Ten New Zealand laser sailors flew across the ditch to compete in the Oceania & Australian Open & Youth ILCA Laser Championships over the first week of January.
Laser World Champion Thomas Saunders was among those competing in the event, which was hosted by Georges River Sailing Club, along with George Gautrey, Luke Cashmore, Caleb Armit, and ILCA 6 sailor Greta Pilkington.
Two days of racing were lost due to strong winds, and day five tested the less experienced with average winds of 19 knots before the breeze moderated to 15 knots on the final day.
George Gautrey managed the best result in the ILCA 7 fleet with 5th place, followed only a few places behind by Tom Saunders in 7th.
Greta Pilkington was the top placed Kiwi in the ILCA 6 fleet placing 19th.
“The regatta was a good first hit for our sailors in 2023, and with Sydney being so close it gave our developing sailors the opportunity to get on the start line with world class competition” says YNZ High Performance Manager Ian Stewart.
Tom Saunders and George Gautrey will now move on to the Sail Melbourne Regatta at Royal Brighton from 14th to 18th January. The remaining Kiwi sailors return home and will line up in what will be a hotly contested New Zealand ILCA Nationals, held out of Murray’s Bay Sailing Club from 19-22 January.
- 1st: Emma Plasschaert (BEL)
- 2nd Maud Jayet (SUI)
- 3rd Maria Erdi (HUN)
- NZ: 19th: Greta Pilkington (RNZYS) Division U21
- NZ: 21st: Zach Stibbe (Otago YC) Division U19
- NZ: 30th: Stefano Santella (RAYC) Division U19
- NZ: 38th: Maddie Rist (Manly SC, NZ) Division U19
- 1st Matt Wearn (AUS)
- 2nd Michael Beckett (GBR)
- 3rd Elliott Hanson (GBR)
- NZ: 5th George Gautrey (Muritai YC) Division – Open
- NZ: 7th Thomas Saunders (TYPBC) Division – Open
- NZ: 16th Luke Cashmore (Wakatere Boating Club) Division – Open
- NZ: 19th Caleb Armitt (MBSC) Division – U21
- NZ: 23rd Dylan Forsyth (Waiheke BC) Division – U21
- NZ: 24th Matthew Rist (Manly SC) Division – U21