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.