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2017 Bayleys Laser Nationals - Day 4 - Nationwide storm seals results

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

2017 Bayleys Laser Nationals - Day 3 - Down to the wire

Day 3 Results

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.

In the Open the day belonged to NZL squad member Tom Saunders who won both Races 7 and 8 to win the day following a third in the days first race to move up to second overall. However not be outdone defending champion Andrew McKenzie was 2nd in all 3 races to retain the overall lead by 3 points. Chinese sailor Jianan Wu was top 5 in each race but slipped to third overall ahead of the winner of todays first race, teammate Ning Zhao. NZ sailors George Gautrey and Matt Kempkers both has solid days to hold 5th and 6th overall ahead on the other Chinese team sailors.
In the Radial Youth Josh Armit stamped his authority on the regatta to lead with two wins, split by a discard 9th in the second race of the day. Tied with Josh going into the day Alastair Gifford had a solid day and is now clear second over leading Woman Susannah Pyatt, who won the second race of the day and was able to discard an OCS in the first race to have a solid 10 point lead over second women's sailor and now 4th overall Stephanie Devaux Lovell. World Masters champ Scott Leith's challenge for the Open title evaporated today with and OCS in the first race and gear breakage in the third race dropping him well down the table. Open sailor George Lane and local Youth Blake Woodfield both had consistently strong results in all 3 races to sit 5th and 6th overall.
Expat Australian Anthony Merrington (A) was the sailor of the day in the Masters, winning both races to take the overall lead by a solitary point from overnight leader Giles Grigg (A), who has a handy 6 point lead on third placed defending masters champion Andrew Dellabarca (M), who had a costly capsize at the gybe mark in the second race when leading. Former NZ open champion Mark Oliver (M) holds 4th overall ahead of leading GM Peter Kempkers who was consistent in both races. Former champion Kris Decke's OCS in the first race of the day put pay to his title challenge while Master Tony Evans lapped up the condition with a 3rd and 4th to move to 6th overall.
In the Masters Radial leader Apprentice Phil Wild and 2nd overall placed Richard Blakey (M) are locked in a close battle after both scoring a 1st and 2nd today to be separated by a single point overall. Defending champion Ed Tam is third overall after a couple of 5th today. Leading GM Hamish Atkinson had a tough first race but did enough in the second to hold off Werner Hennig (M) and second GM, former World GM champion Mike Keeton who managed a 3rd in one race today to be 6th overall.
So with one day to go there is still everything to sail for for the leaders in every division. Tomorrows forecast is not promising, with Taupo due to get the brunt of the low pressure system crossing the country tomorrow so if there is sailing it is again likely to be a windy couple of races to finish the series. 
- Nick Page

2017 Bayleys Laser Nationals - Day 2 - Wrap up Warm for the Taupo Summer!

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.

Day 2 Results


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

2017 Bayleys Laser Nationals - Day 1 Results & Report


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

Preview of the 2017 Bayleys NZ Laser Nationals, Lake Taupo Yacht Club, January 18th - 22nd 2017

The 2017 Laser Nationals at Lake Taupo is shaping up to have a near record sized 120+ fleet. There are very strong Masters entries ahead of the upcoming World Masters Games, good Youth entries for the Radial and an interesting mix of NZL squad sailors, other kiwis aspirants and several overseas sailors due to compete in the Standard Open division.
Sam Meech, our Olympic Laser Bronze medal winner, is sidelined for a few weeks with injury (although he will be doing some pre regatta coaching for us) and Andy Maloney is now flying with Team NZ the Open championship. So the Standard Open division looks like a showdown between reigning champion Andrew McKenzie, NZL squad sailor Tom Saunders, our recent Worlds Youth rep George Gautry,  who is stepping up to the Standard rig, and overseas sailors including an expanded Chinese squad returning after strong showings at Muritai last year.
The Radials Open & Youth fleet will be missing regular front runner Sara Winther, who is still recovering from a wrist injury. That leaves Olympic campaigner Sussanah Pyatt and several outstanding Youth sailors. They include last years Youth runner up Josh Armit, Jason Hewitt and recent Youth Worlds rep Olivia Christie. But they will have to fight extremely hard to beat World Apprentice Masters champion Scott Leith, who has again elected to sail in the Open division this year.
The Masters Standards has an extremely strong entry meaning that defending champion Andrew Dellabarca will face a raft of challenges. These are expected to come not only from his usual competition such as 2015 champion Chris Decke and the strong Wellington contingent including Rob Woodward and Owen Anderson but also from many sailors back in Lasers in preparation for the WMG including past National Champions Rohan Lord, Mark Oliver, Chris Brodie and Giles Grigg. There will also be several "young guns" in the fleet such as expat Aussie Apprentice Master and recent North Harbour Masters winner Anthony Merrington.
With Scott opting to sail in the Open fleet the Radial Masters contest is likely to feature a battle between defending champion Ed Tam, last years runner up Hamish Atkinson, World Laser Masters cube winner Richard Blakey and returning faces such as past World Masters champion Mark Orams and Apprentice Phil Wild.
So there is going to be plenty of competition across the board.  NZLA sponsored pre regatta coaching on the two lead up days will feature several top sailors doing the coaching including Sam Meech and Susannah Pyatt. So whether you have just got into a Laser or have been doing it for 40 years come and learn from our first ever Olympic Laser medallist and join the party, get your entry in ( and come and be part of the action in Taupo next week. 
Nick Page
Chairman - NZ Laser Association

Pre regatta coaching - 2017 NZ Laser Nationals

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.

  • Tuesday and Wednesday 17th & 18th January 2017
  • Be ready to go at 11am - the sessions usually run for 2 or 3 hours depending on conditions
  • At Taupo YC

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;

  • Sam Meech
  • Susannah Pyatt
  • Andrew McKenzie
  • Olivia Christie
  • George Gautry
  • Albert Stanley

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.

World Masters Games 2017 Sailing: More than just a regatta

While sailing off the “City of Sails” East Coast Bays in Auckland, New Zealand in the World Masters Games regatta in April 2017 will be a great experience (these sailing waters are special), this event is more than a regatta. The World Masters Games (WMG2017) is a mega-event with a diverse range of 28 separate sports and an expected 25,000 masters athletes from all around the world.
The activities and opportunities associated with the WMG2017 will be highlights in themselves. The Opening Ceremony on the evening of Friday 21 April 2017 will be held at Auckland’s iconic Eden Park, home of international rugby and cricket and some of history’s most memorable sporting showdowns. New Zealand’s pre-eminent event producer, Mike Mizrahi, will be the creative visionary behind the WMG2017 Opening Ceremony which promises to be an occasion athletes and supporters will never forget. The opening ceremony will celebrate the unique culture of New Zealand and the spirit of masters athletes, combining use of cutting edge technology, live performances, a tribute to the 28 sports of the Games and the celebratory athletes’ march. Attendance at the Opening Ceremony is included in all WMG2017 registration packages.
During the 10 days of WMG2017 there will be a range of activities at the Games Entertainment Hub on Queens Wharf, at Auckland’s downtown waterfront. Examples include:
A Toi ora (living gallery) where visitors can experience some of New Zealand’s traditional arts such as carving and ta moko (tattoo).
Shed 10 - a key performance space with a full programme of entertainment; also featuring culinary activations including a selection of food and beverage stations.
The Garden Bar - characterised by relaxed Kiwi vibe with music and food to match.
The Forecourt – featuring roving performers, food trucks and pop up performance spaces, it will also be the start / finish area for the athletics road races and cycling time trial.
The closing ceremony on Sunday 30 April will also be a highlight and a chance to celebrate a fantastic 10 days of competing, sharing, and fun!
This is one of those opportunities that you will regret not doing. The sailing will be awesome, the Games themselves a great event to be a part of, and the chance to enjoy living life to its full through an active participation in sport should not be missed!
REGISTRATIONS OPEN UNTIL 31 January – don’t miss out on this amazing opportunity!
Sailing at WMG2017 will be held in Laser Standard, Laser Radial (men and women) and Weta trimaran classes (single and double handed). For more details, including information of charter boats see:

Volunteers needed for the World Masters Games

World Masters Games is coming up in April and we are expecting close to 150 Lasers and 60 Wetas for the sailing at Torbay, with sailors from all round the world entered. Its a lot of boats so we need lots of volunteers, both on and off the water to help run the regatta. So whether your partners sailing and you'd like to part of it as well or you can just give us a hand we would love to have your help.
Racing starts on Sunday 23rd April and finishes on Friday 28th April (no sailing on Tuesday 25th/Anzac Day). If you can help for a day or all week it will certainly be much appreciated.  
Masters regattas are always fun and social events. Come and  join in and spend a bit of time being part of the biggest sporting event in NZ this year, the World Masters Games. 
So if you can help please email by 20th January with your name and contact details and let him know which days you are available and what you would like to do.

Coach wanted for Calgary YC - May to August


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 


We offer: 

- 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

Enter the World Masters Games and be in the draw for a Volvo

By now you should know all the reasons why competing in World Masters Games 2017 is an unmissable opportunity? Well, now there’s another reason, and we think you’ll agree it’s amazing.


Volvo Car New Zealand, Official Vehicle Partner of WMG2017, is giving one lucky WMG2017 athlete a V60 Cross Country for keeps.


That’s right, any New Zealand resident registered to compete as an athlete in the Games before 3 March 2017 is in the draw to drive away one of WMG2017’s ex-fleet V60 Cross Country vehicles*. 


If you’ve already registered, you’re automatically in the draw. If not, what are you waiting for? Register now and make sure your name is in the mix for winning this incredible car. 


Sporty prizes up for grabs too

If you’ve got family or friends umming and ahhing about the Games, make sure they sign-up to our newsletter.


When they do, they’ll also be able to choose one of our four sporty prize draws*, including a Giant mountain bike, watersports kit, golf clubs, and family sports pack.

So sign up now and you could win big.

Team WMG2017

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