Laser News

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

NZLA Chairman’s Report 2015

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

The 2017/2018 NZ Laser Regatta Program

NZLA, together with YNZ and clubs throughout the country have again put together a program aimed at meeting the aspirations of all our Laser sailing groups.
 
Groups we have focused on in preparing the program include;
  • Club Sailors
  • International sailors
  • Youths
  • Masters
  • Non-International Open sailors
  • Women sailors
So here's an outline of opportunities we see as being the focus for each of you in planning your season;
 
Club Sailors

There are over 40 yacht clubs in NZ where Lasers race, from Taipa in the north to Bluff in the south, and we see representatives from most of these clubs at interclub regattas and the Laser Nationals each season. NZLA is keen to continue to encourage and assist development and growth of Laser sailing at club level and continues to offer clubs coaching support from our top sailors. If you are interested in NZLA supported coaching at your club please contact us through the link on the website. 
 
Most clubs hold regular weekly racing throughout the summer season, typically from October to March, while some of the more prominent Laser clubs such as Pupuke and Tamaki have year-round club Laser racing programs. Details of club programs are best obtained directly from clubs, who will all welcome approaches from existing or aspiring Laser sailors wishing to try joining the fleet. So get your Laser on the water at the local club but also give a few interclub regattas, the NI, SI or Nationals a shot as set out below.

 
International Sailors

These days our top Laser sailors, both men, and women are full-time professionals, each working towards their ultimate goals of World Championship and Olympic success. Their competitive year is driven by the World Sailing international regatta program, as well as the Laser World Championship and for those fortunate enough each 4-year cycle, the Olympics. Their training programs are structured around those regattas and being professional sailors, while we see them training regularly in NZ, they are able to compete locally only occasionally, normally in our NZ Laser Nationals and the Yachting New Zealand’s Oceanbridge NZL Regatta.

This coming season Yachting NZ are trialing a 'Tasman Series' comprising 5 regattas in cooperation with the Australian Sailing Team;

and

  • Oceanbridge NZL Regatta 2nd-5th Feb 2018 Murrays Bay SC
 
Youth Sailors

There are extensive opportunities for male and female youth sailors to train and compete in the Laser Radial both in NZ and internationally. 
The key opportunities within NZ are based on an established YNZ training program and a season-long program of local, national and international regattas. While there are many local interclub regattas around the country, for 2016/2017 season key NZ regattas where we expect a strong youth fleet include;
  • Wincham (Murrays Bay SC - 7th & 8th October 2017)
  • NZ Youth Trials (Gulf Harbour - 11th to 15th October 2017)
  • SI Laser Champs (Naval Point YC 25th & 26th November 2017)
  • NI Laser Champs (Napier Sailing Club 25th & 26th November 2017)
  • Sir Peter Blake Regatta (Torbay Sailing Club - 2nd & 3rd December 2017)
  • NZ Laser Nationals (Naval Point Club Lyttelton - 17th to 21st January 2018)
  • Oceanbridge NZL Regatta (Murrays Bay SC - 2nd to 5th February 2018)
  • Auckland Laser Championships (Murrays Bay SC - 17th & 18th February 2018)
  • 24 Hours Race (Lake Pupuke - 10th & 11th March 2018)
Many youth sailors also take the opportunity to sail in international regattas. Some of the more popular will be;
  • Australian Youth Champs (RQYS - 11th to 15th January 2018)
  • World Youth Laser Champs (TBC)
For the top male and female Laser youth sailor each season, selected by YNZ, there is also the opportunity to compete in the ISAF World Youth Championship.
 
 
Masters

Masters sailing is one of the stronger Laser sailing groups in NZ. There are opportunities for Masters to compete locally, regionally, nationally and internationally. 
 
With the success of the WMG Laser sailing in 2017, we are looking forward to strong Masters fleets this season.
 
The main regional and national regattas attended by Masters sailors include;
  • North Harbour Masters (Pupuke - 12th November 2017)
  • SI Laser Champs (Naval Point YC 25th & 26th November 2017)
  • NI Laser Champs (Napier Sailing Club 25th & 26th November 2017)
  • Sir Peter Blake Regatta (Torbay Sailing Club - 2nd & 3rd December 2017)
  • NZ Laser Nationals (Naval Point Club Lyttelton - 17th to 21st January 2018)
  • Auckland Laser Championships (Murrays Bay SC - 17th & 18th February 2018)
  • Wellington Laser Champs (TBA)
  • Panmure RSA regatta ( Panmure Lagoon SC - 22nd April  2018)
  • Auckland Laser Masters (Tamaki Yacht Club - TBA)
  • Freshwater Champs (Pupuke - 19th & 20th May 2018)
 
Internationally the main opportunities targeted by NZ masters sailors this season are likely to be;
  • Oceania & Australian Laser Masters (Mooloolaba - February 2018)
  • South Pacific Laser Masters (Brisbane - July 2018)
  • World Laser Masters (Ireland - September 2018)
 
Non-International Open sailors
 
Sailors who have graduated from the youth ranks but are not pursuing international professional success are welcome at all open regattas, with the main focus generally being;
  • SI Laser Champs (Naval Point YC 25th & 26th November 2017)
  • NI Laser Champs (Napier Sailing Club 25th & 26th November 2017)Sir Peter Blake Regatta (Torbay Sailing Club - 2nd & 3rd December 2017)
  • NZ Laser Nationals (Naval Point Club Lyttelton - 17th to 21st January 2018)
  • Auckland Laser Championships (Murrays Bay SC - 17th & 18th February 2018)
  • Wellington Laser Champs (TBA)
  • Panmure RSA regatta ( Panmure Lagoon SC - 22nd April  2018)
  • Freshwater Champs (Pupuke - 19th & 20th May 2018)
 
 
Women Sailors
 
There is a program of women’s coaching regattas held in Auckland throughout the season. Details of the contacts and dates for the regatta are published on the NZLA website.
 
So get the boat ready, plan your season and we look forward to seeing you on the water. We are aware that there are many local regattas around the country not listed above where Laser’s compete. We are very happy to publicise these on the NZLA website so please submit details (blurb and NOR details) to us (webmaster@nzlaser.org) so they can be posted and send us reports on your event for us to publish on the website and let everyone know what is going on around the country.
 
Nick Page
NZLA Chairman
 

Laser Class Announces New Standard Sail Design

The all new Standard Mark II Laser sail available on 1 November

ILCA Office
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.


 

Andy Maloney after the Olympic test event in Rio

Hey Everyone,
 
I have just returned home from a month of training and racing over at the 2016 Olympic Venue. Click the link below to read my quick blog update "Rio Life", to get a feel for my month in Rio...
 
 
Thanks for the continued support!
Cheers,
Andy

NZL in 2015 Under 21 and Youth Laser World Champs

In the 2015 Laser Radial Youth World Championships at Kingston Ontario
the NZL results in the Womens Radial were;
  • Ali Nightingale 26th
  • Olivia Christie 36th
  • Megan Thomson 45th

In the Mens Radial

  • Tim Adair 24th Gold fleet
  • Alastair Gifford 34th Gold fleet
  • George Gautrey 36th Gold fleet
  • James Jennings 17th Silver fleet
  • Blake Woodfield 31st Silver fleet
All 2015 Radial Youth Worlds results

At the Under 21 World Champs at Mdemblink Netherlands
In the Standard mens

  • Andrew Mckenzie 19th Gold fleet
  • Matt Kempkers 53rd Gold fleet

All mens results

And in the womens Radial

  • Libby Porter 63rd

All womens results

2015 Masters Worlds, Kingston, Canada - Nick Page's Perspective


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;

  • It was a nice place to be and kept the other half's happy; weather was good and water warm despite the fact that only a few months ago it was meter thick ice
  • It is really a slow flowing river we sailed on, not a lake, which was critical if one was silly enough to try and squeeze a mark against the current and definitely affected which side of the course was favoured, sometimes.
  • Where we sailed it was about 1.5 miles from the shore at Kingston to the opposite island shore, meaning that wherever the wind came from it was sort of an offshore breeze, with the associated variations in pressure and direction. Worst the day it came from the N but still applied to the S wind days.
  • There seemed to be no real weight in the breezes, warm air off the lake meant 12 knots felt like 8 at home so even when the regatta report says 12 knots most of the day it felt like the hiking strap was often more of a weight adding feature than a required one.

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.

Nick Page

NZL at 2015 Queensland Youth Week

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

2015 Queensland Yout Week - Radial Results

www.qldyouthweek.com

We see Lachy also competed in the 4.7 for the Sail Brisbane. Getting 2nd overall in the 16 boat fleet.
- ed

2015 Sail Brisbane 4.7 Results

Andy Maloney's 2015 Laser World Championships - Update

Hi Everyone,

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;
http://www.andymaloneyracing.com/blog/andy-maloney/2015/07/09/2015-laser-world-championship---kingston-canada

Thanks for all of the continued support!
Cheers,
Andy

Andy Maloney on the Gold Cup event at Weymouth

Hi everyone!

The latest round of the ISAF Sailing World Cup wrapped up last weekend in the UK. It was strange being back in Weymouth a few years on from the 2012 Olympic cycle, when our squad spent so much time training and racing there. The conditions felt very familiar and there was a fair bit of de-ja-vu going on!

Follow the link below to read my quick blog update on how the event unfolded for me, and what is coming up next.

http://www.andymaloneyracing.com/blog/andy-maloney/2015/06/21/isaf-sailing-world-cup-weymouth

Thanks to everyone for the continued support!
Looking forward to updating you all after the World Championships.

Cheers,
Andy

2015 South Pacific Laser Masters

So there we were, bobbing around on a sun drenched Moreton Bay, waiting for some breeze on the first day of the South Pacific Laser Masters in Manly, Brisbane.
No suprise if you've sailed this regatta before. But that's normally in July. This year it was May to fit in with the July Masters Worlds in Canada. 'Plenty of breeze in May' we were assured. So we drifted around on the tide searching for the people who had told us that.
 
But by 3pm the wind did arrive. And it hung in for 4 days of superb sailing.
 
  • Excellent photo's from Julie Hartwig Photography
  • Matt Blakey in the Standard fleet and Scott Leith in the Radial won in 2014, so they had a bit to live up to. The rest of Team NZL didn't want that sort of pressure on a winter break. Apart from Matt we were all in Radials.
     
    On the first, third and fourth days there was a range in pressure even across a single race. When it was up it was generally puffy. You could be working hard up wind, planing down wind or just as easily searching for power or trying hard to work the waves.
     
    On day 2 it was pretty strong across the board. Upper teens with gusts to 25 producing short pitch waves in the shallow waters. It was a workout upwind and a challenge downwind. The gusts knocked us down in batches during the second race. The tell tail sign was mud on the top of the mast - shades of Lake Pupuke. I turned turtle and blew a reasonable spot as did Bob while being a gentleman and doing his 720. Hamish went over but recovered quickly. So did Scott - still managing a second (it's hard to work up much sympathy).


    Hamish Atkinson - care of Julie Hartwig Photography

    For mere mortals the competition seemed tough. You could feel you sailed ok, but end up further back than you'd hoped. The marked shifts were hard to predict at times. Picking the gate at the start of the second beat often played a big part.

    But the 3 or 4 guys with consistently good results in each fleet  were simply the fastest through the water.

    Matt Blakey had a real battle. He needed his win in the final race 8 to just retain his Standard title after a count-back to break the tie with room mate Nick Skulander. Quite different from last years clean sweep, and hopefully enough to keep him coming back, as it definitely wasn't boring.

    Scott won the radials again although he didn't have it all his own way in every race. Aussies Mark Kennedy, Danny Fuller and Zac Skulander were fast and ready to grab a race when they got the shifts right.

    Hamish Atkinson came out of a Christchurch winter and no training to get 5th. He is very consistent and just chips away making few mistakes. A lesson in how to put together a good regatta.
     
    The rest of team NZ - Bob Blakey, Roger Winton, Greg Wilshire and me all felt that life is not really that fair. Or maybe we didn't want to peak before the Kngston worlds in July.
     
    The Queensland Laser Association and the Royal Queensland Yacht Squadron put on a great masters event. It's relaxed and well run both on and off the water. We'll be back.

    Mike Knowsley

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