The NZ Laser Association supports racing Laser sailors and regattas at home and overseas. Come and join us.

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

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.

Successful women Laser coaching day at Tamaki

The NZ Laser Association organised a free coaching session for Laser women sailors on 29th October with none other than Sara Winther, the current New Zealand Laser Radial Woman Champion. Her experience as an Olympic Laser Radial sailor at the 2012 London Olympics and at many international regattas and world championships makes her a fantastic coach.
There were 6 women taking part in this amazing opportunity: Michelle Bain from Torbay, Kirsty MacDonald from Point Chevalier and Annie Mills, Chantal Grass, Shaaron McKee and Taylor Farrell from Panmure.
From left to right: Michelle Bain (TYC), Sara Winther, Shaaron McKee, Chantal Grass, Kirsty MacDonald (PCSC), Annie Mills and Taylor Farrell.
Sara started with some rigging basics and control tips, we all soaked up her learnings and attempted to apply them on the water. This is the 4th coaching session organised by the Laser Association and this time true to form the wind blew again, just slightly stronger: 22 to 28 knots. It was fantastic to see the resolution of the women to conquer the Laser in these strong winds regardless of some spectacular capsizes. The debrief afterwards from Sara helped immensely and we are all looking forward to the next windy day to apply these.
It was a very successful day, a great thanks needs to go to Luuk Van Basten Batenburg for organising the coaching, Bob Blakey, Commodore from Tamaki and Mike Knowsley for hosting this successful event and a big thanks especially to Sara Winther for being a coach extraordinaire, all the women are now eager to put into practice all your tips.
Thankyou all

Sam Meech receives a YNZ Performance Award

Following his bronze medal in the Laser at the Rio Olympics, it's not surprising to hear Sam Meech will receive a Performance Award at the Volvo YNZ Excellence awards.
Congratulations again to Sam.

More details on all awards at YNZ.

New Zealand's first Olympic Laser Medal - amongst others

Big excitement as Sam Meech won the Bronze medal in the Laser in Rio.

It's hard to believe we haven't had one before. But very nice for Sam that 4 years of effort have paid off so nicely.

Sam's 10 prelim race results indicated how tricky the conditions could be in Rio
19, 3, 5, 6, 14, 17, 13, 6, 12, then 1st (nice)
That placed him 3rd going into the single medal race, where a cool head delivered a 4th in the race and the Bronze medal. WhooHoo! - in a nail biting kind of way.

NZ sailors in other clases;

  • Blair Tuke and Pete Burling locked up the 49er Gold before the mdeal race - awesome.
  • 49erFX girls - Alex Maloney and Molly Meech get Silver. They peaked at the right time with a fantastically sailed regatta.
  • Womens 470 - Jo Aleh and Polly Powrie also get Silver. Filthy luck with a UFD and earlier lost protest put gold just beyond reach. But the points were so close they had to sail a very good medal race to get 2nd and not 5th.
  • Gemma Jones and Jason Saunders were 4th just 3 points shy of a Bronze medal - an amazing result really.
  • Finn sailor Josh Junior kept his cool to climb back to 7th overall after a patchy start to the regatta, then an impressive come back.
  • Mens 470 - Daniel Wilcox and Paul Snow-Hansen were 10th - after a 6th in the medal race.

So all NZ sailors made their top 10 medal race. Which is amazing in itself.

Then 4 crews go on to win a medal, playing a big part in NZ's biggest every medal tally at one Olympics. What a credit to all the sailors, coaches and the whole YNZ Olympic program.

All Rio Sailing Results on Google

2016 South Pacific Laser Masters in Brisbane

All Results

Four kiwis were included in the 50 strong fleet for the South Pacific Laser Masters at RQYS. We encountered a variety of conditions, from very light to a distinctly testing 20+ knots, but could not fail to enjoy the sun and balmy 27 degree days as a mid winter break from the wet and windy weather back home.

Day 1 dawned with a 4 to 6 knot breeze, just sufficient for racing to commence on time and freshening a bit for race 2. Day 2 blew out any cobwebs with a strong offshore breeze and typical Moreton Bay short steep chop for both races. The wind averaged about 20 knots but with gusts over 30 recorded at nearby Brisbane airport, the day proved a challenge for many in the fleet and the source of great discussions sitting in the sun at the bar afterwards! Day 3 was a drift out and tow back with no racing possible after the light offshore breeze refused to freshen to race strength. The final day started with a couple of false starts in a westerly breeze but this was then replaced with an unsteady NE sea breeze which allowed two good races to wrap up a successful series.

In the Radials Mike Knowsley (M) sailed an excellent and consistent series to finish a creditable 3rd overall, even after being "robbed" (shades of the underarm incident??) of a 2nd over the line in race 1 by an eagle eyed race officer at the start. Our other Radial rep, Roger Winton (GM) from Whangarei suffered a bout of flu which contributed to his having an up and down series to finish mid fleet in 11th overall.

In the Standards the overall results were significantly affected by a couple of unusual factors. In race 3 the majority of the fleet rounded the wrong top mark, demonstrating that ex world champions are not always right and should not always be followed, which really mixed up the results for that race with many sailors withdrawing. The results were also skewed by current GM world champion, expat Kiwi Gavin Dagley, missing the first 2 races after misjudging the start badly by missing his plane to the contest! Anyway the net result was that few in the  Standards were able to post consistent results and I ended up 4th overall in spite of an at times inconsistent effort and Chris Sadler (GM) finished 6th overall after a strong series which suffered from a couple of very unlucky breaks when right in the hunt in several races.

Overall a very enjoyable series and to cap it off there was good interest from many of the Aussies there in coming to the WMG next April.

Nick Page

Port Ohope YC Queens Birthday Regatta 2016

The forecast glorious weather but light winds eventuated, but if anything it made a holiday weekend in the EBOP more appealing.
A good fleet of 25 Lasers, as well as 6 Jolly boats, 5 Zephyrs and 10 Opti's were on the water.
Great to see 5 women Laser entries, all sailing full rig!

On Saturday the race committee did great to get 4 races in, and even if relatively short triangle or triangle + Windward-Leeward. Sailing in Ohiwa harbour gives plenty of tactical options playing with the tides and sandbanks.

Regular visitors from Panmure, Ian Wallace, Paul Page and Andrew Coffin again gave top locals Barry Cutfield, Ken Tarboton and Mark mackintosh a run for their money.

The club put on a wonderful buffet that evening, with some 60 people cosily filling the club house.

Sunday saw very light winds again in the morning, but threatened to die out. The first race got started for a scheduled triangle with some 2-5 knots of breeze from the east, against an outgoing tide of 1 to 3 knots from the west. Interesting sitting with transom to the start line running at 'full' speed just to hold position. After a very quick beat to the top mark the fleet went for a reach into a channel current to the wing mark, hugging the banks as much as anyone dared. Leading around the wing mark was Luuk Batenburg, trying to keep cool with Paul Page on his transom. Not far behind the rest of the fleet bunched up for some fun at the mark. The second reach had to cross two other channels with a dying breeze. Local knowledge saw Barry Cutfield sneak along the tidal lee of the middle bank to cut across the current well below the bottom mark, rounding it and finishing to win the regatta just before the breeze gave up, so no-one else could get around, let alone finish within the time limit.  Funniest race result ever with one 1st and 24 DNF's!

- Luuk Van Basten Batenburg

Photo - Hannah Morrison


Syndicate content