Saturday afternoons - 2-3 short races starting at 1.30pm.
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.
2015 North Shore Freshwater Champs
A 30 knot forecast plus a number of sailors over in Brisbane for the South Pacific Masters resulted in a slightly smaller than usual entry for the NSFWC at Pupuke on 16/17 May. However quality was there with 2 of our Open Worlds squad, defending NSFWC champion Andrew McKenzie and world top 10 ranked Mike Bullot fronting to give the locals something to aspire to in the Standards and World GM champion Mike Keeton and World cube winner Richard Blakey the form sailors in the Radial for the youth sailors to knock over.
In spite of the forecast Saturday dawned with a nice Pupuke SW breeze, never really getting much over 12 knots but with shifts and pressure variations providing ample challenges for all. Sunday was again a SW breeze but lighter, around 5 to 8 knots all day. These conditions provided plenty of opportunity for all and no place was ever secure with some major shifts and gusts reshuffling both fleets in several races.
As usual though the cream rose to the top. In the Standard fleet Mike showed his class with 5 wins from the 6 races, the sequence broken by Andrew who was deservedly victorious in race 3 and was right on Mikes heels in the other races, with the exception of the last where a major wind shift combined with a mainsheet that decided to come unkotted at a critical moment seeing him join the mortals in the bunch. There was a tight contest in the Masters, with GM Peter Kempkers victorious by 1 point from GM Nick Page after a very close series. Leading Master was Dean Drummond, who was still hoping for the forecast 30 knots even at the prize giving, in 5th, first Apprentice Rob Bland in 8th and GGM Ray Beale capping a consistent series with a 4th in the last race for 10th overall.
In the Radials Youth beat experience with Tim Adair putting together a great series to take out the overall win from newcomer and current Starling champion youth Josh Armit, who’s speed and consistency showed he will be a force to be reckoned with in the future. Third overall and first Master was Mike Keeton, who despite an ever increasing list of old age ailments seems to just keep pulling out the results on the water. He was followed by GM Kevin Welsh who managed a win in race 2 and was consistent all weekend. First women was Youth Libby Porter in 6th, who also showed flashes of brilliance in the challenging conditions with her best result a 2nd in race 2. 1st Master was Richard Blakey, who after a very challenging weekend was heard to comment on his love of the lake, while leading Women’s Master Georgina Wooldridge was happy to be on the water while husband Neil looked after the kids for the weekend rather than being able to demonstrate his prowess in the Standard fleet.
The contest was followed by the usual Pupuke prize giving, with an awesome range of prizes overshadowed only by commodore John Dowsett’s presentation skills (not matched this weekend by sailing skills we note). A great weekend and thanks to Pupuke and PRO Garth Briden for yet another quality regatta.
Photo - Sailing Energy
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 :)
The 2nd edition of the Auckland Women Laser Cup held at French Bay Yacht Club was a huge success. Eleven women sailors from French Bay, Kohimarama, Panmure, Point Chevalier, Pupuke and even as far as Worser Bay came to participate in this great event. A glorious autumn sun glistened on the Manukau harbour setting the stage for a great regatta with winds ranging from 5 to 15 knots and some racing tidal currents towards the end challenging all sailors.
There was some very close racing in the A fleet for 1st place between Libby Porter from Kohimarama and Megan Thomson from French Bay. Libby finally won the day by winning the last race and coming back for the second time in a row with the impressive Auckland Women Laser Cup donated by Jim Quinn. Megan came a very close second and Georgina Wooldridge from Pupuke came third and first Master Women. First Junior was Aleisha Ferguson from Panmure.
The B division was won by Annika Greve from Worser Bay, second place and first Master went to Annie Mills from Panmure and third place to Ngaio Balfour from French Bay. This was a fantastic effort for this group as this was for many their very first regatta.
A special thanks needs to go to French Bay Yacht Club for hosting a great regatta, we all enjoyed the friendly welcome, the help with the trailors, the yummy baking and a good burger after a day racing and some great prizes.
Next year the regatta will be hosted at Point Chevalier Yacht Club, so if you missed this one make sure you are all there!
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.
Vanuatu has just experienced the worst cyclone in its history with wind gusts in excess of 340km per hour during cyclone Pam's peak and the Vanuatu Sailing Association (VSA) has contacted Yachting New Zealand with the following appeal for help.
1st Rob Woodward (and 1st Masters)
2nd Owen Anderson
3rd Rodney Studd
1st Edmund Tam (and 1st Masters)
2nd Olivia Christie (1st Youth and 1st Female)
3rd Bruce Jones
The Laser Champs were held as part of the Evans Bay Regatta.