A protest hearing yesterday evening resulted in the disqualification from Race 5 of Sweden’s Jesper Stâlheim thereby dropping the Swede from the overall lead in the Laser Men’s European Championship to sixth place.

Brazil’s Robert Scheidt takes over the top spot in the Laser European Trophy with a two points lead over Croatia’s past double European Champion Tonci Stipanovic who now leads the European Championships going into the first day of racing for the Final Series today. Stalheim has dropped to sixth overall.

Breezes have been light since early this morning but a change is expected with winds due to blow from the South at 12 to 19 knots. Olympic bronze medallist Michael Blackburn is in charge of the strong Australian Laser squad which has two sailors in the top 10 and four in the top 23.

“These guys love sailing, they love sailing the Laser and they work hard together. We concentrate on making sure it works when the guys are together. There is a lot of testosterone of course, they want to compete, they want to work hard and so way make sure that they have time away from each other, apart.”

“We have been getting a good variety of conditions which is good in that it tests the sailors across the board in all their skills. Tom Slingsby was a training partner for myself many years ago and now he is also a training partner for all these young guys too, now and so it goes on and then in time these guys will work with the next group which comes along.”

“The European championships for the strong Laser fleets in Europe is regarded as the second most important event of the year and so for that reason they put a lot of resources and effort into and so for that reason it is a very important testing ground for us.”



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