Holland’s Rutger van Schaardenburg won the men’s Laser comfortably, finishing third in the medal race.“I’m pleased with the results and the way we sailed”, said recent silver medallist at the European Championships.
“My position was comfortable but the conditions were not comfortable and even if were in front a lot could happen which kept it interesting until the end. I had a good start and I was second or third for the whole race and I knew if I finished in the top 4 it was OK. There were too many people who had a chance in the race so I couldn’t worry about them.”
What was his secret in light winds? “The thing is you need to a bit lucky and you need it keep it simple and certainly not to try something drastic in a medal race. I was a bit lucky I must say, maybe I should go to the casino.”
Nicholas Heiner made it a one-two for Holland winning the medal race to leap above Italy’s Marco Gallo, who took bronze and Britain’s Nick Thompson, who had another nightmare day, finishing eighth and sixth overall after dominating the early rounds of the regatta.
Ashley Brunning AUS was the only non-european within fleet and finished 5th overall, just 2 points behind 4th Giovanni Coccoluto ITA.
Spanish team was represented by Joaquin Blanco (15th) and Jesus Rogel Sanchez (31th). 63 men participated of constest.
France’s Marie Barrue, the 17-year-old from Hyères, unseated the leader and won the women’s Laser Radial in a medal race that twisted and turned. Barrue finished third and that was enough. She had trailed her team mate and La Rochelle local Pernelle Michon by four points going into the medal race but Michon was OCS at the start and had to re-start. She finished seventh and slipped out of the medals when Norway’s Line Flem Höst won the race to take the bronze.
Barrue had started level on points with Norway’s Marthe Eide Enger (silver) and kept her behind her all the way, finishing 50 metres clear.“I’m very happy because I came here just for training”, Barrue said. “At the start of the week it was difficult with more wind but the last two days have been good for me.”
“Pernelle was OCS at the start so on the first upwind I looked back and I could see the the Norwegian (Enger). We separated but I was ahead. On the second upwind I was in third, but I wasn’t worried by the Norwegian. She went right like I had so it was all OK and I led her by 50 metres on the last downwind.”
Curious thing regarding women competition was they were just 8 athletes, a really unusual case on any international Laser class event. Probably there will be things to review here by France sailing community.