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Photos - Sheffield 2018 NZ National Laser Champs


Andrew McKenzie


Susannah Pyatt


George Gautrey & Rohan Lord

Report - Day 3 - Sheffield 2018 NZ National Laser Champs

Leaders Consolidate
 
Day 3 provided a classic day with a bit of everything weather wise giving everyone a chance at a top result. It was another hot Christchurch day with temperatures in the early 30's and the fleet was initially held ashore waiting for a breeze but by midday, a light southerly had set in so PRO Ross May got the fleet on the water and headed over to Charteris Bay for the start of race 6. The breeze was a patchy 5 to 8 knots with an outgoing tide, which proved a challenge to many, although the top Open and Radial sailors showed their class, consolidating their positions at the top of the fleet. The Southerly then died and after an hour or so wait a really solid sea breeze blowing up to about 20 knots accompanied by a good seaway came in for the subsequent two races of the day.
 
In the Standard Open fleet, last years champion Andrew McKenzie and Muritai's George Gautrey were in a class of their own, with Andrew (2/1/1) again just taking the honours for the day from George (1/2/2) to consolidate his claim to this year's title. Alastair Gifford and Matt Kempkers continued to fight it out for the third spot with Alastair holding a nice 5 point margin over Matt going into the final day tomorrow while a consistent Rohan Lord managed a 4th in race 7 to break the monopoly of the top 4.
 
  
 
In the Radial, World Youth champion Josh Armit continued his seemingly unstoppable progress to the title, winning all 3 of today's races convincingly to retain his perfect score. In contrast, the contest for second is extremely close with Susannah Pyatt holding just a 1 point lead over Scott Leith. Scott had a shocker in race 1 today so now both Scott and Susannah have serious discards so both will be looking for 2 good races tomorrow as they endeavour to secure second spot. Behind then everyone had a bit of a mixed day, with Albert Stanley continuing to hold 4th spot and second in the Youths while Annabel Rennie Younger is second in the Women's and 5th overall. In the Radial Youth Womens Samantha Stock holds onto a two-point advantage over Elly Warren, with tomorrows two races critical to deciding the winner and who will go into the NZL regatta in front in the World Youth Womens selection contest.

   
 
In spite of "observations" from a few Masters about how to survive 3 races a day both Masters fleets again enjoyed excellent racing. In the Standard Masters Andrew Dellabarca (M) had a hiccup in race 7 with an OCS but a 1/2 in the other two races still has him in front of Ian Baker (AM) by 6 points going into the final day in spite of Ian winning both today's windy races. Rob Woodward (M) moved into a clear third overall while Nick Page continues to lead the GM's but slipped to 5th overall after a poor effort in race 7  to sit just a point behind Pupuke club mate Tony Nicholson (M) who moved up to 4th overall. 
 
All the leaders in the Masters Radial found the light race a challenge but the status quo was re-established with the onset of the sea breeze to leave Ed Tam (M) leading from Hamish Atkinson (GM) with yesterdays star Jenny Armstrong  (WM) holding 3rd after posting the most consistent 3 race results for the day with a 4/2/2.
 
With only one discard allowable everyone will need at least one good result tomorrow. The forecast is again looking a little tricky tomorrow but hopefully, the predicted sea breeze will eventuate early enough to allow the final 2 races to be completed as scheduled before the 15:30 cutoff time.
 
Nick Page 
NZLA

Report - Day 2 - Sheffield 2018 NZ National Laser Champs

Weatherman and weather agree
 
The supercomputers agreed with the weather gods today and we enjoyed 3 great races in a lovely 10-15 knot sea breeze, pretty much what was forecast. Everybody was ready to go at the midday start time but the PRO decided to wait half an hour for the sea breeze to settle in. There was a bit of ebb left in the tide when race 3 started at 12.30, enough to catch bag a few OCS's, but from then on the sea breeze settled, the tide turned, the cloud cleared and we enjoyed a beautiful day's sailing on excellent courses.
 
In  the Open Standards Andrew McKenzie (Kohi) and George Gautrey (Muritai) continued to battle it out at the front of the fleet with Andrew again winning the day with a 1/2/1, but having had to conceded one to George, who sailed a blinder to take out Race 4 and log a 2/1/2 for the day. The extra breeze today suited Matt Kempkers (Wakatere) who put together a 4/3/3 for the day but still trails 3rd placed Alastair Gifford from Queen Charlotte in the overall standings.
 
In the Open Radial fleet, there was no stopping Josh Armit (Murrays Bay) who really showed why he won the U17 worlds, being dominant in all 3 races today to reach the halfway point of the contest with a perfect score. Behind him, his Murrays Bay teammates, Women's Olympic hopeful Susannah Pyatt and Masters champion Scott Leith, had a close battle with Scott's 2/3/2 just pipping Susannah's 3/2/3. With the discard getting rid of Susannah's OCS from yesterdays race 1 these two are only separated by a single point going into day 3. Annabel Rennie Younger again had a solid day to hold 4th overall although Albert Stanley and Olivia Christie both had great days and are not far behind 5th and 6th. Samantha Stock continues to lead the Youth Women although Elly Warren found the conditions much more to her liking and closed the gap on Samantha considerably.
 
In the Masters Standard, the extra breeze was to the liking of Finn convert Ian Baker (Torbay), who flew upwind to take two Masters wins and jump up to second overall. However also enjoying the conditions was Wellingtonian and past champ Andrew Dellabarca, who scored a 2/1/2 to continue to lead overall. Behind these two there is a close group of aspirants, currently led by Nick Page (Pupuke) in 3rd overall, despite his succumbing to the outgoing tide start line trap in race 3, with a consistent Rob Woodward (Worser Bay) in 4th, while Cris Brodie (Pupuke) is now 5th after suffering speed wobbles and joining the Lyttelton Swimming Club in the last 2 races of the day.
 
In the Masters Radial local hero Hamish Atkinson found conditions a bit tougher today, scoring a 3/3/2 to sit equal on points with Ed Tam, who's 2/2/1 for the day looked impressive. However undisputed Radial Masters star of the day was ex-Olympian Jenny Armstrong (Dunedin) who gave the guys a sailing lesson and took out the first 2 races  of the day and now sits 3rd overall, tied with a consistent Werner Hennig (Hamilton) on points, just one ahead of Mike Knowsley who also had an extremely consistent day.
 
With the contest now at the halfway mark, it is difficult to think of any more ideal sailing conditions than we have enjoyed so far. The one thing all the forecasts agree on for tomorrow is that it will be hot, 31degrees predicted, but the wind is a different story with a range of possibilities proposed. Hopefully, we will again enjoy a solid breeze and continue the exceptional conditions we have enjoyed to date.
 
Nick Page
NZLA

Report - Day 1 - Sheffield 2018 NZ National Laser Champs

Subtropical Christchurch greets the Laser fleet

Results Day 1

 
A fantastic first day for the Laser Nationals with clear skies, 30-degree temperatures and a lovely 10-knot breeze. Every wind forecast site anyone could find agreed, 10 -15 knot NE sea breezes would be it for the day. The only dissenter was the wind itself which decided to come in from the South so with trepidation the race committee set a course up into Charteris Bay and sure enough the southerly settled in for the afternoon and gave us two interesting races. Pressure variations, tide, a shifty breeze and a small slop provided challenging conditions for all with a few tide-induced early starters and a few swimmers proving that the challenges of the day were real, even if the water felt like we were sailing off a tropical island.
 
The Standard Open and Standard Masters started together, with several of the Masters competitive upwind, but then the top Open sailors provided a masterclass in downwind sailing to put the Master's pretenders well in their place. In the Open there was very close racing between reigning champion and favourite Andrew McKenzie, George Gautrey from Muritai and Alistair Gifford from Tauranga. The three of them had a real tussle for the top spot in both races with Andrew just managing to get home first both times but only getting through on the last short beat to the finish in race 2. Unfortunately, George was OCS in race 2 to leave him some work to do to get back to the top of the table giving the third spot in race 2 to Rohan Lord, who had suffered an OCS in race 1.
 
In the Masters Standard fleet, the lead changed several times in both races with very close racing among the top group as well as the Masters mixing it with a few of the Open fleet. In Race 1 Andrew Dellabarca (M) from Worser Bay managed to prevail from GM Chris Sadler (Tamaki) showing exemplary masters downwind technique to secure 2nd spot followed by Cris Brodie from Pupuke. In race 2 it was a similar story with Andrew holding out Cris Brodie while GM Nick Page managed to capture third place.
 
In the Open Radials superior downwind speed saw reigning champion and 2017 World U17 Laser champion Josh Armit take both races convincingly. Behind Josh last years Youth Worlds rep Annabel Rennie-Younger had a very solid day with a 4/3 to sit 2nd and lead the World Masters Radial champion Scott Leith, who is tied on points with Albert Stanley from Worser Bay for 3rd. Women's favourite Susannah Pyatt was unfortunate to be OCS in the first race but made amends with a 2nd in race 2 while in the Youth Women Samantha Stock has a solid lead over the other Women's youth contenders.
 
In the Radial Masters, local knowledge must surely have helped with GM Hamish Atkinson having a blinder with two bullets. Pre-contest favourite Ed Tam (M, Worser Bay) is tied on points for second with GM Werner Hennig from Hamilton. Kevin Welsh (GM) from Panmure scored a strong second in race 2 to sit 4th overall.
 
So with 30-degree temperatures and a sea breeze again forecast for tomorrow it is anybody's guess what we will actually get but we will hopefully see 3 quality races for all fleets.
 
Nick Page
NZLA

2017 North Island Laser Champs

25 Radial and 14 Standards enjoyed 2 days of great racing in Napier at the 2017 North Island champs, with 4 solid races on Saturday and 3 on Sunday leaving most sailors tired but happy with the weekend. There were sailors from throughout the NI, with a particularly strong team from Worser Bay there to challenge the rest. On both days we had light sea breezes, varying from about 6 to 12 knots, with choppy seas and overcast skies. The cloud limited the strength of the breeze particularly on Sunday and meant that it was patchier and shiftier than normal. This however made for great racing, with no lead ever completely safe and many place changes throughout the racing.
 
The sailor who really mastered the conditions was defending NI Radial champion and reigning U17 World Radial Champ Josh Armit. He dominated most of the Radial races, only blinking once to let U17 rival Luke Cashmore claim the bullet in race 6. Luke was a strong 2nd overall, putting together a very consistent series. 3rd and 4th, locked together as has been the case in several regattas recently, were Youth girls Olivia Christie and Annabelle Rennie-Younger. They finished equal on points, with Olivia coming out on top this time by virtue of the tie-break. Third Youth boy was Albert Stanley, from the strong Worser Bay team and 3rd Youth girl Samantha Stock from Pt Chev.
 
Ed Tam (M) was the leading master in the Radials in 6th overall, followed by Georgi Yankov (M) in 11th and Bruce Jones (GM) in 14th. 
 
In the Standards no one was able to dominate. Going into the last race there were 4 sailors still with a theoretical chance of winning the series. In the end, defending champion Andrew Dellabarca (M) showed his class, winning the final race to take the contest by two points from now Rotorua based Apprentice Kent Copplestone. Third two points further back was Cris Brodie (M) with first GM Nick Page a further point back in 4th. It was great to see the fleet bolstered by a mixture of old faces returning to the fleet and some new faces as well.  Mark Tillet from Manly was getting in some early practice for the 2019 Nationals, which will be held at his home club, and newcomers Kirk Vosper and Michael Coutts both reckoned that they enjoyed the challenge. 
 
The strong fleets this weekend at both Napier and at the South Island Champs held the same weekend at Naval Point indicate that we should have a good fleet for the Nationals so if you have not made a commitment yet get organised, get entered and we look forward to seeing you in Christchurch in January.
 
- Nick Page

Sheffield 2017 South Island Laser Champs

The Sheffield South Island Laser Championships were held at NPCL on the 25/26 November.

Entries were from as far afield as Dunedin, Picton and Nelson. There were 22 Radials and 7 Full Rigs competing. Race 1 on Saturday started in a light SW and had to be abandoned as the wind died away and the good old NE arrived. This meant a beat up the harbour to a different race course area. Racing got away again about 12-30 in a building Easterly and 3 races were completed in 14-21 knots.

Alistair Gifford, fresh from his 2nd place in the youth trials, dominated the Full Rigs with local hopefuls Tim Pitcaithly 2nd and Master Chris Shannon 3rd in each race.

In the Radials, previous winner Peter Graham from Dunedin had a 1,2,1 and female Master Jenny Armstrong (previous Olympic Gold 470 medallist) also from Dunedin was in a tied position with local Hamish Atkinson with 2,3,4 scorecards. Charles Corston won race 2 convincingly and then in race 3 dislocated his shoulder again so, unfortunately, had to painfully retire from the series.

On Sunday, we sailed a little further up the harbour with another 3 races in champagne 14-20 knot Lyttelton Easterly conditions.

For the Full Rigs, it was much of the same with Alistair getting 3 deserving bullets, followed by Tim with 3 seconds and Sean Thomson 3 thirds.

In the Radials, Peter also had 3 bullets, and Jenny and Hamish continued their 2,3,4 placings. Simon Wilson had blistering pace for a 2nd in Race 4 and 3rd in Race 5. Simon finished 4th overall and had some good capsize practice and may consider bringing his snorkel and mask up for the Nationals!

Full Rig prizes went to Alistair for 1st Youth, Tim for 1st Open and Sean for 1st Master. Radial prizes went to Peter for 1st Open, Jenny for 1st Female and 1st Master and Harry Corston for 1st Youth, and unofficially Greg Corston for the most UFD’s.

Thanks very much to Ross May the Race Officer, Phil Foulter race management, and the race boat helpers. Looking forward to some more of the same hopefully in January at the Sheffield Nationals.

See you all there!
- Hamish Atkinson

2017 North Harbour Masters

2017 North Harbour Laser Masters Results


A fine but chilly day with a gusty 8 to 12 knot southerly greeted the Masters for the 20th running of the North Harbour Masters at Lake Pupuke.

 

PRO Garth Briden was able to set a windward leeward course with just a very short offset reach at the top and the start finish line off the carpark. The course remained unchanged for the days 5 races. While this may imply that the breeze remained steady this was far from the case, with many large shifts and pressure lines offering plenty of opportunities up and down wind to those able to figure it out and leading to some dramatic place changes in many races.

 

Consistency, as is so often the case, was the key and those able to limit their day to at most a single discarded disaster were in the end at the top of the pile.  Local knowledge seemed to help some, although Phil Wild (A) from Manly was an exception to this, winning the Radials overall after overcoming Pete Thomas (GM) who had led after 3 races at the lunch break. Pete ended up third with Georgi Yankov (M) snatching second on a tie break. Both ended with identical scores, placings and discard with the tie only being broken on who beat who in the last race. Hamilton visitors Werner Hennig (GM) and Scott McDougall (GM) rounded out the top 5.

 

In the Standards Tony Nicholson (M) sailed super well all day, recovering from a couple of tricky mid race positions to count 2 bullets a 2nd and a 4th to win overall from Masters Rohan Lord in second and Dean Drummond third. The chasing pack of GM's was eventually led by John Showell, who took 4th overall after creating a mission for himself by getting an OCS in race 1. Gary Lock was 5th, convincingly winning race 4 after finding the shift of the day on the right hand side of the beat. GM Chris Brodie was 6th and Club stalwart (and secretary) Dave Lowe raised himself above the chasing pack with a well executed win in the last race, which he will no doubt use as justification  to delay getting a new boat for at least another 25 years!

 

The prize giving under the control of Commodore John Dowsett was as usual a highlight of the day. The next major regatta for many in the fleet will be the North Islands in Napier, which is sure to offer different conditions and a whole new set of challenges.

 

Nick Page

Successful Women Laser Coaching Session

Five lucky ladies from Point Chevalier, Maraetai and Panmure took the opportunity last Saturday to be coached by Sam Meech, who just hopped off the plane from his World Cup regatta win in Gamagori, Japan. Like dried out sponges, we soaked up his advice and wisdom on rigging, sail trimming for the different points of sail. He provided personal tips for all of us to improve our sailing techniques which we are all now looking forward to employing on the race course.

 
The coaching session was hosted at Maraetai Sailing Club, who welcomed us with open arms. Following a good work-out on the water,  Sean, the Commodore and Sue Whitiskie provided us all with some muffins and a hot cup of tea.  
 
We have to thank Sam Meech for his patience and invaluable tips to sail fast, the Laser Association for sponsoring the training session and Maraetai Yachting Club for supporting the promotion of Women Laser sailing.
 
 
- Chantal Grass

 

NZL Results at the 2017 Mens Laser Worlds in Split

Wrap at yachtingnz.org.nz

Gold fleet
1st: Pavlos Kontides (CYP) 1 1 1 3 1 (dnf) (26) 2 1 5 - 15 points
2nd: Tom Burton (AUS) (18) 2 6 7 1 1 5 4 4 (23) - 30 pts
3rd: Matthew Wearn (AUS) (9) 3 1 1 2 2 11 (24) 5 6 - 31 pts
. . .
8th: Tom Saunders (NZL) (15) 3 7 2 4 3 (23) 5 8 19 - 51 pts
12th: Sam Meech (NZL) 1 (4) 2 2 2 2 39 12 (40) 12 - 72 pts

Silver fleet
2nd: Andrew McKenzie (NZL) 46 5 2 11 13 (DSQ) 16 1 - 94 pts
11th: George Gautrey (NZL) 18 28 27 19 16 14 (bfd) 12 - 134 pts
 

Sam Meech & Tom Saunders 3rd & 4th and world champs test event

Sam Meech narrowly beat Tom Saunders by just 2 points after the medal race for 3rd place at the world champs test event in Aaarhus, Denmark.
Sam has his worst day on the first day - before regaining his composure to catch up over the rest of the regatta.
Yachting NZ Article


Thomas Saunders - care of YNZ
 

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