Ignore the forecast - Day 2 of the Woodridge Homes 2016 NZ Laser Nationals

Day 2 of the Woodbridge Homes Laser Nationals at Muritai Yacht Club in Wellington turned on a fantastic days sailing with a full complement of races, including a catch up race from day 1. After losing yesterday’s racing due to high winds, and the Met Service predicting 40 knots this afternoon, sailors arrived at the club hoping for the best but fearing another lost day. But thankfully the wind cooperated and we enjoyed a wonderful days racing. 

At the 11am start time the wind was Northerly around 10-15 knots but quite patchy and choppy with the wind opposing the tide. The course was laid close to the shore and working the shifts up the shore proved to be the winning strategy for all fleets in the first race. For the second and subsequent races the wind tended to the NW and freshened a little, topping out at around 20 knots for the 4th race for the Open fleets. It remained shifty all day so there were plenty of overtaking lanes and opportunities for all those able to figure it out.

In the Standard Open fleet top NZ sailor Andrew McKenzie had a battle all day with visiting Chinese sailors Jinfu Zhou and Ning Zhao but finished the day with a 3 point advantage after a 1,1,2,3 record. Next best of the NZ sailors was Matt Kempkers in 3rd after getting a bullet in the 4th race.

In the Radial Open fleet it is a close contest between Scott Leith, the current World Apprentice Masters Champion who has elected to compete in the open fleet for this contest, George Gauntry, the local Muritai sailor who recently finished 2nd at the ISAF youth worlds, and Chinese team member Jianan Wu, with only 4 points separating them at the end of the day. Consistency won the day with George leading by 1 point after scoring 4 seconds from Scott with Jianan a further point back after each won two races but lacked Georges consistency.Leading Youth is Josh Armit in 4th and  leading Women Susannah Pyatt who is 5th overall

In the Masters Standard the front of the fleet was very tight with Whangarei Apprentice Master Kris Decke, the reigning champion holding the lead from former World Master champion Grand Master Murray Thom, who made the most of his preferred breezy conditions and local Master Andrew Dellabarca.

In the Masters Radial Worser Bay Master Ed Tam made the most of Scott electing to sail in the open to lead with a 1,1,3 record from Master Hamish Atkinson from Christchurch and GM Roger Winton from Whangarei. Leading GGM is Gus Fry who had a fantastic day to be only a point off 3rd place overall.

The forecast for tomorrow (if it is to be believed!) is for similar conditions to today so we all look forward to another top days racing with 4 races again scheduled for the Open and 3 for the Masters.

Nick Page
Chariman NZLA

Full Results

Day 1 top 5 results

Open Standard
1. Andrew McKenzie, Auckland
2. Ning Zhao, China
3. Matt Kempkers, Auckland
4. Jinfu Zhou, China
5. James Jennings, Auckland

Open Radial
1. George Gautrey, Eastbourne
2. Scott Leith, Auckland
3.Jianan Wu, China
4. Josh Armit, Auckland
5. Susannah Pyatt, Auckland

Standard Masters
1. Kris Decke, Whangarei
2. Murray Thom, Auckland
3. Andrew Dellabarca, Wellington
4. Peter Kempkers, Auckland
5. Owen Anderson, Wellington

Radial Masters
1. Ed Tam, Worser Bay
2. Hamish Atkinson, Christchurch
3. Roger Winton, Whangarei
4. Mike Knowsley, Auckland
5. Gus Fry, Wellington