We were back at the Lake Taupo Yacht Club for the 2017 NZ National Laser Champs.
The final day of the 2017 Laser Nationals at Lake Taupo dawned with strong Northerly winds and heavy rain from the weather system that affected most of NZ today. Contrary to the forecast the wind moderated a bit and the skies cleared as the morning progressed and the PRO and his team were out on the course looking to get the races started on time. Alas it was not to be and with a 30 knot squall coming through the course just before the D flag was due to go up, gale warnings in place and the wind forecast to rise even further during the afternoon the decision was made to abandon racing for the day and declare yesterdays results as final for the contest.
So after 3 days quality racing in fresh conditions defending champion Andrew McKenzie was crowned NZ Laser champion again in the Open fleet but we have new champions in the other 3 fleets. Outstanding youth sailor Josh Armit was victorious in the Open Radial fleet while apprentices Phil Wild in the Masters Radial and Anthony Merrington in the Masters Standard both won their respective titles by just a single point.
Other division winners included last years Radial champion George Gautrey, who picked up the Under 21 cube in the Standard fleet and Open Women's champion Susannah Pyatt and Youth Women's champion Olivia Christie in the Radials. In the Standard Masters Giles Grigg was second overall and the leading Master, Peter Kempkers the leading GM and John Pitman from New Plymouth the first Great Grand Master. In the Radial Masters Richard Blakey was only 1 point behind Phil to be leading Master, Hamish Atkinson from Naval Point in Christchurch, host for next years Nationals, was the leading GM and Gus Fry from last years hosts Muritai the leading GGM.
So an extremely successful and well run contest is concluded with many sailors looking to meet again in only a couple of weeks at the Oceanbridge NZL regatta at Murrays Bay. Special thanks to LTYC for hosting the contest so well and Bayleys Taupo for their support of the regatta.
- Nick Page
Day 3 of the Bayleys Laser Nationals started as forecast with a light , and much warmer, northerly breeze but this quickly freshened through the day providing a challenging gusty ands shifty offshore breeze for the later races. The race committee, led by PRO Gerald Martin from Napier, again did a fantastic job in testing conditions to set fair but challenging courses.
Fresh snow overnight on the mountains at the southern end of Lake Taupo and a moderate SW breeze meant that sailors arriving at the yacht club this morning were greeted by bracing temperatures which resulted in most sailors wearing enough layers of clothing when going on the water to qualify for Michellin man ads. However the clouds mostly cleared, the sun came out and the breeze moderated to provide a challenging but beautiful days sailing with all races completed to schedule. While breeze had a little more South in it than yesterday and was much lighter it was again challenging for all with strength varying from almost nothing to 15 knots and 20 degrees shifts, all every few minutes, combing to significantly shake up the results in several divisions and make consistency hard to achieve.
In the Open there is a fantastic contest developing between the NZL and Chinese teams. New Zealand sailors are 1,3, 5 and 7 at the end of day 2 with the Chinese team 2, 4, 6 and 8th. Still leading is defending champion Andrew Mckenzie, but only by a single point from Jianan Wu who had a really strong day and was the model of consistency with two first and a second. Tom Saunders is only 4 points back in 3rd overall with recent youth graduate George Gautrey scoring a bullet in the last race to move up to 5th overall.
In the Radial another fantastic contest is developing. After 5 races top youths Alastair Gifford and Josh Armit are tied on points with a good break on third place Susannah Pyatt. Josh won one of todays 3 races while the other were won by master Scott Leith and youth Albert Stanley, both of who's overall ranking should benefit tomorrow once a discard comes in as both are currently carrying an OCS. Both Alastair and Josh have been super consistent so far so it may be a case of who blinks first in deciding the ultimate winner. Another notable feature is that there a 3 women in the top 6 with Stephanie Devaux Lovell in 4th and Youth Worlds rep Olivia Christie in 6th joining Susannah to keep the guys honest.
In the Masters race 3 was completely dominated by Nick Brewer from Tamaki. He picked the right hander on the first beat and was never threatened after that. Race 4 was a completely different affair with the lead changing several times and was finally decided only as the fleet neared the finish line when Giles Grigg found some pressure in the left corner and sailed around the leading bunch to record the win. Mark Oliver and Anthony Merrington also featured at the top of the fleet in both races to consolidate top 3 spots overall with Giles. Defending champion Andrew Dellabarca and past champion Kris Decke both suffered from ending up on the wrong side of the first beat in both races to give themselves a challenge for the rest of the series.
In the Masters Radial overnight leader Phil Wild found the day more challenging, like Andrew and Kris in the Standards getting on the wrong side on the first beat to make life difficult for himself but still managed to lead overall at the end of the day. Race 1 was won by Werner Hennig from Hamilton, who managed to hold onto an early break while in race 2 Richard Blakey just scraped in on the line over GM past World Champ Mike Keeton, who enjoyed the lighter conditions today. Richard had a tough first race today and is another who will be looking forward to a discard coming into play. Leading Grand Master is Hamish Atkinson from Christchurch who has again shown super consistency to sit second overall while defending champion Ed Tam sits 4th after a tough second race.
With tomorrows forecast for completely different condition, light Northeasterlies, and half the series still to come there are sure to be opportunities and plenty of further challenges for all.
- Nick Page
Fresh winds from the westerly quarter provided ideal but challenging conditions for the first day of the 2017 Bayleys Laser Nationals at Lake Taupo Yacht Club. Race 1 got underway after some complications caused by a front passing through with the wind changing from NW to WSW, requiring some adjustments to the course. The wind was blowing out of nearby Acacia Bay at 10 to 20 knots with plenty of big shifts and oscillations throwing up constant challenges to all the sailors and a few thrills and spills as the gusts came down the course.
The fleet of 120 started in 4 divisions with the Standard Open, Radial Open, Masters Standard and Masters Radial all having between 30 and 40 on the start line. In the Open defending champion Andrew McKenzie and NZL squad sailor Tom Saunders face a tough challenge from the visiting Chinese team sailors. At the end of day 1 Andrew has well and truly laid down the gauntlet to defend his title with 2 bullets. The Chinese team had a great day with Ning Zhao in second, Jianan Wu in 4th and Yuchen Gu in 5th. Breaking them up is NZL squad member Tom Saunders in 3rd, scoring a 2nd and 4th with our recent Youth Worlds rep George Gautrey also close to the action, finishing the day 6th overall.
In the Radials top youth sailor Alistair Gifford has a stellar day to lead with a first and second from our other leading youth sailor Josh Armit, who won the first race and then backed up with a third in the second race. They are followed by top Master Scott Leith, who has elected to sail in the Open Radial fleet, and top Women's sailors Susannah Pyatt sits in 4th. Local Youth sailors Blake Woodfield wraps up the top 5 with a consistent 5th and 6th for the day.
In the Master Standard defending champion Andrew Dellabarca (M) had a tough first race after getting on the wrong side of a shift on the first beat but recovered to take out race 2 after a close battle with past champion Kris Decke (AM). Kris leads the day overall after notching up second in both races. Returning to the Nationals for the first time in several years Apprentice Giles Grigg had a fantastic first race to lead all the way and then did not get it quite right in the second race to finish the day equal 4th with Andrew. Second and third overall are leading GM's Peter Kempkers and Mark Oliver, who were both super consistent exchanging 3rd and 4th in the 2 races.
In the Masters Radial Apprentice Phil Wild won both races convincingly with Richard Blakey (M), defending champion Ed Tam (M) both consistent to hold second and third overall. GM's Kevin Welsh and Hamish Atkinson and Master Mike Knowsley are the next group all tied on 11 points after 2 races.
So with a forecast for a bit less but still a solid breeze from the WSW tomorrow, we look forward to more quality racing and the opportunity for the leader to consolidate their positions.
- Nick Page
Make the most of the pre-regatta coaching. We have a great lineup of coaches from the top end of the NZ Laser fleet, including Sam Meech our medal winning olympian.
Be mostly rigged (maybe with sail down) and ready to go at 11am.
The format and duration will vary to suit the fleet and conditions. Probably starting with a breifing, some on land ideas, then on-water coaching and ending with a debrief. But be flexible.
Please note: If the conditions get windy the coaches reserve the right to restrict who can go on the water.
The coaches will change on each day, and will include;
The regatta measuring will be running on Tuesday afternoon and all of Wednesday. So get measure early to avoid the queue. You can come through with the boat rigged or derigged.
Calgary Yacht Club
P.O. Box 291, Station M, Calgary, Alberta, T2P 2H9
The Calgary Yacht Club, located in Chestermere, AB is seeking an experienced coach for our racing teams who will also take on the role of dedicated Club Coach.
The ideal candidate will possess:
- CanSail Level 4/5/6
- Significant previous experience as a race coach
- Both Laser and Optimist experience is essential
- Strong organizational and communication skills
- Knowledge of the Racing Rules of Sailing
- Police Check and Vulnerable Sector Screening
- Current Emergency First Aid and CPR
- Current Boat Rescue
- Current PCOC
- Competitive wages based on experience and qualifications
- A supportive board, staff and membership
- The opportunity for input for program development
- The largest educational, training and competitive centre for youth sailing in Alberta
- Potential for assistance with accommodation
The successful candidate will instrumental in helping to grow our youth program. Must be available from the beginning of May through the end of August. Preference will be given to a student that will be returning to school in the fall.
Please apply with a cover letter and resume to firstname.lastname@example.org