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21 February 2005, 10:49 am
Final Report
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Laser Asia Pacific Championship
Wellington, NZL

With slim two point leads in both the open and radial competitions, day four was always going to be a tense affair. When the day dawned to typically blustery Wellington conditions, the race committee elected to hold competitors ashore while conditions were monitored for any easing of the 30+ knot winds.
For overnight leaders Matt BLAKEY (NZL) and Krystal WEIR (AUS), it was a anxious few hours while talk of an abandonment to the days racing was rife. Eventually the breeze did ease back below 30 knots and the fleets were sent out for two final races. Blakey held a two point lead from Michael BULLOT, who was on a high, after winning the National Championships and Sail Auckland the previous weeks. Blair MCLAY, the leading youth was another two points back, with David WEAVER a further two points in arrears and Andrew MURDOCH two more points behind him. With the top sailors regularly mixing it up in the top positions, all sailors were still in with a shot of winning.

After dominating in the fresher conditions the previous day, Murdoch continued his superiority in the breeze to take out Race Eight and narrow the gap on the leaders. Michael BULLOT hung on for a second with Weaver third. Blakey recovered to fifth after a capsize at the bottom mark. This gave Bullot a one point lead over Blakey, with Weaver and Murdoch another four points behind.

When the gun went for the ninth and final race, Murdoch launched clear and continued to show the fleet his stern and do all he could to take the title. Behind him the action played out like salt water opera with Blakey and Bullot jostling with McLay for positions four through to six. The finishing order of this battle would decide the overall results on the leaderboard. As Murdoch crossed the line to secure his fourth win of the regatta he could only look back as his fate was decided down the fleet. At the final bottom mark, Blakey led Bullot with McLay several boat lengths back.

In this order Bullot would take the title on countback from Blakey, but the race wasn't over. Blakey eased sheets and vang near the finish to wait and attempt to slow Bullot enough to let McLay through into fifth and give Bullot an extra point which would deny him the regatta. His ruse was successful. The disrupted air spilling onto Bullots sail slowed him just enough to allow McLay to claim starboard rights and force Bullot to tack below the layline and hold Bullot out for fifth place. The regatta went to Blakey within metres of the finish line. Murdoch then was able to slip past Bullot on countback owing to his string of firsts in the windier races late in the regatta. In the final results, only three points separated the first four competitors.

Matters were more straight forward in the Radials where Mark ORAMS adorned with a very blonde pony tail exercised his own heavy airs dominance to sail past Weir and take the overall victory and a face saving victory over the 'blonde ponytail brigade' of girls. Krystal WEIR finished in second place with Sara WINTHER into third.

The overall masters winner was Mark PAGE from Manly Sailing Club. He had only two points on the local boy Pete Van RYN who was followed by Luke BATENBURG, Pupuke Boating Club.

The Masters Division went to Van RYN with Barry Cutfdield, Whakatane in 2nd followed by Pupuke's Nick PAGE.

Grand Masters had a huge tussle with Garth CHEYNE and Bob BLAKEY on equal points, the first place going to Cheyne on a count back which went back to the winner of the last race as all positions and points were equal.

Radial Masters was taken out by the blond pony-tailed Mark ORAMS followed by two Aussies John SPRAGUE and Chris MEECH. Mike SHIELDS Great Grand Master won from Frank HILLIER, (AUS) and Amanda WILSON finished in 3rd Masters position to be the Radial Master Women Champion.

The Regattas closed with a wonderful prize giving and the consensus of opinion was that Muritai Yacht Club together with the NZ Laser Association had run the Regatta of the Season - The 2005 Laser Asia Pacifics were a resounding success.

Final Results - Top Ten Laser

Pos Nation Name Race1 Race2 Race3 Race4 Race5 Race6 Race7 Race8 Race9 Points
1 NZL M Blakey 2 2 4 1 [8.00] 2 4 5 4 24
2 NZL A Murdoch 7 6 [13.00] 2 1 1 6 1 1 25
2 NZL M Bullot 4 [7.00] 1 3 3 5 1 2 6 25
4 NZL D Weaver 3 4 [6.00] 4 2 3 5 3 3 27
5 NZL B McLay 1 3 3 5 4 [7.00] 3 6 5 30
6 GBR M Howard [13.00] 9 2 7 5 6 7 4 2 42
7 NZL R McMillan 15 1 5 10 7 [16.00] 2 7 9 56
8 GBR A Commander 9 5 [38.00C] 13 6 4 8 8 7 60
9 NZL J Geale 6 13 7 6 10 13 11 13 [14.00] 79
10 SIN S Tan 18 10 [19.00] 9 9 8 10 10 8 82

Final Results - Top Ten Laser Radial

Pos Nation Name Class Race 1 Race 2 Race 3 Race 4 Race 5 Race 6 Race 7 Race 8 Race 9 Points
1 NZL Mark ORAMS open [11.00] 8 3 2 1 1 1 1 1 18
2 AUS Krystal WEIR women 2 3 2 3 3 2 2 [5.00] 2 19
3 NZL Sara WINTHER women 3 2 [10.00] 4 4 5 3 3 5 29
4 NZL Sarah MACKY women 4 5 4 1 2 [6.00] 6 4 4 30
5 NZL Miranda POWRIES women 5 [7.00] 5 5 5 4 4 2 3 33
6 NZL Jo ALEH women 7 1 1 8 [9.00] 7 9 8 6 47
7 NZL S Blakey open 10 [11.00] 7 6 6 3 5 7 7 51
8 NZL Olivia POWRIES women 1 9 9 11 [16.00] 11 7 14 8 70
8 NZL Jane MACKY women 8 4 18 7 7 10 [19.00] 6 10 70
10 AUS Samantha Boyd women [14.00] 12 13 10 8 8 10 10 9 80
Event Media (As Amended by ISAF)
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