All three NZL Sailing Team Laser campaigners, and New Zealand’s best up-and-comers, will be joined by top international competitors from Australia, Sweden, Ireland, Norway, Singapore, the Netherlands and Korea for the 2014 Oceanbridge Sail Auckland.
In 2013 Andy Maloney took second place to Australia’s Ash Brunning, while young kiwi Sam Meech was third. The Australian is back for another go in 2014, and he and both the kiwis, having all returned some excellent international results throughout 2013, will be gunning to come out on top in 2014.
The quality of the Australasian sailors and the excellent racing on offer has also attracted some of the class’s front runners from around the globe. Rutger Van Schaardenburg from the Netherlands who placed fourth at the 2013 Laser World Championships last November in Oman will be another international to watch. Van Schaardenburg’s compatriot Nicolas Heiner will be in town for the regatta and so will Sweden’s Jesper Stelheim.
'There are quite a few countries in the Laser fleet including some top guys,' says Andy Maloney who was 2013 Laser National Champion and won ISAF Sailing World Cup Palma and Garda Olympic Week in 2013. 'Rutger, Jesper, Ash and Nicolas are always at the front of the international Laser fleet.'
The New Zealanders are likely to be in top form with the 2014 Laser National Championships on in Nelson from 15 to 19 January providing the domestic sailors with a chance to get some quality fleet racing in the lead-up to 2014 Oceanbridge Sail Auckland.
Racing starts on Auckland’s Waitemata Harbour on Saturday 1st February and runs for four days with prize-giving to follow racing on Tuesday 4th February. Royal Akarana Yacht Club is hosting 2014 Oceanbridge Sail Auckland with an army of volunteers ready to help make the regatta a success.
New Zealand team Gemma Jones and Jason Saunders: ’It was tricky sailing’ - 2013 Nacra 17 World Championship © Laurens Morel
About 2014 Oceanbridge Sail Auckland
Oceanbridge Sail Auckland 2014 will take place at the Royal Akarana Yacht Club from the first – 4th February 2014.
The NZL Sailing Team are anticipated to feature strongly in what is the biggest Olympic and Paralympic class regatta in New Zealand, and alongside them will be New Zealand’s top developing youth sailors and keen competitors in a range of invited classes such as the OK Dinghy and A-Class catamaran.
All Olympic and Paralympic class boats are invited to take part: The Laser, Laser Radial, Finn, 470 Men, 470 Women, 49er, 49er FX, RS:X 8.5, RS:X 9.5, Nacra 17, Skud 18, 2.4mR and also other classes are encouraged: the OK Dinghy, 29er, 420, Liberty, Hansa 303, Kiteboards, F18 and A Class Catamaran.
Over four days of racing 11-15 races will take place for each fleet, and the format for all classes will be fleet racing with no medal race. All racing will take place in the Waitemata Harbour, in the surrounds of Rangitoto Island, North Head, Mechanics Bay and Browns Island.
Oceanbridge Sail Auckland is made possible only thanks to the contributions from principle sponsor Oceanbridge, and supporters: Sport New Zealand, Yachting New Zealand, Royal Akarana Yacht Club, Danske Mobler, The Landing and Orakei Marina. Equally important is a team of more than 50 volunteers that are behind the success of this regatta every year.
by Jodie Bakewell-White
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10:43 AM Wed 15 Jan 2014GMT
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