McKenzie starts Laser nationals in perfect fashion


Defending champion Andrew McKenzie took an early lead at the Laser national championships in Christchruch after winning the first two races yesterday.

Andrew McKenzie won both races yesterday. 

The Aon Fast Track sailor didn't have it all his own way, and was locked in a tight tussle with George Gautrey (Muritai Yacht Club) and Alistair Gifford (Queen Charlotte Yacht Club) in both races with McKenzie (Roayal Akarana Yacht Club) edging ahead on the final beat in the second race.

To make matters worse for Gautrey, he was judged to have been over the start line in the second race to catch up with the leaders.

He wasn't the only one to fall foul of the race officials, which means the leaderboard could look different in days to come as the discard comes into play. Andrew Dellabarca (Worser Bay Boating Club) is third overall and first master (45-54 years).

Josh Armit (Murrays Bay Sailing Club) won both races convincingly to announce himself as the sailor to beat in the Laser Radial fleet. The under-17 world champion was particularly slick on the downwind legs and he goes into the second day with a five-point lead over Annabel Rennie-Younger. Scott Leith rounds out a Murrays Bay top three after finishing second and eighth in the two races.

Women's favourite Susannah Pyatt picked up an OCS in the first race but made amends with a second in race two and Samantha Stock has a solid lead in the youth women's class.

Local knowledge helped Hamish Atkinson to two bullets and a lead in the grand masters over favourite Ed Tam (Worser Bay Boating Club) and Werner Hennig (Hamilton Yacht Club).

Conditions had been expected to be a sea breeze but instead came from the south as temperatures topped 30 degrees. A sea breeze is expected to kick in today with three races scheduled for all fleets.

Results and standings from the Laser national championships at Naval Point Club Lyttelton yesterday:

Laser standard (24 boats)

1st: Andrew McKenzie (RAYC) 1 1 - 2 points
2nd: Alastair Gifford (Queen Charlotte Yacht Club) 2 2 - 4 pts
3rd: Andrew Dellabarca (Worser Bay Boating Club) 5 4 - 9 pts

Laser Radial (30 boats)

1st: Josh Armit (Murrays Bay Sailing Club) 1 1 - 2 pts
2nd: Annabelle Rennie‐Younger (MBSC) 4 3 - 7 pts
3rd: Scott Leith (MBSC) 2 8 - 10 pts

Laser Radial Masters (23 boats)

1st: Hamish Atkinson (Naval Point Club Lyttelton) 1 1 - 2 pts
2nd: Edmund Tam (Worser Bay Boating Club) 2 4 - 6 pts
3rd: Hennig Werner (Hamilton Yacht Club) 3 3 - 6 pts

Full results can be found here.

18 Jan 2018
22 Jan 2018