The 2015 North Harbour Masters was held at Lake Pupuke on 8 November, attracting a good fleet of 26 Masters; 20 Standard and 6 Radial and including several out of town visitors. The weather gods turned on a beautiful el nino spring day, fine and warm but unfortunately with a very light and variable westerly breeze.
Pupuke is never easy but with the wind regularly shifting up to 45 degrees and many flat spots between the puffs everyone found it challenging and no one was able to consistently dominate, although the Pupuke fleet members showed out in the final results, indicating that maybe local knowledge counted for something, even though none of us could actually figure out what! In the standards there were 5 different winners in the 5 races while in the Radial 3 sailors scored bullets.
At the end of the day the final results in the Standards came down to a countback, with Nick Page (GM) coming out on top from Gary Lock (GM) by virtue of having managed a win in race 2. There was another tie for 3rd and 4th with Tony Nicholson (M) edging out club commodore John Dowsett (GM), again by virtue of securing a race win. Club stalwart John was extremely unlucky not to triumph having the best 3 race score for the day (2,2,3) but getting caught out by shifts in the other 2 races. It was great to see Michelle Bain (WM) join the fleet as the start of her preparations for the 2017 World Master Games Laser event at Torbay and we hope to see many more new or returning faces through the season as we build towards the 2017 contest.
In the Radials it again took a tie break to determine the winner by the slimmest of margins, with Murray Bain (M) only triumphing by virtue of a superior discard from Georgi Yankov (M), with both sailors counting 2 wins and 2 seconds. Third and leading Apprentice was Vladimir Minkov.
So another successful start to the seasons Masters regattas and we look forward to strong fleets at the upcoming SI champs at Charteris Bay, NI’s in Napier and Sir Peter Blake regatta at Torbay over the next few weeks.
Prepared for the NZLA AGM 20 Oct 2015
The Laser class has again led the way for dinghy sailing nationally with good fleets to many regattas across the country and we have again seen our sailors perform well at international level.
Internationally, while the court case with the licensee and builders remains unresolved it has been great to see the new Standard Rig sail released as of November and hopefully we will see progress on the other ongoing equipment issues, principally bending top and Radial bottom sections, shortly.
Congratulations to Scott Leith for landing another Radial World title. There were also many solid performances from our top Youth, Open and Masters sailors at international regattas.
Our grants and coaching initiatives has again continued and NZLA will continue to encourage and sponsor coaching this season for any club or group of Laser sailors. It is often difficult to find suitable slots where coaches are available and thanks to Mike Keeton for his continued perseverance in organising the class coaching.
The Nationals at Takapuna were a success with the total fleet of 150+ boats. We hope to see a continuation of the strong support from sailors at this seasons contest at Muritai.
This raises one of the issues currently facing NZLA. With the new ISAF world cup regatta format our top international sailors need to attend the ISAF Miami regatta in January 2016, meaning that they will be overseas and miss our Nationals. Your committee have discussed our options and agreed that for 2016 and 2017 we will continue with our Nationals in January as the advantages of these dates outweigh the disadvantages. However if the ISAF program remains unchanged we may need to consider a change, at least to the Open division Nationals, in the future.
The local initiative for women’s sailing and the special women’s regattas have continued this season with increasing participation and a special thanks to Chantal for her ongoing organisation of this program.
With the 2017 World Masters games Laser sailing at Torbay we are looking to attract additional Masters sailors to our fleets. The 2017 contest will be open entry and an ideal opportunity for Masters to join the class with a specific target in mind.
Financially we again enjoyed a satisfactory year and the association remains in good financial health.
A proposal was raised last year for NZLA to purchase boats for charter. After quite extensive investigation of the options we did not proceed with this as the potential costs and complications of owning, managing, storing and chartering boats were found to be just too difficult for an organisation of the nature of NZLA to commit too.
Karen Grimwade has again done a great job as our secretary. I again would like to thank all our committee for their input this year, particularly Mike Keeton who in the dual roles of Treasurer and Coaching Coordinator and Mike Knowsley for his ongoing work on our high quality and constantly evolving website. If anyone would like to join the committee or propose or discuss any Laser issue you are always welcome to contact me or any member of the committee via the NZLA website e mail contacts
Thanks and enjoy another season of challenges sailing a great little boat.
Nick Page -Chairman NZLA
Groups we have focussed on in preparing the program include;
For up to date details on NZ Laser Racing also check these links;
There is a season long program of local, national and international regattas. And many local inter club regattas around the country, for 2016/2017, which include;
The all new Standard Mark II Laser sail available on 1 November
9 September 2015
The International Laser Class Association (ILCA) is pleased to announce the release of a completely new class-legal design for the Laser standard rig sail. The release marks the first time in over 40 years that the Laser sail design has been substantially updated.
Known as the Standard Mark II Sail, the new patented design is the result of thousands of hours of design work and on-the-water testing involving the Laser builders, the Association, two major sailmakers and some of the world’s top sailors.
The Mark II features bi-radial panels, a heavier 4.5 ounce cloth and optimized reinforcement patches, all intended to maximize the sail’s competitive life. The sail also features tapered battens with Velcro batten pocket closures, a larger window for improved visibility and a patented re-designed luff tube to eliminate wrinkles at the mast joint.
“This is a quantum leap forward for our class,” says ILCA President, Tracy Usher. “For several years the number one complaint about the Laser has been the outdated sail design. We’ve put a lot of time and effort into this new sail design and we’re really happy with the result.”
As with all changes to the Laser, the new sail has been carefully designed to be backwards compatible with the existing equipment, meaning it was not designed to provide improved performance. Instead, the Mark II promises improved durability and ease of use.
According to ILCA Technical Officer, Clive Humphris, “The main objective of the design project for the Mark II was to create a sail with equal performance to the existing sail, but with better durability. We worked very hard to ensure that the Mark II was not a faster sail and wouldn’t make all the existing sails obsolete overnight. The original Laser standard sail will continue to be available through authorized Laser dealers and we fully expect to see the two designs racing side-by-side for a number of years.”
The initial run of class-legal Mark II sails will be available starting 1 November 2015, with worldwide availability by early 2016. Because of the timing of the release, by agreement with International Sailing Federation (ISAF) the Mark II will not be used in the 2016 Olympic Games or any Olympic country qualifying events for 2015 or 2016.
The use of the sail will be controlled by the Notice of Race for each event until after the 2016 games. After that time, the Mark II will be allowed in all ILCA sanctioned regattas along with the original standard rig sail.
“Because many of the Olympic qualifying events have already occurred, we’ve agreed with ISAF that we shouldn’t make any major changes to the equipment for the 2016 games at this time,” says Usher. “Our goal is to have the Mark II sail available worldwide for the start of the next quadrennium, leading up to the 2020 games in Tokyo.”
In coordination with ISAF and the Laser Builders, ILCA will make further announcements about the availability of the Mark II sail and its use at events over the coming months.
In the Mens Radial
At the Under 21 World Champs at Mdemblink Netherlands
In the Standard mens
And in the womens Radial
Photo courtesy of SailingShot.com
Kingston is a quaint town at the mouth of the St Lawrence Seaway where it exits Lake Ontario.
This was important because;
The net result of this was that sailing in Kingston posed many challenges to the mortals; as I said to one person who asked……train on Pupuke and expect the shifts to be larger and the pressure to be more variable……then add waves and current. Kingston is a tricky place to sail. The general wisdom was that you go left in Kingston. Well, with the exception of the last day when the rule definitely applied it was more like Right paid first beat, left second, left paid first downwind, right second etc etc. Really weird chop with reflection off the sea wall near the bottom of the course, just plain tricky. Question for the day for me was often: is a pressure knock better than a lull lift…….if only I knew the answer.
The really top guys, Scott, Adonis, Peter Shope in our GM fleet etc seem to have the speed to get there every race but for the rest of us the brain cells were fried by the end of each race.
Given the above, as usual the cream rose to the top and the results in most divisions were that the truly great sailors won, many good sailors did well but others just got confused and the rest of us wondered how the top guys did it with such consistency.
For team NZ that meant Scott did it again in the Apprentice Masters Radial, and congratulations to him on another well earned world title cube. Matt Blakey showed exceptional consistency to finish second and get a cube in the AM Standards behind current Greek Olympic sailor Adonis Bougiouris. Both Bob Blakey and Michael Shields showed that they had fried far less brain cells than many of the younger members of the team, with Bob 3rd in the GGM Standard and Mike 3rd in the Radial 75+ division. Other notable team performances were Mike Knowsley’s 4th in the Masters Radial and Roger Winton 7th in the GM Radials and Andrew Dellabarca, 11th in a very strong Masters Standard Fleet.
The rest of us enjoyed the regatta, recruited for the 2017 Masters Games in our spare time and generally enjoyed somewhat variable results on the water.
Given the at times trying conditions the regatta was extremely well managed and we are all looking forward to the opportunity to do it all again in Mexico in 2016 with the promise of “guaranteed” fresh sea breezes and real waves….time will tell.
In early July, Ali Nightingale, Megan Thomson and Lachlan Grimwade headed off for the (much warmer) waters of Brisbane to compete in the Queensland Youth Week Regatta in the Laser Radial. The competition was the final of 3 regattas in the Australian qualifying series, drawing the most competitive youth sailors from across Australia making up the 47 boat fleet. Despite challenging and often light conditions, Ali finished up as 6th women and 19th overall, Megan as 13th women making 39th overall while Lachlan finished up 15th overall.
- Lachy Grimwade
We see Lachy also competed in the 4.7 for the Sail Brisbane. Getting 2nd overall in the 16 boat fleet.
The 2015 Laser World Championships wrapped up yesterday here in Canada, and it marks the end of a six week trip overseas competing at two major events. It was a very draining week of close racing, and I am now looking forward to getting home back to NZ to refresh ahead of flying out to Rio later this month.
Read my latest update on how the Worlds went by following the link here;
Thanks for all of the continued support!