Laser News

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

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

    Andy Maloney reports from Hyeres

    Another relatively short three week stint overseas and back is now complete. This time with the main event being the first European ISAF Sailing World Cup event of 2015, held in Hyeres, France. It was the debut event in which a new format has been adopted by ISAF, where only the top 40 Laser sailors in the world could compete. This made for extremely tight racing from day one with no 'warm-up' qualifying series like in the past. 

    I've written a quick blog update on the trip and how the regatta unfolded. Click the link below to have a read on my thoughts from the few weeks away, and what's coming up next... Enjoy!

    Thanks for the continued support! It is never forgotten :)

    Andy Maloney's Update

    Hey Everyone,

    2015 is flying by! Another month of great training back in the NZ summer, and a couple of local events have now come and gone. Both Oceanbridge Sail Auckland, and the OKI 24 Hour race have been great tests for different reasons. Sail Auckland was a tightly contested battle, and the 24 Hour race was definitely a physical battle in some very testing conditions!

    Click the link below to find out how I got on and what is up next...

    Thanks for all the continued support!
    Cheers, Andy

    2015 NZ Laser Rankings

      Nationals  Sail Auckland TOTAL RANK
     Andrew Maloney 1 1 2 1
     Sam Meech 3 2 5 2
     Thomas Saunders 2 4 6 3
     Michael Bullot 4 3 7 4
     Andrew McKenzie 5 5 10 5
     Cullen Le Roy 6 9 15 6
     Matthew Kempkers 8 7 15 7
     Keith Inglis 9 11 20 8
     Chris Tulley 10 12 22 9
    UNDER 21        
     Andrew McKenzie 1 1 2 1
     Cullen Le Roy 2 3 5 2
     Matthew Kempkers 3 2 5 3
     Keith Inglis 4 4 8 4
    YOUTH BOYS        
     Tim Adair 3 1 4 1
     Alastair Gifford 2 3 5 2
     George Gautrey 1 6 7 3
     Josh Armit 6 2 8 4
     Sam Simpson 4 7 11 5
     James Jennings 8 4 12 6
     Scott Inglis 7 8 15 7
     Blake Woodfield 12 5 17 8
     Charles Corston 9 11 20 9
     Henry Gibbs 11 9 20 10
     Dylan McKinlay 14 10 24 11
     Travers Cole 10 15 25 12
     Callum Radford 13 12 25 13
     Hamish Clark 15 13 28 14
     Bryn Bennett 16 14 30 15
     Lachlan Grimwade 17 18 35 16
     Samuel Rushton 19 16 35 17
     Sam Beckman 20 17 37 18
     Sam Hassall 24 21 45 19
     Susannah Pyatt 1 2 3 1
     Sara Winther 2 1 3 2
     Elise Beavis 3 5 8 3
     Ali Nightingale 4 4 8 4
     Libby Porter 5 3 8 5
     Olivia Christie 6 7 13 6
     Megan Thomson 7 6 13 7
     Julia Francis 9 8 16 8
    YOUTH GIRLS        
     Ali Nightingale 1 1 2 1
     Olivia Christie 2 3 5 2
     Megan Thomson 3 2 5 3

    Panmure Lagoon SC 38th edition RSA Regatta - 22nd February 2015

    Panmure Lagoon Sailing Club has had yet another successful Regatta that saw 39 Laser sailors & their steeds from all over the World – Canada, Austria, Switzerland–as well as the North Island, Taipa, Onerahi, Hamilton and Lake Ngaroto come & do battle on this challenging spot of water in Auckland. The winds defied all predictions coming in at 8 t0 11 knots from the South West giving our illustrious race officer Garth Briden something to work with. He managed to fire off 4 races even though those errant jockeys pushed their valiant steeds across the line three times in false starts. Garth got the measure of those miscreants by black flagging the starts which brought those fiery steeds back under control. The fleets were very tight with even the top end being continuously hounded by the hoards doggedly nibbling away at their heels.

    The day closed with a BBQ & lamb on the spit followed by Prize giving with Daniel Barry from Canada taking out the RSA trophy & some other great goodies, which included a top section, 2nd place went to Andrew Childs from Taipa with our own Paul Page taking out 3rd. The Radial fleet was taken out by Loïc Eisenring of PLSC with 2nd place going to Kailash Clearwater of Taipa & Kevin Welsh PLSC taking 3rd place. Jana Senn from Nautic Club Austria won the First Women trophy. This was followed by spot prizes. We have to thank to our invaluable army of helpers who kept the whole day running like clockwork and our Sponsors who donated an impressive list of prizes.

    So we thank our generous Regatta sponsors: RSA, Waipuna Hotel and Conference Centre, CRC, PredictWind, Auckland Seaplanes, the Water Shed, Survitec Group, Auckland Marine Centre, Red Carpet Tours, Boating NZ, Sugarcraft, Joy Adams Sails, Flyajet, Mortgage Express, YMCA and New Zealand Maritime Museum.



    Andy Maloney's post Miami update

    Hi everyone!
    It's been a while since my last update in September after the World Championships in Spain. A lot has happened between now and then. 2015 is now well underway and my first two events of the season have finished. The NZ Laser National Champs off Takapuna, and the ISAF Sailing World Cup in Miami. Click the link below to read a quick update on how everything has been tracking.
    Happy 2015, and thanks for the continued support!

    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.

    Reinstate Sailing at the 2020 Paralympics

    Radial sailor, Lachy Grimwade, drew our attention to Sailing having been dropped from the 2020 Tokyo Paralympic Games.
    And the online petition where you can show your support for having the decision reversed.

    2015 Barfoot & Thompson Laser Nationals Pre Regatta Report

    The 2015 Laser Nationals will be underway this Thursday at Takapuna Boating Club in Auckland. It has attracted an excellent fleet of over 150 across 5 divisions, with sailors from all over NZ and 20 overseas sailors from 15 countries registered so far. Final entries close on Thursday but with a couple of days to go a quality contest is assured in all divisions with a wide cross section of sailors registered including our Olympic aspirants and many current and past National and Masters World champions.
    In the Standard Open fleet NZ’s Olympic squad sailors, Sam Meech, Andy Maloney, Tom Saunders and Mike Bullot will be continuing their battle for ascendancy in the Olympic selection race. They have all been competing seriously on the world circuit and have all enjoyed top results in international regattas so will be keen to stamp their authority on the fleet in their home training ground off Takapuna. They will be tested by an up and coming group of NZ sailors, many recently graduated from youth ranks, and 10 overseas sailors from all corners of the globe.
    An extremely strong turnout of youth sailors in the Radial division are sure to push our 2012 Olympic rep and current National champion Sara Winther and the other female Olympic spot contenders as well as the Open Radial sailors. Several of the youths have just returned from the Australian Laser Nationals and Youth week where James Jennings and Alastair Gifford had good results.
    In the Masters Standard reigning champion Chris Decke is sure to be pushed hard by Andrew Dellabarca, fresh from a top performance at the World Masters in Hyeres. However he will not only face challenges from his normal NZ adversaries but also from visiting top UK GM champion Terry Scutcher. In the Masters Radials Scott Leith will again be hot favourite following his 2nd in Hyeres but he is sure to be tested by others including reigning World GM champion Mike Keeton.
    With a promising long range forecast all is set for 4 days of quality world class Laser racing off Takapuna, commencing with two scheduled races on Thursday.

    Nick Page
    Chairman NZ Laser Association

    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

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