Monday 6 September 2010

Murdoch Steps up to Take Bronze at Laser Worlds

Top three on the podium at the Laser Worlds 2010. Image copyright Paul Wyeth/RYA.

by Jodie Bakewell-White

This is the third Olympic class Laser World Championship medal for the 27 year old from Kerikeri Cruising Club, after a bronze in 2005 in Brazil, and silver in 2007 in Portugal.

It’s been a gruelling week for Murdoch and his team mates who have sailed a total of 14 races over six days after the Hayling Bay venue produced conditions which allowed organisers to complete the full schedule.

Australia’s Tom Slingsby has won the 2010 World title after romping away to open up an enormous lead on his rivals through the course of the regatta. Come the dawn of the final day of racing the Australian still had to stay out of trouble, but managed it with ease to win by 36 points over Nick Thompson of Great Britain.

“It’s good to have it over with – it’s been a pretty long regatta! I’ve had a bronze and silver before – I took last year off from racing so it’s kind of good to come back to racing and come away with a bronze medal,” says Murdoch. “My feel is still coming back to me a little bit [after the break]. I was giving Tommy a hard time on the way in and said he won’t have it as easy next time!”

“The next major event I guess is the Worlds down in Perth in over a year’s time and the main goal is Weymouth 2012 in two year so it’s a great start to this campaign.”

“ We’ve got a mix of old and new guys in the squad and certainly the younger guys are stepping up and turning out some results, so it’s good having a good team behind me pushing me.”

After plenty of ups and downs it was Murdoch, (who represented New Zealand and finished fifth at the 2008 Olympic Games) that came through as the best of the kiwi team, though all had moments of brilliance. Murdoch held his nerve on the final day placing 8th in the opening race then winning the final race of the series to march up the board from fifth and claim the bronze.

20 year old Josh Junior from the NZL Sailing Team has produced his best ever Laser Worlds finish. The young up and comer who represents Wellington’s Worser Bay Boating Club, has placed sixth overall improving on his 11th place in 2009 in Nova Scotia, Canada.

On the final day Mike Bullot and Andy Maloney slipped out of the top ten to finish in 14th and 16th respectively, a career best for the young Maloney.

Four top fifteen finishers indicates New Zealand has terrific strength and depth in the Laser camp right now which bodes well for the 2012 Olympic Games. All seven sailors from New Zealand finished inside the top third of the 159-strong fleet providing valuable world class gold fleet experience.

The 2010 Finn Gold Cup has also reached its conclusion, being staged in San Francisco over the past week. Dan Slater from the NZL Sailing Team was the best finisher of the six kiwi entries coming home in 15th place.

The NZL Sailing Team Laser sailors are supported by coaches Mark Howard and Jez Fanstone, while Dave Robertson and Grant Beck are coaching support to the RS:X sailors in Denmark. John Clinton is coach at the Finn Gold Cup in San Francisco.

2010 Laser World Championships, 30th August – 5th September
New Zealand’s final results (Total feet: 159)

3rd Andrew Murdoch
6th Josh Junior
14th Mike Bullot
16th Andy Maloney
26th Sam Meech
41st Max Andrews
50th James Sandall

2010 Finn Gold Cup, San Francisco, USA, 30th August – 4th September
New Zealand’s final results (Total fleet: 87)

15th Dan Slater
32nd Nik Burfoot
35th Matt Coutts
69th Bradley Douglas
74th Rob Coutts
75th Ray Hall

Yachting New Zealand