Laser Results & Reports

Laser regatta reports and results.
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2018 Auckland Laser Champs - Torbay


Nice sea breezes and a particularly strong youth Radial fleet were the features of the 2018 Auckland Laser Champs held at Torbay on 17th and 18th February.

Saturday saw the sea breeze fill in early, with 10-15 knots for the 3 races and a decent chop. Sunday was overcast and the breeze never really got above about 8 knots but still provided good racing.

In the 30 boat Radial fleet, Luke Cashmore had an excellent weekend, winning 4 of the 6 races to take out the championship. Behind him Torbay local Harrison Baker had was also exceptionally consistent, particularly on the Sunday with 3-second places. Third overall was Master Phil Wild, keeping the youth fleet honest, as did Susannah Pyatt who had two good wins on Saturday but was not able to sail Sunday. The Torbay youth squad stood out overall with Jayden Abbott, Ryan Harden and Logan Beckman in 4th, 5th and 6th all having a good weekend on the water.

In the Standards there was a repeat of the contest from the recent Nationals in Christchurch with National Masters Champ Andrew Dellabarca making the trip up from Wellington worthwhile, taking out the contest from local Ian Baker with Cris Brodie third. GGM John Pitman from New Plymouth had an exceptional Sunday, winning two of the races to come in 4th overall, clearly preferring Sundays lighter condition.


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

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 

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

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

2017 North Island Laser Champs

25 Radial and 14 Standards enjoyed 2 days of great racing in Napier at the 2017 North Island champs, with 4 solid races on Saturday and 3 on Sunday leaving most sailors tired but happy with the weekend. There were sailors from throughout the NI, with a particularly strong team from Worser Bay there to challenge the rest. On both days we had light sea breezes, varying from about 6 to 12 knots, with choppy seas and overcast skies. The cloud limited the strength of the breeze particularly on Sunday and meant that it was patchier and shiftier than normal. This however made for great racing, with no lead ever completely safe and many place changes throughout the racing.
The sailor who really mastered the conditions was defending NI Radial champion and reigning U17 World Radial Champ Josh Armit. He dominated most of the Radial races, only blinking once to let U17 rival Luke Cashmore claim the bullet in race 6. Luke was a strong 2nd overall, putting together a very consistent series. 3rd and 4th, locked together as has been the case in several regattas recently, were Youth girls Olivia Christie and Annabelle Rennie-Younger. They finished equal on points, with Olivia coming out on top this time by virtue of the tie-break. Third Youth boy was Albert Stanley, from the strong Worser Bay team and 3rd Youth girl Samantha Stock from Pt Chev.
Ed Tam (M) was the leading master in the Radials in 6th overall, followed by Georgi Yankov (M) in 11th and Bruce Jones (GM) in 14th. 
In the Standards no one was able to dominate. Going into the last race there were 4 sailors still with a theoretical chance of winning the series. In the end, defending champion Andrew Dellabarca (M) showed his class, winning the final race to take the contest by two points from now Rotorua based Apprentice Kent Copplestone. Third two points further back was Cris Brodie (M) with first GM Nick Page a further point back in 4th. It was great to see the fleet bolstered by a mixture of old faces returning to the fleet and some new faces as well.  Mark Tillet from Manly was getting in some early practice for the 2019 Nationals, which will be held at his home club, and newcomers Kirk Vosper and Michael Coutts both reckoned that they enjoyed the challenge. 
The strong fleets this weekend at both Napier and at the South Island Champs held the same weekend at Naval Point indicate that we should have a good fleet for the Nationals so if you have not made a commitment yet get organised, get entered and we look forward to seeing you in Christchurch in January.
- Nick Page

Sheffield 2017 South Island Laser Champs

The Sheffield South Island Laser Championships were held at NPCL on the 25/26 November.

Entries were from as far afield as Dunedin, Picton and Nelson. There were 22 Radials and 7 Full Rigs competing. Race 1 on Saturday started in a light SW and had to be abandoned as the wind died away and the good old NE arrived. This meant a beat up the harbour to a different race course area. Racing got away again about 12-30 in a building Easterly and 3 races were completed in 14-21 knots.

Alistair Gifford, fresh from his 2nd place in the youth trials, dominated the Full Rigs with local hopefuls Tim Pitcaithly 2nd and Master Chris Shannon 3rd in each race.

In the Radials, previous winner Peter Graham from Dunedin had a 1,2,1 and female Master Jenny Armstrong (previous Olympic Gold 470 medallist) also from Dunedin was in a tied position with local Hamish Atkinson with 2,3,4 scorecards. Charles Corston won race 2 convincingly and then in race 3 dislocated his shoulder again so, unfortunately, had to painfully retire from the series.

On Sunday, we sailed a little further up the harbour with another 3 races in champagne 14-20 knot Lyttelton Easterly conditions.

For the Full Rigs, it was much of the same with Alistair getting 3 deserving bullets, followed by Tim with 3 seconds and Sean Thomson 3 thirds.

In the Radials, Peter also had 3 bullets, and Jenny and Hamish continued their 2,3,4 placings. Simon Wilson had blistering pace for a 2nd in Race 4 and 3rd in Race 5. Simon finished 4th overall and had some good capsize practice and may consider bringing his snorkel and mask up for the Nationals!

Full Rig prizes went to Alistair for 1st Youth, Tim for 1st Open and Sean for 1st Master. Radial prizes went to Peter for 1st Open, Jenny for 1st Female and 1st Master and Harry Corston for 1st Youth, and unofficially Greg Corston for the most UFD’s.

Thanks very much to Ross May the Race Officer, Phil Foulter race management, and the race boat helpers. Looking forward to some more of the same hopefully in January at the Sheffield Nationals.

See you all there!
- Hamish Atkinson

2017 South Pacific Laser Masters, Brisbane

6 Kiwis and 60 Aussies might seem a bit of a one sided contest but during 4 days of blue skies, light warm breezes and wonderful hospitality at the SPLM in Brisbane the Kiwis certainly held our own and were able to give the Aussies a few lessons on the way through.
We had a variety of breezes, mostly light and variable as is typical for this time of year in Brisbane, but we did enjoy a nice shifty challenging offshore (just) hiking breeze on day 3 as a change from the 4-8 knot "sea breezes" on the other 3 days. It was pretty much flat water the whole time but there were big tides that had to be respected and used wisely to get ahead of the very closely bunched fleets in both the Radial and Standard.
In the Radials it was a 3 way contest from the start between Kiwi Scott Leith (M) and Queensland locals Mark Kennedy (GM) and Danny Fuller (A). It was close all the way but Scott was able to keep control of the contest to win overall by a couple of points from Mark, with Danny having to carry a 15th from the second to last race to finish a few points further back.
After having a look at the forecast, waifes like Mike Knowsley (M) changed to the Standard fleet at registration and went on to record a couple of excellent bullets, joining GM's Chris Sadler and Gary Lock, who also scored bullets, in making sure the Aussies knew we were there. Unfortunately, unlike Scott in the Radials true consistency deserted all the Standard rig kiwis.
Local heavies ex World GM Champ Greg Adams & Brad Taylor (GM), Chris Dawson (GM) from Sydney and David Waite(M) from Perth ended up at the top of the Standard  results. They were closely followed by a flock of kiwis including Chris in 5th, GM's yours truely and Gary in 6th and 7th and Mike in 8th in the 35 boat fleet. GGM Bob Blakey finished mid fleet after pulling out early on the last day with the excuse of "having to get ashore to meet an old mate for drinks". Bob was spotted on the flight home the next day so it could not have been too tough a session.
So overall another great regatta to follow up on the trans tasman rivalries from the World Master Games and not a foil, X box or pedal in sight. 
Next opportunity to take on the Aussie Masters will be their Australian Laser Masters on the ocean at Mooloolaba in February, at which they tell us all kiwis will be welcome! They are expecting 250 masters so it should be a really great event so why not put it in the calendar and give it a shot.
Nick Page
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