New Zealand’s Sam Meech had a perfect day at the International Laser Class Association Laser Standard Men’s World Championship at Japan’s Miho Bay to top the qualifying standings going into the three days of championship racing starting tomorrow in Sakaiminato.
Three fleets completed two races in 15-18 knot winds and sunny skies - ideal sailing conditions to determine which sailors would make the gold fleet and race for the world title.
Meech, ninth after the first four qualifying races, won both of the concluding red fleet races to move into first place on 13 points.
He now leads the regatta by one point over Australia’s Matt Wearn, who earned a first and second in his section.
France’s Jean-Baptiste Bernaz, joint leader at the start of the day with New Zealand's George Gautrey and Sweden’s Jesper Stålheim, stands third on 15 points - Gautrey is now seventh, and Stålheim 10th.
Britain’s Elliot Hanson also posted a perfect scoreline on the day, taking two first place finishes in the yellow fleet and moving up from 12th to fourth place overall on 16 points.
Robert Scheidt, Brazil’s double Olympic champion, stands fifth after another day of consistent sailing.
Only 10 points separate the top-10 sailors.
The competitors will now be grouped into gold, silver and bronze fleets of 52 boats each for the six-race final series to determine the world champion.
In addition to the quest to become world champion, five sailors will qualify their country for an entry in the men’s one-person dinghy event at next year's Olympic Games in Tokyo.
With 16 countries already qualified, the battle for Olympic berths will take place further down in the standing.
Currently, Stålheim is in a good position to qualify Sweden.
The other countries leading the quota place hunt at the moment are Russia in 15th place, Spain in 19th, Hungary in 20th and Guatemala in 21st place overall.
But with five more non-qualified countries in the fold fleet, there will certainly be a battle to hold onto these Olympic berths over the next three days.