Lake Taupo delivers perfect sailing conditions for Day 3 of the 2008 NZ Laser Championships
Lijia Xu wins first race of Yellow Fleet comfortably with left NZL's Jo Aleh comfortablely wining the first race of the Blue Fleet. They will race against each other tomorrow in the Gold Fleet for the first time.
The wind came in as ordered today and racing was able to start relatively on time with the busy schedule of 3 races for the Open Laser Standard & Radial & 4.7 fleets completed. For the first two races the wind oscillated and was between 5 & 10 knots. During the 3rd Radial races there was a big swing to the right with extra pressure which necessitated a change in course for the Laser Open & 4.7 fleets third race.
Layton Hern finishing 2nd in the first race of the Laser 4.7 fleet and Youth Standard Rig sailor Rawiri Geddes finishing 22nd in the first race.
The Masters only sailed 2 races today and Andrew Dellabarca consolidated his lead with 3rd and 13th (which he was able to drop). Jim Maloney sailed well in the lighter conditions with two 2nds and moves up to 2nd place overall, 6 points behind Andrew. In the Laser 4.7 Nicholas Croft continued on his wining ways with his worst result today being a 3rd which he can drop. Layton Hern sailed well today with three 2nds moving him up to 2nd place overall 6 points behind Nicholas. In the Open Standard Fleet Josh Junior collected two seconds and a 6th which now puts him on 15 points & even with the overall leader Rod Dawson who managed to win the last race to keep the lead so far. Matt Blakey is 3rd, 13 points further back.
China's Lijia Xu blemished her perfect record today with a 4th in the last race in the Yellow Radial Fleet but is able to drop this to give her the perfect score of 6 from the seven races sailed so far. New Zealand's Jo Aleh enjoyed the lighter conditions and collected three wins in the Blue Radial fleet which gives her and almost perfect score of 8. Sara Winther is 3rd on 17 points. The Radial fleet splits into a Gold and Silver fleet tomorrow which will see the Top 3 sail against each other for the first time. With only 2 points between Lijia & Jo (both will represent their countries at the Olympics later this year) its going be a fascinating battle over the remaining 5 races.
So after 3 days of the 2008 NZ Laser Championships what have we learnt?
Mark Tillet with 2nd broken tiller in 2 days
Mark Tillerless in the masters fleet has learnt that aluminum tillers break everyday after breaking one on each of the first and second day although on the second day it most probably saved his life as the mainsheet of the boat to windward that was not keeping clear was wrapped around his neck and twice around his tiller when the infringing skipper sheeted in hard. Mark Tillet is now 2 tillerless and 1 extensionless.
Peter van Ryn in the masters fleet learnt that when you are battling for the lead on the 2nd day coming into the bottom mark and someone ahead and below of you is trying to luff you, it can be quite effectively dealt with by wrapping your mainsheet twice around their tiller and neck and sheeting in hard!
All the males in the Radial Fleet have learnt that "Girls can do anything" and usually better than men as they lead the 78 strong fleet with the best Male Luke Deegan 5th.
Mike Pasco in the Radial fleet has learnt that the upside down laser hull with the bottom mark on one side of the boat and the anchor on the other makes an idea viewing platform to watch the fleet sail past and that important sailing tip on the runs, that it is better to capsize to windward when leading than when mid-fleet because by the time you have righted the boat a couple of times and got going again you end up mid-fleet rather than last.
Travis Dow in the Radial fleet has learnt not to sail too close to any upturned laser viewing platforms at the bottom mark as their masts can break your rudder!
Nick Page (Chairman of the NZ Laser Association) has learnt that he should have gone with his initial gut feeling and ended the Regatta after the first day when he was leading the Masters fleet!
Nick Brewer has not learnt that Taupo drivers can't see people riding push bikes, as after being hit badly on the first day such that his bike was trashed and he spent the night in A&E, he promptly discharged himself from hospital as soon and the local bike shop opened and bought himself a new one!