The Laser Master Worlds (That Never Was): Alan Davis

A number of Brits travelled to Australia early to practice and then compete in the Oceania Regional & Australian National Championships ahead of the Worlds. Both events were scheduled to be held at the Royal Geelong Yacht Club (where the Nacra, 49er and 49erFX Worlds were held) with the Oceania Championships seen as a perfect warm up regatta. Covid 19 was in discussion before I left but more in the context of disrupted supply chains from China. How things changed and so rapidly.

First, the Worlds was cancelled with a number of people turning around in transit and some choosing to return home rapidly. Thankfully they did decide to hold the Oceania Championship although even this was curtailed to 3 from 4 days as time progressed. I was pleased with my speed counting top 3 results only, in the shifty conditions but lost out on count back to finish 2nd overall. Good sailing whilst it lasted and at least I got another cube! The weather was great for the Melbourne area with practice and racing in rash vests or at most a 1mm top. A little different from the senior worlds where they experienced the full extremes of Port Phillip Bay - 13 to 42 degrees compared to our 21 to 29 degrees.

Master events are well known for their social side where friendships are built over many years or maybe rekindled from 30 years ago! We started with "elbow" handshakes before social distancing saw that and all social events cancelled. Before the last day of sailing a number of airlines advised all international flights would be cancelled from the end of March, including Qantas, who I was due to fly with. With the population controls being introduced at ever increasing paces across the world there was a mass scramble to get flights home. Sad that the World Championships had to be cancelled as well as our holiday plans in Queensland.

Busy at work now but grateful that I am back in the UK with family who are all well. Fantastic sailing weather at the weekend or so I observed from my garden. At least I had time to apply my NeilPryde Sailing stickers to my sails, hull and trailer and looking forward to when we can go sailing again. Unfortunately, I do not think this will be soon and so I continue my mental battle with the Concept II rower. No pain, no gain - don't think that's true when it comes to rowing!

Keep safe and well.


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