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2021 Catalyst IT Laser National Championships - George Gautrey returns to his old stomping grounds

by NZLA Media 29 Dec 2020 01:14 PST 22-25 January 2021
George Gautrey © Jon West Photography

The 2021 New Zealand Laser Championships will be hosted by Worser Bay Boating Club, Wellington 22nd to 25th January 2021. One of New Zealand's top Laser sailors, George Gautrey is looking forward to returning to Wellington harbour, where he grew up and learnt to sail.

While George is now based in Auckland, he is still hoping for a claim some form of home advantage. George also points out that "being at home and having mums cooking can only help!" The last time the Laser Nationals were in wellington it was 25+ knots every day and George is hopeful that "Welly will turn on the after burners again!"

George felt that he, and the rest of the NZL Sailing Team Laser squad will be in for a good battle at Nationals in Worser Bay, "it is a good chance to see how we line up against the domestic fleet. I'm sure the old boys (Masters sailors) may show me a thing or two!"

George shared his views on the year, stating that "2020 has been about closing the gap to Sam (Meech) after missing out on Olympic selection in the last Worlds in Melbourne. I made a big step forward in 2019 finishing 3rd at the Laser Worlds and I am looking to go better than that at the Worlds at the end of 2021 as a statement of intent for the 2024 Olympics. This year has also been about helping Sam prepare for the Olympics and do everything we can to get a gold medal for New Zealand. I have learnt a lot and I am looking forward to giving him a hard time on the water. There are also a few young guns starting to join in with us - the likes of Luke Cashmore will add some extra spice to the racing I'm sure."

George and Sam have just spent the last two months in Australia training with their trans-tasman Olympic counterparts gaining some invaluable competition in a year where there has been very limited international racing.

Depending on the global situation, George is hopeful of heading overseas early/mid next 2021 for the European season. "It will be interesting to see who has done well and who hasn't after so many months away from big fleets."

George also sees the positives in the circumstances of 2020 - "I have enjoyed the change of pace this year, sometimes we get stuck in a bit of a routine and the lockdowns and time off allowed me to sit back and consider what was really important."

George was 3rd in the Laser World Championships in 2019 and is a previous ISAF Youth World Championships Silver medallist.

The Catalyst IT 2021 ILCA New Zealand Championships will be hosted by Worser Bay in Wellington from the 22nd to 25th January 2021. The Worser Bay Boating Club was completely rebuilt in 2019 and provides an outstanding venue for both competitors and spectators. The new club delivers a great stadium atmosphere for watching the racing. Recently, Worser Bay Boating Club hosted a successful 2020 Optimist National Championships. A variety of conditions are guaranteed.

The regatta is also proudly supported by associate sponsors: Wellington City Council, CBRE, Primeparking, Pak n Save Wanganui, Newcrest, Craigs Investment Partners and Find Recruitment.

For further details in the regatta head to www.NZlaser.org.

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