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4 February 2014, 09:10 am
Oceanbridge Sail Auckland Winners Crowned
Jo Aleh and Polly Powrie (NZL)
Jo Aleh and Polly Powrie win 470 title in Auckland (NZL)

Oceanbridge Sail Auckland 2014
Auckland, New Zealand

After four days of compelling racing on the Waitemata Harbour, 2014 Oceanbridge Sail Auckland came to a close with winners crowned at prize-giving following racing at the Royal Akarana Yacht Club.
470
Jo Aleh and Polly Powrie (NZL) secured victory in the 470. Heading into the day with the overall lead the reigning women's world champions, and winners of 2013 ISAF Rolex World Sailor of the Year Award sailed strongly on the final day of the regatta with a 2, 1, 1 from their three races to nail home the win.

Paul Snow-Hansen and Daniel Willcox (NZL) placed second overall with James Turner and Luke Stevenson finishing up in 3rd overall making it a kiwi podium all round in this event.

After racing Polly Powrie says; "We did have good day, another solid day and that's all we needed to do."

The pair have enjoyed getting back in the boat after a break from competition through the Christmas period; "It's been great for us. Its early on in our preparations for the year and it pointed out all our rusty spots so we've managed to take the kinks out throughout the week and its really nice to come away with a win."

Powrie anticipates that the rivalry between them and Snow-Hansen and Willcox will resume soon; "We have National Champs in a couple of weeks up in Kerikeri so it'll be all on for that no doubt!"

49er
Looking hard to beat going into the final day 49er World Champions Peter Burling and Blair Tuke (NZL) wrapped up the regatta with a clean string of wins on the final day to take the 49er title by a convincing 17 point margin.

"It was pretty interesting racing, pretty shifty, but we managed to come out on the right side of it a fair few times so we've been happy with the week and the boat was going well."

Marcus Hansen and Josh Porebski (NZL), silver medallists at the 2013 World Championships were second overall, while Benjamin Goodwin and Sam Bullock (NZL) from the Napier Sailing Club snuck through for the bronze.

49erFX
In the 49erFX it was the World Champions showing their class as well. Alexandra Maloney and Molly Meech (NZL) fending off the international competition from Annemiek Bekkering of the Netherlands to take out the 49erFX class in front of the home audience.
Maloney and Meech clocked up eight race wins across the fourteen race series and finished six points clear of Bekkering. Australia's Haylee Outteridge and Ella Clark came home in third place.

Laser
Rutger Van Schaardenburg (NED) brought home victory in the Laser class after sailing consistently well throughout the four day regatta.

Ven Schaardenburg says; "I finished with first place and I'm really happy with that. I had a bit of a struggle on the first day with speed upwind but with good downwind speed it gave me the victories and good results here. And I am a little bit lucky with the wind circumstances - they suit me well."

It was a multi-national podium in the class with NZL Sailing Team's Andy Maloney comfortably in second place and Colin Cheng from Singapore taking the bronze with a good final day on the water.

Van Schaardenburg says he came to Auckland for the quality competition; "New Zealand sailors like Andy Maloney, Sam Meech and Thomas Saunders, they are good sailors at a good level and it is cold at home right now."

Laser Radial (Open)
With points tight on the leader-board among the top three going into the final day the Laser Radial leaders hit the water with all to play for. In the end Ryan Lo Jun Han (SIN) took the win despite not having his best day on the water with a fifth and a third.

Just one point back was Olympian Sara Winther while youth male sailor Trent Rippey from Tauranga sails home to third overall in what was one of the largest fleets competing at 2014 Oceanbridge Sail Auckland.

Finn
There was a compelling finish in the Finn class with two-time Olympian in the Laser Andrew Murdoch (NZL) going into the final day three points adrift of younger training partner Josh Junior (NZL) facing an uphill battle for victory. But after a win in the first race and Junior finishing third it all came down to the final race, which went the way of Murdoch who is the overall winner by just one point.

NZL Sailing Team Finn Coach John Cutler says; "It's been really close racing between the two of them and they've each had phases where one of them has been more dominant. You know it's a pity in the end that one of them has to win and naturally one has to lose. It came down to the final mark of the final race and that's as close as you are going to get!"

"It's been tough racing we've had stronger winds at times and when you get this sea breeze and it bends around Rangitoto, and the current has been strong. So it's been really tough conditions."

"The whole fleet has been going really well, especially upwind, and if the top guys don't get it right they don't round in 1st in 2nd - they've had to work hard for the results this week and I think it sharpens them up and should stand them in good stead when they get to Europe."

Nacra 17
Gemma Jones and Jason Saunders from the NZL Sailing Team took to the water with a clean score-card, and while they didn't maintain that until the end placing second in both of the day's races, they easily take out the victory in the Nacra 17 mixed multihull class.

Rachel Basevi and Tomer Simhony (NZL) ended the regatta on a high note with a couple of wins on the final day, taking 2nd overall with Taylor Burn and Vicky Francis (NZL) finishing third overall.

RS:X
Jon-Paul Tobin (NZL) and Natalia Kosinska (NZL), Tobin with a clean sweep of wins across the entire regatta in the Men's RS:X 9.5 division. His closest rival was Su Whan Lee (KOR) and Tony Mackenzie (NZL) rounded out the podium placings in third.

It was a different story for Kosinska however who had a tough battle with youth rider from Murrays Bay Sailing Club Patrick Haybittle (NZL) for overall victory in the RS:X 8.5 division. Kosinska, an NZL Sailing Team Olympic campaigner, was lying second to Haybittle over the first half of the series, but edged in front with a string of wins on the penultimate day setting the scene for a grand finale on day four.

In the ight wind pumping conditions on the final day, Haybittle won both races sailed, Kosinska placing third in both and just hanging on to take a narrow one point overall victory.

Kite-board Racing
Torrin Bright the inaugural National Champion in kite-board racing, has been dominant at Oceanbridge Sail Auckland not missing a beat with 14 wins from 14 races. Brad Walker and Ben Turner were consistently finishing behind Bright and take 2nd and 3rd respectively.

Paralympics Classes: Sonar, SKUD 18, 2.4mR
Tim Dempsey and new SKUD18 partner Gemma Fletcher (NZL) secured victory in the Paralympic two person keelboat. The breeze across the Paralympic sailing course was consistent and so was Dempsey's form clocking up two more race wins on the final day. Brendan Tourelle and anna Ankersmit finished second with Akko Van Der Veen and Liza Elburg (NED) in third.

Brett Willcock (NZL) won the 2.4mR class from Matt Bugg of Australia with Paul Francis (NZL) rounding out the podium after some excellent racing in the Paralympic one person keelboat.

The Sonars did not race on the final day and results from from the penultimate day stand as final.

Invited Classes - 29er & 420
Equal points at the top of the 29er leader-board required a count-back to determine Micah Wilkinson and Jack Rogers (NZL) as the overall winners from Markus Somerville and Isaac McHardie. Both pairs had four wins across the regatta after extremely tight racing in the youth skiff class featuring ten boats. William McKenzie and Sam Simpson secured third place.

In the 420 Sam Barnett and Zac Merton won, with three female crews following on the leader-board. Napier sailors Olivia Mackay and Abby Goodwin were second overall with Eliza Wilkinson and Kate Stewart in third place.

Hansa Liberty & Hansa 303
John Buchanan (NZL) took overall victory in the Hansa Liberty from Helena Horswell (NZL) with Australian visitor Russell Phillips finishing third. Tan Wei Qiang and Yap Qian Yin from Singapore won the Hansa 303 two person class.

Results Oceanbridge Sail Auckland

Jodie Bakewell-White
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