2020 South Island Laser Champs Results & Report

The 2020 South Island Laser Champs were held at the picturesque Pigeon Bay on the Banks Peninsula on the Saturday and Sunday over Labour Weekend. Hosted by Pigeon Bay Yacht Club and organized by Christchurch Yacht Club.

The best turnout for many years saw 36 lasers competing, 14 full rigs and 22 Radials. With so many lasers each fleet had their own start. It was good to see sailors coming from all over the South Island from Bluff and Te Anau in the south and Nelson and Picton in the north. Plus there was a good mix of ages Youth, Juniors and Masters.

3 races each day were planned and completed in a variety of conditions from warm light winds to shifty 30 knot gusts as the northerly wind swung more NW on the Sunday.

Racing Saturday started in light winds but after a break for lunch the following 2 races where sailed in fresher but changeable conditions. Racing in the first 2 races was very tight with some very crowded marks and frequent position changes. Following racing the Pigeon Bay Yacht club laid on a very good BBQ.

With the forecast for strong NW winds latter, Sunday’s races were all sailed back to back. The fresher conditions created some challenges and second half of the last race caught the NW, creating some adrenalin pumping downwind rides and challenging jibing.

The final outcome was a convincing win by Tim Pitcaithly (Nelson YC) in the Full Rig Fleet only dropping 1 place over the 6 races. The other top positions were taken by Mike Terry and Daryl Parkes who were again very consistent.

In the Radials things were a lot tighter with only 4 point separating the top 4 spots and wins going to 4 different sailors. At the end of the first day it was still a very tight at the top and with more wind forecast for Sunday it was still an incredibly open competition. As it was it all went down to the last race. With Jack Bennett (Queen Charlotte YC) taking the win over last years champion Peter Graham and Josh Edmonds just edging out Jenny Armstrong for third.

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