Laser News

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

Minutes of the 2012 NZ Laser Association AGM

See attached Minutes of the 2012 NZ Laser Association AGM.
Thanks to all those who attended and to new comittee members Sam Meech, Andy Maloney, Ken Atchison and Mike Keeton.

2012 NZLA Chairman’s Report

The past season has again been successful for the class both locally and internationally.
From a successful Nationals at Worser Bay, excellent results for our open sailors on the world stage, an extremely successful Masters Worlds for our sailors in Brisbane to the amazing coverage from the Olympics it has been an interesting season.
Congratulations to Scott Leith for his second defence of his Apprentice Masters Radial World title and to Mark Orams (Radial Masters) and Mike Keeton (Radial Grand Masters) on their successes in Brisbane.  I would also like to specifically congratulate Andrew Murdoch for his strong showing in the Olympics. There were also many outstanding performances from our other top sailors at other international regattas including, Andy Maloney and San Meech in the open divisions and Pete Thomas’s 3rd in the Radial Grand Masters. This is again a reflection of the depth of our Laser fleet.
Our coaching initiatives continue and NZLA will continue to encourage and sponsor coaching this season and any club or group of Laser sailors should contact Bonnie, NZLA secretary, if they would like to arrange a coaching session.
The Nationals at Worser Bay were a success, with the at times challenging conditions for which Wellington is justly renowned making for exciting sailing for all. The reach back home on the first day was one to remember. Planning for the Nationals at Napier is well advanced and we again look forward to large fleets competing in all divisions.  Sail Auckland at Akarana was a success and they will again host the regatta this year.
On an international organisational level the uncertainty with the class builders in the Northern Hemisphere unfortunately continues. We hope that these issues are able to be resolved satisfactorily between the class and manufacturers and the future production of the class continues world wide without disruption. There have been distributor changes in NZ but we continue to enjoy good support for the class from the dealers.
We have unfortunately seen little progress with the challenges identified last year including our desire to increase the popularity of the class for women sailors at all levels and also arrest the decrease in the standard rig open fleet. We have canvassed some ideas in these areas but will continue to seek ideas to strengthen the fleet in both these areas.
Financially we enjoyed another successful season and the association remains in very good financial health.
I would like to thank all our committee for their input this year, with special mention of Mike Knowsley who continues to do a fantastic job in managing our website and Bonnie for her work as class secretary.
We have some new members on the committee but are always keen to see new blood so please let me know if you are interested.
If anyone would like to 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 looking forward to seeing many of you at regattas this season.
Nick Page
Chairman NZLA

Andrew Murdoch Photos 2012 Olympics

Photographer: Carlo Borlenghi

More images at

NZL Lasers at the 2012 Olympic Games

It's coming down to the wire now for our Olympic reps Sara Winther and Andrew Murdoch.
They are already pretty unique - Olympic Athletes - the pinnacle of our sport.
Our very best hopes and wishes for this final step in that long journey.

Both Mens and Womens events follow the same calendar from first race on the 30th of July to the medal race on the 6th of August.

The official Olympic Sailing site

The full Olympic sailing calendar at

Andy Maloney Update - Bronze at Kiel then on to an Extreme 40 cat

Hi everyone,

This is a fairly late update due to having poor internet connections at all of our latest hotels and accommodation here in Europe. I wrote this update a few days after the Kiel Regatta finished (end of June). Click on the link below to see how I finished up Kiel Week, and what we have been up to for the last few weeks...

Since that is a late update, I can give a brief update here on the last 2 weeks;

I had the awesome opportunity to join the Oman Air team in Porto, Portugal for the 4th Act of the Extreme Sailing Series. It was a completely different type of sailing to what I have ever done before, and I learned heaps while having a great time with a good group of guys. Besides the fact that the X40 racing takes place on 40 foot catamarans (a bit different to a Laser!), it was also raced inside the river in Porto resulting in very exciting close quarter racing. One of the awesome things about the event was the thousands of spectators that lined the river banks to watch and literally cheer the teams on, it was sailing like I had never experienced before! The team taught me so much in a short amount of time, and managed to come away with 3rd for the event. The next event is at the end of August in Cardiff, UK, and the team will be looking to improve on our performance in Porto. Here is a short video wrap up for the event in Porto, it gives you a good idea of the kind of racing that the X40's do!

I have now just arrived back in Weymouth, UK, to do a week and a half of training with Andrew before he competes at the Olympics in 12 days time. I'm looking forward to the week ahead, and hope to push Andrew hard this next week and get in the best possible position to win the Gold in 2 weeks time.

Thanks for everyone's support!
I'll update in a few weeks time when I return to New Zealand,

Andy and Sam do well at Kiel 2012

Andy Maloney was 3rd and Sam Meech 5th in the 20 boat fleet at Kieler Woche 2012.
Andrew Murdoch, Sara Winther and many of the other sailors aiming for the Olympics did not sail Kiel this year.
Kiel Mens Laser Results

NZL Lasers at 2012 Skandia Sail for Gold in Weymouth

Andy Maloney has another top finish in Europe with a 7th in the 2012 Skandia Sail for Gold at Weymouth. This included a 1st in the first of 3 medal races. Andrew Murdoch is on the pace with a 9th and Sam Meech 20th. Australian Tom Slingsby won the regatta and is proving the man to beat as he as in the run up to the previous Olympics.

Not a good day at the office for team Sara Winther with a 41st (6th in the Silver fleet). In a dramatic turn of events her coach Mark Orams had a bike accident during the regatta. He has two broken arms, both of which required surgery and will be heading back to NZ. We are yet to see how Mark, Sarah and Yachting NZ adjust Sarahs program in the weeks before the Olympics. But best wishes and thoughts of support for Sarah and Mark at this challenging time.

In other classes;
Jo Aleh and Olivia Powrie won the womens 470. And rapidly rising stars Paul Snow-Hansen and Jason Saunders had a comfortable 3rd in the mesn 470. Brilliant steps on the path to the Olympics.

Next stop ISAF World Cup event of 2012, Kiel Woche, Germany, 16-20 June.

ILCA Elects New President

The ILCA is pleased to announce that Tracy Usher has been elected as the new ILCA President. Tracy brings a wealth of knowledge to the position, having served as a member of the ILCA World Council since 2002, a member of the ILCA Technical Committee since 2006, and has served as the Chairman of the ILCA North American Region since 2004.
Tracy was elected at the recent World Council Meeting held in Boltenhagen, Germany where Heini Wellmann announced his retirement after six years serving as President. The ILCA and the entire Laser community would like to thank Heini for all his enthusiasm and dedication to the Laser Class and wish Tracy all the best in his new position.

Andy Maloney Bronze at the Worlds

Andy Maloney moved up one place on the final day to take Bronze at the 2012 Audi Laser World Champs in Boltenhagen, Germany. This follows his silver at the Semaine Olympique Francaise World Cup a few weeks ago, making a stunning European tour.

Andy's comment: It was a very successful first trip to Europe for the season, and I am stoked with my results and some of the improvements in my speed, tactics and all around racing ... Thanks to everyone for following my progress, and for the support!

Australian Tom Slingsby lead throughout the regatta and was able to sit out the last race.

Sam Meech was the second NZL having a great regatta for 17th. Andrew Murdoch moved up to 25th he won the final race.
Other NZL sailors were Thomas Saunders in 86th and Micahel Cate 101st.

Worlds news links

Men in Black - Sam Meech, Andy Maloney, coach Mark Howard and Andrew Murdoch.

2 Podiums for NZL at the 2012 Semaine Olympique Francaise World Cup

Andy Maloney and Olympic rep Andrew Murdoch finished 2nd and 3rd at the 2012 Semaine Olympique Francaise World Cup at Heyres in France.

In a 106 boat fleet both sailors were almost consistently in the top 6, sharing 5 firsts, 4 seconds and 5 3rds across the 10 races. Andrew Murdoch maintained his 3rd spot with a 5th in the medal race.

In the 9th race Andy Maloney had his worst result, a 17th he could drop. This didn't seem to shake his confidence, he went into the medal race in 4th and sailed a 2nd to take 2nd overall.

German sailor Phillip Buhl won the event.  Australian Tom Slingsby was at the top of the leader board for much of the regatta but slipped to 5th with a DNF in the medal race.

Our third NZL also impressed. Youth sailor Thomas Saunders was consistently in the top 20, including two 4ths. He finished 40th, near the top of the silver fleet.

More on the event

Next stop Boltenhagen Germany for the Audi Laser World Champs 2012 from 4th to 10th May.

Image: Photosport on

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