Perfect sailing conditions on Day 4 of 2008 NZ Laser Championships
Elliot Cree gets one back for the men in the 2nd race of the Radial Gold fleet and moves into 4th place overall
The forecast 15-20 knots winds from the SW came in on time providing perfect sailing conditions today with waves that could be surfed by the more skillful sailors. The programmed 3 races for the open classes were completed on time with no problems for the race committee. The wind moved right today but in a subtle way, unlike the big shifts that have been experienced on the previous 3 days.
NZL Jo Aleh gets one over CHN Lijia Xu in the 2nd race today after Xu beat Aleh in the first race of the day.
Andrew Dellabarca sailed well today in the Masters fleet with a 2nd in the first race and possible win in the 2nd race except for a senior moment when he and Peter Van Ryn were battling hard up the final beat for the race win and they sailed right past the finish line (not crossing it) and up to Start boat and start line. They eventually realised their mistakes, which the rest of the fleet enjoyed, and sailed back to the finish line and recorded 16th & 15th respectively. Andrew was able to drop the 16th but it has kept Jim Maloney in the hunt now trailing by 2 points as we go into the final day.
In the Open fleet the joint leaders from yesterday Rod Dawson and Josh Junior were both disqualifed after protests today from 2 different races. Rod is disqualifed from Race 8 which he won on the water and Josh from Race 10 in which he came 3rd on the water. With 2 races left tomorrow the Championship is very tight with Matt Blakey sitting in 3rd still in with a chance.
Nicolas Croft in the 4.7 fleet had another good day with two wins and a 2nd and is looking very likely to win the free trip to Croatia to represent New Zealand in Laser 4.7 Worlds. Daniel Jones went better today in the stronger conditions and moved back into 2nd place, 2 points ahead of 3rd placed Layton Hern from Christchurch. In the Radial Masters, Mike Keeton must have found the fountain of youth again after a 2 day nap, and won both races in the Silver fleet. Glen Sowry leads though due to fact that he doesn't need a 2 day nap after one day of sailing. Spencer Loxton leads the Silver Fleet with 3 wins today, closely followed by Jessica Barrell from Torbay.
NZL's 3rd placed Sara Winther finishing the 2nd race today
In the Radial Gold Fleet the leader from China Lijia Xu and New Zealand's #1 Jo Aleh raced against each other for the first time. In the first race today Lijia won with Aleh second. In the second race Aleh finished 2nd with Lijia 3rd. In the last race Aleh was on the wrong side of a right shift going into the top mark and finished 5th which she is able to drop. Lijia did slightly better and finished 2nd. With 2 races left tomorrow Jo Aleh now trails by 3 points and will be praying tonight for her favoured light winds for the final day.
Tonight Taupo Yacht Club have done a great job hosting the Laser Nationals Dinner with 144 sailors and guests and as a special bonus RS:X World Champion Tom Ashley and Jo Aleh have given presentations on their Olympic campaigns for China later this year.