Last Saturday will not be a day that Cypriot Olympian sailor Pavlos Kontides will remember with much fondness; it was the day when problems with his Laser sailing boat led to his twelfth place overall in last week’s 2020 STD Men’s Laser World Championships at Sandringham Yacht Club in Melbourne.
The lowly placing was the result of his mast twisting on the second-last day of the six-day-long regatta.
“I lost the fight on Saturday,” he said. “There were three races on the day instead of the scheduled two as Friday’s races were cancelled due to stormy weather.”
Under normal conditions there were to be two races a day during the regatta 9-16 February but the extra races had to be added on to the regatta programme because of the cancellation of Friday sailing because of the weather.
“Unfortunately the mast was too twisted. It was a manufacturing mistake and, as a result, I had no velocity or angle at all. I felt something was wrong with the boat,” said Mr Kontides.
“When the race was over and I saw it (the condition of the mast), I wrote a complaint and sought redress’” said Mr Kontides. He was hoping for a review in which the average of the points he had built over the previous days of racing would be applied to the score for Saturday’s racing.
“Unfortunately, I did not get anything from the review, and this surprised me because in previous races where the materials are provided by the organisers, then there is (usually) a case for redress.
Mr Kontides, started on Sunday, the last day, in 19th place overall. He clawed back five places over the three races scheduled for the day.
“I did the best I could and climbed to 12th place. This is not a result I would have liked.”
The winner of the 2020 STD Men’s Laser World Championships was Germany’s Philipp Buhl. Australian Matt Wearn came second, followed by Croatian Tonci Stipanovic.
Mr Kontides will return to Cyprus for a few days and then head off to his base in Croatia, where he will continue his preparations for the Tokyo Summer Olympics which begin on 24 July.
Mr Kontides is the brand ambassador for Ayia Napa Marina. He is also being promoted by OPAP Cyprus, RCB Bank, Petrolina and the Leventis Foundation for 2020. He is also supported by Easy Family of Brands, the Stelios Philanthropic Foundation and the VITA Group.