After four days and seven races in bright sunshine, warm days and light winds the South Pacific Laser Masters regatta sailed at RQYS on Moreton Bay have concluded with wins by Kiwi’s Mat Blakey in the Standard rigs and Scott Leith in the Radials.
Scott Leith is the World Apprentice Masters Champion and was expected to win convincingly but in a demonstration of the high calibre of the fleet the result came down to the last race. After Scott was black flagged in the penultimate heat it became a winner takes all shootout in the last race with Sunshine Coast sailor Mark Kennedy. Scott was able to demonstrate his class with a convincing win in the last heat to take the chocolates. Local women Lyndall Patterson and Christine Bridge took third and fourth positions in the Radials.
In the Standard Rigs Apprentice Matt Blakely from Auckland prevailed over the ever consistent local Master Brad Taylor by a small margin with Chris Dawson of RPAYC who sailed very consistently finishing third. Matts father Robert finished fourth to round out a very successful regatta for the family and the Kiwi’s in general.
The regatta was marked by light and shifty breezes throughout the regatta as the winter land breeze fought with the sea breeze generated by the warm days for dominance. The result was that the fleets experienced somewhat random big shifts to the left or right which often turned the windward’s into a lucky dip and a test of patience. It was a credit to the race officers that we were able to get seven good races in over the four days.
In the Great Grand Master division Lew Verdon from MHASC finished strongly in the two races on the last day to snatch victory from RQYS sailor Kerry Waraker and Robert Lowndes from MHASC.
A number of the sailors in this regatta are going onto sail the World Laser Masters in France and have used this regatta as a tune up. Good luck in the Worlds.
Next year’s SPLM’s will be sailed in early May to accommodate the earlier scheduling of the world masters
– Michael Wilson