The third world laser class yachting championships have started in Cabo Frio, Brazil and the leader after four races was Monty Spindler of the United States.
GV: competitor preparing yachts before race at Cabo Frio, Brazil. (3 shots)
GV: yacht being carried down to water's edge.
GV: boats making their way to start (3 shots)
GV: spectators on boat
GV: start of race
GV: No 36 rounding buoy
No. 84, during race
GV PAN FROM: yachts during race TO boats crossing finishing line.
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Background: The third world laser class yachting championships have started in Cabo Frio, Brazil and the leader after four races was Monty Spindler of the United States. He had 31 penalty points with his fellow American John Bertrand, the 1976 world champion in second place, with 33.8 points. After the first day's racing on Sunday (6 November) Spindler was second behind Klaus Peter Stohl of West Germany. Laser yachts were designed 1971 by a Canadian who recognised the demand for a fast, simply designed boat.
SYNOPSIS: Cabo Frio provided a picturesque setting for the championships. Situated about 150 kilometres (94 miles) north-east of Rio de Janeiro, it has some of the most beautiful beached in Brazil and is a popular summer resort, with surfing a major attraction.
The championships, which were to last six days, attracted 107 competitors from 24 countries. The largest contingents were the United States with 29 entries, Canada 13, Great Britain and Australia eight each, Holland six and Brazil and Sweden five.
Laser racing is a comparatively new sport. The boat was only designed six years ago, but since then its popularity has increased dramatically. The first world championships were held in Bermuda in 1974, when there 108 entries, and the second were staged two years later in Kiel, West Germany.
Watching from the water was the best way to see the action and from the start there were plenty of incidents. There were three false starts before the boats finally got underway and the early leader was Ian Brown of Canada. But he soon faded Number 36, Willi Gerlinge of West Germany, was going well, but it was Brazil's Ivan Pimentel, who won.
There were two races on the first day and the early leader was West Germany's Claus Peter Stohl. He was third in the first race and won the second, but after that he slipped dramatically, and was out of the leading 20.