The final day of the 2013 Laser European & World Championships on Dublin Bay and a fair forecast seems to promise a decent set of races to decide the titles. Winds are set to be from the North again at between 10 and 12 knots which should be enough for the Laser Radials to catch up on their programmed 12 races, after having lost one yesterday due to the very light airs.

In the Olympic classes the two sailors which lead their respective standings have a great chance to land their first major Laser titles.

Annalise Murphy goes afloat with a lead of 17 points over silver medallist Marit Bouwmeester. She has a relatively straightforward task but she does have a weighty discard at the moment after her 27th in yesterday’s race and so she really can’t afford to get tied up in any individual matches.  Bouwmeester has GBR’s Ali Young three points behind in third.

Nick Thompson has a two points lead in the Men’s Standard fleet and is looking to seize a good chance to land his first big title nearly ten years after he won the ISAF Youth Worlds title.

And defending champion Tristan Brown has an 18 points margin in the Men’s Laser Radial World Championship. Dun Laoghaire’s Finn Lynch leads the European Championship but needs to keep Poland’s three-time world champion Marcin Rudawski behind.

The British Sailing Team’s Chris Gowers, who was head coach for the 2012 Olympics and coached Paul Goodison to Olympic gold in 2008 in Beijing, is in the coach boat today looking to help Thompson convert potential to a title today. “I think we should see a reasonable northerly gradient breeze which should not be messed around as much as other days. The breeze blows down the low land the gap. I don’t think we are expecting very much, F2-F4 in the gusts.” He said. “Nick just needs to go out and sail very well and then see what happens. He has a big discard which can make life hard if either Tonci or Rutger have a good first race. So it is a case of going out and seeing what happens.”

“Nick is sailing well. This is the kind of place where you can get punished for your little mistakes or you can get away with them. All round his game his good, his decision making is strong. You would always like to be faster.”

Of the level that Thompson has reached since coming back, Gowers comments “I was a little surprised how he was not so good at the start of the season. I thought he might be doing better straight out of the box. He had a nine month break after he had appendicitis 14 months ago. He was racing well but was just a bit slow. I think it is a little bit of a monkey on his back. He won’t be thinking about that too much, maybe in the second race. He will just be focusing on performance. It has got to the stage where I don’t need to open my mouth sometimes, he just says ‘yes I know’”.

“But here were go, you just never know in gold fleet racing. One little mistake, one little shift missed and you are 30th. As Robert Scheidt showed yesterday. His decision making is exemplary and he is not slow in a straight line. But it is nice to see him make a couple of mistakes this week. It is a funny dynamic after the Games because some people take a little bit of a break. So the likes of Jean Baptiste Bernaz who are just coming back to form now. You will see some of the older faces getting back into it now.”

“There are some who have got back into it straight away, like Tonci where the ‘leather’ medal tends to focus the mind and he has been doing it a long time, he is sailing fantastically well and not making many mistakes and is fast so when he does make mistakes he gets back out of it.”

Does he expect Goodison back in the Laser fleet? 

“I think Paul will be back. I would not be surprised. He needs to be back my Palma next year or it will be difficult. He has been doing it so long, as Robert demonstrates here, that skills are so deep learned it does not take that long to get back. And especially for Rio. It not going to be the most physical of regattas and so age and experience is going to be more important than useful exuberance.”



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