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Mitre10 NZ Laser Nationals Day 3: Light and Tricky

by Nick Page 18 Jan 01:53 PST 18 January 2020
- Mitre 10 Mega 2020 Laser National titles - New Plymouth - January 2020 © New Plymouth Yacht Club

Two more races were completed in a tricky breeze today in the Mitre 10 Mega NZ Laser National titles in New Plymouth, to keep the contest bang on schedule.

The sea breeze took a long time to get established today, with the breeze initially coming in from the NW before finally shifting to the SW later in the afternoon. The breeze barely made 8 knots during the racing and was very patchy, with the sea breeze finally getting some oomph only for the sail in after racing. The water was pretty flat all day, with only a small chop and very little swell. Results today generally followed the pattern of the last 2 days, unsurprising given the similar conditions, with the leaders in all fleets continuing their consistent form.

In the Standards Luke Cashmore and Harrison Baker shared the honours today with a 1st and 2nd each, putting Luke in a strong position overall with a 9 point lead, a 2nd as his current discard and only 2 races to go. Harrison is second while French visitor Ivan Beaufils tied on points with Albert Stanley in third and fourth place 5 points back. Dave Ridley (AM) got among the young guns again in race 6 with a 4th place and is in sixth place overall to lead the masters from past champion Andrew Dellabarca (M). After his stellar race win in the breeze yesterday Rohan Lord held onto the top Grand Master spot but had a forgettable day with a UFD in races 5, along with a few friends, followed by an unfortunate downwind swim in race 6 when he got excited in an 8 knot puff. John Pitman again had a solid day to lead the GGM division, although going to the wrong top mark in race 6 hardly helped his cause.

In the Radials Courtney Reynolds-Smith continued her super impressive form with a 2nd and 3rd to consolidate her overall lead. Scott Leith scored a bullet in race 6 to keep the pressure on Courtney while Thomas Mulcahy (Y) was again pretty consistent to hold onto the leading Youth spot and 3rd overall. Sara Winther scored the other race win today and is 4th overall with Caleb Armit (Y) 5th after struggling to find his best form in todays tricky conditions. Other notable performances today were Matthew Rist with two top 5 placings to be the second best Radial sailor on the day and and Josephine Siemann, who's 2nd in race 5 keeps the pressure on Queen Charlottes Emily Overend for the top Youth Girls slot.

In the Masters Radial Phil Wild (AM) continued to steamroller the fleet with another two bullets to leave the opposition little chance of overhauling him on the last day. Behind Phil defending champ Ed Tam (M) and semi professional GM Roger Winton, fresh from competing in the Aussie Nationals, again slugged it out with Ed continuing to hold second spot overall ahead of Roger. The whole Radial Masters fleet were given a lesson by the GGM's in race 6, with Garth Cheyne and octogenarian Sandy Grigg leading for much of the race, with Garth pipped at the post by Phil but holding on to second to catapult him up the leader board. Showing true GGM form Sandy had however forgotten to sign on so copped the penalty for that to give his younger opponents a sporting chance!

So with the final day tomorrow again forecast to again have fairly light breezes it is sure to again tax the race management team and provide challenges for all. The leaders will be looking to hold their nerve and lock in a keeper to take the titles home and we will all be looking at another interesting day on the water to wrap up the 2020 Mitre 10 Mega NZ Laser Nationals.

For full results click here

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