Laser 4.7 World Championship
13 - 18 July 2003 Cesme, TURKEY
Final Qualification races completed
On the last day of the qualification series at the Laser 4.7 World Championship the fleet enjoyed another excellent day of sailing in 14 to 18 knot winds and more big waves.
In the first fleet to start the Turkish flags were waving at the second mark when the women's overall leader, Ayda UNVER, led the fleet in what was to be the most exciting race of the day. Behind her was the overall series leader Onur DEREBASI. After the downwind and second upwind leg Alek Stewart from Peru had just stolen the lead from Ercan KARAGUN (TUR). Unver was still a creditable fifth which she held to the finish. On the next downwind Stewart succumbed to a 3 strong Turkish challenge from Karagun, Mustafa Cakir and Derebasi which became the final finishing order.
Bojan IVE from Croatia dominated the second fleet after passing Ates Cinar (TUR) on the first downwind. In his second race of the day he was not so fortunate. On the first windward leg he was fouled by a port tack boat and lost 25 metres and rounded the first mark 8th or 9th. Thereafter he had a yoyo race. "I gained 2 boats on the downwind, lost 1 on the upwind, gained 2 on the downwind, and lost two on the last leg" he said with a smile on his face. "But I like the big waves." His seventh place finish drops him to third overall which very respectable for a fifteen and half year old just out of Optimists sailing his first major Laser event.
In the same race Milosz LANDOWSKI from Poland regained his form seen earlier in the week to take the winning gun form the consistent Cinar.
Race 8 for the yellow fleet Great Britain's Phillip WHITE spoilt a repeat of a Turkish 1,2,3 by gaining third behind Cakir and Derebasi with Unver building on her fifth place of the previous race with a sixth to further extend her lead over Italy's Anita di Iasio.
The top sailors now go head to head in the gold fleet for the final 4 races in what promises to be a hard fought battle. With a 4 point lead Derebasi is looking comfortable discarding only a 3rd place the same as the second place Cinar. A second discard is allowed after 10 races are completed but only one race can be discarded from the final 4 races. A change to lighter winds could still upset the results.