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The Sheffield 2018 NZ National Laser Champs - Naval Point

A great regatta with excellent sailing conditions, expertly run by Naval Point Club Lyttelton.

We were generously supported by Sheffield - sourcing, selecting and shaping leaders - sheffield.co.nz

Report - Final Day - Sheffield 2018 NZ National Laser Champs

Favorites Bring it Home
 
The final day of the 2018 Laser Nationals at Naval Point Club Lyttelton was another ripper, with a nice 10-12 knot sea breeze arriving on schedule just before midday, allowing the scheduled 2 races to be completed in short order and the winners crowned in all divisions.
 
In the Open Standards, Andrew McKenzie (Akarana) made it a triple by winning both races to win his third NZ Laser Championship in a row in emphatic fashion. He battled with George Gautrey (Muritai) all day, with the two closer than Siamese twins much of the time, but George was, unfortunately, UFD in race 9 ending up 2nd overall and winning the U21 trophy. Alastair Gifford (Queen Charlotte) and Matt Kempkers (Wakatere)  continued their battle with Alastair doing enough to hold off Matt for the 3rd slot in spite of Matt having the better of the day. 
 
In the Radials Josh Armit (Murrays Bay) continued his emphatic domination of the series, winning both races to finish unbeaten in the regatta. It was a fine performance by the World U17 Laser champion Josh who was simply too good for the opposition this week. Second on countback was World Laser Masters champion Scott Leith (Murrays Bay), who's 3/2 results today were just enough to overhaul Women's title winner, club mate Susannah Pyatt. Annabel Rennie-Younger, also from the strong Murrays Bay squad had a consistent series to capture 4th overall ahead of Youths Albert Stanley (Worser Bay) and Luke Cashmore (Wakatere) who both showed a lot of promise with strong series overall. In the very tight battle for supremacy in the Women's Youth division Elly Warren's results today were just good enough to take the title, sneaking past Samantha Stock who had led from day 1.
 
In the Masters Andrew Dellabarca (M, Worser Bay) scored a  2/1 today which was well and truly enough to secure the title ahead of Ian Baker (AM) from Torbay, who again showed his strength upwind in the sea breeze to take out race 9 and be close to Dellabarca again with a second in Race 10. Behind these two it was a close battle with the order of the next 6 Masters all depending on the result of the last 2 races. In the end it was Master Rob Woodward from Worser Bay who edged ahead of the pack to take out a well deserved third spot ahead of a rapidly improving Kent Copplestone (AM, Rotorua) in 4th and Pupuke's Tony Nicholson in 5th. Nick Page was the leading Grand Master in 7th overall.
 
In the Masters Radial Ed Tam (M) put the contest beyond doubt with two bullets today to win from local GM Hamish Atkinson. In third place was Jenny Armstrong (M) from Ravensbourne, competing in her first Laser Masters nationals and certainly showing the fleet she will be a force to be reckoned with in future. Mike Knowsley (M, Tamaki) had a consistent day to hold onto 4th overall from Hamiltons Werner Hennig in 5th. Another successful Radial Master today was Werner's club-mate Scott McDougall, who took out the major spot prize of a new sail thanks to Dan at Watershed.
 
So another really successful Laser Nationals is complete, with all races completed to schedule and wonderful regatta and race management thanks to the efforts of the Naval Point Club and their band of volunteers. Next year the contest will be at Manly so we look forward to another strong fleet there.
 
Nick Page
NZLA
 

Photos - Sheffield 2018 NZ National Laser Champs


Andrew McKenzie


Susannah Pyatt


George Gautrey & Rohan Lord

Report - Day 3 - Sheffield 2018 NZ National Laser Champs

Leaders Consolidate
 
Day 3 provided a classic day with a bit of everything weather wise giving everyone a chance at a top result. It was another hot Christchurch day with temperatures in the early 30's and the fleet was initially held ashore waiting for a breeze but by midday, a light southerly had set in so PRO Ross May got the fleet on the water and headed over to Charteris Bay for the start of race 6. The breeze was a patchy 5 to 8 knots with an outgoing tide, which proved a challenge to many, although the top Open and Radial sailors showed their class, consolidating their positions at the top of the fleet. The Southerly then died and after an hour or so wait a really solid sea breeze blowing up to about 20 knots accompanied by a good seaway came in for the subsequent two races of the day.
 
In the Standard Open fleet, last years champion Andrew McKenzie and Muritai's George Gautrey were in a class of their own, with Andrew (2/1/1) again just taking the honours for the day from George (1/2/2) to consolidate his claim to this year's title. Alastair Gifford and Matt Kempkers continued to fight it out for the third spot with Alastair holding a nice 5 point margin over Matt going into the final day tomorrow while a consistent Rohan Lord managed a 4th in race 7 to break the monopoly of the top 4.
 
  
 
In the Radial, World Youth champion Josh Armit continued his seemingly unstoppable progress to the title, winning all 3 of today's races convincingly to retain his perfect score. In contrast, the contest for second is extremely close with Susannah Pyatt holding just a 1 point lead over Scott Leith. Scott had a shocker in race 1 today so now both Scott and Susannah have serious discards so both will be looking for 2 good races tomorrow as they endeavour to secure second spot. Behind then everyone had a bit of a mixed day, with Albert Stanley continuing to hold 4th spot and second in the Youths while Annabel Rennie Younger is second in the Women's and 5th overall. In the Radial Youth Womens Samantha Stock holds onto a two-point advantage over Elly Warren, with tomorrows two races critical to deciding the winner and who will go into the NZL regatta in front in the World Youth Womens selection contest.

   
 
In spite of "observations" from a few Masters about how to survive 3 races a day both Masters fleets again enjoyed excellent racing. In the Standard Masters Andrew Dellabarca (M) had a hiccup in race 7 with an OCS but a 1/2 in the other two races still has him in front of Ian Baker (AM) by 6 points going into the final day in spite of Ian winning both today's windy races. Rob Woodward (M) moved into a clear third overall while Nick Page continues to lead the GM's but slipped to 5th overall after a poor effort in race 7  to sit just a point behind Pupuke club mate Tony Nicholson (M) who moved up to 4th overall. 
 
All the leaders in the Masters Radial found the light race a challenge but the status quo was re-established with the onset of the sea breeze to leave Ed Tam (M) leading from Hamish Atkinson (GM) with yesterdays star Jenny Armstrong  (WM) holding 3rd after posting the most consistent 3 race results for the day with a 4/2/2.
 
With only one discard allowable everyone will need at least one good result tomorrow. The forecast is again looking a little tricky tomorrow but hopefully, the predicted sea breeze will eventuate early enough to allow the final 2 races to be completed as scheduled before the 15:30 cutoff time.
 
Nick Page 
NZLA

Report - Day 2 - Sheffield 2018 NZ National Laser Champs

Weatherman and weather agree
 
The supercomputers agreed with the weather gods today and we enjoyed 3 great races in a lovely 10-15 knot sea breeze, pretty much what was forecast. Everybody was ready to go at the midday start time but the PRO decided to wait half an hour for the sea breeze to settle in. There was a bit of ebb left in the tide when race 3 started at 12.30, enough to catch bag a few OCS's, but from then on the sea breeze settled, the tide turned, the cloud cleared and we enjoyed a beautiful day's sailing on excellent courses.
 
In  the Open Standards Andrew McKenzie (Kohi) and George Gautrey (Muritai) continued to battle it out at the front of the fleet with Andrew again winning the day with a 1/2/1, but having had to conceded one to George, who sailed a blinder to take out Race 4 and log a 2/1/2 for the day. The extra breeze today suited Matt Kempkers (Wakatere) who put together a 4/3/3 for the day but still trails 3rd placed Alastair Gifford from Queen Charlotte in the overall standings.
 
In the Open Radial fleet, there was no stopping Josh Armit (Murrays Bay) who really showed why he won the U17 worlds, being dominant in all 3 races today to reach the halfway point of the contest with a perfect score. Behind him, his Murrays Bay teammates, Women's Olympic hopeful Susannah Pyatt and Masters champion Scott Leith, had a close battle with Scott's 2/3/2 just pipping Susannah's 3/2/3. With the discard getting rid of Susannah's OCS from yesterdays race 1 these two are only separated by a single point going into day 3. Annabel Rennie Younger again had a solid day to hold 4th overall although Albert Stanley and Olivia Christie both had great days and are not far behind 5th and 6th. Samantha Stock continues to lead the Youth Women although Elly Warren found the conditions much more to her liking and closed the gap on Samantha considerably.
 
In the Masters Standard, the extra breeze was to the liking of Finn convert Ian Baker (Torbay), who flew upwind to take two Masters wins and jump up to second overall. However also enjoying the conditions was Wellingtonian and past champ Andrew Dellabarca, who scored a 2/1/2 to continue to lead overall. Behind these two there is a close group of aspirants, currently led by Nick Page (Pupuke) in 3rd overall, despite his succumbing to the outgoing tide start line trap in race 3, with a consistent Rob Woodward (Worser Bay) in 4th, while Cris Brodie (Pupuke) is now 5th after suffering speed wobbles and joining the Lyttelton Swimming Club in the last 2 races of the day.
 
In the Masters Radial local hero Hamish Atkinson found conditions a bit tougher today, scoring a 3/3/2 to sit equal on points with Ed Tam, who's 2/2/1 for the day looked impressive. However undisputed Radial Masters star of the day was ex-Olympian Jenny Armstrong (Dunedin) who gave the guys a sailing lesson and took out the first 2 races  of the day and now sits 3rd overall, tied with a consistent Werner Hennig (Hamilton) on points, just one ahead of Mike Knowsley who also had an extremely consistent day.
 
With the contest now at the halfway mark, it is difficult to think of any more ideal sailing conditions than we have enjoyed so far. The one thing all the forecasts agree on for tomorrow is that it will be hot, 31degrees predicted, but the wind is a different story with a range of possibilities proposed. Hopefully, we will again enjoy a solid breeze and continue the exceptional conditions we have enjoyed to date.
 
Nick Page
NZLA

Report - Day 1 - Sheffield 2018 NZ National Laser Champs

Subtropical Christchurch greets the Laser fleet

Results Day 1

 
A fantastic first day for the Laser Nationals with clear skies, 30-degree temperatures and a lovely 10-knot breeze. Every wind forecast site anyone could find agreed, 10 -15 knot NE sea breezes would be it for the day. The only dissenter was the wind itself which decided to come in from the South so with trepidation the race committee set a course up into Charteris Bay and sure enough the southerly settled in for the afternoon and gave us two interesting races. Pressure variations, tide, a shifty breeze and a small slop provided challenging conditions for all with a few tide-induced early starters and a few swimmers proving that the challenges of the day were real, even if the water felt like we were sailing off a tropical island.
 
The Standard Open and Standard Masters started together, with several of the Masters competitive upwind, but then the top Open sailors provided a masterclass in downwind sailing to put the Master's pretenders well in their place. In the Open there was very close racing between reigning champion and favourite Andrew McKenzie, George Gautrey from Muritai and Alistair Gifford from Tauranga. The three of them had a real tussle for the top spot in both races with Andrew just managing to get home first both times but only getting through on the last short beat to the finish in race 2. Unfortunately, George was OCS in race 2 to leave him some work to do to get back to the top of the table giving the third spot in race 2 to Rohan Lord, who had suffered an OCS in race 1.
 
In the Masters Standard fleet, the lead changed several times in both races with very close racing among the top group as well as the Masters mixing it with a few of the Open fleet. In Race 1 Andrew Dellabarca (M) from Worser Bay managed to prevail from GM Chris Sadler (Tamaki) showing exemplary masters downwind technique to secure 2nd spot followed by Cris Brodie from Pupuke. In race 2 it was a similar story with Andrew holding out Cris Brodie while GM Nick Page managed to capture third place.
 
In the Open Radials superior downwind speed saw reigning champion and 2017 World U17 Laser champion Josh Armit take both races convincingly. Behind Josh last years Youth Worlds rep Annabel Rennie-Younger had a very solid day with a 4/3 to sit 2nd and lead the World Masters Radial champion Scott Leith, who is tied on points with Albert Stanley from Worser Bay for 3rd. Women's favourite Susannah Pyatt was unfortunate to be OCS in the first race but made amends with a 2nd in race 2 while in the Youth Women Samantha Stock has a solid lead over the other Women's youth contenders.
 
In the Radial Masters, local knowledge must surely have helped with GM Hamish Atkinson having a blinder with two bullets. Pre-contest favourite Ed Tam (M, Worser Bay) is tied on points for second with GM Werner Hennig from Hamilton. Kevin Welsh (GM) from Panmure scored a strong second in race 2 to sit 4th overall.
 
So with 30-degree temperatures and a sea breeze again forecast for tomorrow it is anybody's guess what we will actually get but we will hopefully see 3 quality races for all fleets.
 
Nick Page
NZLA

Coaching Days - Sheffield 2018 NZ National Laser Champs

Coaching days at the Sheffield 2018 NZ National Laser Champs.

  • Tuesday 16th Jan - 11am start - coached by George Gautry
  • Wednesday 17th Jan - 11am start - coached by Olivia Christie & Josh Ahmit
  • and racing starts on Thursday
  • free to all nationals competitors and members of the NZLA

Coaching normally starts with a briefing and some on-shore discussion. But have your boats ready to go by 11am with the rigs down.

Sheffield 2018 Laser National Championship Preview

The 2018 Laser Nationals will be held later this week at Naval Point Club in Lyttelton, with racing from Thursday 18th to Sunday 21st. There will be quality fleets in all divisions, with a good selection of sailors from throughout the North Island joining a strong South Island contingent on their home turf. 
 
In the Open Standards defending champion Andrew McKenzie from Akarana, who had a strong season on the World Laser circuit including a breakthrough podium finish in the European Laser Championships, will face several strong challengers for his title including recent top youth sailors George Gautrey from Muritai and Alistair Gifford from Queen Charlotte as well as his regular training partner Matt Kempkers from Wakatere.
 
In the Open Radial fleet, it will be an interesting contest between youth and experience. The Murrays Bay contingent is extremely strong, led by last years champion Josh Armit, this year's World U17 Laser Radial champion. He clearly again ranks as the overall favourite, fresh from a second at last weeks Australian Laser Radial Championship. However many in the fleet will have other ideas including other Murrays Bay sailors such as Women's Olympic aspirant Susannah Pyatt, last years Women's Youth champion Annabel Rennie-Younger and multiple World Masters champion Scott Leith, who has elected to sail in the Open Radial fleet instead of the Radial Masters to keep his club mates honest! The fleet also includes a large and strong group of emerging Youth sailors who will no doubt be looking to knock Josh off the top spot. They include Wakatere's Luke Cashmore, who has had a very strong season to date, and other newcomers including a strong team from Torbay. In the Youth Women's Radial Samantha Stock from Murrays Bay and Elly Warren from Tauranga will be among those looking to get their head in front for this year's World Youth Champs spot, as the Nationals is the first selection regatta for this season.
 
In the Standard Masters perennial favourite Master Andrew Dellabarca, from the strong Worser Bay masters contingent, faces a challenge from a trio of Apprentice Masters; Kent Copplestone now from Rotorua, recent Laser Masters recruit Ian Baker from Torbay and Ken Atchison from Hamilton, as well as a number regulars Masters foes including club-mate Rob Woodward and Tony Nicholson from Pupuke. There is a great turnout in the Masters Radial division with the favourite likely to be Master Ed Tam from Worser Bay, who has been consistently strong at both Nationals and Worlds for several years. Mike Knowsley and past Women's Olympic rep Jenny Armstrong are other Masters who should keep him honest while the big group of Grand Masters, led by local favourite Hamish Atkinson are also certain to feature.
 
It's still not too late to enter and with 10 races scheduled over the 4 days and the weather forecast predicting an interesting variety of conditions we are all looking forward to the first race getting underway on Thursday afternoon. 
 
Nick Page 
NZLA

Entry Application Dates for the ILCA World Champs

Dear District Members,
 
Information about all ILCA Laser World Championships and access to applications is available through the ILCA events page
   https://sailing.laserinternational.org/
 
Please note the application opening and closing dates for 2018 Laser World Championships:
 
(1) Applications for entry for the following World Championships will be accepted beginning Tuesday, 9 January:
 
   2018 ILCA Laser Radial Men's World Championship
   2018 ILCA Laser Under-21 World Championships
   2018 ILCA Laser 4.7 Youth World Championships
 
For all three of the above events, the deadline for receiving PAID applications for initial allocation of places is 20 February 2018 at 23:59 Central US Time. 
 
You are encouraged to complete an entry application as soon as possible after it becomes available. Please be aware that if you do not apply by the 20 February 2018 deadline, you may have little chance of receiving an entry offer. 
 
(2) Applications for entry for two other World Championships will be accepted beginning Thursday, 1 March:
 
   2018 ILCA Laser Radial Youth World Championships
   2018 ILCA Laser Masters World Championships
 
For these two events, the deadline for receiving PAID applications for initial allocation of places is 12 April 2018 at 23:59 Central US Time. 
 
You are encouraged to complete an entry application as soon as possible after it becomes available. Please be aware that if you do not apply by the 12 April 2018 deadline, you may have little chance of receiving an entry offer. 
 
Please Note: The 2018 World Championships for Standard Men and Radial Women are Organized by World Sailing as part of the Sailing World Championships in Aarhus. If you intend to compete in that event, you should coordinate with your Sailing MNA to obtain entry.
 
Best regards,
The ILCA Team
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