The NSW Laser State Championships were held at Belmont 16ft Skiff Sailing Club on Lake Macquarie. The regatta was a Covid safe regatta where entries were limited to 120 boats, rigging was spread out along the shoreline, sign on/off was online and no sharing of dollies was allowed. Due to the limited entries, the regatta was full and no beach entries accepted. This also meant the Australian Sailing teams Laser sailors attended for regatta training. Also some New Zealand Sailing Team sailors were in attendance.
Saturday was shaping up for a moderate Nor Easter, until a South West storm cloud rolled through giving a 180 degree wind shift before dying out to almost zero. All fleets managed to complete race 1. Then a long delay had us all sitting on the water waiting for the easterly breeze to settle back in. Eventually we all got a second start before the wind again mid race faded before a soft NWer pushed the fleets home to finish race 2. We finally got back to the beach around 630pm, so it was a very long day on the water.
Day 2 was forecast to be from the NW and fading out by early afternoon to under 8 knots. With the earlier start time of 11am, all fleets were on the water when the breeze increased to 20-30knots. All fleets faced the starters gun on time at 1100am and raced in the fierce conditions doing three races back to back. The wind never died off, and there were spectacular capsizes aplenty and some very fast reaching legs as can be seen from the photos from Jon West Photography. All sailors were exhausted by the end of racing on Sunday afternoon.
Some highlights from the races results were:-
- Pru Bennett – 1st Laser 4.7
- Charlie Byford – 3rd Youth Laser 4.7
- Traks Gordon – 1st Master Laser Radial
- Jan Scholten – 1st Grand Master Laser Standard (6th Overall)
- Chris Dawson – 2nd Grand Master Laser Standard (9th Overall)
Other RPAYC Laser sailors in attendance were:-
- Laser 4.7 – Azura Gacoin
- Laser Radial – Oliver Gordon, Alexander Bijkerk, Bayley Taylor
- Laser Standard – Stuart Holdsworth, Steve Bryant, Dave Taylor, Bruce Ferguson
Great to see RPAYC represented with 13 boats attending the regatta and indicating the growth in the Centreboard division at the moment.
Photos from Jon West Photography – https://jonwestphotography.smugmug.com/Sailing/NSW-Laser-State-Championships-2020