from Spain and Casey also got through Howard who finished fifth.

With four races remaining, Scheidt holds an eight-point lead over Casey after nine races. If one more race is completed a second discard comes into play which can still affect the overall positions especially if the forecast light winds for the next two days are correct. Scheidt summed it up: “There are still two days of sailing left and a lot can happen.”

Results (with one discard)

Laser Gold

1 BRA Robert Scheidt 19.0pts

2 AUS Brendan Casey 27.0 pts

3 SWE Karl Suneson 32.0 pts

4 FIN Fredrik Westman 39.0 pts

5 GBR Edward Wright 40. pts

6 RSA Gareth Blanckenberg 45. pts

7 GBR Paul Goodison 49. pts

8 ITA Diego Negri 61.0 pts

9 SLO Vasilij Zbogar 65. pts

10 GBR Mark Howard 67.0 pts

11 SWE Daniel Birgmark 73.0 pts

12 ESP Luis Martinez 81.0 pts

13 BEL Philippe Bergmans 83. pts

14 CRO Mate Arapov 86.0 pts

15 FIN Roope Suomalainen 88.0 pts

16 AUT Andreas Geritzer 90.0 pts

17 SWE Peter Santen 93.0 pts

18 SWE Rasmus Myrgren 98.0 pts

19 CAN Bernard Luttmer 109.0 pts

20 GBR Jim Taylor 115.0 pts