Racing got underway today for the 2014 European Laser Standard and Laser Radial Championships being held in Split, Croatia where New Zealand’s best are competing.
After the opening day of the six-day series, Andy Maloney is the best placed of the NZL Sailing Team making an excellent start today and lying fifth equal overall. With a massive 132 boat entry list the men’s Laser fleet are racing in three fleets for the qualifying rounds each sailing two races today.
Maloney, who represents the Murrays Bay Sailing Club, placed third, then fourth in racing today giving a score of seven points. At this early stage things are very close at the top of the leader board and the leaders, Rutger van Schaardenburg of the Netherlands and Nick Thompson of Great Britain, both have five points.
'After a short postponement on shore, we did two races in a light onshore breeze,' says Maloney. 'Two good starts and some consistent sailing around the course scored me two keepers to open up the regatta with.'
Mike Bullot and Sam Meech are lying 18th and 21st respectively, both making a solid start to competition on day one in Split. Bullot, who returns to high level racing after a long break, placed fifth and 10th today, while Meech’s results were similar with a fifth and a 12th.
Meanwhile a 12th and 15th from today puts Thomas Saunders in 37th overall on the leader-board.
Representing New Zealand in the Women’s Laser radial class are Sara Winther and Susannah Pyatt. Winther placed 27th and sixth in her two races today to sit in 26th position; Pyatt is in 91st.
'Super tricky day today in Split, 4-10 knot sea breeze,' reports Winther. 'Race one was not so good losing a lot on the second beat, but race two was a bit better… but long way to go yet.'
Racing continues in Split tomorrow and runs for another five days with the titles set to be decided and medals presented on Saturday 14th June.
2014 Laser and Laser Radial European Championships, New Zealand's provisional standings after Day 1
Fleet ahead of the first day’s racing - 2014 Laser Europeans - Petar Prkic
Laser Standard (Men’s Olympic single-handed class) – 132 entries
5thAndy Maloney, NZL Sailing Team (3, 4)
18th Mike Bullot (5, 10)
21stSam Meech, NZL Sailing Team (5, 12)
37thThomas Saunders, NZL Sailing Team (12, 15) Laser Radial (Women’s Olympic single-handed class) – 92 entries
26th Sara Winther (27, 6)
91st Susannah Pyatt (46, 41)
Event website: www.lasereuropeans2014.com