After a somewhat hesitant start, with muggy low cloud and a misty rain, the weather cleared and the Waitemata Harbour finally reclaimed some of the sparkle for which it was named. It was a much smaller fleet on the water for the final day with just th...
Canterbury duo Stephen & Philip Keen sailed consistently well to clinch the 470 Men's National Championship title with a string of firsts and seconds. The Christchurch siblings went into today's final three races with a slender 3 point margin which they extended to 5 by the end, having outsailed the newly paired Auckland crew Andrew Brown & Jamie Hunt. This result puts the Keens ahead in the Yachting New Zealand ranking list in the race for a funded trip to Europe this winter.
NZ's 470 Olympian Melinda Henshaw & recently acquired crew Sharon Ferris were the eventual victors in the women's national contest, easily winning the title over former Europe sailor Shelley Hesson and experienced 470 crew Linda Dickson.
Alastair Gair was the eventual victor in the battle of the single-handed Lasers, closely followed by Northland's Andrew Murdoch and recently crowned National Champ Matt Blakey (Auckland). Blakey was too late in making his run, effectively putting him out of the race for the one of the two Laser World Champs berths allocated to NZ which have gone to Gair & Murdoch. Today's result allows Gair to maintain his top spot on the YNZ Ranking list, closely followed by Murdoch. Michael Bullot (North Shore, Auckland), ex- Tanner Cup P Class champion, was the youngest sailor sailor on the Laser course today, finishing 5th overall.
Luke Judge eventually won the Laser Radial competition, followed by Simon Baker & Craig Prentice. Kate O'Brien (Auckland) won her friendly tussle with Miranda Powrie (Auckland) in the girls' contest, despite finishing behind Powrie in the last two races.
In the boards, Jon Paul Tobin (Whakatane) found himself on the wrong side of the course in today's first race, finishing an expensive 13th which he was forced to carry having already picked up two costly scores after suffering gear failure on the first day of the regatta. The Bay of Plenty sailor made up for it by firing off wins in the last two races, but not enough to dislodge visiting Japanese boardsailor Kenjo Motokazu (1st) and Hong Kong's Ho Chi Ho (2nd). Atlanta Olympic gold medallist Lai Shan Lee, here in Auckland with the rest of the Hong Kong boardsailing team, headed the women's fleet for the whole regatta. Sheena McKinnon was the first NZ woman home.
In the Europe class Sydney Olympian Sarah Macky was finally able to put her nightmare first day behind her, dropping the 2 penalty scores. Since then, she was only beaten twice, winning the regatta and the national title with an 11 point margin ahead of fellow Kiwi Abby Mason. Visiting Czech Olympian Lenka Smidova effectively lost her 2nd placing after breaking the start in today's 3rd race, collecting an unwanted 11 points which she was unable to drop having already collected two penalty scores on the first day.
NZL's Olympic 49er reps Daniel Slater & Nathan Handley had to go back to their America's Cup day jobs today, as did fellow Italian Olympian Francesco Bruni. This made it more of a match race on the 49er course today between experienced 49er sailor Nick Olson & Reece Brailey and class newcomer Mark Kennedy, crewing with visiting Norwegian Allan Norregard.