Laser News

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

2 top 10 results for NZL Lasers at the 2015 ISAF Sailing World Cup Abu Dhabi

2015 ISAF Sailing World Cup Abu Dhabi.
NZL Sailing Team’s Final Results.
  • Sam Meech – 8th
  • Mike Bullot – 10th
  • Andy Maloney – 11th
  • Sara Winther – 19th

Full Results

Sailors comments on yachtingnz.org.nz

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

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

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

    Great day at the Womens Laser Coaching session at French Bay Yacht Club

    Sore muscles and bones will be soaked in a lovely bath tonight but there will be some great smiles with it.

    10 women attended the Laser Coaching session today at French Bay Yacht Club. We had women from all over NZ and Auckland attending: Port Ohope, Worser Bay, Point Chevalier, Pupuke, Panmure and French Bay attending. A nice 15-25 knot breeze gave us some challenging conditions to apply our tips from our 2 fantastic coaches: Rachel Basevi and Jim Quinn, there were some acrobatic pirouettes around the reaching, windward, leeward course but eventually each laser was going faster. Everybody came back with some new knowledge that they will apply while racing at their respective Clubs.

    So a big thank you must go to Rachel and Jim for sharing their experience and giving us valuable personalised feedback to each of us, we really appreciated it. A special thanks needs to go to French Bay for hosting such a fantastic event, we all enjoyed the yummy baking after a hard day sailing. 


    There is another great event next week for Women Laser Sailors, the Auckland Women Laser Championship at French Bay Yacht Club on 19th April. 8:00am registration, 9:00am briefing and 9:30am Start. Make sure you all attend!


     

    Top 10 in Miami for Andy Maloney and Sara Winther

    Andy Maloney had a solid finish at the Miami round of the ISAF Sailing World Cup to get 4th overall.
    Sara Winther finished 9th, even after a frustrating yellow flag while running equal 2nd in the medal race.
    Other Laser results were Sam Meech 13th and Mike Bullot 23rd.
    And of course 2 gold medals for 470 crew Jo Aleh & Polly Powrie and Alexandra Maloney & Molly Meech in the 49erFX.

    Mike Bullot makes the podium at 2014 Sail Melbourne

    The results demonstrate close competition among the top NZ Laser sailors as we get further into the Rio Olympic cycle.

    Laser (39 boats)
    3rd Mike Bullot
    4th Sam Meech
    6th Andy Maloney
    11th Thomas Saunders
    17th Andrew McKenzie
    29th Cullen Le Roy

    Laser Radial (30 boats)
    11th Susannah Pyatt
    18th Ali Nightingale
    29th Julia Francis

    All 2014 Sail Melbourne Results

    2014 North Harbour Master Regatta Report

    The Masters regatta season got underway at Pupuke on Sunday with the North Harbour Masters. An excellent fleet of 28 turned up for the days racing, with big names from the recent Masters worlds, Scott Leith and Mike Keeton both in attendance. With Windguru predicting maximum gusts of 4 knots from the SW for the day all but 4 sailors elected to compete in the Standard rig. As it turned out we got what was probably the first sea breeze of the summer and while it topped out at about 8 knots, probably averaging about 5 knots, and was pretty shifty all day it did provide a good racing conditions and 4 quality races were completed.

    Not surprisingly given the very light conditions Radial sailors pretending they could muscle up and sail a standard rig dominated the competition.  Scott, who’s 1,1,2 record enabled him to sit out the last race as his discard, gave us all a bit of a sailing lesson, clearing out at the start several times but then having to out guess the shifts and light patches to keep the fleet at bay to win overall and 1st Apprentice. Mike managed to get past Scott in one race and was pretty consistent in the others to finish 3rd overall and first GM. Second overall and first Master was the Whangarei lightweight flyer Roger Winton, who had a great day with 4 top results giving him a clear second. Top GGM was Ray Beale.

    In the Radials Kevin Welsh dominated the small fleet to win overall from local Georgi Yankov and legend Jim Quinn. The main contest of the day, the Rum spot prizes, were however dominated by true Standard rig sailors so order was returned to the regatta at the end of a great day.

    The strong turnout at this regatta bodes well for the season and with the North Islands at Napier, Sir Peter Blake at Torbay and the Nationals at Takapuna over the next few weeks we are all looking forward to some more well attended quality masters racing this summer.

    Nick Page

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