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.
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.
The 2015 Auckland Masters Championships, held at Tamaki on Saturday 21st March, attracted almost 40 entries with 25 Standards and a good group of Radials. 5 races were completed for both fleets in tricky E to NE breezes between about 5 and 12 knots. Seas were typically lumpy Tamaki sea breeze conditions with the heavy harbour traffic adding to the wind against an outgoing king tide for 4 of the 5 races.
In the Radial there was a very tight contest with current World GM champion Mike Keeton eventually prevailing by one point with a 1,1,1,2,3 scoreline over Richard Blakey, who made the podium in Hyeres in the Masters division, with a 1,1,2,2,3 scoreline. Third was Whangarei visitor Roger Winton who managed to get between Mike and Richard a couple of times and was unlucky not to pull off a win in one race. Shaaron Mckee was the leading Women’s Masters Radial sailor.
In the Standards reigning National Masters champion AM Kris Decke from Whangarei ended up winning convincingly with 4 bullets after starting slowly, having got caught on the wrong side of the beat in the first race. Second was expat Kiwi GM Gavin Dagley, now resident in Melbourne, who managed to show consistent form in all 5 races to convincingly win the GM division from third placed Nick Page (Pupuke), who was fortunate to be able to discard a meltdown in the 4th race. Leading Master was local Tamaki sailor Nick Brewer, back in the Laser after focussing on sailing the Mistral with his kids in recent times. Leading GGM was Bob Blakey, who showed he is still a force to be reckoned with a 2nd in one race in spite of turning 70 in the next few days. It was great to see 5 GGM’s in the Standard fleet, with Bob, Sandy Grigg, Jack Hansen, Dave Almond and Derek Bond all mixing it up during the day.
2015 is flying by! Another month of great training back in the NZ summer, and a couple of local events have now come and gone. Both Oceanbridge Sail Auckland, and the OKI 24 Hour race have been great tests for different reasons. Sail Auckland was a tightly contested battle, and the 24 Hour race was definitely a physical battle in some very testing conditions!
Click the link below to find out how I got on and what is up next...
Thanks for all the continued support!
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Panmure Lagoon Sailing Club has had yet another successful Regatta that saw 39 Laser sailors & their steeds from all over the World – Canada, Austria, Switzerland–as well as the North Island, Taipa, Onerahi, Hamilton and Lake Ngaroto come & do battle on this challenging spot of water in Auckland. The winds defied all predictions coming in at 8 t0 11 knots from the South West giving our illustrious race officer Garth Briden something to work with. He managed to fire off 4 races even though those errant jockeys pushed their valiant steeds across the line three times in false starts. Garth got the measure of those miscreants by black flagging the starts which brought those fiery steeds back under control. The fleets were very tight with even the top end being continuously hounded by the hoards doggedly nibbling away at their heels.
The day closed with a BBQ & lamb on the spit followed by Prize giving with Daniel Barry from Canada taking out the RSA trophy & some other great goodies, which included a top section, 2nd place went to Andrew Childs from Taipa with our own Paul Page taking out 3rd. The Radial fleet was taken out by Loïc Eisenring of PLSC with 2nd place going to Kailash Clearwater of Taipa & Kevin Welsh PLSC taking 3rd place. Jana Senn from Nautic Club Austria won the First Women trophy. This was followed by spot prizes. We have to thank to our invaluable army of helpers who kept the whole day running like clockwork and our Sponsors who donated an impressive list of prizes.
So we thank our generous Regatta sponsors: RSA, Waipuna Hotel and Conference Centre, CRC, PredictWind, Auckland Seaplanes, the Water Shed, Survitec Group, Auckland Marine Centre, Red Carpet Tours, Boating NZ, Sugarcraft, Joy Adams Sails, Flyajet, Mortgage Express, YMCA and New Zealand Maritime Museum.
A generally light regatta. Both days started with an Easterly before swinging to the North. And a solid breeze for the end of the second day.
Garth did well getting us all 6 races.
The racing was fair and the good guys still won.
This year the Chinese team dominated the Standard fleet finishing in the top 3 places with J. Zhou the champion. They have been training in Auckland and taking part in the NZ Laser Champs, Auckland Laser Champs and Sail Auckland.
The Radial fleet was closely fought. Tim Adair was the eventual winner after only winning 1 of the 6 races, and only 3 points separated the top 3.