Top Laser sailors win OKI 24-hr Race but just miss lap record

Nicholas Heiner (L) Andy Maloney (R) winners of the 2014 OKI 24 Hour race

The 2014 OKI 24-hr Race results are in, with Andy Maloney and Nicholas Heiner coming through on the winning boat, sailing for Mansons TCLM Ltd with 118 laps - almost as many as Chris Dickson's 120 lap record.

'These are true champions,' said Murray's Bay Sailing Club Commodore Dave Gunn. 'You can't just cruise around in this competition and this year we had very good but very tough sailing conditions.'

'Conditions were perfect,' agrees winner Andy Maloney from Murray’s Bay Sailing Club. 'It was great having wind all night with lots of hiking. It was very physical, but very fun.'

Maloney says the most challenging part was the lack of sleep, followed by the physical demands of the sailing due to the conditions.

'Campaigns are so expensive so the winnings will go towards that,' says Maloney, who will be heading to Europe in March to compete.

Partner Nicholas Heiner sailed the final lap. Coming off the water he said: 'I'm actually still feeling pretty fresh.'

To recover, he said it's important to eat well, drink enough and get some sleep. 'Then, we'll be back into it,' says Heiner.

Last year's winner, James Sandal won the solo category, racing through the night without breaks. He was passed dinner from the dock to eat on the way around and says: 'Now, I'll probably sleep for a week.'

He said his knees and hands hurt the most but he'd definitely attempt the solo event again and his advice to future solo competitors in the OKI 24-hr race is: 'Have a plan - warm clothes at night and plenty of food. It was really challenging, but exciting.'

First in the Youth category was Panasonic Toughbook's Trent Rippey and Cullen Le Roy on 114 laps. Women's winners were Olympians Sara Winther and Susannah Pyatt, with Laura Lowther, sailing on MacKay Boats with 109 laps.

Omani sailor Ahmed Alhasano was competing as part of his month-long training in New Zealand, he says: 'It was very windy, we're not normally used to that, but we loved it.'

The annual event is a fundraisers for Murray’s Bay Sailing Club to develop youth sailing and local business Comworth Technologies, distributor for OKI printers, has been sponsoring the race since 1989.

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