by Nick Page
Standard Winner Andy Maloney - NZ Laser National Champs
Competitors enjoyed fine, sunny conditions with a 15 knot easterly for the final two races of the 2013 Laser Nationals held in Napier.
With the exception of a wind shadow from a departing cruise liner briefly affecting the course for the Masters the breeze stayed true throughout both races with good waves for downwind sailing.
Andy Maloney continued to dominate the open fleet to earn himself the title of NZ National Laser Champion 2013. Sam Meech was a clear second followed by Thomas Saunders with Italian sailor Francesco Marrai taking the under 21 title from Jeremy O’Connell.
In the Radial fleet Andrew McKenzie continued his success to take both the Open and Youth Radial National titles. Matt Kempkers was runner up for both taking second place overall from new Women’s Champion Rachel Basevi on countback. Second in the women’s division was Sara Winther who despite good results today was unable to overcome her slow start. The Radial Youth women’s title was won by Ali Nightingale.
New Masters competitor Kris Decke continued to perform strongly to take the overall Masters Title and the Apprentice Masters Division. Second overall and winner of the Masters Division was Andrew Dellabarca with the Grand Masters Division being won by Nick Page who was eighth overall..
In the Radial Masters, Scott Leith again proved his class with another 2 strong performances to win the overall title and the Apprentice division. Hamish Atkinson from Christchurch took out the Masters Division. Current World Radial Grand Master Champion, Mike Keeton took the Grand Masters Division despite still recovering from recent surgery while the Great Grand Master Division was won by Bob Blakey after a close contest with Garth Cheyne.
The 4.7s were won by Bryn Bennett from Worser Bay.
Today’s favourable conditions allowed all racing to be completed before 3pm, in stark contrast to Friday’s 7pm finish after 9 hours on the water for the sailors. The successful completion of the contest, with all scheduled races completed despite difficult conditions was a credit to the Napier Sailing Club Race Management Team. Next years Laser Nationals will be in Nelson which should again provide an excellent and testing venue.