Laser Radials head for Largs
Largs on Scotland’s picturesque Clyde estuary takes centre stage from 6 July when the Laser Radial World Championships begin with two world titles at stake - for Men and in the women’s Olympic single-hander class.
As an international sailing venue Largs has provided many unique memories for top sailors, coaches, some treasured and others which served as a vital catalyst on their upward career trajectory. In 1991 when the Volvo Youth Sailing ISAF World Championships were staged at Largs, a fascinating duel developed in the Boys’ Laser class between two future world stars who were very much on the ascendancy: Brazil’s Robert Scheidt and New Zealand’s Dean Barker.
“It’s going back a bit,” says Barker, Emirates Team New Zealand’s skipper and helm. “I remember the venue was quite tricky. It was quite landlocked but the sailing conditions were good and over the course of the regatta we got a little bit of everything. In general the weather was pretty good. Robert had put a lot more time and effort into it and came in firing. The biggest lesson for me there was in terms of preparation. I was a bit relaxed going into it, and Robert was fully motivated.
“We stayed in the town in a guest house by the venue and it was pretty nice. The scenery was great, very similar to New Zealand and we felt pretty much at home.”
Gustavo Martinez Doreste, a double 470 Worlds medallist and now a top Spanish helm with the Islas Canarias Puerto Calero team from his native Canary Islands, came to Largs in 1991 as a 16 year old: “I remember it was all green and a little bit cold for us, from the Canary Islands, but I have lovely memories from there because I was very, very young and learned a lot there. We were only 16 and finished second. We were leading the championship until the last race when we capsized. It was very, very windy. We were very young with not much experience. But I did a very good championships with my crew Dimas Wood.
“I remember it was a very, very good event and we were very welcome there. We stayed close to the club and walked there every morning. It was a very beautiful place, so much different to the Canary Islands.
“I will always remember it as green, with big mountains, trees and really friendly people.”
Focus will of course be on the women's competition and the line-up features most of the top players including some unexpected ones. American Anna Tunnicliffe, the Beijing gold medallist, who has graduated up to the Women's Match Racing in this Olympic cycle, is to contest the World Championship where she will face stiff competition as ever from Paige Railey. The Beijing game bronze medallist, Lijia Xu will be among the five Chinese entries competing in Largs.
Current world no.1 in the ISAF rankings, Evi van Acker from Belgium is to participate as is the world no2, Marit Bouwmeester from the Netherlands.
Skandia Team GBR's strong hope comes in Charlotte Dobson, currently ranked no3 in the world, following her strong results recently including a second place at the Laser Radial Europeans and at Hyeres.
|Cecilia Carranza Saroli||ARG|
|Megan de Lange||AUS|
|Evi Van Acker||BEL|
|Chanel Cloutier Beaudoin||CAN|
|Susana Romero Steensma||ESP|
|Mathilde de Kerangat||FRA|
|Sophie de Turckheim||FRA|
|Laura Marimon Giovannetti||ITA|
|Tania Elias Calles Wolf||MEX|
Laser Radial Women’s and Men’s World Championships
Pre charter period Monday 28th June to Monday 5th July
Registration and Measurement Tuesday 6th to Thursday 8th July
Practice Races and Opening Ceremony Thursday 8th July
Qualification Series Friday 9th to Sunday 11th July
Final Series Monday 12th to Wednesday 14th July
Prize Giving Wednesday 14th July