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2015 South Pacific Laser Masters

So there we were, bobbing around on a sun drenched Moreton Bay, waiting for some breeze on the first day of the South Pacific Laser Masters in Manly, Brisbane.
No suprise if you've sailed this regatta before. But that's normally in July. This year it was May to fit in with the July Masters Worlds in Canada. 'Plenty of breeze in May' we were assured. So we drifted around on the tide searching for the people who had told us that.
 
But by 3pm the wind did arrive. And it hung in for 4 days of superb sailing.
 
  • Excellent photo's from Julie Hartwig Photography
  • Matt Blakey in the Standard fleet and Scott Leith in the Radial won in 2014, so they had a bit to live up to. The rest of Team NZL didn't want that sort of pressure on a winter break. Apart from Matt we were all in Radials.
     
    On the first, third and fourth days there was a range in pressure even across a single race. When it was up it was generally puffy. You could be working hard up wind, planing down wind or just as easily searching for power or trying hard to work the waves.
     
    On day 2 it was pretty strong across the board. Upper teens with gusts to 25 producing short pitch waves in the shallow waters. It was a workout upwind and a challenge downwind. The gusts knocked us down in batches during the second race. The tell tail sign was mud on the top of the mast - shades of Lake Pupuke. I turned turtle and blew a reasonable spot as did Bob while being a gentleman and doing his 720. Hamish went over but recovered quickly. So did Scott - still managing a second (it's hard to work up much sympathy).


    Hamish Atkinson - care of Julie Hartwig Photography

    For mere mortals the competition seemed tough. You could feel you sailed ok, but end up further back than you'd hoped. The marked shifts were hard to predict at times. Picking the gate at the start of the second beat often played a big part.

    But the 3 or 4 guys with consistently good results in each fleet  were simply the fastest through the water.

    Matt Blakey had a real battle. He needed his win in the final race 8 to just retain his Standard title after a count-back to break the tie with room mate Nick Skulander. Quite different from last years clean sweep, and hopefully enough to keep him coming back, as it definitely wasn't boring.

    Scott won the radials again although he didn't have it all his own way in every race. Aussies Mark Kennedy, Danny Fuller and Zac Skulander were fast and ready to grab a race when they got the shifts right.

    Hamish Atkinson came out of a Christchurch winter and no training to get 5th. He is very consistent and just chips away making few mistakes. A lesson in how to put together a good regatta.
     
    The rest of team NZ - Bob Blakey, Roger Winton, Greg Wilshire and me all felt that life is not really that fair. Or maybe we didn't want to peak before the Kngston worlds in July.
     
    The Queensland Laser Association and the Royal Queensland Yacht Squadron put on a great masters event. It's relaxed and well run both on and off the water. We'll be back.

    Mike Knowsley

    2015 North Shore Freshwater Champs Report

    2015 North Shore  Freshwater Champs

    A 30 knot forecast plus a number of sailors over in Brisbane for the South Pacific Masters resulted in a slightly smaller than usual entry for the NSFWC at Pupuke on 16/17 May. However quality was there with 2 of our Open Worlds squad, defending NSFWC champion Andrew McKenzie and world top 10 ranked Mike Bullot fronting to give the locals something to aspire to in the Standards and World GM champion Mike Keeton and World cube winner Richard Blakey the form sailors in the Radial for the youth sailors to knock over. 

    In spite of the forecast Saturday dawned with a nice Pupuke SW breeze, never really getting much over 12 knots but with shifts and pressure variations providing ample challenges for all. Sunday was again a SW breeze but lighter, around 5 to 8 knots all day. These conditions provided plenty of opportunity for all and no place was ever secure with some major shifts and gusts reshuffling both fleets in several races. 

    As usual though the cream rose to the top. In the Standard fleet Mike showed his class with 5 wins from the 6 races, the sequence broken by Andrew who was deservedly victorious in race 3 and was right on Mikes heels in the other races, with the exception of the last where a major wind shift combined with a mainsheet that decided to come unkotted at a critical moment seeing him join the mortals in the bunch. There was a tight contest in the Masters, with GM Peter Kempkers victorious by 1 point from GM Nick Page after a very close series. Leading Master was Dean Drummond, who was still hoping for the forecast 30 knots even at the prize giving, in 5th, first Apprentice Rob Bland in 8th and GGM Ray Beale capping a consistent series with a 4th in the last race for 10th overall.

    In the Radials Youth beat experience with Tim Adair putting together a great series to take out the overall win from newcomer and current Starling champion youth Josh Armit, who’s speed and consistency showed he will be a force to be reckoned with in the future. Third overall and first Master was Mike Keeton, who despite an ever increasing list of old age ailments seems to just keep pulling out the results on the water. He was followed by GM Kevin Welsh who managed a win in race 2 and was consistent all weekend. First women was Youth Libby Porter in 6th, who also showed flashes of brilliance in the challenging conditions with her best result a 2nd in race 2. 1st Master was Richard Blakey, who after a very challenging weekend was heard to comment on his love of the lake, while leading Women’s Master Georgina Wooldridge was happy to be on the water while husband Neil looked after the kids for the weekend rather than being able to demonstrate his prowess in the Standard fleet.

    The contest was followed by the usual Pupuke prize giving, with an awesome range of prizes overshadowed only by commodore John Dowsett’s presentation skills (not matched this weekend by sailing skills we note). A great weekend and thanks to Pupuke and PRO Garth Briden for yet another quality regatta.

    Nick Page

    Andy Maloney reports from Hyeres

    Another relatively short three week stint overseas and back is now complete. This time with the main event being the first European ISAF Sailing World Cup event of 2015, held in Hyeres, France. It was the debut event in which a new format has been adopted by ISAF, where only the top 40 Laser sailors in the world could compete. This made for extremely tight racing from day one with no 'warm-up' qualifying series like in the past. 

    I've written a quick blog update on the trip and how the regatta unfolded. Click the link below to have a read on my thoughts from the few weeks away, and what's coming up next... Enjoy!

    http://www.andymaloneyracing.com/blog/andy-maloney/2015/04/30/isaf-sailing-world-cup-hyeres

    Thanks for the continued support! It is never forgotten :)
    Cheers,
    Andy

    2015 Auckland Women's Laser Championship - Results & Report

    The 2nd edition of the Auckland Women Laser Cup held at French Bay Yacht Club was a huge success. Eleven women sailors from French Bay, Kohimarama, Panmure, Point Chevalier, Pupuke and even as far as Worser Bay came to participate in this great event. A glorious autumn sun glistened on the Manukau harbour setting the stage for a great regatta with winds ranging from 5 to 15 knots and some racing tidal currents towards the end challenging all sailors.

    There was some very close racing in the A fleet for 1st place between Libby Porter from Kohimarama and Megan Thomson from French Bay. Libby finally won the day by winning the last race and coming back for the second time in a row with the impressive Auckland Women Laser Cup donated by Jim Quinn. Megan came a very close second and Georgina Wooldridge from Pupuke came third and first Master Women. First Junior was Aleisha Ferguson from Panmure.

    The B division was won by Annika Greve from Worser Bay, second place and first Master went to Annie Mills from Panmure and third place to Ngaio Balfour from French Bay. This was a fantastic effort for this group as this was for many their very first regatta.

    A special thanks needs to go to French Bay Yacht Club for hosting a great regatta, we all enjoyed the friendly welcome, the help with the trailors, the yummy baking and a good burger after a day racing and some great prizes.

    Next year the regatta will be hosted at Point Chevalier Yacht Club, so if you missed this one make sure you are all there!

    Cheers
    Chantal Grass

     

    Great day at the Womens Laser Coaching session at French Bay Yacht Club

    Sore muscles and bones will be soaked in a lovely bath tonight but there will be some great smiles with it.

    10 women attended the Laser Coaching session today at French Bay Yacht Club. We had women from all over NZ and Auckland attending: Port Ohope, Worser Bay, Point Chevalier, Pupuke, Panmure and French Bay attending. A nice 15-25 knot breeze gave us some challenging conditions to apply our tips from our 2 fantastic coaches: Rachel Basevi and Jim Quinn, there were some acrobatic pirouettes around the reaching, windward, leeward course but eventually each laser was going faster. Everybody came back with some new knowledge that they will apply while racing at their respective Clubs.

    So a big thank you must go to Rachel and Jim for sharing their experience and giving us valuable personalised feedback to each of us, we really appreciated it. A special thanks needs to go to French Bay for hosting such a fantastic event, we all enjoyed the yummy baking after a hard day sailing. 


    There is another great event next week for Women Laser Sailors, the Auckland Women Laser Championship at French Bay Yacht Club on 19th April. 8:00am registration, 9:00am briefing and 9:30am Start. Make sure you all attend!


     

    2015 Wellington Laser Champs Results

    Full Rig:
    1st Rob Woodward (and 1st Masters)
    2nd Owen Anderson
    3rd Rodney Studd

    Radial
    1st  Edmund Tam (and 1st Masters)
    2nd Olivia Christie (1st Youth and 1st Female)
    3rd Bruce Jones

    The Laser Champs were held as part of the Evans Bay Regatta.

    Full Results for the Evans Bay Regatta

    2015 Auckland Masters Laser Champs Results & Report

    The 2015 Auckland Masters Championships, held at Tamaki on Saturday 21st March, attracted almost 40 entries with 25 Standards and a good group of Radials. 5 races were completed for both fleets in tricky E to NE breezes between about 5 and 12 knots. Seas were typically lumpy Tamaki sea breeze conditions with the heavy harbour traffic adding to the wind against an outgoing king tide for 4 of the 5 races.

    In the Radial there was a very tight contest with current World GM champion Mike Keeton eventually prevailing by one point with a 1,1,1,2,3 scoreline over Richard Blakey, who made the podium in Hyeres in the Masters division, with a 1,1,2,2,3 scoreline. Third was Whangarei visitor Roger Winton who managed to get between Mike and Richard a couple of times and was unlucky not to pull off a win in one race. Shaaron Mckee was the leading Women’s Masters Radial sailor.

    In the Standards reigning National Masters champion AM Kris Decke from Whangarei ended up winning convincingly with 4 bullets after starting slowly, having got caught on the wrong side of the beat in the first race. Second was expat Kiwi GM Gavin Dagley, now resident in Melbourne, who managed to show consistent form in all 5 races to convincingly win the GM division from third placed Nick Page (Pupuke), who was fortunate to be able to discard a meltdown in the 4th race. Leading Master was local Tamaki sailor Nick Brewer, back in the Laser after focussing on sailing the Mistral with his kids in recent times. Leading GGM was Bob Blakey, who showed he is still a force to be reckoned with a 2nd in one race in spite of turning 70 in the next few days. It was great to see 5 GGM’s in the Standard fleet, with Bob, Sandy Grigg, Jack Hansen, Dave Almond and Derek Bond all mixing it up during the day.

    Nick Page

    Results

    Andy Maloney's Update

    Hey Everyone,

    2015 is flying by! Another month of great training back in the NZ summer, and a couple of local events have now come and gone. Both Oceanbridge Sail Auckland, and the OKI 24 Hour race have been great tests for different reasons. Sail Auckland was a tightly contested battle, and the 24 Hour race was definitely a physical battle in some very testing conditions!

    Click the link below to find out how I got on and what is up next...
    http://www.andymaloneyracing.com/blog/andy-maloney/2015/03/10/time-flies...

    Thanks for all the continued support!
    Cheers, Andy

    2015 NZ Laser Rankings



      Nationals  Sail Auckland TOTAL RANK
    OPEN        
     Andrew Maloney 1 1 2 1
     Sam Meech 3 2 5 2
     Thomas Saunders 2 4 6 3
     Michael Bullot 4 3 7 4
     Andrew McKenzie 5 5 10 5
     Cullen Le Roy 6 9 15 6
     Matthew Kempkers 8 7 15 7
     Keith Inglis 9 11 20 8
     Chris Tulley 10 12 22 9
             
    UNDER 21        
     Andrew McKenzie 1 1 2 1
     Cullen Le Roy 2 3 5 2
     Matthew Kempkers 3 2 5 3
     Keith Inglis 4 4 8 4
             
    YOUTH BOYS        
     Tim Adair 3 1 4 1
     Alastair Gifford 2 3 5 2
     George Gautrey 1 6 7 3
     Josh Armit 6 2 8 4
     Sam Simpson 4 7 11 5
     James Jennings 8 4 12 6
     Scott Inglis 7 8 15 7
     Blake Woodfield 12 5 17 8
     Charles Corston 9 11 20 9
     Henry Gibbs 11 9 20 10
     Dylan McKinlay 14 10 24 11
     Travers Cole 10 15 25 12
     Callum Radford 13 12 25 13
     Hamish Clark 15 13 28 14
     Bryn Bennett 16 14 30 15
     Lachlan Grimwade 17 18 35 16
     Samuel Rushton 19 16 35 17
     Sam Beckman 20 17 37 18
     Sam Hassall 24 21 45 19
             
    WOMEN        
     Susannah Pyatt 1 2 3 1
     Sara Winther 2 1 3 2
     Elise Beavis 3 5 8 3
     Ali Nightingale 4 4 8 4
     Libby Porter 5 3 8 5
     Olivia Christie 6 7 13 6
     Megan Thomson 7 6 13 7
     Julia Francis 9 8 16 8
             
    YOUTH GIRLS        
     Ali Nightingale 1 1 2 1
     Olivia Christie 2 3 5 2
     Megan Thomson 3 2 5 3

    Panmure Lagoon SC 38th edition RSA Regatta - 22nd February 2015

    Panmure Lagoon Sailing Club has had yet another successful Regatta that saw 39 Laser sailors & their steeds from all over the World – Canada, Austria, Switzerland–as well as the North Island, Taipa, Onerahi, Hamilton and Lake Ngaroto come & do battle on this challenging spot of water in Auckland. The winds defied all predictions coming in at 8 t0 11 knots from the South West giving our illustrious race officer Garth Briden something to work with. He managed to fire off 4 races even though those errant jockeys pushed their valiant steeds across the line three times in false starts. Garth got the measure of those miscreants by black flagging the starts which brought those fiery steeds back under control. The fleets were very tight with even the top end being continuously hounded by the hoards doggedly nibbling away at their heels.

    The day closed with a BBQ & lamb on the spit followed by Prize giving with Daniel Barry from Canada taking out the RSA trophy & some other great goodies, which included a top section, 2nd place went to Andrew Childs from Taipa with our own Paul Page taking out 3rd. The Radial fleet was taken out by Loïc Eisenring of PLSC with 2nd place going to Kailash Clearwater of Taipa & Kevin Welsh PLSC taking 3rd place. Jana Senn from Nautic Club Austria won the First Women trophy. This was followed by spot prizes. We have to thank to our invaluable army of helpers who kept the whole day running like clockwork and our Sponsors who donated an impressive list of prizes.

    So we thank our generous Regatta sponsors: RSA, Waipuna Hotel and Conference Centre, CRC, PredictWind, Auckland Seaplanes, the Water Shed, Survitec Group, Auckland Marine Centre, Red Carpet Tours, Boating NZ, Sugarcraft, Joy Adams Sails, Flyajet, Mortgage Express, YMCA and New Zealand Maritime Museum.

    Results  http://www.plsc.org.nz/raceresults_files/RSARegatta2015.htm

    Photos  https://www.flickr.com/photos/plsc/sets/72157648641055393/

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