Laser News

All the news that's fit to print for New Zealand Laser sailors.

Andy Maloney Update - Bronze at Kiel then on to an Extreme 40 cat

Hi everyone,

This is a fairly late update due to having poor internet connections at all of our latest hotels and accommodation here in Europe. I wrote this update a few days after the Kiel Regatta finished (end of June). Click on the link below to see how I finished up Kiel Week, and what we have been up to for the last few weeks...

Since that is a late update, I can give a brief update here on the last 2 weeks;

I had the awesome opportunity to join the Oman Air team in Porto, Portugal for the 4th Act of the Extreme Sailing Series. It was a completely different type of sailing to what I have ever done before, and I learned heaps while having a great time with a good group of guys. Besides the fact that the X40 racing takes place on 40 foot catamarans (a bit different to a Laser!), it was also raced inside the river in Porto resulting in very exciting close quarter racing. One of the awesome things about the event was the thousands of spectators that lined the river banks to watch and literally cheer the teams on, it was sailing like I had never experienced before! The team taught me so much in a short amount of time, and managed to come away with 3rd for the event. The next event is at the end of August in Cardiff, UK, and the team will be looking to improve on our performance in Porto. Here is a short video wrap up for the event in Porto, it gives you a good idea of the kind of racing that the X40's do!

I have now just arrived back in Weymouth, UK, to do a week and a half of training with Andrew before he competes at the Olympics in 12 days time. I'm looking forward to the week ahead, and hope to push Andrew hard this next week and get in the best possible position to win the Gold in 2 weeks time.

Thanks for everyone's support!
I'll update in a few weeks time when I return to New Zealand,

Andy and Sam do well at Kiel 2012

Andy Maloney was 3rd and Sam Meech 5th in the 20 boat fleet at Kieler Woche 2012.
Andrew Murdoch, Sara Winther and many of the other sailors aiming for the Olympics did not sail Kiel this year.
Kiel Mens Laser Results

NZL Lasers at 2012 Skandia Sail for Gold in Weymouth

Andy Maloney has another top finish in Europe with a 7th in the 2012 Skandia Sail for Gold at Weymouth. This included a 1st in the first of 3 medal races. Andrew Murdoch is on the pace with a 9th and Sam Meech 20th. Australian Tom Slingsby won the regatta and is proving the man to beat as he as in the run up to the previous Olympics.

Not a good day at the office for team Sara Winther with a 41st (6th in the Silver fleet). In a dramatic turn of events her coach Mark Orams had a bike accident during the regatta. He has two broken arms, both of which required surgery and will be heading back to NZ. We are yet to see how Mark, Sarah and Yachting NZ adjust Sarahs program in the weeks before the Olympics. But best wishes and thoughts of support for Sarah and Mark at this challenging time.

In other classes;
Jo Aleh and Olivia Powrie won the womens 470. And rapidly rising stars Paul Snow-Hansen and Jason Saunders had a comfortable 3rd in the mesn 470. Brilliant steps on the path to the Olympics.

Next stop ISAF World Cup event of 2012, Kiel Woche, Germany, 16-20 June.

ILCA Elects New President

The ILCA is pleased to announce that Tracy Usher has been elected as the new ILCA President. Tracy brings a wealth of knowledge to the position, having served as a member of the ILCA World Council since 2002, a member of the ILCA Technical Committee since 2006, and has served as the Chairman of the ILCA North American Region since 2004.
Tracy was elected at the recent World Council Meeting held in Boltenhagen, Germany where Heini Wellmann announced his retirement after six years serving as President. The ILCA and the entire Laser community would like to thank Heini for all his enthusiasm and dedication to the Laser Class and wish Tracy all the best in his new position.

Andy Maloney Bronze at the Worlds

Andy Maloney moved up one place on the final day to take Bronze at the 2012 Audi Laser World Champs in Boltenhagen, Germany. This follows his silver at the Semaine Olympique Francaise World Cup a few weeks ago, making a stunning European tour.

Andy's comment: It was a very successful first trip to Europe for the season, and I am stoked with my results and some of the improvements in my speed, tactics and all around racing ... Thanks to everyone for following my progress, and for the support!

Australian Tom Slingsby lead throughout the regatta and was able to sit out the last race.

Sam Meech was the second NZL having a great regatta for 17th. Andrew Murdoch moved up to 25th he won the final race.
Other NZL sailors were Thomas Saunders in 86th and Micahel Cate 101st.

Worlds news links

Men in Black - Sam Meech, Andy Maloney, coach Mark Howard and Andrew Murdoch.

2 Podiums for NZL at the 2012 Semaine Olympique Francaise World Cup

Andy Maloney and Olympic rep Andrew Murdoch finished 2nd and 3rd at the 2012 Semaine Olympique Francaise World Cup at Heyres in France.

In a 106 boat fleet both sailors were almost consistently in the top 6, sharing 5 firsts, 4 seconds and 5 3rds across the 10 races. Andrew Murdoch maintained his 3rd spot with a 5th in the medal race.

In the 9th race Andy Maloney had his worst result, a 17th he could drop. This didn't seem to shake his confidence, he went into the medal race in 4th and sailed a 2nd to take 2nd overall.

German sailor Phillip Buhl won the event.  Australian Tom Slingsby was at the top of the leader board for much of the regatta but slipped to 5th with a DNF in the medal race.

Our third NZL also impressed. Youth sailor Thomas Saunders was consistently in the top 20, including two 4ths. He finished 40th, near the top of the silver fleet.

More on the event

Next stop Boltenhagen Germany for the Audi Laser World Champs 2012 from 4th to 10th May.

Image: Photosport on

3 wins for NZL sailors at the 2012 Laser Masters Worlds

NZL Team members with their 2012 Masters Worlds cubes. Pete Thomas (3rd Grand Master Radial), Mark Orams (1st Master Radial), Scott Leith (1st Apprentice Radial), Andrew Dellabraca (4th Master Standard), Mike Keeton (1st Grand Master Radial).

The 3 new world champions were just part of the great form shown by the NZ team at the 2012 Laser Masters in Brisbane.

Scott Leith won the Radial Apprentice for the 3rd year in a row. But this one was sweet as he convincingly beat Richard Bot, a very good sailor from Sydney who had beaten Scott when they first met at the Worlds in the 2009 worlds in Nova Scotia.

In the Radial Masters past open world champion Mark Orams was battling a heavier Greg Adams from Brisbane in the strong winds during the first half of the regatta. But Mark finished with 5 staight wins in the lighter second half to clinch the title by 4 points.
Hamish Atkinson from Christchurch finished 7th.

Mike Keeton will be especially pleased with his first world championship win in the Radial Grand Masters. He has shown us glimpses of good form for years, but this time strung it all together on the international stage to beat Adam French from Brisbane. They were 1 point apart mid regatta, but Mike stayed consistent on the final day to stretch away to a 7 point lead.
Consistency also paid for Pete Thomas who took third, winning the final race to be tied on 34 points with 2 other sailors - then getting the 3rd on countback. Bruce Jones from Wellington will have been happy with his 8th.

Despite being concerned he was too heavy, Bob Blakey came 6th in the Radial Great Grand Masters. So we will ignore that excuse from now on.

Over on the Standard course, Apprentice sailors Kent Copplestone from Foxton Beach and Rob Woodward from Wellington had a epic finale. They were 6th and 5th in the final race, leaving them tied on 53 points. But on countback Kent was 4th overall and Rob 5th.

Andrew Dellabarca had another great worlds to finish 4th in the strong Standard Master fleet.

In the Standard Grand Masters Nick Page had a regatta of two halves. He did well in the heavy half but faded to 10th in the light shifty conditions. Despite training exclusively on Lake Pupuke.

Read more for all NZL Results & photos.

NZ Sailors do well at 2012 Aussie Masters Champs

A few of our NZ Masters sailors sailed the Aussie Master champs in Brisbane as a preliminary to the World Champs at the same location starting Saturday 10th March.
Scott Leith made a clean sweep of the Apprentice Radial Division. Ed Tam backing him up in 3rd.
Mike Keeton convincingly won the Grand Master Radials.
Mark Orams was 2nd in the Masters Radial, racing hard against local Aussie Greg Adams. Hamish Atkinson from Christchurch in 8th.

Update from Andy Maloney

Hey Everyone,
The 2012 training and racing has begun. I have just finished competing at the NZ Laser Nationals and in Sail Auckland. I have written an update on my website, including how these two events went and any other latest news from me. You can read it by clicking on this link
Thanks for all the support and for following my progress!
I am looking forward to a great year training and competing!

And another update from Andy after winning the OKI 24 Hour.
p.s.  Update after winning the OKI 24 Hour

All Fingers and Thoms

NZ Laser glitteratti and past World Champions Mark Orams, Murray Thom and Mark Page preparing to head south for the highly enjoyable NZ Laser Champs hosted by the hospitable Worser Bay on Wellington.
In a rare moment Mr Page manages to upstage Murray with a finger fresh from A&E. Apparently the result of a workplace accident, not a domestic dispute as originally reported. Despite the discomfort Mark sailed all races although the finger was deemed a shipping hazard by the Wellington Harbour Master.

See how they went, along with all the rest of us.

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