by Nick Page
Sam Meech, (NZL) racing in the Laser class on the day 1 of the Skandia Sail for Gold Regatta, in Weymouth and Portland,
It was a frustrating day for all at the first day of the Laser National Championships at Napier Sailing Club.
The fleet of over 100 was on the water for the scheduled 1pm start but the wind spent the whole afternoon boxing the compass and constantly varying from nothing to 20+knots so only one race was completed for the Laser Open division with none of the other divisions managing to complete a race.
In the only race completed favorites Sam Meech and Andy Maloney dominated the Open Standard Laser fleet, finishing first and second in a race that became a reaching contest part way through as the wind repeatedly shifted. Both come to the championships having had strong seasons on the international circuit. Others to have solid races included rising stars Thomas Saunders and Michael Cate, who will be looking to challenge the favorites for the balance of the regatta.
In the Radial fleet everyone is out to topple current National champion and NZ Olympic rep Sara Winther, who is back for another Olympic campaign. Others expected to feature in the women’s fleet include Susannah Pyatt , who was part of the match racing crew at the London Olympics, and Rachel Basevi who has been close to the pace for the last couple of seasons. In the Youth Radial we expect a close contest with the favourites including Andrew McKenzie, last years winner.
In the Masters two of our current trio of World Masters champions are in the Radial fleet, Scott Leith and Mike Keeton, with Mark Orams missing while he recovers from injury. In the Standard Masters Andrew Dellabarca is back to defend his title with a strong fleet of challengers looking to deliver a close contest. A small fleet of 4.7’s has entered but with 3 of the fleet looking to represent NZ at this years World Championships we expect a hard fought regatta.
With the loss of races today an extra race for all divisions is now schedule for tomorrow and with fresh SW conditions forecast we hope to have a more productive day for all fleets.
For full results http://napiersailingclub.org.nz/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/Sailwave-results-for-2013-NZ-LASER-LASER-RADIAL-LASER-MASTERS-LASER-4.7-NATIONALS-at-NAPIER-SAILING-CLUB-2013.pdf!click_here