The 2013 Laser European and World Championships are due to get under way today at midday on Dublin Bay with light to moderate, gusty offshore breezes expected. 

It’s a slightly grey and overcast morning to start the championships but the air of anticipation around the venues is obvious. This significant event brings to an end a notable summertime hiatus on the international racing calendar. As well the obvious value attached to the important titles, the high level racing is seen my most as important as the two Olympic singlehander classes prepare for their respective world championships, the Laser Radial World Championships are in Rizhao, China starting on 28th September and the Laser Standard World Championships are in Oman and begin on 14th November. 

Winds for the opening pairs of races should be average between 9 and 12kts but with puffs to 15kts or 17kts and so it will be a demanding first day for sure. 

Feeling at home at the venue, well used to the puffy, shifty winds of his native waters in Sweden is last year’s runner up Jesper Stâlheim. “I am planning on doing well here. I would like to do even better than last time.  It is important for me to do well here and at the worlds back to back. My training has been really good. I am just back from Rio for some of the summer where it was light and shifty and not the best sailing. But it is good to be here, it feels the same as Sweden, shifty and offshore. I feel quite at home. It is a really good fleet here, we are missing one or two people” says Stalheim, winner at the ISAF World Cup in Miami this year, ranked three in the world. 

Brazil’s five times Olympic medallist Robert Scheidt is looking forwards to getting back into the high intensity racing of the Laser “I think the set up here is great and we should have a great regatta. I think it will be quite challenging because the courses are set quite close to the shore. I expect it to be quite tricky out there. My sailing is going well. I am not at the very top of my form yet but I am getting there. So I am using this regatta to try and get better. I think I need a bit more rhythm of racing. I have been away from the class for a while so I am missing the high level racing. I enjoy being back in the boat, the racing is so good. I enjoy both, I enjoy sailing the boat and I love the high level of the competition there are a lot of young guys sailing really well and I am enjoying being part of it again. I lost a little bit of weight, I am down to 81 to 82 kilos now, losing about two or three kilos. I am in a good moment now, not at my peak but I am good”. 

 


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