Laser News

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

Sara Winther at

A good article summarising Sara's career (so far) at

Sara Winther wins Gold at the French Sailing Week 2011

She's making it a habit.

Following on from gold in the Prince Sofia Regatta in March, Sara has won again in Heyres at the Semaine Olympique Francaise.
She had a 5 point lead over Frances Sarah Steyeart lead going into medal race, then started badly, only slowly clawing back during the race. But after a strong final downwind to the finish she surged past two boats on the last wave. Just enough to secure victory with two points.
In the same strong fleet Miranda Powrie was pleased with a 15th in her first year back in the class, making improvements in first beat tactics but losing ground downhill.
Mike Bullot was the best of the NZL men with a 8th overall and 6 of 11 races in the top five. Josh Juior was 12th, Andy Maloney 16th, Andrew Murdoch 23rd and Sam Meech 55th (and a 1st in his final race).

More details at

Sara Winther wins Gold in the Princess Sofia Regatta 2011

Whoo hoo!
After a slower start early in the regatta Sara Winther found her form in the middle races to win the Laser Radials at 42nd princess Sofia Regatta in Palma, Mallorca. A most impressive result against some big names including Evi Van Acker, Paige Riley and Marit Bouwmeester.

Sara's perspective at

Sam Meech must be elated with a 4th in the mens Lasers. He had only Paul Goodison (GBR), Tom Slingsby (AUS) and Nick Thomson (GBR) in front of him. The strength of the NZ squad was on show again with Andrew Murdoch and Andy Maloney 6th and 7th and Mike Bullot 8th.

In other fleets Jo Aleh and Biacha Barbarich-Bacher had a stunning regatta to win gold a full 10 points (net) ahead of silver. And Dan Slater was 4th in the Finn.

Reports and full results at

Ryan Amlehn wins Nelson Junior Sportsman of the Year Award

Congratulations to Ryan, our Laser 4.7 world champion, on winning the Nelson Junior Sportsman of the Year Award.  It is a fantastic feat to win this award against such strong competition.  This year there were 18 nominations and Ryan was one of three very talented finalists.  All finalists were interviewed and Ryan was a clear standout with his confident, considered and honest answers to a range of questions.  Ryan spoke of his real passion for sailing, his heroes, his goals, his commitment, his appreciation of those who support and coach him, and of course his success both in New Zealand and on the world stage.
It was only a few years ago that Ryan entered sailing, in a wee black and white opti and I can vividly recall watching him weave, duck and dive and sometimes bounce of the other boats on the start line, always with a big grin on his face.  He has achieved a lot in only a few short years and I hope can be an inspiration to all our sailors, both young and old.  Well done Ryan and best wishes with your next goal.
Mark Foley, Nelson YC Commodore reports ...

Congratulations to Ryan, our Laser 4.7 world champion, on winning the Nelson Junior Sportsman of the Year Award.  It is a fantastic feat to win this award against such strong competition.  This year there were 18 nominations and Ryan was one of three very talented finalists.

Results from the 2010 South Island Laser Champs

The South Island Laser Champs were held at Nelson Yacht Club on the 11 and 12 December . The races were held approx 2 miles off the  harbour entrance.  Saturday was very light and shifty but Sunday produced a 13 – 15 knot steady NW wind.

Alex Morris once again took line honours in the Laser full rig.  George Lane from Auckland won the Radial and Ben Whiteside beat Daniel Smith by one point to win the 4.7 fleet. Ben was presented with a new trophy donated by the Mellor family from NYC for the 1st youth in the 4.7 class.

Read More for results ..

Sarah Powrie receives 2010 Yachting New Zealand Service Award

Sarah Powrie, our former NZLA secretary and till active committee member, received a service award from Yachting New Zealand. Sarah and her husband Sefton both received the recognition for 'exemplary and selfless service to yachting'. Something the NZLA has definitely benefited from for many years.

Thomas Saunders wins 2010 Young Sailor of the Year

In recognition of his gold medal in the Laser at this years Volvo Youth Sailing ISAF Champs, Thomas Saunders from Tauranga Y&PBC won YNZ's Young Sailor of the year.

Other Laser sailors who received performance awards Andrew Murdoch, Sara Winther and Scott Leith.

More at:

Scott Leith 2010 Masters Radial World Champion

Scott Leith (Pupupke BC) became the 2010 Radial Apprentice Master World Champions crown at Hayling Island on the south coast of England.

Two other cubes came to Radial NZL's with Hamish Atkinson (Christchurch YC) 3rd in the Masters fleet and Jim Quinn (Tamaki YC) 4th in the Great Grand Masters. 

Scott dominated the Apprentice fleet with scores of 1,(2),2,1,1,1,2,(3),1,1. Although he won by the penultimate day, the final day's strong breeze attracted him out again, and without the worry of yellow flag penalties he let rip and won by a healthy margin in both races. Throughout the regatta he felt he wasn't always the fastest boat upwind, particularly against 2nd place Frances Jean-Christophe Ledet, but could always rely on his superior speed downwind to move him to the front.

Nic Croft wins 2010 Cork International Regatta in Kingston Canada

In August Nic Croft (Manly SC) dominated the Radial class at the 2010 Cork International Regatta in Kingston Canada with a 1,3,2,2,1,1 scoreline. The Radial fleet in this ISAF grade 1 event comprised 140 sailors, mostly from Canada and the USA.
A week later at he ame venue Nic placed 6th in the Olympic Classes regatta won by American EJ. O'Mara. In the light air regatta Nics scoreline of 17,1,3,2,BFD,32,14,1 in the 84 boat fleet showed he was at times equally competitive.

Consistency gets Andrew Murdoch 3rd place at 2010 Laser Worlds

2010 Laser Worlds Podium
The 2010 Laser Worlds at Hayling Island was a tricky regatta with tide, big shifts and light and strong breezes playing a factor. So it was experience and a relatively consistent score line, with a final race bullet, that got Andrew Murdoch into 3rd place overall. And a fantastic regatta from Josh Junior to finish 6th.
The first of the 6 final races on the penutimate day was decisive for some with a knot of tide helping to carry 9 competitors over for a black flag. This brought previous drops back into play and shuffled the leader board.
At the close of the regatta we had 4 NZ sialors in the top 16 and 5 in the top 26. At the mid way mark we had 4 in the top 8.
The NZL team has to be pleased with such a strong results and all 7 sailors in the Gold fleet.

Race reports:
NZL writeup:
Comment from the top 3:

1st Tom Slingsby (AUS)
2nd Nick Thompson (GBR)
3rd Andrew Murdoch (NZL)
6th Josh Junior (NZL)
14th Mike Bullot (NZL)
16th Andy Maloney (NZL)
25th Sam Meech (NZL)
41st Max Andrew (NZL)
50th James Sandall (NZL)

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