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Swedish sailor aims to combine a Rocket Lab launch with 2021 Laser NZ Nationals

by NZLA Media 13 Jan 13:28 PST 22-25 January 2021
Worser Bay Boating Club © Worser Bay Boating Club

The 2021 Catalyst IT Laser National Championships will have an international flavour despite the current limitations on travel. The furthest travelled by a significant margin will be Staffan Persson from Sweden. He has taken the opportunity to compete in the New Zealand Laser Championships while in the country for work.

Staffan is in New Zealand to launch a satellite from the Rocket Lab facility on the Mahia Peninsula. After the launch of the Rocket Lab Electron Rocket, Staffan is preparing to launch a different type of vessel in the form of a Laser (ILCA) dinghy from Worser Bay beach at the 2021 National Championships.

Staffan sails out of the HKK sailing club (Huvudsta Kappseglings och Kanotklubb) where the conditions are vastly different to the possible range of conditions in Worser Bay, Wellington. Staffan explains that he normally sails as long as the ice and darkness does not stop him, usually racing is held in the evenings. There are normally 15-20 boats participating, with competitive and fun racing. "Unfortunately, the water we sail on, is more or less in the middle of Stockholm, and is very constrained so the winds are very gusty, and shifty, and we have never seen any waves there, so wave technique is not my best."

Staffan is very pleased with how well the timing of the rocket launch has coincided with the start of the 2021 Catalyst IT New Zealand Laser championships. It was an opportunity too good to pass up while in New Zealand, especially after having to spend the mandatory 14 days in quarantine. Staffan will be competing in the Grand Masters, Standard Rig division.

The Catalyst IT 2021 ILCA New Zealand Championships will be hosted by Worser Bay in Wellington from the 22nd to 25th January 2021. The Worser Bay Boating Club was completely rebuilt in 2019 and provides an outstanding venue for both competitors and spectators. The new club delivers a great stadium atmosphere for watching the racing. Recently, Worser Bay Boating Club hosted a successful 2020 Optimist National Championships. A variety of conditions are guaranteed.

The regatta is also proudly supported by associate sponsors: CBRE, CO-Kids, Craigs Investment Partners, Find Recruitment, Newcrest, Pak n Save Wanganui, Primeparking, and Wellington City Council.

For further details in the regatta head to

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