Laser News

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

2017 North Harbour Masters

2017 North Harbour Laser Masters Results


A fine but chilly day with a gusty 8 to 12 knot southerly greeted the Masters for the 20th running of the North Harbour Masters at Lake Pupuke.

 

PRO Garth Briden was able to set a windward leeward course with just a very short offset reach at the top and the start finish line off the carpark. The course remained unchanged for the days 5 races. While this may imply that the breeze remained steady this was far from the case, with many large shifts and pressure lines offering plenty of opportunities up and down wind to those able to figure it out and leading to some dramatic place changes in many races.

 

Consistency, as is so often the case, was the key and those able to limit their day to at most a single discarded disaster were in the end at the top of the pile.  Local knowledge seemed to help some, although Phil Wild (A) from Manly was an exception to this, winning the Radials overall after overcoming Pete Thomas (GM) who had led after 3 races at the lunch break. Pete ended up third with Georgi Yankov (M) snatching second on a tie break. Both ended with identical scores, placings and discard with the tie only being broken on who beat who in the last race. Hamilton visitors Werner Hennig (GM) and Scott McDougall (GM) rounded out the top 5.

 

In the Standards Tony Nicholson (M) sailed super well all day, recovering from a couple of tricky mid race positions to count 2 bullets a 2nd and a 4th to win overall from Masters Rohan Lord in second and Dean Drummond third. The chasing pack of GM's was eventually led by John Showell, who took 4th overall after creating a mission for himself by getting an OCS in race 1. Gary Lock was 5th, convincingly winning race 4 after finding the shift of the day on the right hand side of the beat. GM Chris Brodie was 6th and Club stalwart (and secretary) Dave Lowe raised himself above the chasing pack with a well executed win in the last race, which he will no doubt use as justification  to delay getting a new boat for at least another 25 years!

 

The prize giving under the control of Commodore John Dowsett was as usual a highlight of the day. The next major regatta for many in the fleet will be the North Islands in Napier, which is sure to offer different conditions and a whole new set of challenges.

 

Nick Page

Successful Women Laser Coaching Session

Five lucky ladies from Point Chevalier, Maraetai and Panmure took the opportunity last Saturday to be coached by Sam Meech, who just hopped off the plane from his World Cup regatta win in Gamagori, Japan. Like dried out sponges, we soaked up his advice and wisdom on rigging, sail trimming for the different points of sail. He provided personal tips for all of us to improve our sailing techniques which we are all now looking forward to employing on the race course.

 
The coaching session was hosted at Maraetai Sailing Club, who welcomed us with open arms. Following a good work-out on the water,  Sean, the Commodore and Sue Whitiskie provided us all with some muffins and a hot cup of tea.  
 
We have to thank Sam Meech for his patience and invaluable tips to sail fast, the Laser Association for sponsoring the training session and Maraetai Yachting Club for supporting the promotion of Women Laser sailing.
 
 
- Chantal Grass

 

NZL Results at the 2017 Mens Laser Worlds in Split

Wrap at yachtingnz.org.nz

Gold fleet
1st: Pavlos Kontides (CYP) 1 1 1 3 1 (dnf) (26) 2 1 5 - 15 points
2nd: Tom Burton (AUS) (18) 2 6 7 1 1 5 4 4 (23) - 30 pts
3rd: Matthew Wearn (AUS) (9) 3 1 1 2 2 11 (24) 5 6 - 31 pts
. . .
8th: Tom Saunders (NZL) (15) 3 7 2 4 3 (23) 5 8 19 - 51 pts
12th: Sam Meech (NZL) 1 (4) 2 2 2 2 39 12 (40) 12 - 72 pts

Silver fleet
2nd: Andrew McKenzie (NZL) 46 5 2 11 13 (DSQ) 16 1 - 94 pts
11th: George Gautrey (NZL) 18 28 27 19 16 14 (bfd) 12 - 134 pts
 

Sam Meech & Tom Saunders 3rd & 4th and world champs test event

Sam Meech narrowly beat Tom Saunders by just 2 points after the medal race for 3rd place at the world champs test event in Aaarhus, Denmark.
Sam has his worst day on the first day - before regaining his composure to catch up over the rest of the regatta.
Yachting NZ Article


Thomas Saunders - care of YNZ
 

Josh Armit wins U17 division at 2017 Laser Radial Youth Worlds

Congratulations to Murray's Bay sailor Josh Armit who won the under 17 division of the 2017 Laser Radial Youth Worlds
The Murrays Bay sailor came remarkable 4th overall in the regatta which was sailed this year at Medemblik, in the Netherlands.

This fine result is not too much of s surprise for those of us who have watched and occasionally sailed against Josh (well were in the same race).

 

2016 Sir Peter Blake Regatta

Long waits then light and tricky breezes at the 2017 Sir Peter Blake Regatta on 3rd & 4th Dec.

All Results

2016 North Harbour Laser Masters

Sunday 13th November saw the the 25th edition of the North Harbour Masters held on Lake Pupuke.

The first Laser Masters regatta of the 2016/17 season saw a strong turnout of 35 sailors starting their work up to next years World Masters at Torbay in April 2017. There was a healthy mix of the old guard, returning names of old and some new faces resulting in strong fleets in both the Standard and Radial. 

 

Conditions were pretty much ideal for an early season regatta, with 12 to 18 knot westerlies, gusty and shifty as usual on the lake which resulted in opportunities for all but a few thrills and spills when unexpected gusts or shifts caught out the unwary. It also allowed the scheduled 5 races to be completed easily, even allowing the luxury of a lunch break ashore between races 3 and 4. Starts and finishes right off the car park minimised organisational challenges for PRO Garth Briden and allowed spectators, including the usual tranche of masters not sailing due to age related excuses, a grandstand view of the racing.

 

In the Standards expat Australian, now from Cambridge, Anthony Merrington (A) was victorious with a strong performance, counting a 1,1,1,2. Racing at the front of the fleet was close at all times but Anthony dominated with consistently strong starts and clever reading of the shifty breeze to prevail from a trio of local Masters; Mark Oliver, who was a close second overall counting 1,2,2,3, followed by Rohan Lord and Dean Drummond. They were closely followed by leading GM Nick Page in 5th and Tony Nicholson (M) in 6th.

 

In the Radial current World Apprentice Radial Champion Scott Leith (A) was dominant, counting 4 bullets, but tripping up in the last race to let former World Masters champ Mark Orams (M) get one back after Scott had managed to pull out some impressive margins in the early races. Mark was second overall followed by Phil Wild (A), recently back in his Laser after a break of several years, Werner Hennig from Hamilton and then leading GM Pete Thomas in 5th. Pete strong post lunch results, a 3rd and 4th, allowed him to just pip GM Kevin Welsh who ended up 6th overall after a couple of tough afternoon races. Clearly Pete's lunch was faster than Kevin's! Michelle Bain was the first Women's master in 10th overall.

 

The usual generous Pupuke range of prizes, entertainingly presented as usual by commodore John Dowsett, capped off a successful day for sailors and spectators alike. The strong turnout for this regatta bodes well for the full program of regattas this season, culminating with the World Masters Games in April where entry numbers are already strong. Next up for NI sailors is the NI champs in Napier in a fortnight, followed by The Sir Peter Blake regatta at Torbay the first weekend of December and then the Nationals at Taupo in January.

Successful women Laser coaching day at Tamaki

The NZ Laser Association organised a free coaching session for Laser women sailors on 29th October with none other than Sara Winther, the current New Zealand Laser Radial Woman Champion. Her experience as an Olympic Laser Radial sailor at the 2012 London Olympics and at many international regattas and world championships makes her a fantastic coach.
 
There were 6 women taking part in this amazing opportunity: Michelle Bain from Torbay, Kirsty MacDonald from Point Chevalier and Annie Mills, Chantal Grass, Shaaron McKee and Taylor Farrell from Panmure.
 
 
From left to right: Michelle Bain (TYC), Sara Winther, Shaaron McKee, Chantal Grass, Kirsty MacDonald (PCSC), Annie Mills and Taylor Farrell.
 
Sara started with some rigging basics and control tips, we all soaked up her learnings and attempted to apply them on the water. This is the 4th coaching session organised by the Laser Association and this time true to form the wind blew again, just slightly stronger: 22 to 28 knots. It was fantastic to see the resolution of the women to conquer the Laser in these strong winds regardless of some spectacular capsizes. The debrief afterwards from Sara helped immensely and we are all looking forward to the next windy day to apply these.
 
It was a very successful day, a great thanks needs to go to Luuk Van Basten Batenburg for organising the coaching, Bob Blakey, Commodore from Tamaki and Mike Knowsley for hosting this successful event and a big thanks especially to Sara Winther for being a coach extraordinaire, all the women are now eager to put into practice all your tips.
 
Thankyou all
Chantal

Sam Meech receives a YNZ Performance Award

Following his bronze medal in the Laser at the Rio Olympics, it's not surprising to hear Sam Meech will receive a Performance Award at the Volvo YNZ Excellence awards.
Congratulations again to Sam.

More details on all awards at YNZ.

New Zealand's first Olympic Laser Medal - amongst others

Big excitement as Sam Meech won the Bronze medal in the Laser in Rio.

It's hard to believe we haven't had one before. But very nice for Sam that 4 years of effort have paid off so nicely.

Sam's 10 prelim race results indicated how tricky the conditions could be in Rio
19, 3, 5, 6, 14, 17, 13, 6, 12, then 1st (nice)
That placed him 3rd going into the single medal race, where a cool head delivered a 4th in the race and the Bronze medal. WhooHoo! - in a nail biting kind of way.

NZ sailors in other clases;

  • Blair Tuke and Pete Burling locked up the 49er Gold before the mdeal race - awesome.
  • 49erFX girls - Alex Maloney and Molly Meech get Silver. They peaked at the right time with a fantastically sailed regatta.
  • Womens 470 - Jo Aleh and Polly Powrie also get Silver. Filthy luck with a UFD and earlier lost protest put gold just beyond reach. But the points were so close they had to sail a very good medal race to get 2nd and not 5th.
  • Gemma Jones and Jason Saunders were 4th just 3 points shy of a Bronze medal - an amazing result really.
  • Finn sailor Josh Junior kept his cool to climb back to 7th overall after a patchy start to the regatta, then an impressive come back.
  • Mens 470 - Daniel Wilcox and Paul Snow-Hansen were 10th - after a 6th in the medal race.

So all NZ sailors made their top 10 medal race. Which is amazing in itself.

Then 4 crews go on to win a medal, playing a big part in NZ's biggest every medal tally at one Olympics. What a credit to all the sailors, coaches and the whole YNZ Olympic program.

All Rio Sailing Results on Google

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