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Barfoot & Thompson Laser Nationals Day 4 - Snakes and Ladders

by Nick Page NZLTA 16 Jan 23:30 NZDT 16 January 2019
Tom Saunders (NZL) - Laser - Day 8 - Hempel Sailing World Championships 2018 - Aarhus, Denmark, August 2018 © Sailing Energy / World Sailing

The final day of the Barfoot and Thompson NZ Laser Nationals featured some great contests for the final honours. Conditions on the day were gusty and very shifty with an offshore 10 to 15 knot southerly peeling around the cliffs between the bays.

This caused problems for many, with frequent OCS's as the wind swung on several occasions as fleets started and many place changes during the beats as the lines of pressure came through. Both the Opens and the Radials sailed an extra race to make up for the races lost on Sunday so all fleets ended with a full compliment of races.

In the Open Standard fleet world No 8 Tom Saunders wrapped up the title with wins in the first 2 races. Unfortunately neither Sam Meech or Phillip Buhl were able to sail the final day, they were both attending former national champ Andy Maloney's wedding (congratulations Andy!).

This left Josh Armit and George Gautry to fight it out for the minor placings, with Josh getting the bullet in the final race to take second and the U21 title with George third and consistent Luke Deegan and U21 Alistair Gifford 4th and 5th.

In the Radials youth Harrison Baker was the star of the day with two wins and a third, more than enough for him to overhaul overnight leader Luke Cashmore (Y) and take the title. Luke held on for second place ahead of leading woman Olivia Christie, who tied on points with Caleb Armit (Y) but took third place on count back thanks to her two wins on Monday. Olivia's Worser Bay teammate Albert Stanley's 3rd in the final race secured 4th overall for him while Scott Leith (O) was a point back in 5th. Samantha Stock had a really consistent day to consolidate her place as the top youth woman.

In the 4.7's Daniel Brodie won a tight battle with Aidan Gordon to take out the title with a strong 2/1 day, with James Goodall from Napier ending up third after a really good contest between the trio. Ryker Green from Manly also had a great day, taking out the first race and following that up with a 3rd in the second race.

In the Masters Standard overnight leader Dave Ridley (A) only needed one decent result to secure the series but had to settle for second after a nightmare day, letting expat Matt Blakey (A) through to take the title. Continuing the expat invasion Gavin Dagley won the last race to finish 3rd overall and leading Grand Master, followed by leading Master Cris Brodie in 4th and defending champ, master Andrew Dellabarca in 5th. Gary Lock was the leading GGM in 13th overall with a couple of good top 10 finishes on the last day securing his position ahead of New Plymouth GGM John Pitman, one of the sufferer of a BFD in the days first race.

Speaking of black flags an unfortunate Richard Blakey, brother of Standards winner Matt, in the Masters Radials crossed the line first in the last race only to find he too had succumbed to the dreaded black, handing the title to defending champ Ed Tam (M) with leading GM Werner Hennig in second and Richard ending up third. GM's Kevin Jenkins from Whangarei and Hamish Atkinson from Christchurch ended 4th and 5th, with Kevin in particular enjoying the day with a first and 3rd in the two races.

So another Nationals wrapped up after superb on and off the water organisation by Manly Sailing Club. Next year we head to New Plymouth, which is sure to offer a whole set of different challenges, with everyone looking forward to surfing the Tasman's ocean swells.

Complete results are on the NZLA website nzlaser.org/content/2019-nz-laser-nationals-results

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