YNZ Olympic Squad Member Dominates 2007 North Harbour Masters Championship
Rohan Lord Leads (#17) the fleet
YNZ Olympic Squad Member Rohan Lord showed his class by dominating the 2007 North Harbour Masters held a Lake Pupuke today. Pupuke Boating Club did a great job hosting the event getting 5 races away and providing a BBQ & Refreshments at the end of a long and mentally taxing day. Lake Pupuke was at its best today providing the testing conditions it is famous for, light, patchy and very shifty winds which rose gradually over a beautiful spring day in Auckland. Garth Briden the PRO expertly set the courses, with true square start lines as shown by the fact that only 3 inexperienced sailors collected an OCS all day.
Rohan leads, Pete Thomas 2nd, Mike Jones 3rd.
While the rest of the fleet struggled with Pupuke's minefield like conditions ("Its a knock tack, hold on its lift, no it is a knock tack; tacking and finding it was lift"), Rohan managed to tack on the knocks, find all the lifts and pressure and showed blistering upwind speed. He usually got to the Top Mark first and was always ahead by the end of the 2nd beat and once clear, the pack of 27 other Lasers could never catch him. Rohan, with 5 guns, finished first overall and took the Apprentice Masters Title.
In these two photos Rohan shows his skill with about 100 metres to the top mark (not shown upper left of pictures). In the first picture he looks well covered with Pete Thomas above and ahead and Mike Pasco (far left) on the layline. In the 2nd picture he is crossing most of the fleet on port and after about 6 tacks rounds the top mark first followed by a bewildered Pete & Mike!
Pete Thomas from Wakatere was second overall and first Master. He sailed incredibly well all day with his right index finger in a splint. (Don't tell his doctor or wife!) Mike Jones, the Commodore of Manly Sailing Club, also had a good day in a borrowed boat and was 2nd Master and 4th overall. Chris Brodie from Pupuke finished 3rd overall and 2nd Apprentice Master. Ray Beale from Pupuke was the first Grand Master and finished 8th overall with the 2nd Grand Master, Ian Wallace from PLSC. Scott Leith (Pupuke) & Mike Keeton (Wakatere) were 1st and 2nd respectively in the Radial.
In the pack the sailing was fast and ferocious as the many shifts and puffs meant that positions changed constantly and mark roundings were dangerous. One unfortunate characteristic of Master's Laser sailing in NZ is that everyone seems to be one eyed about whether they are clear ahead, or have buoy room, or are on starboard! This meant that there were some nasty collisions as two, three or five one-eyed sailors met. Nick Page, the hard working Chairman of the NZ Laser Association, was the innocent and unlucky recipient of one particular loud collision that could be heard across Auckland as he sailed away from the bottom mark. For the Pack next year the suggestion is to ban Olympic Squad members and have at least 5 top and 5 bottom marks! Weed... did I mention the amazing Weed that only seemed to collect on your foils the further you dropped back in the fleet, as it never bothered Rohan. Full Results check out the Pupuke website www.pupuke.org.nz
Rohan chased hard by Luuk Van Basten Batenburg (NZLA Measurer) and Wayne Ferguson in the last race
An amazing day at a wonderful location and for many the start of a very busy Laser sailing season with a regatta every weekend until Christmas starting with the North Shore Champs next weekend, Auckland Laser Champs , North Islands, Sir Peter Blake, South Islands, and the Manly Christmas Regatta on Boxing Day.