Offshore Powerboat "Thunder on the Lake" almost steals Thunder from Day 2 of Laser Nationals
144 Lasers waiting for wind after the earlier Offshore Powerboat event was held in 10-15 knots
Competitors at the 2008 NZ Laser Championships were treated to the impressive spectacle of the Offshore Powerboat "Thunder on the Lake" this afternoon. 144 Laser sailors & race officials were disappointed later though when it was "their turn" on the Lake as the 10-15 knot winds that had given the Offshore Powerboats choppy conditions slowly died and swung through 360 degrees before a race could be completed. PRO Ian Clouston kept his cool though and in the end racing was able to get underway with shortened courses and compressed starts just after 17.00 today. The scheduled 2 races for each fleet were completed in 5 to 10 knots oscillating winds.
2006 Laser Radial World Champion Lijia Xu from China continues to dominate the Radial fleet with another 2 wins today
Lijia Xu switched to the yellow Radial fleet today and recorded 2 wins although in one of her races she had to work her way up from mid-fleet to get the victory. 2nd & 3rd overall Jo Aleh and Sara Winther again sailed in the opposite fleet to Xu and had to work hard for Aleh's 2nd & 4th and Winther's 1st and 6th. In the Standard Open fleet Josh Junior had a great day with 2 wins moving him up to 2nd overall, with Rod Dawson now leading after having another good day with two seconds. Andrew Dellabarca dominated the Masters fleet with a win and 2nd giving him a 10 point lead over 2nd placed Richard Blakey. In the Laser 4.7 fleet, Nicholas Croft consolidated his lead today with 2 outstanding wins, putting him 6 points clear of 2nd placed Daniel Jones.
What happened to the age defying Master from yesterday, Mike Keeton, who was in 2nd place behind Xu I hear you say? Well the 25 and some years that he is giving to the rest of the Radial fleet hotshots caught up with him today. In the first race he had a senior moment and started his 5 minute countdown when the 4 minute flag went up leaving him a minute behind everyone at the start. In the second race it didn't get any better and the repeated capsizes on the runs convinced Mike that he should really head home for a much needed nap! So Mike has gone from 2nd overall to 56th overall, but don't despair as after his nap today we are sure he will start tomorrow 25 years younger again!