2014 Auckland Laser Masters – Tamaki 5th April


A moderate to fresh SW breeze provided ideal conditions for the Auckland Masters Champs at Tamaki. The first race was held with the last of the incoming tide, providing a tricky wind against tide seaway. With the change of tide by the latter part of the second race sea conditions became easier but working in towards the shore to avoid the tide made picking pressure and shifts with the wind off the shore very tricky.
36 Masters entered for the one day, 5 race series and enjoyed close racing in both the Standard and Radial divisions. The 5 race format was testing given the conditions, with some running out of steam before the last race. There was strong representation from Pupuke, Panmure and Tamaki clubs, while several out of town entries helped to make a large and very competitive fleet
In the Standards it was an extremely close contest between John Showell (GM, Pupuke), Gavin Dagley (GM), who was over from Australia for the weekend, and Richard Blakey (M, Tamaki) with only 1 point separating the three of them in the final results. It all came down to the last tack in the last race, with John winning by less than a meter from Gavin and Richard only a couple of boat lengths back. There was a different winner in each of the five races, illustrating just how close and competitive the racing was. Rob Bland (Pupuke) was the leading Apprentice despite finding the change to salt water challenging after a season racing on Pupuke. Chantal Grass (Panmure) was the Women’s rep, finishing an extremely creditable 17th overall.
In the Radial GGM Jim Quinn (French Bay) displayed a combination of old age cunning, local knowledge and training to earn a well deserved victory after a contest in which again no one sailor dominated. There were 4 separate race winners in the series and close racing at all times. , Werner Henning (Hamilton) was the leading Master in 2nd, R Roberts (Tamaki) was the leading Apprentice in third overall and Kevin Welsh (Pupuke) the leading GM in 4th.
It was very encouraging to see a strong turnout for this regatta. This continues the strong fleet numbers we saw at Panmure recently and the enthusiasm in the fleet indicated that we can expect a very strong Masters turnout at next seasons Nationals at Takapuna in January. The next interclub regatta this season, the Fresh Water Champs at Pupuke, is on 17th and 18th May.

- Nick Page

Auckland-Laser-Masters-Champs-2014-Full-Rig.pdf76.49 KB
Auckland-Laser-Masters-Champs-2014-Radial.pdf68.23 KB