Barfoot & Thompson NZ Laser Championships - Day 2 - The sea breeze kicks in

Day 2 of the Barfoot and Thompson NZ Laser Nationals provided beautiful sailing, with the sea breeze slowly building throughout the racing. The first race started in about 5 knots with the breeze building to 8-10 knots for the second race and peaked at around 12-15 knots for the third with typical choppy sea breeze waves. All divisions completed their scheduled races with 2 for the Masters and 3 for the Open fleets.

In the Open the top 5 places remained the same with Sam Meech holding his overall lead with a 1/2/3 day to lead by 3 points from Andy Maloney (2/3/4) and Tom Saunders (1/3/9). Leading overseas sailor Jianan Wu from Korea again had a consistent day as did Mitchell Kennedy from Australia to hold their 4th and 5th places respectively. We are now halfway through the series and with the discard kicking in tomorrow it remains an extremely tight race for the top spot between the 3 NZ Olympic squad members.

In the Radials Olympic aspirant Susannah Pyatt has leapfrogged the Youths to lead overall by a point from leading youth George Gautrey. Tim Adair (Y), Sara Winther and Alastair Gifford (Y) round out the top 5 but again the order is likely to change tomorrow as several sailors will be looking forward to the discard coming into play. Leading youth female continues to be Jia Kim form Korea who had an excellent 2nd in todays second race to hold 8th overall. The extra breeze in the last race allowed Open sailor George Lane to score a bullet to be the leading Open sailor in 6th place overall.

In the Masters the top placings remained true to form with Scott Leith taking out both Radial races to maintain his perfect score and AM Kris Decke scoring a 1/2 in the Standards to hold a commanding lead. In the Radials Apprentice Tony Evans held on to second overall to be followed by two GM’s, Kevin Welsh and Kev Jenkins who both had greta days with two top 5 placings. In the Standards Mark Patterson (M), UK visitor Terry Scutcher (GM) and Peter Kempkers (GM) from Wakatere are all dead heated on points to hold second third and fourth overall. Andrew Dellabarca in 5th is also poised once he is able to discard a 19th from the first light wind race this morning and Pupuke’s Robert Bland had a great day with a 3/4 to show potential to upset the leaders in the remaining races.

In the 4.7 the honours were shared today between first day leader Philip Governale and Japanese visitor Emiri Koya, both scoring a 1/2 today to leave Philip still leading overall.

The forecast for tomorrow is 15 knot Northerlies which should again provide great racing conditions. Many of the masters will be hoping the breeze kicks in earlier than today so they get to enjoy the fresher breeze that the Open fleets had for their 3rd race today.

Nick Page