Two races were sailed on the first day of the Oceania and Australian Laser Masters Championships on Corio Bay, Australia.
The mood in the boat park before the race was understandably subdued, given the ongoing COVID-19 crisis.
Old friends bumped elbows rather than shaking hands and the level of conversation was muted. Sailors mingled in twos and threes rather than large groups.
There are not the loud outbursts of laughter at a good joke or a re-telling of an old sailing story that characterise Masters sporting events around the world. But they were determined to put on a brave face.
Glyn Purnell, a Great Grand Master from Manchester, UK, was philosophical about the whole situation. He came here to sail in the now cancelled World Laser Masters event, but was looking forward to getting out on to Corio Bay.
“It’s about five degrees in Manchester right now,” he said. “If I get stuck here (in Australia), well, worse things could happen.”
In the Standard Masters group, thirteen time World Masters Champion, Brett Beyer (NSW) had a dream start, winning both races.
Second was Peter Hurley (USA) 2, 2 and third Andrew Dellabarca (NZL) with 3, 5.
In the Standard Apprentice, Ian Elliott (CAN) 2,1, Matt Blakey (VIC) 1, 3, and Ryan Mclaughlin (NSW) 4, 2, dominated the scoring.
In the standard Grand Masters, Jan Scholten 4, 1, leads Alan Davis (GBR) 2, 4, by a single point.
None of the Great Grand Masters was able to dominate but Michael Keaton 1, 4 and Garry Lock (NZL) 3, 2, are both on five points.
The Radial Grand Masters, the biggest in the regatta with 33 boats, is led by David Early with 2, 1, from Mark Kennedy 1, 3, and Nick Ede 7, 2.
Two-time World Champion Vanessa Dudley had a strong start, with a 4, 6 to be fourth overall.
In the Masters, Great Grand Masters and Legends, the leading sailor was unbeaten in the two races sailed.
Owen McMahon leads the Masters by five points, Paul Clifford (CAN) leads the Great Grand Masters by four points.
While 80-year-old Kerry Waraker, a two-time world champion, leads the Legends by three points.
Jon Emmett (GBR) leads the Apprentice division.
There are two sailors in the 4.7 division, where Susannah Gillam beat Wendy Wilson in both races.