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Corinthian Sailing Club
White Rock Lake        Dallas, Texas
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Laser Master Worlds
Jeju, Korea
September 20-30, 2006


Doug Peckover wins the Laser Grand Master Worlds.

The following is an email from Doug.

Sent: Saturday, September 30, 2006 11:16 AM
Subject: Laser update – 9-30-06

The final day: we arrived early at the beach and PRO Jeff Martin sent us out in a very light easterly. Went out with my light-air mainsheet and took my regular one just in case. By the time we got to the starting area, it had built to 15 knots and this increased to 25. With the help of the Swiss coach, changed back to my regular mainsheet.

Race 4: Had a good start in the middle of the line. Tried to stay near Rob and rounded about 16th after a long beat. The waves were building from the southeast so it paid on the run to sail by the lee on starboard as they passed under the boat left to right. Living dangerously but fast. By the bottom gate, had caught Tim Landt (USA). I made the huge mistake of thinking that the mark was the right gate (wanted to go left to avoid the current) when it was actually the left gate. Had to wait for 6 boats to round before undoing my mistake and re-rounding. A waste of good boatspeed. Worked really hard to stay with the group and was able to pass a few by the top mark, including Rob. Held on for the rest of the race, repeating "don't tip" 100 times on each run. Tactically ignored all but the Grand Masters and finished 16 (3rd GM). Rob was well back at 23rd so this was his discard, as he used his 18th from race 2. The Fin had a really good race to finished 10th, which put him in second 3 points back with Rob just 1 more point back.

Race 5: The next race was started immediately. Had a fair start but could not keep up with the Kiwi just below me. He was managing the large waves much better (they sail in these conditions all the time). Rob, my main competition, was below the Kiwi and tacked off to the right looking for clear air. I put a lose cover on him for the rest of the beat and rounded just behind the Fin. On the run, there were some screaming rides and the Fin capsized just in front of me. Sailed conservatively but fast enough to stay ahead of Rob. Finished 11th (1st GM) with Rob 14th. To show how tight the competition was, the Fin finished 21st from that one mistake. Was 7 points ahead of Rob and dog tired after the 2 long races in the big seas. Jeff Martin kept us on the course and we prepared for a third race for the day.

Race 6: Had a good start in clear air in the middle of the line with good speed and height. Everyone went left and inshore to get out of the current that was coming down the course. Was determined to keep Rob and the Fin close. On the second beat, Rob was just ahead of me and the Fin as we again went left. Everything seemed to be under control until the bottom of the second run. Rob took the left gate that meant I had to jibe onto port. Then something happened for the first time in my 30 years of Laser sailing – my mainsheet got jammed in the clue boom block. Not wrapped about the boom or twisted but jammed beside the pulley. I tried everything so I could sheet in but it would not budge. So, I went to the back of the boat and wrestled with the bloody thing in 25 knots. By the time everything was sorted out, I was in about 18th, with Rob leading my former group. How quickly things change. Was able to hold on to 16th on the run in the now huge waves by Dallas standards (don't tip, don't tip, don't tip). Rob sailed really well and seemed to finish 5 or 6 boats ahead, but I could not really tell.

Final results: was cautiously optimistic but unsure of the final standings until they were posted. Won by 2 points over Rob – a really good sailor from Sydney and a very classy person both on the water and off:

Doug Peckover, USA 61 points
Rob Lowndes, AUS 63 points
Derek Breitenstein, FIN 71 points
Bob Blakey, NZL 78 points
Ken Brown, CAN 79 points

I leave for Dallas at 6 PM tomorrow (Sunday) and look forward to being home early Monday morning. I'll post the pictures I took soon (the attachment is my favorite one). It will be good to be back in big D. Thanks to everyone for your support... Doug