The 2007 South Pacific Laser Masters are being hosted by the Royal Queensland Yacht Squadron in the beautiful clear waters of Moreton Bay QLD. The Fleet of 66 lasers is made up of sailors from all the Australia States & 9 from NZ. The fleet has a large number of Current & Former World Champions as most sailors are using this Regatta as a final preparation for the World Championships to be held at the end of September in Roses, Spain. Most of the Kiwis arrived the day before the regatta and spent the day preparing charters boats of various ages and conditions. Some of us went out for a sail in the crystal clear waters (caused by the ongoing drought) and were lucky enough to see Dolphins, Turtles and Dugongs. The “nibblers” as the locals call the sharks to avoid scarring the tourists we thankfully absent.
Day 1 dawned clear and warm and the Westerly gradient breeze fought the building sea breeze and finally lost which left conditions very light and shifty with a reasonable tide. Race 1 was started under an I flag which was to have an effect on the results as a number boats were slightly over in the last minute and weren’t aware of this. Kiwi Mike Knowsley from Manly Sailing Club lead the Radial fleet for most of the race by a large margin with 2 other Manly Sailing Club members Make Page & Mike Pasco comfortably ahead exchanging 2nd & 3rd places but in those conditions nothing is safe and on the last third of the run a hole parked the leaders and allow the current Masters World Champion and local sailor Greg Adams and a bunch of Ozzies to catch with a large bunch reaching for the shorted course finish line. Mark Page crossed first of the bunch with many following close behind. After the OCS were taken out the final results for the Kiwi’s were Mike Pasco 1st , Mike Knowsley 2nd , Jim Quinn (Tamaki) 16, Mark Page ocs.
The Standard Rig fleet struggled also to find breeze in the tricky conditions with places changing regularly. Colin Caldwell from (Pupuke) did well to finish 4th with Michael Keeton (Wakatere) 6th, Ray Beale (Pupuke) 8th, Barry Cutfield (Whakatane) 12th & Marcus Frith (Manly) 22nd
The 2nd races of the day were held in the tricky conditions with places changing regularly. Former World Champ form Perth Colin Dibb won the Standard Rig and 52kg local Jan Kemp won the Radial. Standing at the end of Day 1 for the Kiwi Sailors:
Standard Rig R1 R2
3rd Barry Cutfield 11 2
7th Ray Beale 8 13
9th Mike Keeton 6 15
15th Colin Caldwell 4 32
25th Marcus Frith 20 25
3rd Mike Pasco 1 13
6th Mike Knowsley 2 18
21st Mark Page ocs 3
24th Jim Quinn 16 22
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