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2017 Bayleys Laser Nationals - Day 3 - Down to the wire

Day 3 Results

Day 3 of the Bayleys Laser Nationals started as forecast with a light , and much warmer, northerly breeze but this quickly freshened through the day providing a challenging gusty ands shifty offshore breeze for the later races. The race committee, led by PRO Gerald Martin from Napier, again did a fantastic job in testing conditions to set fair but challenging courses.

 
In the Open the day belonged to NZL squad member Tom Saunders who won both Races 7 and 8 to win the day following a third in the days first race to move up to second overall. However not be outdone defending champion Andrew McKenzie was 2nd in all 3 races to retain the overall lead by 3 points. Chinese sailor Jianan Wu was top 5 in each race but slipped to third overall ahead of the winner of todays first race, teammate Ning Zhao. NZ sailors George Gautrey and Matt Kempkers both has solid days to hold 5th and 6th overall ahead on the other Chinese team sailors.
 
In the Radial Youth Josh Armit stamped his authority on the regatta to lead with two wins, split by a discard 9th in the second race of the day. Tied with Josh going into the day Alastair Gifford had a solid day and is now clear second over leading Woman Susannah Pyatt, who won the second race of the day and was able to discard an OCS in the first race to have a solid 10 point lead over second women's sailor and now 4th overall Stephanie Devaux Lovell. World Masters champ Scott Leith's challenge for the Open title evaporated today with and OCS in the first race and gear breakage in the third race dropping him well down the table. Open sailor George Lane and local Youth Blake Woodfield both had consistently strong results in all 3 races to sit 5th and 6th overall.
 
Expat Australian Anthony Merrington (A) was the sailor of the day in the Masters, winning both races to take the overall lead by a solitary point from overnight leader Giles Grigg (A), who has a handy 6 point lead on third placed defending masters champion Andrew Dellabarca (M), who had a costly capsize at the gybe mark in the second race when leading. Former NZ open champion Mark Oliver (M) holds 4th overall ahead of leading GM Peter Kempkers who was consistent in both races. Former champion Kris Decke's OCS in the first race of the day put pay to his title challenge while Master Tony Evans lapped up the condition with a 3rd and 4th to move to 6th overall.
 
In the Masters Radial leader Apprentice Phil Wild and 2nd overall placed Richard Blakey (M) are locked in a close battle after both scoring a 1st and 2nd today to be separated by a single point overall. Defending champion Ed Tam is third overall after a couple of 5th today. Leading GM Hamish Atkinson had a tough first race but did enough in the second to hold off Werner Hennig (M) and second GM, former World GM champion Mike Keeton who managed a 3rd in one race today to be 6th overall.
 
So with one day to go there is still everything to sail for for the leaders in every division. Tomorrows forecast is not promising, with Taupo due to get the brunt of the low pressure system crossing the country tomorrow so if there is sailing it is again likely to be a windy couple of races to finish the series. 
 
- Nick Page
 

2017 Bayleys Laser Nationals - Day 2 - Wrap up Warm for the Taupo Summer!

Fresh snow overnight on the mountains at the southern end of Lake Taupo and a moderate SW breeze meant that sailors arriving at the yacht club this morning were greeted by bracing temperatures which resulted in most sailors wearing enough layers of clothing when going on the water to qualify for Michellin man ads. However the clouds mostly cleared, the sun came out and the breeze moderated to provide a challenging but beautiful days sailing with all races completed to schedule. While breeze had a little more South in it than yesterday and was much lighter it was again challenging for all with strength varying from almost nothing to 15 knots and 20 degrees shifts, all every few minutes, combing to significantly shake up the results in several divisions and make consistency hard to achieve.


Day 2 Results

 

In the Open there is a fantastic contest developing between the NZL and Chinese teams. New Zealand sailors are 1,3, 5 and 7 at the end of day 2 with the Chinese team 2, 4, 6 and 8th. Still leading is defending champion Andrew Mckenzie, but only by a single point from Jianan Wu who had a really strong day and was the model of consistency with two first and a second. Tom Saunders is only 4 points back in 3rd overall with recent youth graduate George Gautrey scoring a bullet in the last race to move up to 5th overall.

 

In the Radial another fantastic contest is developing. After 5 races top youths Alastair Gifford and Josh Armit are tied on points with a good break on third place Susannah Pyatt. Josh won one of todays 3 races while the other were won by master Scott Leith and youth Albert Stanley, both of who's overall ranking should benefit tomorrow once a discard comes in as both are currently carrying an OCS. Both Alastair and Josh have been super consistent so far so it may be a case of who blinks first in deciding the ultimate winner. Another notable feature is that there a 3 women in the top 6 with Stephanie Devaux Lovell in 4th and Youth Worlds rep Olivia Christie in 6th joining Susannah to keep the guys honest.

 

In the Masters race 3 was completely dominated by Nick Brewer from Tamaki. He picked the right hander on the first beat and was never threatened after that.  Race 4 was a completely different affair with the lead changing several times and was finally decided only as the fleet neared the finish line when Giles Grigg found some pressure in the left corner and sailed around the leading bunch to record the win. Mark Oliver and Anthony Merrington also featured at the top of the fleet in both races to consolidate top 3 spots overall with Giles. Defending champion Andrew Dellabarca and past champion Kris Decke both suffered from ending up on the wrong side of the first beat in both races to give themselves a challenge for the rest of the series.

 

In the Masters Radial overnight leader Phil Wild found the day more challenging, like Andrew and Kris in the Standards getting on the wrong side on the first beat to make life difficult for himself but still managed to lead overall at the end of the day. Race 1 was won by Werner Hennig from Hamilton, who managed to hold onto an early break while in race 2 Richard Blakey just scraped in on the line over GM past World Champ Mike Keeton, who enjoyed the lighter conditions today. Richard had a tough first race today and is another who will be looking forward to a discard coming into play. Leading Grand Master is Hamish Atkinson from Christchurch who has again shown super consistency to sit second overall while defending champion Ed Tam sits 4th after a tough second race.

 

With tomorrows forecast for completely different condition, light Northeasterlies, and half the series still to come there are sure to be opportunities and plenty of further challenges for all.

 

- Nick Page
 

2017 Bayleys Laser Nationals - Day 1 Results & Report

 

Fresh winds from the westerly quarter provided ideal but challenging conditions for the first day of the 2017 Bayleys Laser Nationals at Lake Taupo Yacht Club. Race 1 got underway after some complications caused by a front passing through with the wind changing from NW to WSW, requiring some adjustments to the course. The wind was blowing out of nearby Acacia Bay at 10 to 20 knots with plenty of big shifts and oscillations throwing up constant challenges to all the sailors and a few thrills and spills as the gusts came down the course. 

 

The fleet of 120 started in 4 divisions with the Standard Open, Radial Open, Masters Standard and Masters Radial all having between 30 and 40 on the start line. In the Open defending champion Andrew McKenzie and NZL squad sailor Tom Saunders face a tough challenge from the visiting Chinese team sailors. At the end of day 1 Andrew has well and truly laid down the gauntlet to defend his title with 2 bullets. The Chinese team had a great day with Ning Zhao in second, Jianan Wu in 4th and Yuchen Gu in 5th. Breaking them up is NZL squad member Tom Saunders in 3rd, scoring a 2nd and 4th with our recent Youth Worlds rep George Gautrey also close to the action, finishing the day 6th overall.

 

In the Radials top youth sailor Alistair Gifford has a stellar day to lead with a first and second from our other leading youth sailor Josh Armit, who won the first race and then backed up with a third in the second race. They are followed by top Master Scott Leith, who has elected to sail in the Open Radial fleet, and top Women's sailors Susannah Pyatt sits in 4th. Local Youth sailors Blake Woodfield wraps up the top 5 with a consistent 5th and 6th for the day.

 

 

In the Master Standard defending champion Andrew Dellabarca (M) had a tough first race after getting on the wrong side of a shift on the first beat but recovered to take out race 2 after a close battle with past champion Kris Decke (AM). Kris leads the day overall after notching up second in both races. Returning to the Nationals for the first time in several years Apprentice Giles Grigg had a fantastic first race to lead all the way and then did not get it quite right in the second race to finish the day equal 4th with Andrew. Second and third overall are leading GM's Peter Kempkers and Mark Oliver, who were both super consistent exchanging 3rd and 4th in the 2 races.

 

In the Masters Radial Apprentice Phil Wild won both races convincingly with Richard Blakey (M), defending champion Ed Tam (M) both consistent to hold second and third overall. GM's Kevin Welsh and Hamish Atkinson and Master Mike Knowsley are the next group all tied on 11 points after 2 races.

 

So with a forecast for a bit less but still a solid breeze from the WSW tomorrow, we look forward to more quality racing and the opportunity for the leader to consolidate their positions.

- Nick Page

2016 Dunstan Special Laser Regatta - Report

The 2016 Dunstan Special Laser Regatta was held on December 3rd & 4th.

Marakura Laser sailors Ross Shipman, Eric Nicholson, Daryl Parkes and Sue McKenzie participated in this regatta hosted at the Lake Dunstan Boat Club. Always good to catch up with the laser sailors from Central, and with Tim Smith from Bluff attending, along with Dragos Blaga and Neil Morris from Dunedin, this was a good fleet with 15 boats on the start-line.

Day One saw one “practice” race and 4 “official” races completed in 15-22 knots of northerly breeze, getting off the water nicely buggered at 5.30pm after three and half hours of racing. Great hospitality with a hot meal and BYO drinks saw the conversation wind up about midnight, after tasting Dunstan laser sailor Roger Gibson’s nationally acclaimed Lowburn Ferry Pinot Noir.

No wind was forecast for Sunday, but it actually turned into a pretty good day, albeit patchy increasing wind strength during the day, and swinging from SE to SW all day, so keeping in the breeze lines was crucial. Another 5 races were completed, with some good competitive battles throughout the fleet.

Many thanks to James and his team at Dunstan for hosting the regatta and to the excellent race management who took care to set good courses. Fantastic secure facilities with excellent launching harbour inlet. Many thanks to James also for selling peonies at the club. I’m now in credit with my better half for a few more regattas! 
Looking forward to resuming the battle at the Wanaka Regatta on Jan 7-8 and at the Te Anau Plumbing Open Dinghy Regatta on Jan 28-29.    

Daryl Parkes - 184217


 

Laser Carbon top section finally here - almost

PSA will have the long awaited class legal Laser carbon top section available from 1st February 2017.
They are AUD850 in australia - with preorders accepted for AUD100 online at the PSA site.
 



In NZ they will be available from Dan Slater at The Watershed.

We are now taking pre orders for Feb delivery total cost is $1042 and the deposit is $200.
Sailors can call and make a CC deposit and the freight we will discuss at Nationals when we have more details but  would like to combine areas orders and freight.
- Dan Slater

 


The official word from the ILCA below:

Laser Class Announces New Composite Top Mast
The class legal composite mast will be available in early 2017.
 
5 December 2016
 
The International Laser Class Association (ILCA) is pleased to announce the release of a class-legal composite top mast section that is expected to be available for purchase in early 2017.
 
Because the new mast was designed with the exact same weight and bend characteristics as the existing aluminum upper sections, it will not provide a performance advantage but instead will eliminate the permanent bending problems associated with the aluminum spars.
 
"ILCA's policy regarding the introduction of new equipment is that it should always have the same characteristics as the existing equipment and that the new equipment should not give a performance advantage when raced alongside existing equipment," says ILCA Executive Secretary, Eric Faust. "The composite mast definitely meets that objective. It's been tested by some of the top Laser sailors in the world and they all agree that they can't determine any difference while sailing."
 
According to ILCA Technical Officer, Clive Humphris, "The new top section has been rigorously developed and tested over the past six years to assure that it is a 'like-for-like' part with the current mast. The advantage is that the new mast will be much more durable and won't be prone to permanent bending like the aluminum masts."
 
ILCA President, Tracy Usher, agrees. "I've sailed with a prototype composite upper while training in a wide variety of conditions -- I couldn't tell any difference between having this spar on the boat or using an aluminum one. I sail the same way and the boat seems to behave the same way. Everything felt the same."
 
"This is going to make Laser sailing easier for everyone," adds Usher. "Sailors won't need to carefully align their mast rivet when rigging or worry about straightening their masts after a day of heavy air sailing. It's going to be a big improvement for everyone!"
 
Because the composite mast is now a fully approved change to the Laser Construction Manual, there is no need for a change to the Laser Class Rules. As long as the mast is purchased from an approved Laser Builder or one of its authorized dealers, it will be legal for use at all ILCA sanctioned events.
 
The new mast specifications have been developed in close cooperation between the approved Laser Builders, World Sailing and ILCA. Because the composite top section is class legal and it will not provide any advantage in performance on the water, neither ILCA nor World Sailing anticipate that the use of the composite mast will need to be restricted for any future events. If it is subsequently determined that the use of the mast needs to be restricted, this will be controlled by Notice of Race on an event-by-event basis.
  

2016 Sir Peter Blake Regatta

Long waits then light and tricky breezes at the 2017 Sir Peter Blake Regatta on 3rd & 4th Dec.

All Results

2016 North Island Laser Champs at Napier


The Laser North Island Champs was again held this year as part of the summer regatta at Napier Sailing Club on the weekend 26/27 November.

Saturday dawned with a moderate Northerly breeze to greet the fleet of 40 Standards & Radials as well as good fleets of OK's, Paper Tigers, Flying 15's etc which gave the regatta a great atmosphere. On the way out to the course the breeze shifted to the NW and started to freshen. The first race was held in about 15 knots, a typical shifty and gusty offshore breeze, which continued to freshen throughout the day, peaking at close to 30 knots by the finish of the 4th race. This resulted in many swims through the fleets and more than a few retirements in the latter races. Sunday carried on where Saturday left off, with the wind over 30 knots by 11am causing an early cancellation of the days racing. 

 

In the 12 boat Standard fleet reigning National Masters champion and defending NI champion Andrew Dellabarca from Wellington was most consistent, winning 3 races to take out the trophy convincingly from Howick's Mark Oliver and Pupuke's Dean Drummond who were tied on points in 2nd and 3rd. Rob Woodward and I had a close battle for 4th with Robs young legs ultimately victorious to clinch 4th spot by a single point.

 

In the Radial's, with a good fleet of 27, defending NI champion and leading youth Josh Armit was able to successfully defend his title after an extremely close struggle with master Scott Leith and fellow youth George Gautrey, who's unfortunate OCS in the last race saw him finish down the order as there was no discard and ultimately cost him victory in that race and the series. Close behind Scott were another group of youths with Alastair Gifford, Blake Woodfield, leading women's youth Olivia Christie and Joshua Bull all sailing consistently to wrap up the top 6 slots. Second Master was Ed Tam in 7th, just holding out leading women's master Michelle Bain.

 

Napier again provided a great venue for us, with good racing and a great social in the evening. It was unfortunate that the gales that prevailed throughout the country over the weekend got the better of conditions on the Sunday but with 4 quality races on Saturday and close racing in both fleets everyone could go home feeling well challenged for the weekend and looking forward to next weeks Sir Peter Blake regatta at Torbay.

 

Nick Page
 

ILCA Oceania District News Update

Dear Sir/ Madam,

On the 19th of November 2016 at the International Laser Class Association “ILCA” annual general meeting the World Council voted to change the geographic boundaries of the Asia Pacific region into Asia and Oceania.

There are many reasons for this decision but the main one was to be geographically inline with the International Olympic Council “IOC” and their view on the five Continents around the World as described by the five Olympic rings in the Olympic trade mark logo. Oceania is one of those rings.
This new region for laser, Oceania will incorporate all Pacific Island Nations and Australia and New Zealand. While it is early days the Oceania Laser Committee will work out the best way to run a viable Oceania Laser Continental Championships annually that will gain the respect of the IOC and World Sailing “WS” and set a bench mark for other ILCA regions to follow.

In the future it is hoped that this Event will attract WS points and eventually be an Olympic selection Regatta for Oceania and ILCA member Countries.
This initiative will create an opportunity for increased participation in Youth, Open and Master Sailing that will lead to stronger laser class racing in the Region.
In the mean time all Oceania Countries not registered or financial with the peak body ILCA should become financial and compliant. Details ILCA Web site.
Things like web sites and better communications will be resolved over time and I will send information when it comes available, so be proud and be involved and we all will be winners.

Thank You
Ken Hurling
OAM ILCA Oceania Chair
LASERSAILFORLIFE

2016 South Island Laser Champs - Ravensbourne BC, Dunedin

2016 South Island Laser Champs

10 Laser Radial sailors gathered at Ravensbourne Boating Club in Dunedin on the 19th and 20th November. There were 8 Masters, 1 Youth and 1 Open fleet. Interestingly there were no Full Rigs or 4.7s. The racing was combined with the Bic Otago Champs.

On the Saturday, racing started at 11 o’clock with a 10- 14 knot NE. The wind steadily built over the day to reach 20-23 knots in race 4.

Peter Graham from Ravensbourne dominated the regatta with 3 race wins, followed by Hamish Atkinson from Naval Point club with 3 second placings. In race 4 , Hamish managed to come through in the final downwind leg to take a race win from Peter. 3rd overall was Neil Morris from Mc Andrew’s Bay Boating club with 5,3,4,3. 4th was Jenny Armstrong sailing a 3,4,5,4 series. This was Jenny’s second time in a Laser and she will be one to watch in the future. Jeremy from Vauxhall Yacht Club was 5th, Dragos from Otago Yacht Club 6th, Morris VYC 7th, Gwynn MBBC 8th, Graham VYC 9th and Oliver RBC 10th.

Unfortunately Sundays racing was blown out with a fierce SW gusting up to 40 knots.

Special thanks to Peter Graham Traffic Management and Control for sponsoring the regatta and to Ravensbourne Boating Club  for hosting a great championship.
- Hamish Atkinson 


Winner Peter Graham at the 2016 South Island Laser Champs (dog's name unknown)

2016 North Harbour Laser Masters

Sunday 13th November saw the the 25th edition of the North Harbour Masters held on Lake Pupuke.

The first Laser Masters regatta of the 2016/17 season saw a strong turnout of 35 sailors starting their work up to next years World Masters at Torbay in April 2017. There was a healthy mix of the old guard, returning names of old and some new faces resulting in strong fleets in both the Standard and Radial. 

 

Conditions were pretty much ideal for an early season regatta, with 12 to 18 knot westerlies, gusty and shifty as usual on the lake which resulted in opportunities for all but a few thrills and spills when unexpected gusts or shifts caught out the unwary. It also allowed the scheduled 5 races to be completed easily, even allowing the luxury of a lunch break ashore between races 3 and 4. Starts and finishes right off the car park minimised organisational challenges for PRO Garth Briden and allowed spectators, including the usual tranche of masters not sailing due to age related excuses, a grandstand view of the racing.

 

In the Standards expat Australian, now from Cambridge, Anthony Merrington (A) was victorious with a strong performance, counting a 1,1,1,2. Racing at the front of the fleet was close at all times but Anthony dominated with consistently strong starts and clever reading of the shifty breeze to prevail from a trio of local Masters; Mark Oliver, who was a close second overall counting 1,2,2,3, followed by Rohan Lord and Dean Drummond. They were closely followed by leading GM Nick Page in 5th and Tony Nicholson (M) in 6th.

 

In the Radial current World Apprentice Radial Champion Scott Leith (A) was dominant, counting 4 bullets, but tripping up in the last race to let former World Masters champ Mark Orams (M) get one back after Scott had managed to pull out some impressive margins in the early races. Mark was second overall followed by Phil Wild (A), recently back in his Laser after a break of several years, Werner Hennig from Hamilton and then leading GM Pete Thomas in 5th. Pete strong post lunch results, a 3rd and 4th, allowed him to just pip GM Kevin Welsh who ended up 6th overall after a couple of tough afternoon races. Clearly Pete's lunch was faster than Kevin's! Michelle Bain was the first Women's master in 10th overall.

 

The usual generous Pupuke range of prizes, entertainingly presented as usual by commodore John Dowsett, capped off a successful day for sailors and spectators alike. The strong turnout for this regatta bodes well for the full program of regattas this season, culminating with the World Masters Games in April where entry numbers are already strong. Next up for NI sailors is the NI champs in Napier in a fortnight, followed by The Sir Peter Blake regatta at Torbay the first weekend of December and then the Nationals at Taupo in January.

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