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NZ Laser Champs

Top sailors lined up for Laser nationals

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The world's top two Laser sailors will headline next month's Barfoot & Thompson New Zealand Laser National Championships at the Manly Sailing Club.

New Zealand's Sam Meech, currently the world's No 1-ranked Laser sailor, will compete along with world No 2 Philipp Buhl from Germany.

It's a title that has so far eluded Meech (he hasn't always been able to compete due to international commitments) and he will be looking to get his name on the trophy alongside the likes of Sir Ben Ainslie, Dean Barker and current Manly commodore Sir Russell Coutts.

The event from January 12-15 is expected to attract between 150–200 competitors over the youth, masters and open divisions. 

The Manly Sailing Club have grown significantly over the last couple of years and some of their junior sailors are now graduating into the Laser 4.7 and Radial classes. 

“This is a great opportunity for our young sailors who started in our O'pen Bic programme and have progressed through to the Laser," Coutts said. "They are pretty young to be sailing the Laser so it’s good that they can sail their first adult national contest in waters they will be familiar with. It’s also great that they will be able to observe world class sailors like Meech and Buhl. What a fantastic experience for them.”

Regatta coordinator Phil Wild is still on the hunt for volunteers to help during the event.

“We’ve been working on this event for over two years now and it's great to see everything coming together," Wild said. "We’ve had great support from the local community, however we still need more volunteers to properly nail it - Manly Sailing Club style.” 

For more information about volunteering, please email