Racing at the Optimist Nationals concluded yesterday with the podium places all going to members of the successful 2004 New Zealand Optimist Team to compete at the World Championships.
Snow-Hansen of Wakatere Boating Club finished on 13 points winning seven of twelve races, while Daniel Wilcox of Murrays Bay Sailing Club was second with 21 points. Carl Evans of Kohimarama Yacht Club finished third with 30 points. Susannah Pyatt of Murrays Bay Sailing Club in seventh place [55 points] was the first girl to finish. 193 sailors competed in the Open fleet.
Snow-Hansen placed second at last years Optimist World Championships in Ecuador. President of the NZ International Dinghy Association, David GLEN views this group of young sailors as the talent of the future.
'The reality is we have a group of young sailors here that are sailing together and pushing each other. There is Paul SNOW-HANSEN, Carl EVANS, Daniel WILCOX and a few others that are edging each other along and ensuring the high standards. It's great to see,' says Glen.
'It was an excellent weekend of sailing at Taipa. We had fair breezes and a variety of sea conditions. The Optimist Nationals have been sailed for nearly 20 years and this is the first time one sailor has won this title together with the P-Class Tanner and Tauranga Cups in the same season.'
|Paul SNOW-HANSEN in a P-class, an
early class for many New Zealanders
including Russell COUTTS, Dean
BARKER and Chris DICKSON
The team to represent New Zealand at the 2005 Worlds was announced at the conclusion of the National Championships yesterday and will include the top five place-getters. The strong talent pool lead by Snow-Hansen that has dominated the Optimist Class regattas in recent times will provide New Zealand with high hopes for good results at the Optimist World Championships to be held in late July in Switzerland.
The 2004 New Zealand Team won the Miami Herald Trophy as the top performing team at the 2004 Worlds in Ecuador and was announced joint winners of the 2004 Yachting New Zealand Young Sailor of the Year. Individually Snow-Hansen took second overall and Daniel WILCOX placed fourth. Eligible to compete again this year, the young sailors will be looking to go to Switzerland and improve on last years result.
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