2015 Barfoot & Thompson Laser Nationals Pre Regatta Report

The 2015 Laser Nationals will be underway this Thursday at Takapuna Boating Club in Auckland. It has attracted an excellent fleet of over 150 across 5 divisions, with sailors from all over NZ and 20 overseas sailors from 15 countries registered so far. Final entries close on Thursday but with a couple of days to go a quality contest is assured in all divisions with a wide cross section of sailors registered including our Olympic aspirants and many current and past National and Masters World champions.
 
In the Standard Open fleet NZ’s Olympic squad sailors, Sam Meech, Andy Maloney, Tom Saunders and Mike Bullot will be continuing their battle for ascendancy in the Olympic selection race. They have all been competing seriously on the world circuit and have all enjoyed top results in international regattas so will be keen to stamp their authority on the fleet in their home training ground off Takapuna. They will be tested by an up and coming group of NZ sailors, many recently graduated from youth ranks, and 10 overseas sailors from all corners of the globe.
 
An extremely strong turnout of youth sailors in the Radial division are sure to push our 2012 Olympic rep and current National champion Sara Winther and the other female Olympic spot contenders as well as the Open Radial sailors. Several of the youths have just returned from the Australian Laser Nationals and Youth week where James Jennings and Alastair Gifford had good results.
 
In the Masters Standard reigning champion Chris Decke is sure to be pushed hard by Andrew Dellabarca, fresh from a top performance at the World Masters in Hyeres. However he will not only face challenges from his normal NZ adversaries but also from visiting top UK GM champion Terry Scutcher. In the Masters Radials Scott Leith will again be hot favourite following his 2nd in Hyeres but he is sure to be tested by others including reigning World GM champion Mike Keeton.
 
With a promising long range forecast all is set for 4 days of quality world class Laser racing off Takapuna, commencing with two scheduled races on Thursday.

Nick Page
Chairman NZ Laser Association