After a week of very mixed weather conditions in Sydney the 2023 Oceania & Australian Laser Open & Youth Championships were completed on sunday 8th January with three races sailed on day 6 in moderate 15 knot winds. Days 3 and 4 had been lost due to strong winds and rough conditions, while day 5 had tested the less experienced with average winds 18 to 20 knots and higher gusts.
The overall top three placings in the ILCA6’s which had the largest fleet with 83 boats went to Tokyo 2020 Olympic women’s ILCA Laser sailors from European countries with double world Laser Radial (ILCA6) champion Emma Plaschaert from Belgium first overall. Mara Stransky Australia’s Tokyo 2020 representative from Queensland finished fourth, just a point behind third and was winner of the Australian Champion ILCA6/Laser Radial perpetual trophy. Casey Imeneo from Victoria had strong performances with two wins on the last day to finish fifth overall. The junior ILCA6 division was closely contested with Evie Saunders 9th overall and Hamish Gilsenan from Victoria 11th overall.
The largest rig ILCA7 fleet was hotly contested with 4 Australians, 4 from Great Britain and two from New Zealand finishing in the top ten placings. Australia’s Matt Wearn, won his fifth Australian Laser championship, very closely followed by the top two from Great Britain with Elliott Hanson tied with Matt on points and second on results countback. The leading New Zealander was George Gautrey from Muritai Yacht Club. Leading under 21 was Stefan Elliott-Shincore from Western Australia.
The ILCA4 (previously Laser 4.7) fleet of 55 boats consists of up and coming youth sailors under 18 and under 16 years of age. The first three placegetters were young sailors from Victoria. Aidan Simmons and Angus McIntyre both won four of the ten heats, with Aidan the overall ILCA4 champion by two points. Riley Cantwell finished third overall and was the under 16 junior ILCA4 champion.
Based on strong performances in the ILCA6 and ILCA4 fleets the Battens Trophy for the best performed State went to Victoria, Victoria showed the benefit of strong State training programs and racing in Lasers and the feed in junior classes, in particular the Optimist class.
Full results can be found on the Australian Laser class website and on Mobile devices on the Sailor app. under the Regatta section.
The ILCA Laser class’s next regatta for the national and international fleets is in the Sail Melbourne Regatta at Royal Brighton from 14th to 18th January, with 71 ILCA Lasers entries.
for Australian Laser Class Association