RC Lasers in New Zealand take off with the Icebreaker Regatta
RC Laser New Zealand continues to grow with the inaugural RC Laser New Zealand Icebreaker Regatta at Conroy’s Dam, Alexandra, Central Otago held over the weekend of 27th & 28th May 2017 and the launch of a new website to provide sailors in New Zealand with information about the RC Laser, the growing fleets, contact information and upcoming regattas. Click on the link to check out the new website RC Laser Sailing New Zealand
RC Laser New Zealand Icebreaker Regatta Day One
Day one dawned with a cool start, virtually no wind and weak sunshine. “A” rigs were the only choice. As the first race was extremely light and a real challenge, it was decided that the racing be adjourned for lunch.
The wind slowly picked up and a total of 9 races were held before the days temperature cooled down. By then, Rob Todd (NZL 03) had built up a sizeable lead. However, only 5 points separated the other 5 boats. It was the sort of day where an accidental “stuck in irons” was very costly.
Great to see 8 very keen spectators, mostly ex-yachtsmen of the more mature vintage, who had been alerted to the event by the pre-regatta publicity, as had Alan Baker (NZ 11) from Invercargill. Murray Watson, a genuine Central Otago character, was spotted on various controllers, handling the Laser in an exceptionally competent manner. Not only does it appear that Murray may be keen to have more future involvement with the RC Laser fleet, but his partner Jan is also enthusiastic. Murray’s mate saved the day for Norm Sinclair (NZL 07) by going home to Cromwell, and returning with a replacement battery pack. In short it was Rob Todd’s day with a substantial lead built up. Rob is the instigator of the Otago RC Laser fleet, and also the organiser of both of the recent Otago regattas.
RC Laser New Zealand Icebreaker Regatta Day Two
A typical pleasant Central Otago winters day, with hardly a cloud in the sky. Luckily it hadn’t been too cold over night, and there was only a slight frost, which quickly thawed. With all of the 6 contestants & partners (3 couples in their motor homes) staying at “Chateau Le Brown” (NZL 04) a delightful spot on the edge of Alexandra.
The racing started with a very light drifter breeze, which again suited Dragos Blaga (NZL 05) and Tim Hills (NZL 10). The breeze picked up to a point where “B” rigs were used for the last several races. Dragos had by then got his act together, and was putting pressure on the results. Norm was consistent throughout both days. The visitor from Invercargill, Alan, recovered remarkably well from a few knockbacks. Kevin and Tim were very close (one point in it finally) It was really amazing to see the close racing around the track most of the time, with one mistake being quite hard to recover from. Mind you, that is Yacht Racing at its best, hoping that the other guy also makes one, allowing you to catch up, but also normally with someone close enough to have a tussle with. Half a dozen interested spectators were observed on Day 2.
Due to the breeze having kicked in, & the travelling home times for participants, it was decided to knock off 8 races in succession, and then return to Kevin’s place for lunch.
The camaraderie was great, Kevin & Heather’s hospitality was most generous, not only accommodating all of the participants, but in arranging a “Pot Lock” tea which included several additional interested friends. Thanks must go to Dragos’ wife Luciana, who is a photographer extraordinaire producing the close up shots of day 2 of the event. Thanks also to all the partners of the participants who came along to enjoy the social side of this event.
In conclusion, this event was “Serious Fun” at its best. Great to see increasing interest in RC Laser sailing around New Zealand.
1st – NZL 03 Rob Todd (Dunedin)
2nd – NZL 05 Dragos Blaga (Mosgiel)
3rd – NZl 07 Norm Sinclair (Dunedin)
4th – NZl 10 Tim Hills (Dunedin)
5th – NZL 04 Kevin Brown (Alexandra)
6th – NZL 11 Alan Baker ( Invercargill)
Report by Tim Hills. For more information go to RC Laser Sailing New Zealand