Taupo delivers another perfect day for final races of 2008 New Zealand Laser Championships 
2008 NZ Nationals Final Days 018
Jedi Master & Mens Standard Open fleet Sailor, Murray Thom explaining the finer points of light wind sailing on Lake Taupo as he crosses the finish
Lake Taupo delivered 5-8 knot winds from the the South, with flat water for the final day of the 2008 NZ Laser Championships.  The Championships have been a great success with two heavy winds days, two light wind days and one medium wind day.  The 2008 New Zealand Laser Champions have excelled in all these conditions and all of the divisions have seen very tight racing with the winner only being found after the last race of the 12 race series.  Lake Taupo Yacht Club & the Taupo District have done a great job hosting the 144 Lasers sailors and their families over the 3 Pre-Regatta training days and 5 days of the Championships.  His Worship the Mayor of Taupo District, Rick Cooper handed out the following Trophies:
 2008 NZ Nationals Prize giving 004      2008 NZ Nationals Prize giving 010
Rod Dawson right receiving his trophy from Mayor Rick Cooper left    Andy Maloney Champion Youth Standard & Nick Page NZLA Chairman
2008 Men's Standard Rig Open Champion - Rod Dawson
Josh Junior and Rod were very close on points going into the last day and both were disqualified from a race yesterday giving the rest of the fleet, Matt Blakey in particular, a chance if they went badly today.  Both have been watching the Masters fleet too closely and started the day with OCS! The recently jilted Matt Blakey seized his chance and won the race firmly putting himself back in the race.  In the last race Rod managed to collect an 8th (his equal worst result on the water) but that was enough with Matt coming second overall with a 12th in the last race, and Josh 3rd overall with a 9th. 
2008 Men's Standard Rig Youth Champion - Andy Maloney
Andy Sailed well throughout the Regatta, wining the last race and with nothing worse than 10th, giving him 6th place overall and first youth.  Sam Meech also sailed well and was second youth and finished 11th overall.
12         2008 NZ Nationals Prize giving 012
2006 Radial World Champion & 2008 NZ Radial Champion Lijia Xu                  NZL's Jo Aleh giving thanks while accepting her prize for 2nd place
2008 Radial Champion & Women's Champion- Lijia Xu (China)
Lijia went into the final day 3 points clear of Jo.  The conditions favoured Jo and she started the first race at the pin close to Lijia and by the top mark had a good lead which she increased until the finish.  Unfortunately for Jo & New Zealand's hopes, no other sailors could get into that large gap between her and Lijia and with Lijia collecting the 2nd the last race would need a miracle.  At the top mark for the first time in the second race it was NZL's & third overall Sara Winther, first but 2 Chinese sailors second & third.  Lijia being one of them and Sara could not cover them both.  Lijia broke to the right on the run and found more wind.  Sara came across to cover but it was too late and Lijia was ahead and the bottom and held this lead to finish collect another win and the Championship.  Xiaoying Shen was 4th and Elliot Cree 5th and first Male.
2008 Radial Youth Champion - Cam Mckee
Cam sailed well all regatta finished a very creditable 6th overall out of 78.
2008 Radial Youth Female Champion - Cushla Hume-Merry
Cushla also sailed well with two race wins and finished 8th overall and 3rd Youth overall and won the free Laser Radial sail kindly donated by Boat Bits.
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Cam Mckee 1st Youth Radial (6th Radial o/all)      Jim Maloney & Sarah Powrie (NZLA Secretary)         Glen Sowry Radial Master Champion
2008 Overall Masters Champions - Standard Rig- Jim Maloney : Radial - Glen Sowry
Jim & Glen both show that in masters sailing it is better to be a tortoise than a hare!  No need to sprint ahead and get a couple of wins then take 2 days resting or sprint past the finish line so fast that you miss it completely!  What a story Andrew Dellabarca can tell his grandchildren how he could have won the Standard Rig Championship but sailed past the finish line!  Divisional Masters Winners

Standard Rig


Radial Rig


Apprentice Master

Andrew Dellabarca

Apprentice Master

Mike Knowsley


Jim Maloney


Glen Sowry

Grand Master

Bob Blakey

Grand Master

Sefton Powrie

Great Grand Master

Jim Quinn

2008 NZ Nationals Prize giving 024
Nicholas Croft dominated the Laser 4.7 class and happy to accept his free trip to Croatia to represent NZ at the 2008 Laser 4.7 Worlds 
2008 Laser 4.7 Champion - Nicholas Croft
Nicholas was the most convincing winner of any Laser division and today continued in wining form with 2 more wins.  Nick now gets a free trip to Croatia to represent NZ at the 2008 Laser 4.7 worlds.  Layton Hern enjoyed the lighter conditions more than 3rd placed Daniel Jones and was able to get past Daniel into 2nd overall again by 2 points.
All 144 lasers sailors would like to thank Ian Clouston and his race committee, John Bullot and the judges, and all the members of the Lake Taupo Yacht Club who have helped make to 2008 NZ Laser Championships one of best yet. 


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