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Barfoot & Thompson Laser Nationals Day 3 - Seven hours afloat

by Nick Page NZLTA 14 Jan 19:47 GMT 12 January 2019
Sam Meech (NZL) - Laser - Day 8 - Hempel Sailing World Championships 2018 - Aarhus, Denmark, August 2018 © Sailing Energy / World Sailing

Day 3 of the Barfoot and Thompson Laser Nationals at Manly provided a bit of everything but in the end delivered a fantastic days sailing for all.

The fleet left the beach just after 11am in the rain with a 15 knot NW that then freshened to gusts of 25 knots as they did their pre race preparation in the strong wind and rain . Come start time at midday things had changed, blue sky and flat calm and everyone wondering if we were in for another frustrating day.

But just as depression set in so did a nice gusty, shifty 15 knot offshore breeze and it was all go, with the breeze holding for the rest of the day and fleets eventually completing not only their scheduled race but also a catch up one to make up for yesterday.

So after about 7 hours on the water and tons of top quality racing there were lots of smiles in the boat park, even if half the masters could hardly walk!

In the Standard Opens the 3 top 10 world ranked sailors; Sam Meech, Tom Saunders and Germany's Philipp Buhl, traded the podium spots all day, with Sam ending up on top overall, two points ahead of Tom with further two back to Philipp, although Philipp actually had the best of the day with 2 wins and 2 seconds. Fourth overall and leading U21 sailor is Josh Armit, who spent the day battling with Muritai's George Gautrey just behind the three leaders.

In the Radial Olivia Christie had a stunner of a day in the first three races (2,1,1) but had a hiccup in the days last race to lie 4th overall and first Woman.

Overall star of the day was Luke Cashmore (Y) who was super consistent (1,4,2,1) to take the overall lead by four points from Harrison Baker (Y), who also had a consistent day but could not quite match Luke and Olivia. Scott Leith (O) was his usual solid self to hold 3rd overall while Samantha Stock is the leading Youth Woman in 15th overall. Several other sailors including Annabelle Rennie Younger (WU21), local Matthew Rist (Y) and Bay of Islands James Sheldon (Y) managed one or two top results but found consistency challenging in the conditions, with the big shifts and pressure variations making staying at the top very challenging.

The 4.7's is coming down to a very close battle between Wakatipu's Aidan Gordon and Manly local Daniel Brodie, with Daniel holding a single point lead going into the final day. Jacob Goodall from Napier remains in contention but will need top performances tomorrow to have a chance of unseating the leading pair, while hopefully more moderate conditions tomorrow will be more to the liking of some of those who found todays condition arduous.

in the Masters Standard Dave Ridley (A) continued to show the fleet how its done, with his only blemish being in the first race of the day when he had to settle for second to Aussie expat Matt Blakey. These two sailors have established a significant lead on the balance of the fleet, with defending champ Andrew Dellabarca (M) and ex World Grand Master title holder Gavin Dagley (GM) a little way back but having a great tussle for 3rd place. US visitor Mike Matan had a much better day to rise out of the pack and hold 5th overall while many others struggled for top results in a very tightly packed bunch. Leading GGM is New Plymouth's John Pitman, who is narrowly leading Gary Lock.

In the Radial Masters there is a great battle for the title between defending champion Ed Tam (M), and Tamaki's Blakey clan Radial rep Richard (M), who trails Ed by a single point. Hamiltons Werner Hennig (GM) is 7 points back in third, but pleased to have navigated the finish line successfully all day after yesterdays masters brain fade moment. The contest for the womens crown is also coming down to the wire, with Hamiltons Lucia Chagas (M) and Napier Gill Waiting (GGM) tied on points going into tomorrows races.

The forecast looks promising for tomorrows final day, with moderate SW offshore winds sure to again provide interesting conditions.

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

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