Bronze for Pridham in Oman regatta

Laser Radial sailor Mike Pridham in action at the 2013 Isle of Man Dinghy Championship, hosted by the Isle of Man Yacht Club in Port St Mary

Laser Radial sailor Mike Pridham in action at the 2013 Isle of Man Dinghy Championship, hosted by the Isle of Man Yacht Club in Port St Mary

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Veteran dinghy sailor Mike Pridham put in an outstanding performance to claim a podium place in his class at the Laser World Championship in Oman earlier this month.

Pridham, 61, finished in bronze medal position and the top British sailor in the 23-strong Laser Radial Grand Master Fleet, comprising sailors aged between 55 and 64.

He beat four other British sailors including pre-event favourite Max Hunt, who won the Laser Radial European Master Championship in August, and pushed former Laser Masters World Champion Doug Peckover (USA) into fourth place overall.

Hosted by Al-Mussanah Sports City in Oman, the 12-race series over six days featured the characteristic light and gently shifting winds of the Gulf, with no more than 10 knots of wind in any race. 183 competitors from around the world took part across eight fleets.

Having struggled to be competitive in light winds in the past, Pridham found a new level of boatspeed and trim to be at the very top of the fleet.

He claimed nine top five finishes in 12 races and beat overall winner, Australia’s Vanessa Dudley, to the finish line in race eight by a fraction of a boatlength for his first win of the week, immediately following it up with another win to dominate the day’s racing.

Dudley became only the second woman to win the Laser World Masters in any fleet after an outstanding series of results, clinching the title with a day to spare.

Pridham is a former Isle of Man Dinghy Champion who has represented the island at six Island Games and regularly travels to international regattas

Meanwhile another Island Games veteran, Peter Whipp, was forced to retire from the event after contracting food poisoning. He achieved two top-10 results in the Great Grand Master fleet, for sailors aged 65 and above, including fifth place in race two before being forced to withdraw.

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