The OKI 24-hour Laser race has become a NZ institution. Sailed in Laser dinghies around a course laid out on Lake Pupuke in the Takapuna suburb of Auckland, this annual race has attracted top sailors for many years. The idea is simple – complete as many laps as you can in 24 hours. From 2pm on the Saturday afternoon to 2pm on Sunday afternoon.
Navicom Dynamics has been sponsoring a boat in this event for four years with enthusiastic young sailors sailing under the Navicom logo.
This year’s race was sailed in the most challenging conditions for years, with the wind averaging over 30 kts for the first two hours. “We averaged ten capsizes per hour for the first two hours!” – said Lachlan. And shortly after that initial blast, a squall came through that caused 5 boats to lose their masts. Not Lachlan and Cooper’s though. But the organisers – Murray’s Bay Sailing Club (for whom this event is their primary fund-raiser for the year each year, and which has been a hotbed of top international sailors over the years – including the likes of previous OKI 24-hour winner Dean Barker) had contingency plans for such disasters, using up all their planned spare masts in that short period.
The two sailors for each boat take it in turns – normally one or two hours each, allowing the other to get some food and rest. Lachlan said he managed about 1.5 hours sleep overnight, while Cooper had next to no sleep at all.
At the end of the 24 hours, they were 22nd boat overall, out of about 40 or so that kept going to the end. For these two lightweight sailors (though not at all lightweight in terms of effort), in those conditions that was a really creditable effort.
Well done Lachlan and Cooper. We’re proud of you. And we’re proud to have been able to sponsor you.
The team at Navicom Dynamics.