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28 February 2006, 09:50 am
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Laser New Zealand Championships 2006
Nelson, New Zealand

The sailors at the ISAF Grade 3 Laser New Zealand Championships described the racing on Tasman Bay in Nelson as champagne sailing in near perfect conditions, with light to moderate sea breezes under cloudless skies. Yachting New Zealand Olympic Sailing Squad members Andrew MURDOCH (NZL) and Jo ALEH (NZL) took full advantage to lift their national titles.
MURDOCH was the decisive winner of the New Zealand Laser National Championships, winning the regatta without having to sail the last race. He was extremely consistent throughout, only failing to finish out of the top three once.

Michael BULLOT (NZL) and David WEAVER (NZL) had a battle for second and third, going into the final day tied on points. BULLOT emerged as the second place getter. British sailor Mark HOWARD was fourth overall, and he notched up the most number of wins, with bullets in four out of the ten races.

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Andrew MURDOCH was at
the top of his game in the Laser
© Nelson Mail
Attention was focused on the younger sailors as the regatta was the first half of the selection trials for the ISAF Youth Worlds. A day of close racing for the youths ended up with Matt COUTTS (NZL) first, recovering from an OCS earlier in the contest, with Blair LINDSAY (NZL) second and Josh JUNIOR (NZL) third. JUNIOR showed great promise as a Laser sailor winning race three.

ALEH Wins Battle With WEIR

James SANDALL (NZL), a youth sailor from Napier won in the Laser Radial, in a very close finish from top woman Jo ALEH, with Australian Krystal WEIR third. All three sailors went into the last race on equal points to make for an exciting finish. Miranda POWRIE (NZL) was fourth overall and third woman.

Mark ORAMS (NZL), won in the Masters with his perfect scorecards of wins only blemished by a disqualification in race five for being OCS at the start. He holds the record for the most number of wins in a national contest for the Masters.

In the other Masters divisions, Sandy GRIGG (NZL) won the Great Grand Masters, Garth CHEYNE (NZL) won the Grand Masters after a tight battle with Bob BLAKEY (NZL), Luke CARTER (NZL) won the Masters, and Jim MALONEY (NZL) was the first Master home in the Radials.

ISAF. Image, Jo ALEH leads Miranda POWRIE as they approach the top mark:© Nelson Mail
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