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2021 Wellington ILCA / Laser Champs

The Wellington ILCA / Laser Champs were run as part of the Wellington Centreboard Champs, a total of 114 boats making the most of the fantastic Worser Bay 'stadium racing' venue and typical Wellington winds. 
Saturday 27th
Breezy NNW 15 ~ 20 knots with 25 knot gusts.
15 Lasers (9 x Standards & 6 x Radials) lined up to start as one fleet.
For the Standards, Albert Stanley (Open) aced Day One with four bullets, followed by Matt St Armand (Master, Worser Bay) and Simon Beck (Master, Muritai).
Staying up the right way on the downwinds was a challenge for some of us at the rear of the fleet with a few powerful gusts sweeping down the course.
In the Radials, Edmund Tam (Master) lead the way, also with a clean 1-1-1-1 record.
He was chased by Holly Curtis (Women) Chris McCarthy (Master) & Steve Harris (Master).
Sunday 28th
Day Two, 18 ~ 20 knot NNW with gusts up in the high 20's.
Some Lasers (and the entire Paper Tiger fleet) decided that Saturdays hard slog was enough and stayed away from Sundays racing.
But with Race Officer Shayne Priddle having sent us out for an extra race on the Saturday, it was good to know that we only had to survive two races on Sundays even breezier day to get a total of six races sailed for the championship.  
For both fleets the order remained much the same, Albert continued his winning Standard ways with two more wins, followed by Matt and then Niall Pearson (Muritai).  
In the Radials, Edmund 'gained' a UFD in Race 5 but bounced back with a another win in Race 6, Chris & Holly chasing behind. 
Overall results from the two days were: 
Standards - Albert, Matt then Simon.
Radials - Edmund, Chris then Holly.

UK Laser Association 2021 Gybe Yearbook ILCA

UKLA have produced a yearbook to celebrate 50 years of the Laser Class Association. ILCA was formed in 1971 as the official international Laser class association and now, in its 50th year, renamed the boat the ILCA. The yearbook is packed with great articles: Tim Law on his incredible success as one of the worlds top amateur sailors, Olympian Mark Lyttle interviewing world renown Olympic coach Chris Gowers, Alan Davis guides us through what is Class Legal in 2021, and contributions from Wendy Fitzpatrick, Tim Hulse, Jon Emmett, Tony Woods, Max Hunt, Steve Cockerill, and many others. 

UKLA 2021 Gybe Yearbook ILCA online

Auckland ILCA/Laser Champs 2021

Following on from a windy Nationals at Worser Bay the Auckland Masters and Auckland Champs provided testing conditions at Tamaki over the weekend 27/28 March, with gusty E to NE winds up to 25 knots and a difficult seaway. 
Using a combined regatta format Masters and Open fleets both competed together on Saturday, with those keen enough continuing on Sunday to complete the Open Auckland champs, combining the results over the two days. A great turnout of almost 50 sailors, pretty much equally split between Radial and Standard, were on the water for the first race on Saturday, with a forecast of 15 to 20 knots promising great sailing. The forecast proved a little conservative and the fairly boisterous conditions took their toll, particularly among the masters fleets, many of whom called it a day after 2 or 3 races on Saturday, even though 4 races were completed.
At the conclusion of the one day Auckland Masters Championship on Saturday the Radials were won by Master Phil Wild, who had a strong and consistent day, mixing it with the top of the Youth and Womens fleet. The leading Radial GM's were both from Hamilton, with Werner Hennig just getting the better of Scott McDougall on the day. Bob Blakey celebrated his birthday to confirm his fully deserved Legend status, and he sailed pretty well too! In the Standards, reigning World Apprentice Masters champion Dave Ridley was victorious, followed by Wellington duo, Grand Master Andrew Dellabarca and Master Rob Woodward, who unsurprisingly found the conditions to their liking. Mike Keeton came out of retirement (again!) to be leading GGM.
Conditions on Sunday for the conclusion of the Open champs were similar, with the wind a bit more in the North but equally strong and again with a tricky seaway. In the Standards Luke Deegan and Luke Cashmore fought out the top spots all weekend, with Deegan eventually proving the more consistent in the conditions to take the Open title from Luke Cashmore. Samoan Olympic rep  Eroni Leilua was a solid third overall, followed by leading Grand Master Andrew Dellabarca then Master Rob Woodward. In the Open Radials there was a good battle all weekend at the top of the fleet with Youth Matthew Rist proving the one to beat and eventually taking the title from leading Women Olivia Christie and Master Phil Wild. Youths Nathan Vince and Dylan Forsyth mixed it up with the top 3 at times to finish 4th and 5th overall. Leading a great squad of Youth girls was Greta Pilkington in 7th overall, with Sophia Morgan not too far behind her.
So a testing but very well run and enjoyable weekend at Tamaki, with everyone I think enjoying being able to sail unaffected by the shadow of Covid lockdowns.

1 day Auckland Masters Laser Champs - decided by masters positions in these 4 Saturday races

2 day Auckland Open & Youth Laser Champs - decided across all 7 races on Saturday & Sunday

2021 Catalyst NZ Laser Nationals - Final Day 4

A fantastic final day of the 2021 Catalyst Laser Nationals at Worser Bay saw all fleets complete 3 races in a 15 to 25 knot northerly that fortunately eased slightly as the day progressed, contrary to the forecast. It was wind against tide, which gave some good waves and great downwind rides while making everyone work hard on the beats, but did prove a challenge for some resulting in a number of UFD’s .
In the Standards Olympic rep Sam Meech remained simply untouchable, winning every race and I think leading at every mark of the contest. It is Sam’s first NZ Laser Championship and was really an exhibition of supreme quality Laser sailing. George Gautry was on his heels the whole time, although Luke Deegan was able to break Georges run of seconds in the second race of the day, securing third overall in the process. A super consistent Luke Cashmore was 4th overall and was the leading U21 sailor, while leading Master Andrew Dellabarca continued his domination of the masters fleet finishing 5th overall. Leading Apprentice Master was Tim Pitcaithly from Nelson while Owen Anderson, sailing in his home waters, secured the GM title with 3 solid races today.
In the Radial fleet Thomas Mulcahy (Y) from Murrays Bay was almost as dominant as Sam was in the Standards, winning two of today’s 3 races to count 6 bullets and a second for a convincing and well deserved overall win. Second overall and winner of the final race was Matthew Rist from Manly, while open sailor George Lane had a great day with three 2nd places to get up to third overall. Olivia Christie was the leading woman in 5th with Greta Pilkington leading the female Youth group in 11th overall.
In the Radial Masters past Olympic champ Jenny Armstrong (WM) won on count back from Phil Wild (A), with Tauranga’s Pete Thomas leading the GM’s in third overall. Leading GGM was John Pitman in 8th overall.
Overall a very successful contest with Worser Bay living up to its breezy reputation but providing great racing and a wonderful venue in their new clubhouse complex.  Next years contest will be at Queen Charlotte, which is again sure to provide another excellent venue.

2021 Catalyst NZ Laser Nationals - Day 3

After loosing day 2 to 40+ knot gales we were all hoping the forecast was correct and wind would moderate by the 1pm start time today. And it did, a little. So today all fleets completed 2 races in a strong northerly Wellington “breeze” which gusted over 30 knots at times through the afternoon, accompanied by a 1 to 2m waves churned up by the incoming tide. There were plenty of swimmers and a bit of  broken gear but at the end of the day the club was buzzing with tales of survival and recovery. The stadium racing concept, sailing in the bay immediately in front of the club, absolutely came into its own today, allowing spectators a great view of the action and some, like GGM Mike Keeton, the ability to pop into the beach to recover from a wee swim and grab a cup o’ tea between races. 
The conditions certainly did not faze the top sailors. In the Standards Sam Meech again nailed both starts and landed 2 bullets, with George Gautry always in hot pursuit in both races. The two Luke’s; Deegan and Cashmore, Eroni Leilua and standout Masters Andrew Dellabarca were again in touch as the chasing bunch, with a gap back to the rest. Rob Woodward and Tony Nicholson had a great battle for the second Masters slot while only 3 points now separate Owen and Doug Anderson at the head of the GGM field, with Owen suffering from getting a bit keen at the start of the first race.
In the Radials, Youth sailor Thomas Mulcahy really stamped his authority on the contest with 2 more bullets. Nearest rival Caleb Armit (Y) was unlucky to collect an OCS in race 2, while 3rd placed Matthew Rist handled the conditions exceptionally well to secure a second and third today to stay in touch with the leading pair. His days results were matched by the leading woman, NZL squad member Olivia Christie, who consequently opened up a useful points gap on fellow squad member Annabelle Rennie Younger. Other standouts in the fleet were Blake Wood (Y), who’s 4th and 6th gets him up to 7th overall going into the final day, and Greta Pilkington, who had two top 10 finishes to secure her position as leading female youth.
In the Radial Masters today saw the top of the leader board tighten right up. With local Ed Tam winning the first race and Dunedin’s Jenny Armstrong the second only 2 points now separate the top 3, with Phil Wild just holding on the lead. These 3 are followed by a group of GM’s led by Pete Thomas, while 5th placed Mike Knowsley was a touch unlucky to fit in a quick swim while completing a penalty turn for touching the top mark while near the front in race 2.
Racing is scheduled to start early on the final day tomorrow, which looks to be fortunate with another gale warning coming into effect at lunchtime tomorrow. Hopefully we will squeeze in some final day racing and complete what has to date been an extremely successful, if rather challenging, regatta.

NZ Laser Nationals - Day 2 Racing Cancelled Saturday 23rd Jan

All racing has been cancelled for Saturday 23rd Jan at the NZ Laser Nationals, due to the high winds.

First race for Sunday is still scheduled for 1pm.

2021 Catalyst NZ Laser Nationals - Day 1

A solid workout
The 2021 Catalyst Laser Nationals got underway at Worser Bay BC today, with an excellent fleet of 95 Laser and Radial sailors completing 3 races in 3 separate divisions; Standard (including Masters), Radial and Radial Masters. 
All the fancy weather websites predicted a calm morning with a nice light northerly breeze developing in the afternoon.  It sort of worked out, the morning was calm, and the locals called the 20 knot northerly that came in at lunchtime champagne sailing but most of the rest of the fleet called the 3 races in a solid Wellington northerly very hard work.  The breeze was quite gusty and shifty, clocking more to the north as the afternoon progressed. With an outgoing tide and shifts off the land most beats favoured the shore side of the course, while the messy waves proved tricky for most on the runs.
In the Standards, where the Open and Masters sailed as a combined fleet, the standout performance was Sam Meech, our 2021 Olympic rep, who got off the start line cleanly every race and dictated from there to win all 3 races. Local club icon George Gautrey, also a member of the NZL squad, chased Sam hard all day but in the end had to settle for a string of 2nd ‘s. While those 2 stood out there were great battles behind them with Luke Deegan, Luke Cashmore, Eroni Leilua (who will represent Samoa at the Tokyo Olympics) and leading Master Andrew Dellabarca trading the minor placing all day. Tim Pitcaithly from Nelson is the leading Apprentice while local GM Owen Anderson had a strong day to lead the Grand Masters is spite of managing a quick downwind dip in the 3rd race.
In the Radial fleet youth Thomas Mulcahy had an exceptional day to lead by 2 points overall from last years youth champion Caleb Armit.  To complete the leading trio Manly’s Matthew Rist is not far back in 3rd. In the Women’s it could not be closer with Annabelle Rennie Younger and Olivia Christie tied on points in 6th and 7th overall. Greta Pilkington is the leading youth girl in 11th overall.
In the Radial, Apprentice Phil Wild leads overall, but only by a single point from leading Women’s Master Jenny Armstrong, who got off to a fantastic start with a bullet in the first race of the day and showed great consistency with a second and a third in the other 2 races. Pete Thomas leads the GM’s while John Pitman is the leading GGM.
While the weather sites tried to lull us all with light wind predictions today tomorrow is a different story, with 30 knots forecast, so we will hope that they end up erring in the opposite direction tomorrow and that conditions allow racing as scheduled.
Nick Page

The Catalyst 2021 Laser National Champs - Worser Bay

Catalyst - expert open source solutions


Worser Bay has brand new club rooms to show off, and a plan for stadium style racing out in front.

Check back here as we add more details.

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