2008 Men's & Youth Radial World Championships
Our illustrious chairman receiving the Maori challenge at the opening ceremony for the Laser Radial Worlds.
The large Kiwi team in black in the background.
We were lucky to have such a magnificent venue and the efficient organisation of the Takapuna Boating Club to help us with the running of the event.
Men’s Laser Radial World Championship. By Blair McLay
As many will know the 2008 Laser Radial World Champs were held off Takapuna beach in March. The Women had their World Championship from the 15th to the 20th March. Racing for the Men and Youth Titles were held the following week (22nd – 29th March.) The Youth section was split into 3 fleets (Girls, Boys Blue and Yellow) With the Men, this made for 4 fleets starting.
The opening ceremony was held on the beach and was followed by a meal in the Takapuna club house. Having a World Championship at a local venue brings many advantages. The first of which was knowing that Takapuna Boat club has more than one door. Following the ceremony everybody rushed to line up outside the yacht club for the food. Seeing the extent of the line, Kiwi ingenuity prevailed and we walked in another door to receive dinner (after the Officials) as the rest of the fleet waited outside.
Sailing conditions remained the same throughout the entire contest. Wind speed was a perfect 15 knots everyday from the North East. There weren’t any big shifts but a number of gradual oscillations. North Easters bring big waves to Takapuna which made for some awesome rides downhill. (And a few sore bodies after a few days from having to sail upwind into waves and wind)
With the number of boats and fleets racing it was the men who got the shaft. We were the last start but without any guarantee of the start time, us old boys had to all head out in case the Race Committee did a sneaky on the first day. It took the young-un’s about and hour and a half to get away while us old hands had to wait for each fleet to start, restart and start again. That young generation has no respect for its elders. Eventually we got away to some great racing. Sensing that we men are an impatient lot, a notice was posted that the men won’t start till at least 40 minutes after the first start schedule.
Now I’m writing this a few months after the event so my memory is a bit shady for a blow by blow analysis of everything that happened. However I do remember that this scheduling change was great. With the Nor-Easter pumping some nice waves onto the beach, the entertainment of the morning was watching the preceding fleets launching efforts. Mason Pepper and his launching team were amazing. Without them there would have been a lot of carnage. They hung out in the water for hours holding peoples boats, putting centreboards in, pushing boats out and clearing the trailers.
The men’s racing saw Canadian Mike Leigh show the way with American Brad Funk in 2nd. James Sandall and Max Andrews we’re the top kiwi’s in 4th and 6th overall. With so many Kiwis in the fleet, many others had their moments as well.
In the other fleets, Kiwi Andy Maloney became the 2008 World Youth Champion. Congratulations must also to Sam Meech and Jason Saunders both inside the top 10 at 5th and 8th respectively. Cushla Hume Merry narrowly missed out on the World Youth Female Championship finishing 2nd on count back.
The Closing Ceremony was a dinner held at the North Harbour Stadium followed by a live band. Depending on the song, dancing and at times a mosh pit ensued. (Jumping up and down is more fun if you can’t dance) I believe an enjoyable night was had by all.
A HUGE THANK YOU to the many, many volunteers who made the event possible. Special mention must be made of the Legendry Nic Page for running the patrol boat ramp, Mason Pepper for running the beach, John & Linda Parish for running the racing and Grant Cunningham & Sarah Powrie for running the shore.
Congratulations to everyone who competed. For many it was their first World Championship and the effort and training everyone put in was amazing. To see such large fleet sizes in New Zealand with everybody giving it heaps is awesome.Notice Board