Tuesday, 21 September 2010

New World Champion for NZ in Laser Masters

Scott Leith (NZL): Apprentice Radial Master 2010. Image copyright Paul Wyeth/RYA.

Scott Leith takes Masters World title

by Jodie Bakewell-White

New Zealand has a new World Champion in Laser Masters sailing after Scott Leith took out the Radial Apprentice Masters Division with a day to spare.

The 2010 Laser Masters World Championships, which includes seven separate age determined divisions sailing in both standard rig and radial rig Lasers, has just concluded at Hayling Island, Great Britain. Scott Leith was racing in the Radial rig among a fleet of 24 sailors aged between 35 and 44 years.

Dominant in his division throughout the ten race series Leith clocked up six race wins and never finished outside the top three. He had the title sewn up before the final day even started, but hit the water and rounded out the series on a high note with a couple of race wins, finishing up nine points clear of his closest rival.

“I really don’t know what I feel. I am pretty amazed that it is all over just like that,” said Leith talking after his win. “I put a lot into it. The last four months of training have paid off.”

Leith competed in 2009 in Halifax where he placed second. This year he arrived at the venue early for some training and he comments on what made the difference on 2010: “From last year I have improved all around the race track: strategy, starts I have been starting pretty conservatively so I am happy that I got away cleanly on every start.”

“And my level of fitness is extremely high compared to last year. More time in the boat, more technique. Downwind I was probably the fastest in the fleet, and that is time on the water and just learning that it is all about timing, not trying too hard.”

Hamish Atkinson also made the podium for New Zealand winning bronze in the Radial Master fleet for sailors aged 45-54 years.

2010 Laser Masters World Championships
New Zealand’s Final Results

Radial Apprentice
1st Scott Leith
5th Edmund Tam

Radial Master
3rd Hamish Atkinson
7th Michael Knowsley

Radial Grand Master
10th Bruce Jones

Radial Great Grand Master
4th Jim Quinn
9th David Schmidt
15th Sandy Grigg

Standard Apprentice
10th Andrew Dellabarca
21st Michael Pasco

Standard Grand Master
17th Robert Blakey
31st Ian Wallace

Standard Master
27th Nick Page
33rd Luuk Van Basten Batenburg

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