A Day for Lucky & Skilled Lightweights on Final Day of Laser North Islands at Taupo
The variations in the wind direction were not as extreme for the final day of the North Island Laser Championships hosted by Lake Taupo Yacht Club. First you must have wind before you can have a direction from which it blows! The plan was for the first races to start @ 10.30 and the Radial fleet did manage to start on time and drift for 20 minutes before the race was abandoned. The Standard fleet did not get a start away and in the end both fleets were sent back to the club to await some breeze. The PRO was correct and the wind slowly built until racing could begin. The wind was very light and only veered and backed through 90 degrees today, so the start lines and courses where not as badly affected leading to less general recalls and penalties than on Day 1. In the end two of the planned three races were completed, with the top 5 Sailors in each fleet showing their sailing talent in consistently dealing with the tricky conditions and managing to get on the correct side of shifts and finding the pressure that eluded the other 90 sailors.
Convincing winner of the Standard Fleet 184685 James Sandall leads Aaron Hume-Merry 182967 (9th) and Jason Geale 178664 (4th) to the wing mark
The winners, James Sandall from Wairoa Yacht Club & Jo Aleh from Takapuna Boating Club, sailed at a level above even their competitors in top 5. When they were in the lead they extended and when they were deep in the fleet they worked their way back up to get great results. James Sandall's worst result was a 4th which he was able to drop and he finished with a net total of 8 points, 9 points better than 2nd placed Andy Maloney from MBBC.
Winner of the Laser Radial Fleet Jo Aleh extreme right 177775 leads Radial fleet. 2nd placed Cameron Mckee centre 185381. 3rd placed Tim Coultman 2nd from left 175279
Jo Aleh also showed her talent in the Radial fleet although her margin of victory was not quite as comfortable as that enjoyed by James. Her worst result was a 6th in the last race when she rounded the last mark back in the fleet just behind a master. She showed her skills and on the last beat was able to work back up to 6th while the old fella finished 27th. Jo had done enough though with 2 wins earlier in the Regatta and she beat the very talented 2nd & 3rd placed youth sailors Cameron Mckee from NYC & Tim Coultman from MYC.
Leaders Standard fleet L to R Matt Coutts (6th), James Sandall (1st), David Woods (19th), Blair Mclay (5th), Chris Kitchen (3rd), Max Andrews (11th)
Sara Winther 181881 leads the Radial fleet in the last race at the Wing mark followed by 2nd & 3rd Overall 185381Cameron Mckee & 175279 Tim Coultman who at this stage looked good to Win the competition with eventual winner Jo Aleh well behind.
The other category winners were :
North Island Youth Champion Standard Rig :Andy Maloney MBBC
North Island Youth Champion Radial Rig : Cameron Mckee NYC
North Island Masters Champion Standard Rig : Rohan Lord TBC
North Island Master Champion Radial Rig : Edmund Tan WBBC
Travis Dow the 2007 New Zealand Laser 4.7 Champion, like the rest of the Laser 4.7 sailors, sailed in the Radial fleet because of the light winds and did very well coming 8th overall. Travis now heads to South Africa to compete in the Laser 4.7 Worlds and we all wish Travis well and hope that New Zealand will have another Laser World Champion. Full Results below:
2007 North Island Masters, Open, Radial and 4.7 Laser Championships