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2017 Inter Island Champs
The RC Laser NZ Inter-Island Champs were raced at the Southern Reservoir in Dunedin on 5th and 6th May 2017.
1st - NZL 02 Graham Watson (North Island)
2nd - NZL 03 Rob Todd (South Island)
3rd - NZL 07 Norm Sinclair (South Island)
4th - NZL 06 Alan Fraser (South Island)
5th - NZL 05 Dragos Blaga (South Island)
6th - NZL 04 Kevin Brown (South Island)
7th - NZL 10 Tim Hills (South Island)
8th - NZL 01 Colin Moodie (South Island)
Day one dawned with a blustery 20 to 30 knot Sou' Wester. C Rigs were the order of the day.
The conditions were very challenging and some races saw the fleet quite spread out. A broach or two could dramatically cost you several places in any race. Lots of thrills 'n spills.
Eight races were completed in the morning session and seven in the afternoon.
After a total of 15 races there was a first equal placing between NZL02 and NZL03.
Alan Fraser (NZL06) could only sail on Friday so missed out on the best racing on Day 2.
What a difference a day makes. Day 2 conditions were perfect.
On the upper limit of an A Rig, the B rigs were the most utilised.
The calmer conditions kept racing close with plenty of lead changes.
Again we had 8 races in the morning and 7 in the afternoon.
A few dark horses emerged and I think the overall results could have been different if we had these conditions over both days. Neil "Pinkey" Morris sailed NZL06 on Day 2 and took a couple of races, his real Laser skills showing through. Dragos (NZL05) also sails full size Lasers and shows he will be a force to be reckoned with once he masters the controls. Norm (NZL07) showed that consistency definitely pays off to come in a creditable 3rd overall.
Kevin (NZL04) had a few rudder problems but won a lot of the starts and grabbed the odd win as well.
Graham (NZL02) and Rob (NZL03) kept close tabs on each other all day trading blows for top spot. The overall result showed Graham finally held out to take First overall with Rob a close 2nd.
A lack of a designated photographer meant Tim Hills was trying to race and take photos as well.. Not easy, particularly on Day One. Thanks Tim. Tim also gets the prize for quickest rig change.
Colin borrowed NZL01 for the series and improved throughout. Colin is now looking to get his own boat.
Overall the series was a great success and a good time had by all. A definitive moment on the road to further establishing this class in NZ. We all look forward to many more contests.
Agreed by all attending that the RC Laser puts the onus back on the sailor to achieve results and the boats prove to be very reliable and inexpensive, with great close racing. I had no issues transporting 2 x RC Lasers from Auckland to Dunedin just in their bags put through as oversize items with Jetstar, proving they are very transportable.
The RC Laser NZ Ice-Breaker Regatta was sailed at Conroy’s Dam, Alexandra, Central Otago on the 27th & 28th May 2017.
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)
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 then slowly picked up, producing enough movement to actually sail. The races had to be short, but a total of 9 were managed 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, making it quite hard to recover from. 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.
A better day, 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, Kevin kindly put on a splendid BBQ breakfast. This allowed the day to warm a little, and by the time we got to the dam, a slight breeze had picked up. The racing started with a very light drifter breeze, which again suited Dragos Blaga (NZL 05) and Tim Hills (NZL 10) The breeze then 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, despite having had virtually no practice, being on his own down South (however, the rumours are:- that will change in the future!) 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.
South Australian RC Laser Championships Sees Record Fleet.
A record fleet competed in the inaugural South Australian RC Laser championships held over last weekend, 19-20 August. The Adelaide Radio Control Yacht Racing Club hosted at the popular Patawalonga Lake (aka “the Pat”) at Glenelg North in Adelaide – considered by many as one of the best RC sailing venues.
Congratulations to Scott Mitchell for becoming the inaugural South Australian RC Laser champion, to Scott Fleming for coming second (on count-back) and to Andrew Reid for taking third place. Here’s the full report from Adrian Heard.
Shifty start to South Australian RC Laser Championships
After a week of rainy days the morning of Saturday 19th August dawned with sunshine and a light north-easterly breeze. In the previous 48 hours an armada of nine Victorian sailors had assembled on South Australian soil, and together with nine local sailors and Mark Luland from Dobroyd in NSW, we had a fleet of nineteen boats for the event. By the listed 10.30am starting time the north-easterly breeze shifted to WSW, and around midday it shifted further to south-westerly and progressively strengthened during the day to a maximum of 7-8 knots. It was A rigs all day, with only Pat Parisienne, Bob Whitehead and John Berry daring to try B rigs after lunch.
After the first race was declared nul, due to the scorers being unable to read sail numbers at the distant finishing line, formal racing got under way. Scott Mitchell and Scott Fleming took first and second place in the first race, and this pattern or the reverse order was to be a regular feature of the day’s racing. Together they won twelve out of the sixteen races and occasionally by large margins. Other heat winners for the day were Andrew Reid (two wins), Rob Nowak (one win) and Jason Shilton (one win).
A real feature of the day’s sailing was the flukiness of the wind at the windward mark. This mark was set near the opposite side of the Patawalonga to the control area, and the distance and constant change in wind direction made judging the mark very difficult at times. We all had a bad moment or two at this mark. John Nieuwenhuizen had a couple of collisions early on, and Jurgen Luther and I had a farcial time trapped at the mark in race eleven. There were many other similar experiences by other sailors.
While the two Scotts were very consistent all day – Scott Fleming had to do only one 360 degree turn; remarkable in the conditions – Andrew Reid started slowly and improved as the day went on, and Rob Nowak could not find the consistency he needed to be able to win the title. Pat Parisienne was often near the front, and of the Mawson Lakes sailors I think Lindsay Sawyer and John Nieuwenhuizen should be pretty happy with their performances. For three of the eight Mawson Lakes sailors this was their first major regatta, and sailing in a fleet of nineteen boats was a potentially life-changing experience.
Scott Mitchell beat Scott Fleming on a count-back, by having one more second place. That’s how close it was. Congratulations to Scott Mitchell for becoming the inaugural South Australian RC Laser champion, to Scott Fleming for coming second and to Andrew Reid for taking third place. Also thanks to our PRO Johno Johnson who ran a great series, to the scorers Graham Ingerson and Bob Dagg and to the rescue boat operator Len Hearing. What a great mob they are at Adelaide Radio Control Yacht Racing Club. Yvonne and Peter Tiss were observers at the windward and leeward marks all day – a very busy job! Meredith Reardon helped with food and photography and John Berry organised the drinks.
All in all it was a very successful day, with smiling faces all around. There was resounding agreement that the South Australian RC Laser Titles are here to stay!
RACING IS ON! | 07NOV
After a fantastic day of racing, at the conclusion of day one South Australia’s Scott Mitchell holds a slim lead ahead of Scott Fleming from Victoria and Malcolm Kampe from Queensland.
IT'S GETTING HOT AT THE TOP! | 08NOV
Day two of racing has commenced in absolutely delightful conditions with temperatures a comfortable 25C and wind SE at around 10kts.
Victoria’s Scott Fleming has kicked off proceedings with a win in race 5 and closes in on current championship leader Scott Mitchell.
This is going to be a good battle as the regatta continues however, the top six positions remain close with Malcolm Kampe, Ulf Neumann, Kirwan Robb and Peter Burford keen to hang close and potentially charge to the podium.
Our first international competitor Ulf Neumann remains in the hunt and is enjoying the lighter conditions of this morning however with winds expected to increase later today the European’s could find it challenging.
Bill Clancy (PRO) is keeping the fleet moving and it is expected that a further four races will be completed today.
Ulf Neumann from Sweden is our first international currently placed 6th overall.
FLEMING TAKES THE LEAD | 08NOV
Scott Fleming has taken the lead after seven races with a string of race wins and is currently sitting on 10 points holding a 4 point lead over Scott Mitchell on 14 points.
Ten points further back are the local Queenslanders Malcolm Kampe on 24 points and Peter Burford on 27 points with Sweden’s Ulf Neumann moving into 5th place overall on 31points.
It’s going to be a real ding dong at the top over the remaining race days as the Scott’s will no doubt battle it out, but there’s still plenty of racing and anything can happen with any number of sailors capable of causing an upset.
At the conclusion of racing on day two, Victoria’s Scott Fleming maintains his 4 point lead ahead of Scott Mitchell from SA.
With eight races now completed and the second drop applied the overall scoreboard has seen some movement with Peter Burford moving into 3rd position a further 5 points behind Mitchell.
WAKE UP - IT'S DAY 3 OF RACING! | 09NOV
As we slip into day 3 of sailing the forecast today a lovely 24C and winds SE around 15-20kts for most of the day.
At the half way mark the championship is still wide open with the “Scott’s” both Fleming & Mitchell holding top spots on the leaderboard.
We chatted to the current top placed Grand Master, Peter Burford, who is currently placed 3rd about his plans for today. “A little more forward at the start’s, I’d been careful but taking advice from my coach Brad, to play the averages” he said.
When asked about his chances of catching the Scott’s he commented “I have the pace, but not the moves. I’m certainly improving as the series progresses”.
It will be a wait and see if Peter can maintain pressure on the leaders but as he said his results at the moment “are not too shabby for a Grand Master”.
After over eighteen months of planning the series is running well and is a credit to the organising committee and the many volunteers who have given up their valuable time to provide support.
FLEMING OUT TO A COMMANDING POSITION | 09NOV
Scott Fleming is showing that being consistent is the name of the game. With top four placings in nine out of the ten races completed, there is no doubt this is why he currently holds an 11 point lead in the championship.
Grand Master, Peter Burford has moved into 2nd place overall ahead of Scott Mitchell who has slipped back to 3rd with a couple of poor results.
TIME TO CRACK THE TOP OFF A FEW COLDIES! | 09NOV
Three days of solid racing have now been completed but surely there’ll be no orange juices in the bar tonight. Lay day tomorrow and it’s time to crack the top off a few coldies, relax and take a load off.
Flemo surely can’t stumble from here on, but there again will the day off upset his mojo and see him take the slippery slide on the last day of racing on Saturday.
At the end of day 3 and twelve races we now see three international skippers occupying positions in the top ten. Sweden’s Ulf Neumann has retained his fifth position overall while Graham Watson (NZL) had a good start to the day, a bump in the middle and a bullet to finish to hang in sixth overall. Norrie Taylor (RSA) has found his way into tenth with a couple of fourths and is certainly capable of moving a couple of spots further up the rankings.
Other international competitors include Gunnar Moller (SWE) 13th, John Armstrong (GBR) 19th, Taco Faber (NED) 21st, Mark Shakeshaft (NZL) 25th, Dirk Tesmer (GER) 27th and Adam Zmunda (CZE) 36th all of whom make this a truly international event and we thank them for their participation.
With tomorrow time to rest the body, recover from the hangover of tonight we look to the final day of racing on Saturday. No doubt it’ll be more of the same 24C and 15 or so knots from the SE.
After a flop in race 12, can the Grand Master Peter Burford hang on to 2nd place or will Scott Mitchell finally get his form back and make a late charge for the trophy after a pretty average day today – it’d be great to see a close finish (but doubtful), or can Queensland’s quiet achiever Malcolm Kampe come up from fourth and jump on the podium – 2nd is well within reach!
While Flemo has a handy lead which one would consider is championship winning, there’s certainly a battle ahead for the minor placings. Two more sleeps and we’ll all find out!
THE LATE & FINAL REPORT - IT'S ALL OVER! | 13NOV
PRO Bill Clancy obviously didn't muck around. With a plan to complete 16 races he out did himself with the championship finishing after 17 races.
All that was needed was a couple of race finishes and the championship was Scott Fleming’s but the battle for the remaining spots on the podium ended up being a good one. By the middle of the day Malcolm Kampe had moved from 4th overnight to 2nd overall but Scott Mitchell finished the day in top form with a 2nd & 4th in the last two races to take 2nd overall ahead of Kampe in 3rd.
Taco Faber (NED) started the day well with a 1st and 2nd in races 13 & 14 but has left his run just a little too late. Norrie Taylor (RSA) had a disappointing day and slipped out of the top ten while Ulf Neumann (SWE) & Graham Watson (NZL) both had mixed results finishing 5th & 6th respectively.
After a week of some absolutely fantastic sailing it’s all over and everyone is heading home.
The new Champion of Nations has been crowned and congratulations to Scott Fleming (AUS) who dominated the event from day two onward to start the last day in an almost insurmountable position.
1. Scott Fleming (AUS), 35pts
2. Scott Mitchell (AUS), 55pts
3. Malcolm Kampe (AUS), 62pts
4. Peter Burford (AUS), 72pts
5. Ulf Neumann (SWE), 84pts
Master: Graham Watson (NZL)
Grand Master: Graham Brown (AUS)
Great Grand Master: Peter Burford (AUS)
First International: Ulf Neumann (SWE)
State Team: South Australia