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Marine Turbochargers NZ Laser Nationals- Day 3 Sea breeze delivers

by Mike Knowsley on 18 Jan 2014
Nicholas Heiner, NED, 204564 - 2013 Sail for Gold Regatta - in second place in the NZ Laser Nationals after Day 3 © Paul Wyeth / RYA http://www.rya.org.uk

After two days of frustration competitors and regatta officials enjoyed a great Nelson sea breeze and were able to complete a full set of races in perfect Laser sailing conditions. Racing started as soon as the sea breeze filled in at about 12.30, with four races being completed for the Open divisions and three for Masters.

The breeze steadily built through the day. The first race was sailed in 8 to 10 knots with a slack tide. The breeze topped out at about 20 knots later in the afternoon and a strong ebb tide resulted in a big wind against tide seaway for the later races. The tide also caused some issues on the start line, with many sailors underestimating the drift in the last minute and consequently there were a few general recalls and quite a few sailors suffer OCS’s for premature start.

In the Open, NZL Sailing Team member Andy Maloney leads from Dutch visitor Nicholas Heiner with Tom Saunders in third. Unfortunately the other top ranked NZ sailor, Sam Meech, was forced to withdraw from the later races due to an injury he sustained in training earlier this week. Our other Dutch visitor, 2012 Olymoic representative, Rutger Van Schaardendurg, who was fourth in the recent World Laser Championships, incurred an OCS but otherwise had strong results today and remains in contention for the title once the discard comes into play tomorrow.

In the Radial leading Women’s sailor and last Olympic rep Sara Winther leads a closely bunched field from Trent Rippey, the leading youth sailor. He is followed by South Island youth trio Sefton Cole, Cullen Le Roy and Charles Corston, with local Nelson sailor Josh Edmonds in sixth. Leading Women’s Youth sailor is Ali Nightingale in eighth overall.

The 4.7’s enjoyed close racing and is led by Lachy Grimwade from Japanese visitor Emily Koya.

In the Masters Andrew Dellabarca prevailed in all three races but was OCS in one race, relegating him down the order and allowing defending champion Chris Decke to lead overall from Kent Copplestone and Pete Van Ryn, the leading Master. Nick Page leads the GM’s in fifth overall. In the Masters Radial Scott Leith produced another dominant performance with three wins to lead convincingly overall. The other standout performance of the day was Richard Blakey who was second in all three races and is now third overall behind a consistent Ed Tam in second. Mike Keeton is leading the GM’s and Jim Quinn the GGM’s.

The forecast for tomorrow is similar to today so we hope to get another top days sailing for the final day of the championship. With a discard coming into play for all divisions if we get a full compliment of races tomorrow there will potentially be some rearrangement of standings with several top sailors currently carrying OCS’s so there will be much to play for in tomorrow's races.

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