Ed Wright leads Lasers

'Another' British Laser sailor showing excellence at Laser Worlds on Cape Cod

Saturday September 14th 2002, Author: Sasha Oswald, Location: United States
A strong 18-22 knot westerly gradient wind and 4-6 foot seas produced exciting sailing and a tough test for the 131-strong fleet on the second day of the Laser world championship at Hyannis on Cape Cod. Again, racing was in two heats with two races scheduled for the day.

The first heat of the day got off to a clean start on the first attempt as the current held the competitors back on the start line. Five times world champion, Robert Scheidt from Brazil, worked the left hand side of the first windward leg before taking advantage of a small shift to cross the fleet, and lead at the first mark by five boat lengths from British sailor Mark Howard. Double Olympic medallist Scheidt sailed away to a comfortable victory, with Howard swapping places with Karl Suneson of Sweden a couple of times around the track before eventually finishing up in third place.

In the second flight, team GBR sailor Ed Wright won the starboard end of the start line and then lead around every mark, fighting off the challenges from Finnish sailor Fredrik Westman, to score his first race win of the series.

In the second race, Australian Brendan Casey showed the yellow fleet the way round, beating Scheidt by 20 seconds. A shift to the left disoriented much of the fleet on the second beat but the British sailor stuck in there with Mark Howard posting another top ten result, just behind Mark Powell.

In the second flight, Ed Wright continued to dominate the fleet, again battling it out with Westman, swapping places on a number of occasions. Westman had the advantage upwind, whilst Wright showed good speed downwind to eventually overtake the Finnish sailor on the final run, to take his second gun of the day.

Ed Wright has taken the early lead over the fleet by four points from Brendan Casey, with Gareth Blanckenberg of South Africa in third place. The top ten contains two other British sailors with Mark Howard in eighth place overall and Paul Goodison in tenth place, after scoring a third in the first race of the day, but leaving himself too much to do in the second race after a start line incident, eventually finishing in nineteenth place.

Ed Wright commented, "Some days you don't know whether you had a good day or a bad day. Today I know I had a good day."

Two more races are scheduled for Saturday with the forecast looking like a drop in pressure, but with ten races left to sail the field is still wide open.

Results (after three races)
1, Edward Wright, GBR (2,1,1) 4 pts
2, Brendan Casey, AUS (3,4,1) 8 pts
3, Gareth Blanckenberg, RSA (1,5,4) 10 pts
other GBR
8, Mark Howard (12,3,8) 23 pts
10, Paul Goodison (8,3,19) 30 pts
21, Mark Powell (14,21,6) 41 pts
22, Jim Taylor (11,14,16) 41 pts
53, Peter Walker (36,25,24) 85 pts
55, Andrew Commander (10,40,44) 94 pts
62, Daniel Holman (28,27,44) 99 pts

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